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  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

Búðardalur tiny village in the Westfjords

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

The region around the small village of Búðardalur has a rich literary history; three of the main Icelandic Sagas (Laxdæla Saga, Saga of Eric the Red, and Eyrabyggja Saga), written in the 12th century are set here. The village itself, located at the entrance of the West Fjord peninsula, is relatively new and small. It is part of the Westfjords Road Trip route. The abundant lowlands and valleys in the area make it a largely agricultural and farming community. The entire Dalir region is bursting with sites of dramatic events from many centuries ago; one can read about them in the Icelandic sagas that are based here.

Búðardalur is a small service village

Store in Búðardalur
The store and restaurant in Búðardalur is a popular pit stop

Tiny Búðardalur, with a population of less than 300, is located by Road Nr. 60, one of the two main roads leading to the Westfjords. The village’s first house was built at the end of the 19th century to accommodate a store and the store owner’s home. A few more houses were built in the early 20th century as well as a community center for the surrounding rural area. Although located on the coast, fishing or fish processing never developed in Búðardalur, probably because it is located at the bottom of the broad and large Breiðafjörður fjord with limited fishing grounds nearby. Instead, the many farms in the region have made it an agrarian area. Subsequently, a small dairy processing plant was built in Búðardalur, which created the main base for its development and economy.

Most of the homes are relatively new

Old house in Búðardalur
Old renovated house in Búðardalur

When you drive around the village, it is evident that most of the houses in Búðardalur are from the 1950’s, ’60’s, and ‘70’s. The Cooperative Society in Iceland also opened a store and various services. Most of the people who settled in the new and growing village around that time worked in farms, companies serving the rural area, and nearby agricultural companies. Just as many small rural districts and towns in Iceland have merged into larger municipalities in recent years, today Búðardalur is a part of the Dalabyggð municipality.

One of those small villages with all essential services

Camping site in Búðardalur
Búðardalur has a great camping site

Even though the village is relatively small, it offers most of the essential services expected of any municipality. It has a school for its young residents, an all-in-one preschool, and a primary and elementary school where children can also attend music lessons. Nearby Laugar has a swimming pool and a sports center. There are four community centers in the Dalabyggð municipality and a small harbor in Búðardalur. In this tiny village, one can also find an art gallery and a local museum, an excellent camping ground, a café, and a restaurant.


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