Welcome to Isafjordur !

Some facts and figures 

Isafjordur, Silfurtorg square in the town centre
Isafjordur, Silfurtorg square in the town centre
Isafjordur is the principal town of the Westfjords peninsula, in the North-West corner of Iceland. The town itself has some 3.000 inhabitants, but the larger Isafjordur municipality (known as Isafjardarbaer), which also includes the villages Hnifsdalur, Sudureyri, Flateyri and Thingeyri, has around 4.000 inhabitants.

 

The community stretches over 2400 square kilometres, from the beautiful waterfall Dynjandi in the south, to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the north, where, amongst other things, one can find the famous cliff Hornbjarg which is one of the largest colonies for seabirds in the North Atlantic. 

Isafjordur - the heart of the region 
The town of Isafjordur stands on a narrow spit in the fjord Skutulsfjordur, which meets the waters of the larger fjord Isafjardardjup. The town is surrounded by mountains that offer endless opportunities to enjoy nature and wilderness during all seasons of the year. Despite its small population, the town has a rather urban, or one could say international, atmosphere. It is known throughout the country for its rich cultural life, with music and visual arts having long tradition and firm roots in the town’s history.

 

Being the “capital” of the Westfjords peninsula, Isafjordur is the centre for services and administration in the area. It has all school levels, including a recently established University Centre, which allows people to seek higher education through distance-learning. The town also has a hospital of highest quality, and branches from a number of government institutions. 

Trade and industry 

Flateyri in Önundarfjörđur
Flateyri in Önundarfjörđur
Traditionally, the fishing industry has been the mainstay of all the towns and villages that now form Isafjardarbaer.  However, in the 1980s and 1990s, the Westfjords experienced a severe decline in the industry. This was in some part met by focusing on manufacturing high-tech machinery and equipment for the fisheries, plus various research projects on fish and fish production. Thus, the tradition and knowledge of the fishing industry could still be utilized for the benefit of the community. 

Today, some 20% of the workforce in Isafjardarbaer works in the fishing industry. The local and national governments are the biggest employers, with some 40% of the workforce between them, while commerce and services (18%) and industry (11%) are the two other “big” sectors. The town is free from heavy industry and will remain so, while it encourages the smaller and more environmental friendly industries. 

 

Recreation 

The maritime museum
The maritime museum
Isafjardarbaer offers various recreation opportunities for its residents and visitors. The municipality has four swimming pools, five sports halls, numerous football fields and one of the best ski areas in the country. Choirs, amateur theatrical groups, various clubs and courses all help to ensure that there never has to be a dull moment in this town. 

Isafjordur is known for its numerous events and festivals. Most of them celebrate the town’s rich tradition when it comes to culture and outdoor recreation. Hiking, kayaking, running, skiing, sailing; Isafjardarbaer has events and festivals that will match every outdoor and nature lover’s interests. Cultural events include music festivals for both rock and classical music, and the widely acclaimed acting festival Act Alone.

Vefumsjón