Siglufjörður, or Sigló, as locals call it, sits at the foot of a steep slope overlooking a beautiful fjord, around 40 km from the Artic Circle and is Iceland’s most northerly town. Siglufjörður and it’s sister settlement Ólafsfjörður are only 15 km apart and together they make up the municipality of Fjallabyggð.
Sigló was once a busy town as it was the herring capital of the country. It was home to hundreds of workers, and small fishing boats overcrowding the harbor. The fish industry significantly affected the appearance and character of the village. After the herring disappeared in the late 1960’s the town became considerably quieter, and now the town is home to 1200 people. Lately, Siglufjörður has gained the attention of travellers for it’s hiking routes, marina and its excellent diversions.
The town offers a variety of activities. During winter Sigló becomes the outdoor enthusiast’s paradise and offers the opportunity to go skiing, cross-country skiing, skating or ride through the snow on a snowmobile. During summer, it’s the mountains and the black sandy shores that attract, with a wide selection of walking and hiking routes on the surrounding mountains. A walk over the passes of Hólsskarð and Hestsskarð into the stunning and uninhabited Héðinsfjorður is a popular walking route and offers spectacular views throughout the journey.
The recreational possibilities in Siglufjörður are varied. Sea angling in the Hólsá River is a popular choice amongst visitors and travel companies offer sails and cruises on the fjord. Siglufjörður has a 9-hole golf course and a local swimming pool to relax in after a day of activities.
Located between mountain slopes, fishing town Olafsfjorður still retains a sense of isolation, despite this, Olafsfjorður town has many interesting and enjoyable pursuits on offer for the general tourists, or anyone keen on outdoor activities. From Akureyri, you have to pass through a 3-kilometre tunnel just to make your way into town, which makes a striking entrance. Olafsfjörður and it’s sister settlement Siglufjorður are only 15 km apart and together they make up the municipality of Fjallabyggð.
Tindaöxl is the ski area in Ólafsfjörður, and contains one of the best slalom ski-trails. In addition, there is a cross-country ski trail that has lights along the trail and access is available to skier during the summer season as well.
The Herring Era Museum (Síldarminjasafnið in Icelandic) in Siglufjörður is the largest marine and industrial museum in Europe. This award-winning museum does a great job re-creating the flourishing years of Sigló between 1903 and 1968 when it was the herring capital of Iceland. The museum is set in three buildings and brings the work and lives of the town’s inhabitants vividly to life.
Folk music enthusiasts may be interested in this little museum, presenting Icelandic folk music in an interesting and entertaining manner through visual recordings of people of all ages singing folk songs and playing traditional instruments. The museum even offers visitors to try out a few 19th-century instruments. It also displays an exhibition portraying the life and work of Rev. Bjarni Thorsteinsson, who transcribed songs and chants over a 25-year period. He later published a book about Icelandic folk songs, which preserves this unique part of Icelandic cultural history.
Those interested in traditional music will enjoy the popular Icelandic folk music festival held annually in Siglufjordur. It takes place on the first weekend in July and offers its visitors a variety of events. Artists from different countries take part in the festival by giving concerts, courses and lectures, however, the main focus of the festival are traditional Icelandic folk music such as rímur songs, two-part organum, folk dances and psalms. The festival has received an award, recognising it as an outstanding cultural event in the Icelandic countryside.
A small bird-oriented museum. It contains a majority of Icelandic bird species, as well as a collection of eggs, plants and a few taxidermic mammals including a polar bear. The museum was established in 1993 and has grown ever since it’s open every day during the summer season except on Mondays.
Unlike most local pools, the swimming pool in Siglufjörður is a 25-meter indoor pool, and outside is a large hot tub with massage nozzles. The pool has recently been renovated.
HIKING IN FJALLABYGGÐ
Siglufjörður is an area of spectacular natural beauty. The mountains and the fjords are awe-inspiring and the opportunities for outdoors activities and recreation are almost inexhaustible. Travellers who visit Siglufjörður will not be disappointed.
The many hiking trails in the mountains and valleys around Siglufjörður is a popular attraction for the outdoors enthusiast. The nearly untouched and peaceful nature of Héðinsfjörður heightens the attraction for visitors to the area. In Iceland, different locations, and parts of nature have specific names and there are around 1300 place and nature names registered in Héðinsfjörður and Siglufjörður.
There are many interesting trails in Fjallabyggð that have been demarcated and plotted in recent years. These trails are of varying lengths and difficulty so that everybody should be able to find something to their liking. Maps and descriptions of these trails and hiking routes are to be found on Fjallabyggð’s municipality website, here.
Top Mountaineering is small family-operated tour company run by Gestur and Hulda. They specialise in guided tours and hikes on the mountains surrounding the beautiful town of Siglufjörður but also offer sailing tours and snowmobile tours during the winter.
The mountains around Siglufjordur are varied and well suited for walks and hikes for all levels of difficulties. A lot of history is connected to the mountains and you’ll encounter traces of old paths that were used in earlier times and signs of the heritage of the people that lived on the farms. In addition, there are numerous folklores that are originated in these mountains. The Top Mountaineering guides will therefore not only to guide you through the hiking trails and stunning landscapes but also through the history and heritage of the area. As locals, they have excellent knowledge and passion for the area surrounding Siglufjordur, so you can make sure you’ll have a fascinating and a safe hike.
Top Mountaineering offers everything from relatively easy day tours to longer, more challenging hikes, but you can always be sure to enjoy a magnificent view. If you have any special wishes, they will be more than happy to customise a hike based on your interests or requirements. Gestur and Hulda provide a service that is very personal and friendly. They even offer warm soup at their home after tours and invite to you relax and reflect on the journey in their hot tub on their patio. What better way to end a day of hiking?
For further information and booking, contact them via telephone +354 8984939, or book through their website: www.topmountaineering.is
Aðalbakarí is a friendly bakery and coffee house at Aðalgata, downtown Siglufjörður that offers freshly baked bread and pastries every day. A wide range of sandwiches and other filled bites where everyone can find something to their liking. At lunchtime on weekdays hot food is served. The lunch menu for each day can be found on our facebook page. They also offer high-quality coffee from Illy, cold beer on tap, live football and wireless network.
In addition, the bakery offers catering service for both small and large parties, such as graduations, confirmations and birthday parties. You can rent a place for your party that takes up to 30 people with access to a projector.
Adalbakari offers outstanding baked goods and sandwiches. Ask for the cardamom and raisin doughnut holes, as they are absolutely mouth-watering.
SHOPS IN FJALLABYGGÐ
Siglósport is a clothing store located in the heart of Siglufjörður. They offer a variety of products as you will find fashion items, sports -and outerwear, shoes and much more in Siglósport. They welcome their customers with a friendly fashion and provide excellent service.