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  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

Þingeyri small village in Dýrafjörður fjord West Fjords

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

Þingeyri harbor
Þingeyri harbor West Fjords Iceland

Þingeyri, a small village located on the southern side of the fjord Dýrafjörður or Animal Fjord, is one of the few villages in the West Fjords without a tall, almost threatening mountain towering right above with a threat of avalanche during winters. On the contrary, the area around the village is a broad lowland, compared to several others in its surroundings.

A former trading post

Oldest hous in Iceland
One of the oldest houses in Iceland in Þingeyri West Fjords

Although the village was an old trading post for trading companies with permission from the Danish–Icelandic Trade Monopoly, its community didn’t evolve until the late 19th century. One of the oldest buildings in Iceland is at Þingeyri—an old warehouse built in 1734. But it wasn’t until a few farmers purchased a docked vessel in the second half of the 19th century and began fishing in larger quantities that village life began to take root. Later, Þingeyri built a harbor, establishing fishing and fish processing as the main economic base and primary source of income.

Þingeyri thrived in the fifties

Þingeyri village
Þingeyri village in the fjord Dýrafjörður (Animal fjord)

In the fifties up until the seventies, the village was booming, and most of the single-family houses were built at that time. The community offered excellent opportunities and what seemed like promising permanent employment in a stable industry. After the government of Iceland created the fishing quota system in 1990, much of the fishing industry and fisheries vessels disappeared and the town has fallen to decline. As in many towns and villages in Iceland, it was essential to establish necessary services for the community. A school was built to educate the young, a community center to enhance social life, and a healthcare center for the sick.

Þingeyri is part of the Ísafjörður municipality today

Town Center Þingeyri
Town center in Þingeyri small village

Today, the town with its population of a little less than 300 is part of the Ísafjörður municipality, a community that includes four small villages and the town Ísafjörður—the largest in the West Fjords. In the municipality, there are also around 180 persons in the rural area. It offers good quality service in the village of Þingeyri—an elementary and middle school, a sports center, a swimming pool, and a community center in the education sector.

A village developing toward tourism

Old houses in Þingeyri
Old houses in Þingeyri village

Þingeyri maintains restaurants and a café and offers good accommodation, hotels, and guesthouses. If you visit the village, you should most definitely visit the charming Simbahöllin café. Staying at Þingeyri is a good alternative when driving through the West Fjords. The village is a beautiful pitstop, with an excellent camping site to rest your weary limbs and a convenience store and gas station to fuel up before continuing your journey.

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