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The Isafjordur Travel Guide

By P. Pradhand / T. Mapes

Isafordur, Iceland

Isafordur, Iceland

CC 3.0 Geimfari

Cozy Town Meets Arctic Wilderness:

Isafjordur is a cozy town on the edge of arctic wilderness. When looking out at the sea, you realize that 'the Arctic' is out there, not far away. Visiting Isafjordur is enchanting. Literally translated as ‘ice fjord’, the hook-shaped city of Isafjordur is the capital of Vestfirðir, the northwest region of Iceland (map).

With a population of 3000, Isafjordur is both bucolic and a bustling town. The main industry of the town is fishing, though in the 1980s and 1990s, the industry declined, but Isafjordur emerged as a successful tourist spot in the country. To get here from Reykjavik, take the Ring Road or the bus.

Restaurants in Isafjordur:

Tjoruhusid is a famous seafood restaurant located at the Maritime Museum at the waterside. During the summer, the restaurant stays open late. On the menu is freshly caught fish and the famous fish soup. The owners are quirky and the atmosphere is family-friendly.

Bakarinn is a small, cosy café selling pastries, coffee and snacks. This place is well known for their sandwich breads and pizzas.

Gamla bakariid is one of the most popular bakeries in Iceland. Famous for their birthday breads and small sweet pastries, the place is full of wonderful smells and friendly staff.

Where to Stay:

Hotel Edda Isafjordur is the largest hotel in the town, located on the main street. The 40 rooms here have a great view over the town.

Owned by Auslang, the Auslang Guesthouse welcomes travelers looking for a more personal and cozier Icelandic experience. The guesthouse itself is a large house, typical for a true Icelandic guesthouse.

Things to Do in and Around Isafjordur:

The region around Isafjordur is called Isafjardarbaer, which includes the towns of Hnifsdalur, Sudureyri, Flateyri and Thingeyri. Together with Isafjordur, about 4,000 people live in the area.

Visitors can enjoy the picturesque nature of the region. On foot, you can tour Isafjordur's old and new town, visit the Maritime Museum, and hike up the mountain. In the wintertime, it is common to ski in the area. Be sure to follow the ski paths; some native daredevils follow their own paths.

There are also several boat rides to neighboring areas for those who love nature. Most boats operate only in the summer months.

Known as Paradise Island, Vigur has several species of birds including puffins, eider ducks, arctic terns and black guillemot. The island is only one hour away by boat and visitors can enjoy cake and coffee in the farmhouse after the boat tour.

There is an all day hiking tour from Adalvik to Hesteyi. The hike is 12-14 km long and includes wading through small streams in the gorgeous countryside of Iceland. Several tour options are available, from leisure to experienced hiker. It is also possible to see seals, arctic foxes and several species of birds.

Located in Hornvik, the Hornvik Cliffs are two of the three largest bird cliffs in Europe. You can hike across one of the cliffs and see thousands of birds and, on occasion, the Arctic Fox.
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