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  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

Grenivík tiny village in the northern region

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

Church in Grenivík
The church in the tiny village of Grenivík

Grenivík, sometimes referred to as Grýtubakkahreppur, is a tiny village on the east coast of Eyjafjörður Fjord in the northern region. It is named after the cove by the coastline in front of the village. Although the cove and nearby places are mentioned in the Book of Settlement, which was written in the 12th century, the village has only been around for a few decades. It is probably one of the newest villages in Iceland. Even in 1935, the town didn’t have more than 20 houses, and agriculture was the primary source of income for the inhabitants. They also engaged in fishing, which was more of a means of survival rather than for trading locally and internationally. Commercial activities in the fishing industry were not possible at that time due to a lack of natural harbor or a good landing place for boats.

A small but clever community

Harbour in Grenivík
The harbor and fish processing plant in Genivík

In the middle of the 20th century, the first fishing vessels arrived at Grenivík, and fish processing began. A few decades later, a better harbor was built, and more fishing and fish processing began to take place. More and more people moved to Grenivík and built homes there. Today, fishing and fish processing are the main sources of income for most of the inhabitants. The population was approximately 280 in the early nineties and currently, as of January 2022, about 380. In all the disruptions and changes in the fishing industry in Iceland since the introduction of the quota system at the turn of the century, Grenivík has survived and thrived. This is probably mainly due to the clever decision-making of the community and investments in fishing quotas.

A nice little village to live in

Grenivík village
Grenivík village in Eyjafjörður fjord in northern region in Iceland

Although it is one of the smallest villages near the coastline in Iceland, Grenivík offers all the necessary services that are required by residents of any town or village. The town has a kindergarten, a primary and secondary school, a swimming pool, and a sports center. Good care is provided for the elderly, and the town has a community center and a history of active social life.

Visiting Grenivík

Sports center and swimming pool in Grenivík
Grenivík offers all the necessary services that are required by residents of any town or village

When traveling in Iceland on the Ring Road, Grenivík is a 20 km drive away from the main road. Although it is interested in attracting more attention from tourists as are most places in Iceland, Grenivík does not offer a lot. It has a limited selection of accommodation and barely any café or restaurant. If you are interested in staying at a quiet place in the north, Grenivík is an excellent choice. A good choice is to take the road nr. 835 north of road nr. 1 and drive through the beautiful Fnjóskadalur valley all the way to Grenivík and road nr. 83 by the coastline back to the Ring Road. This is an approximately two-hour loop but completely worth it.


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