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  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

Skagaströnd village and the treasure chest

Updated: 3 days ago

Mt. Spákonufell Skagaströnd
The treasure chest is on the top of the mountain

Athough at some distance from the main traffic and the Ring Road, Skagaströnd is a village worth visiting. It is a logical stop, for a meal, café, and the Museum of Prophecies on the way to the magnificent Kálfhamarsvík basalt column cove, and if you intend to take the loop from the Ring Road and travel to Sauðárkrókur and Siglufjörður. Like the neighboring village of Blönduós, Skagaströnd is close to some stunning natural wonders, including the Hvítserkur sea stack and Borgarvirki natural fortress on the east side of the Vatnsnes Peninsula, the Kálfhamarsvík cove, and Kolugljúfur.

The Prophetess Mountain

Local legend states that hidden somewhere on top of the Prophetess Mountain that towers over Skagaströnd is an enormous treasure chest loaded with valuables, with the key still in the keyhole. It is said that the chest was put there by Þórdís the prophetess many centuries ago. Since Þórdís was knowledgeable in witchcraft, a magic spell has been placed on the chest. Unless the spell is broken, the chest blends into the surrounding cliffs, apparently invisible to the naked eye. No one has been able to break the spell thus far, so apparently the treasure is still there. This story is a good example of how folklore lives through centuries and becomes a part of the town’s charm and the history of the local residents.

An old trading place that developed slowly

Skagaströnd villag
Homes in Skagaströnd village in the northern region in Icelan

As far back as the 15th century, Skagaströnd was the trading post for the vast region around the southern and eastern part of Húnaflói, the bay east of the West Fjords. Even though the post developed into a small cluster of houses early on, had a harbor, and was considered a good landing place for vessels, it did not immediately evolve into a larger town offering services for its surrounding settlements. Many towns with a similar history in trading became main hubs for their area in the 20th century; unfortunately, this role was adopted by Blönduós, a bit south of Skagaströnd.

The fishing village, Skagaströnd

Town Center Skagaströnd
The town center in Skagaströnd village

Although most of the trading and services developed at Blönduós in the 20th century, Skagaströnd continued to grow, nonetheless. Unlike Blönduós, it had a good harbor, and consequently the fishing and fish processing industries developed here. Today, they are the economic foundation of the small village.

Skagaströnd has taken an interesting turn in the path to its development. The village is moving to new, interesting fields like research in biotechnology, which are in turn widening its economic base. It has also opened a residency for artists and is starting to shift toward more participation in tourism.

A beautiful setting under the mountain Spákonufell

Skagaströnd by Húnaflói bay
Skagaströnd village and mountains in Westfjords on the other side of Húnaflói bay

Skagaströnd is a neat fishing village offering most services required by residents in a modern Icelandic village. The town has a kindergarten, a primary and secondary school, and a sports center. It also boasts a community center, a church, and a health care center. The village has a charming location by the shore with the mighty mountain Spákonufell (Prophetess Mountain) in the background.

Store in Skagaströnd villagge
Grocery stor in Skagaströnd village

For anyone traveling in Iceland’s Northern Region, Skagaströnd has an excellent campsite and offers interesting hiking paths on the mountain Spákonufell. The village also offers accommodation and has a restaurant and a pleasant café.

If you're planning to tour Iceland in a rental car, make sure to read this article about the three important things you need to know and the type of car that would be best for your trip!


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