Even by Icelandic standards the small village of Vopnafjordur is pretty remote. Two hours away from any other town which makes Vopnafjordur in fact a nice place to visit should you require rest from it all.
By nice we mean as a place to get away from the hustle and bustle. Not just in your homeland but also in Iceland where most major tourist places and bigger towns offer peace and quiet for no one. Sure, there will be people going about their business in Vopnafjordur but overall the aura of the town is laid back and life flows slowly.
The tradeoff for this is that services here are very limited and to be honest the town itself does not offer anything extra special. It is a simple fishing village and pretty much the only industry in the place.[blockquote type=”blockquote_line” align=”right”]to be honest the town itself does not offer anything extra special[/blockquote]
This being said the fjord in which the town lies on a small peninsula is pretty famous for its great salmon rivers. Two beautiful rivers, Selá river and Hofsá river, run through here and both tempt anglers from all over the world. Naturally, these tend to be pretty expensive and hardly a stop for others than hardcore fishermen.
Of special note regarding Vopnafjordur is the fact that of all the thousands of people from Iceland that emigrated to the U.S. and Canada in the late 19th and early 20th centuries most started their journey from this place. Therefore smaller groups of descendants from these countries make regular stops here during summertime.
The Vopnafjordur surroundings are also pretty awesome. Miles of trekking available in all directions and the chance of seeing another soul about as likely as witnessing a snowball in hell.
Without doubt the most impressive manmade thing to see in Vopnfjordur is a very old Icelandic farm called Burstafell. This beautiful building from wood and turf has been turned into a fine museum should you have interest in how locals lived centuries ago. Burstafell is about ten minute drive away from the village itself but clearly marked. You can also locate it on our map below. There is a decent coffee shop onsite but take note the museum is only open during summertime between June and September. Opening hours are 10 to 18 daily and admission is 6$ / 4€.
Some tour operators offer trips to Vopnafjordur for the Northern Lights in wintertime but Vopnafjordur is no better than other places to witness this wonderful phenomenon. Vopnafjordur in wintertime also is way too depressing to have a nice time.
The national airline, Flugfelag Islands, offers direct flights to Vopnafjordur from Reykjavik. Two different roads to take if you have your own car and driving the Ring road. Either route 917 should you be coming from Egilsstadir or route 85 from Akureyri. Route 85 is much better and actually quicker in both instances. But route 917 is way more exciting if you have time on your hands.
As for staying here you have a few options. Campingsite is in town and few farmers will object to you camping pretty much anywhere as long as you ask permission. Amazingly there is a hotel here, Hotel Tangi, but it only offers four private rooms and other thirteen with shared baths. Fortunately, you also have three farm guesthouses to choose from. Guesthouse Síreksstadir around 20 kilometres away from town. Guesthouse Sydri-Vik and Guesthouse Under the Mountain. In addition there is also a guesthouse in town itself. Guesthouse Mavahlid is located on the same street as Hotel Tangi.
There is a small but nice geothermal pool in town and a small 9-hole golfcourse is here also. Horseriding tours and boat trips also available in town or nearby. Birdlife is varied here and Vopnafjordur a nice place to birdwatch but only in summertime or very warmly dressed.
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View Interesting things in and around Vopnafjordur village in Iceland in a larger map