Vopnafjörður is a place where tranquility and nature embrace each other. Located in the Northeast of Iceland, the village is based on a wide fjord that goes by the same name. The village stayed unnoticed and in an isolated state for quite a long time. The Fjord separates the Digranes and Kollumúli headlands and on either side, connects the two great bays of Bakkaflói and Héraðsflói.
Vopnafjörður translates to the fjord of weapons. It is borrowed from a Viking that resided here in the 9th century and was the first settler named Eyvindur Þorsteinsson, also called Eyvindur Vopni. The beautiful place is known for being mentioned in one of the Icelandic Sagas, Vopnfirðinga saga. The interesting historical anecdote dates back to the 10th century and tells the tale of clashes between local chieftains of the area.
You would be amazed to know that during the deadly Askja volcanic eruptions in 1875, Vopnafjörður was the largest port of Icelandic citizens emigrating to America. The current population of the village is 800.
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Explore the Village Vopnafjörður
Set amidst the beautiful landscape, Vopnafjörður is pure bliss to visit. Visitors can see a museum called Kaupvangur based in the village, possessing all the interesting information about the area. It stands in the memory of all the citizens who left the port for Canada and America during the late 19th and the early 20th centuries. Another remarkable museum situated in the area is Bustarfell Museum. It is based on an eponymous farm on a distance of 20 km from Vopnafjörður Village. The museum is worth exploring for those who are intrigued about the history of Iceland. Explorers can also visit Ljótsstaðir, the childhood home of the renowned Icelandic author Gunnar Gunnarsson.
Fish processing, agriculture and tourism are central to the commerce of the village. Most of the locals are dependent on fishing. The economy of the village is flourishing in comparison to the other towns and villages in the country. Sports facilities and good medical care are available for the locals in the area. There are a gas station and local store from where you can pick the essentials. For visitors, there is a campsite nearby with all the basic facilities. The community is growing, lately, towards offering a better quality of living to the people. The village offers a slice for everyone- history enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Geography of the Area
The majestic mountains and rock formations that are the defining characteristics of the peninsula were formed by a large glacier that covered the bay. This dates back to the last Ice Age. The surrounding scenes comprise river mouths, beaches of black sand, islets, coves and coastal rocks.
Hofsá is a beautiful and the largest river that flows into the bay. The river is also one of the major rivers for salmon fishing in the country. Vesturá and Selá are other rivers that are inhabited by the salmon. Other mesmerizing locations in the proximity of the village include the mountain range of Krossavíkurfjöll and the Gljúfurársfoss waterfall. The mountain Krossavíkurfjöll is located in the south of the bay.