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  • Einar Páll Svavarsson

Dalvík the affluent fishing town in the northern region

Updated: Jan 12, 2022


Berg house of culture in Dalvík
The beautiful Berg house of culture in Dalvík

Visiting the neat small town of Dalvík is a joy. Placed in a beautiful landscape on the west side of the long fjord Eyjafjörður in the northern region, it is like most towns and villages around the coastline in Iceland, a fishing town. This fishing part developed from rich fishing grounds in the first decades of the 20th century. Until that time, the area by the coast only consisted of farms and agriculture, like the beautiful walleyes east of Dalvík. It was a typical rural agricultural area. The first cluster of houses were built in the first decade as fishing and fish processing started to develop when a few farmers purchased motorboats.


Thus, trading was not a factor in the early development of Dalvík like so many villages around the coastline. Stores did not appear before the fishing sector prospered. The first store opened in the twenties. Like the whole Eyjafjörður area, the Coop Society became quite active in the development of Dalvík.


Dalvík is a thriving fishing town

Houses in Dalvík town
Dalvík is an exceptionally well kept and clean small village

Fishing and fish processing have always been the primary source of income for most residents in Dalvík town and still are. Although many towns and villages in Iceland were hit hard by the fishing quota system of the Icelandic government in the late 20th century, Dalvík was not affected. On the contrary, with the fishing quota, fishing and fish processing have increased. As a result, the population has grown from 1500 in the eighties to 2000 as of January 2022. Thanks to significant investments by Samherji, the largest fishing company in Iceland. The village also has an excellent harbor. In Dalvík, some new companies related to the fishing industry have developed, like Sæplast, a company manufacturing plastic containers, which add to the small village's economy. Dalvík has also developed small companies operating in the service sector and tourism industry.


A wonderful town to have a home

Scool in Dalvík village
The town provides good service for its residents

Most of the homes in Dalvík are single-family houses built in the sixties and the eighties. When you drive into the town and around, you notice how immaculate and well-kept the town is. It reflects that most residents are proud of their village and the overall high level of maintenance of the homes and the lots. The town provides good service for its residents and has a kindergarten, a primary, and a secondary school, as education is a high priority in Iceland. The town has an excellent sports facility for the youth, a community center, and a gorgeous new library. There is a good swimming pool in Dalvík and, of course, a beautiful church. The primary sport in Dalvík is skiing. The local skiing slope is within walking distance from most homes, and it is one of the best in Iceland. No doubt that some of Iceland's best skiers come from Dalvík.


A green energy town

Dalvík harbor
The harbor in Dalvík and the mountains on the east side of Eyjafjörður fjord

As a community, Dalvík takes good care of the elderly and has excellent health service. Like so many towns and villages in Iceland, Dalvík is heated with geothermal heating and has transformed from fossil energy into sustainable energy. For visitors traveling in Iceland, Dalvík offers a variety of accommodation and has an excellent camping site. There are some nice options in dining and an excellent café. If you want to visit the northernmost part of Iceland, the tiny but inhabited island of Grímsey, you hop on the ferry in Dalvík. If you stop in Dalvík for accommodation or camp at the beautiful campsite, a drive to the bottom of the fascinating valley Svarfaðardalur is a must. There are also interesting short hiking trails nearby if you want to enjoy the bright evenings in summer.


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