Red houses and the Hotel Djúpavik visible in the foreground, in the background there is the waterfall

The splashing of the waterfall is audible in every house in town


A place like no other, Djúpavík leaves a lasting impression on all visitors. The tiny village of vacation homes, a hotel, and an abandoned herring factory, bedazzles visitors with its charm, history, and range of activities. The old herring factory showcases inspiring artworks, hiking paths lead through untouched nature surrounding the town and an unparalleled view over Reykjafjorður strikes those who are looking for a soothing retreat. Kayaking and mountain biking keep outdoor enthusiasts happy.

Off the ring road, toward adventure

Road No. 68 leads up the stunning northwestern coastline of Strandir. Ahead lie the Westfjords, the most remote and geographically oldest part of Iceland. By driving road 68, one is rewarded with a sensational view of the Húnaflói Bay and Grímsey Island, famous for tens of thousands of puffins nesting there every year and reachable by a 10-minute boat ride from Drangsnes. By entering the unpaved road 643, endlessly winding roads and one mesmerizing fjord-view after another, turn the drive to Djúpavík into an unforgettable road trip.

Welcome to the past

No road led to Djúpavík until 1965 (and still, in winter, the road is impassable due to snow most of the time). A small wooden bridge leads you into town and back in time. Peacefully it nestles on the shore of the Reykjafjörður, consisting solemnly of a small collection of houses and one hotel. But the sight of the old decaying herring factory and the loud splashing of the village’s own waterfall makes an impressive welcome committee.

Young girl sitting in front of a self-made sales booth with the sign "Djúpavík" on it

It used to be fish, now the main source of income in Djúpavík is tourism

Art as a connection between now and then

In the first half of the 20th century, a herring bonanza created entire towns along the Westfjords, rich and bursting with life. Djúpavík was one of them. The mysterious sight of the factory invites you to enter the gates to a vivid past of fish. Between 1934 and 1944, fish liver oil and fish meal was processed here in what was considered one of the most modern herring factories in Europe at the time.

After the closing down in 1954 and a long period of vacancy, the building has, in the last years, been home to many different photography and art exhibitions, theater shows, and concerts. The Factory Art Exhibition constructs a vivid contrast to the eroding stonework.

A photo of two horses in the window of the old herring factory in Dúpavík

What started with an annual photo exhibition is now an international Art show: The old herring factory now hosts national and international artists and can be visited throughout the whole summer

Small paths lead through the complex and its buildings, down to the rusting ship's bow of Suðurlandi. This mailboat was used to sail along the shores of Strandir, and after the opening of the factory, it shortly housed about 30 workers. Now it looks like another artwork created by time, as it lies in the shallow waters of the fjord.

Now one can lay his head where the working women used to sleep. The building from 1930 was renovated in 1985 and now houses Hotel Djúpavík, a homely place and the heart of town.

Well kept secret

Don’t miss out on Djúpavík’s best-kept secret: Djúpavikurhringur (Djúpavikur circle), a beautiful two-hour walking path. Along steep mountains and through lush fields, it offers breathtaking views of various waterfalls and the fjord. One feels placed into a Tolkien world by wandering the beautiful heathland. Hiking up to the high plateau by the waterfall rewards you with a view over Djúpavík and the Fjord.

To the end of the road, to the fountain of youth

One of Iceland’s most spectacular hot tubs waits for those who leave Djúpavík behind and drive one hour further north. Krossneslaug is the perfect place for a dip in warm water with a view of the open ocean.

Relaxed and rejuvenated, one wishes to go even further and dive deeper into unchartered territory. But shortly after Krossnes, the road really ends, and another world begins - the untouched nature of the Westfjords.

Young boy jumping into the pool at Krossneslaug, view of the mountains and the ocean in the background

Krossneslaug is famous for its seclusion, the drive worth it.

Get inspired

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Between past and present: Djúpavík