Hólmavík – A Fascinating Town in the Westfjords of Iceland

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Basic Information

  • Hólmavík is located in the Westfjords of Iceland. 
  • Population around 375.
  • Hólmavík is known for witchcraft and witch-hunts.  

Crowning the Westfjords of Iceland, Hólmavík is a beautiful town situated on the eastern part of the Westfjords. It is the largest settlement in the Strandir region. As per the census of 2011, 375 is the total population of Hólmavík town. Unlike most regions in Iceland which are famous for their flora and fauna, Hólmavík is known for its connections to witchcraft and witch-hunts. The town is significant to the commerce of Strandir, having a successful fish industry and tourism sector. The awe-inspiring and beautiful town offers stunning locales, sceneries, and much more.

Hólmavík village in the Westfjords of Iceland

Things to See in Hólmavík

Having a fascinating history, Hólmavík attracts explorers who love to collect the dots of the past. So let’s have a look at the things that you can see and explore here at Hólmavík.

Museums and Exhibitions

Interestingly, magic and sorcery in Icelandic folklore is a persistent theme. This may seem bizarre to some people but tourists actually visit this place to get acquainted with the history of witchcraft in Iceland. So if you want to know more about magic and legend in Iceland, you must visit the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft. The museum tells you in a detailed manner about historical facts and the witch frenzy that was spread in Iceland during the 17th century. It takes the visitors back to those 50 years of the 17th century when magic and sorcery were at their peak in the country. This is why it has been named “Brennuöldin” or the Fire century. You will find the set of a sorcerer’s trousers on display and get to know about necropants. There are guides in several languages available in the museum including, English, Hebrew, Dutch, Czech, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish. You can try a small restaurant in the museum where the seafood is served mainly, including blue mussels. The museum and the restaurant are open throughout the year. If this place excites your curiosity, you can visit The Sorcerer’s cottage, which is located 28 kilometers north of Hólmavík.

You must also visit the village’s oldest house, constructed in the 19th century. You will be surprised at how the oldest house was transformed into an exotic coffeehouse/bar known as Café Riis. It serves awesome seafood, along with some mouth-watering pizza.

Sheep Farming Museum is another delight that gives you a deep insight into the farming industry in the countryside that surrounds the town. The Sheep Farming Museum is situated about 12 kilometers in the south of Holmavik. You can easily reach there via road 68. Visitors can delve into the history of sheep farming in Iceland. Theme exhibitions about history and nature are common here. Local bread, ice creams, and cakes in the nearby cafeterias can be enjoyed with some hot tea. You can buy some handicraft items from stores and feed the lambs.

Holmavik Sports Center

This Sports Center houses a warm swimming pool and spa where you can sit and relax for a while. There are hot pots and gym facilities for visitors to lose themselves up a little in sports. The gym has good training equipment and the naturally cold water is heated using green electricity.

Hólmavíkurkirkja Church

Serving as one of the landmarks of Hólmavík, Hólmavíkurkirkja church is an epitome of brilliant architecture. It is situated above the village on top of a hill. This ultra modern-looking church was completed in 11years from 1957 to 1968. There is also an older church in Staður which is a pure gem to see. The new church has interiors made of pinewood, making them warm and welcoming. The glass windows inside the church give a beautiful view of the town. You can cherish the amazing view of the church. If you still have the time left, you can join a whale watching tour in the areas surrounding Hólmavík.

Hólmavík on a map

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