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  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

Hvammstangi village in the Northern Region in Iceland

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

Hvammstangi town center
Hvammstangi town center

There are many reasons to stop at the pleasant village of Hvammstangi in Iceland’s Northern Region. Located on the Vatnsnes Peninsula, it neighbors some stunning natural wonders, such as Hvítserkur and Borgarvirki on the east of the peninsula and a number of interesting seal colonies north of the village on the west.

The village became a certified trading post at the end of the 19th century, but no one lived there at the time. A community only formed there at the beginning of the 20th century, when people moved to the area around the trading post and started to settle down. Before the trading certification was issued, the surrounding area had consisted only of farms and agricultural enterprises. Services were sought from the other small villages and towns in the Northern Region.

Opportunities arrived with new technology

Church in Hvammstangi village
The old church in Hvammstangi village

Like many towns and villages around Iceland’s coastline with origins in the 20th century, Hvammstangi is a product of new technology in fishing and fish processing and better communication, transportation, and trading. Up to that point, Iceland was a mainly agricultural society with a few densely populated areas or clusters of houses along the coastline. The village was established when new trade boosted the number of opportunities, and industries and Icelanders did not have to rely only on agriculture to make a living.

A village developed in the 20th century

Restaurant in Hvammstangi
Hvammstangi has a great restaurant

The first houses were constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, when the Danish merchant Riis started trading. At the same time, the Icelandic Cooperative Society started important economic activities in Hvammstangi. In the late 1920's, an Icelandic merchant Sigurður Pálmason also started trading in the village. This made Hvammstangi a very progressive and competitive community for its time. In the decades that followed, new services, such as a new church, excellent schools, a community center, a swimming pool, and a health center, started to appear as the community developed further. Today, Hvammstangi boasts all the key services and institutions required by any civilized community to provide a superior quality of life to its residents.

Hvammstangi is a good tourist spot

Hvammstangi camping site
Hvammstangi camping site is among the best in Iceland

Located six kilometers from the Ring Road, Hvammstangi was never frequently visited by Icelanders or tourists until the beginning of the 21st century. Despite its proximity to the Ring Road, the village was slightly isolated as it was probably viewed as just another fishing village, which is odd given how pleasant it is. Today, however, Hvammstangi has become a village that people should not miss. Although it is not old, it is a neat and convenient place to visit. The community has taken significant steps towards promoting the new industry of tourism. It has one of the best camping sites in Iceland, Kirkjuhvammur, located in a beautiful setting in the hills above the village. The town also has a marvelous top-quality restaurant and excellent accommodations.

Old houses in Hvammstangi
Old houses in Hvammstangi village in Iceland

Hvammstangi is a pleasant place to live in, providing good quality service to its residents. The village has good schools, an excellent swimming pool and sports center, and a church and provides quality care for the elderly. Hvammstangi is one of our favorite villages and has taken the eighth place on our list of the ten most interesting towns and villages in Iceland.


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