Bíldudalur – A Fishing Village In The Westfjords

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Nested by Arnarfjörður fjord, the Bíldudalur village was the center of operation for Iceland’s prominent entrepreneur in the 18th century. It was a prosperous commercial hub of the Westfjord region. Surrounded by layered, flat top mountains, this small village is an attractive fishing site settled on the fjord Arnarfjörður. The location of the village is not only beautiful, but it is also responsible for the town’s envious reputation as “the good weather capital” of the Westfjords.  The main sources of the economy of this beautiful village are the sea mineral processing industry and fish farming. Tourism has also increased in the last few decades. Despite the population of merely 200 inhabitants, the music and culture have thrived in the village for decades. The picturesque location is a well-tread spot for skiers, hikers, and sea-anglers. It is a part of Vesturbyggð municipality that also includes the village of Patreksfjörður.

After the cessation of the Danish Trade Monopoly in 1786, Ólafur Thorlacius purchased all its assets and expanded his operations. He made his reputation as the most respected businessman in the town. Bíldudalur hosts an annual folk festival that has witnessed some popular artists participating in the festival earlier. There is an exhibition of the Icelandic music memorabilia named Melodies of the Past. Wide arrays of LPs, instruments, posters, and other objects fascinate the music lovers. The Arnarfjörður fjord is well known for the Icelandic Sea Monster museum where travelers can see electronic displays exploring into the myth and folktale of these creatures.

fjords in the Westfjords of Iceland

Places to Visit Near Bíldudalur

If you want to explore the nearby places of this beautiful town, you can visit Dynjandi waterfalls, located at a drive of 45 minutes. This naturally protected Dynjandi waterfall is known as ‘the Jewel of the Westfjords’. With 30 meters wide brook of water, Dynjandi falls trapezoidal. Burbling sound of water falling from 100 meters provides an amazing view. This incredible waterfall is the largest in the region. It is admired by nature lovers because of its quaint location and distinctive formation. You can also view different species of birds, natural vistas, and astonishing coastlines around the waterfall.

Visit the other fascinating fishing village in the Westfjords, Patreksfjörður that is located at a distance of about 30 kilometers south from Bíldudalur. The meaning of Patreksfjörður is “the fjord of St. Patrick”. It is named as such because it was settled by an eminent person after the conversion of the country to Christianity. Patreksfjörður village is mentioned in “The Book of Settlements”. Despite this place is ancient, it did not settle until the beginning of the 20th century. In the locality of this village, you will find fishing lands. When travelers and residents became interested in fish products, the fishing farms were settled into a trading point. The main occupation amongst residents at present is commercial fishing and fish processing. Even with a population of around 650 inhabitants, it is the biggest town in the Southern Westfjords. 

abandoned house in Bíldudalur fishing village in westfjords of Iceland

How to Reach Bíldudalur

Bíldudalur is located at a distance of about 375 kilometers from the capital of Iceland, Reykjavík. The village can be reached in 5 hours and 10 minutes by own vehicle.  If you are starting from Reykjavík, drive on Ring Road 1 towards the north. Pass through the town of Borgarnes and drive for around half an hour. Now take a left turn to head towards Vestfjarðavegur on route 60. Cross the Búðardalur and Gufudalur while driving on route number 60. Drive for some time after crossing Flókalundur on the same route. Take a left turn to drive on route number 63 towards Bíldudalsvegur.  Keep driving on route 63 to reach Bíldudalur. We recommend that you make it a multi day trip and explore some of the beautiful locations that will be on your way to Bíldudalur. Bring a pair of hiking boots and appropriate clothing if you want to go hiking.

Map of Bíldudalur

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