Siglufjordur is one and a half-hour drive away from Iceland’s second-largest city of Akureyri. However, this was not always possible until the opening of road tunnels in 2010 which links Olafsfjordur to Siglufjordur. Before the tunnels came into existence, road access to Siglufjordur was only possible during the summer. Any other months would require a plane or boat ride and even horse riding over the mountains. That would mean Siglufjordur will be isolated most months in a year if not for the tunnels. Henceforth, I am thankful to visit Siglufjordur for a day trip simply by driving along Route 76 now.
Northernmost Town of Siglufjordur
The charming and sleepy town of Siglufjordur is situated at a stunning fjord of the Troll Peninsula. It reminded me of Siglufjordur. The similarity of being surrounded by dramatic mountains together with lovely reflections from the fjord. It’s like finding these places that were intentionally hidden away by nature.
Siglufjordur had a glorious past and was once known as the herring capital. The boom transformed a small fishing village into a thriving town. And Siglufjordur was one of Iceland’s most important ports. The herring exported from the town alone accounted to over 20% of the country’s total exports! But the fishing boom did not last due to overfishing. The golden days are documented at the Herring Era Museum. It’s also the largest seafaring and maritime museum in Iceland. But it was closed during that day…oh well.
The main industry is still very much in fishing. But with a shifted focus on tourism for the 1,300+ inhabitants living here. It was a very quiet day during my visit that I hardly see any actions around the town. It’s perhaps still not as well-known when compared to other towns in Iceland.
I also visited Olafsfjordur for some quick photo. It’s another lovely and sleepy town surrounded by the steep mountains in Northern Iceland.
The friendly Icelandic Horses
I lost count of the numbers of Icelandic horses I came across while driving along from places to places. But the horses were usually roaming quite far away. But I spotted a number of them gathering near the fence this time around. And I stopped on the side of the road to have a closer look. This friendly bunch noticed my presence immediately and gathered around. Ended up, I was the one getting check out by them LOL. I suppose they are just wondering if I have food for them. Sorry folks, I ain’t got any with me!
The Icelandic horses are all pure breed and those that were exported will not be allowed to return. Besides their pleasant temperament, they are much shorter than the usual horses that we frequently see elsewhere. Hence, the Icelandic horses are often mistaken for ponies for that reason. They are kept for either horse riding or food. Yes, they are known to be a local delicacy by the Icelanders. Oh my!
The tall wooden sculpture at Safnasafnid Folk and Outsider Art Museum is an interesting sight too.
Godafoss, Waterfall of the Gods
Next up will be the infamous Godafoss. It’s also known as ‘the Waterfall of the Gods’. The name came about where a Viking chieftain was entrusted to decide Icelanders’ faith. He was to consider whether to adopt Christianity as the official religion. The chieftain opted for it in the end. He then threw all his Norse Pagan gods statues into the waterfall. And that’s how the waterfall name had derived. But it seems that nobody knows about the accuracy of this explanation.
Godafoss is nevertheless one of the stunning waterfalls in Iceland. It’s also definitely among the most elegant-looking ones. The horseshoe-shaped waterfall with its multiple streams is an impressive sight. Its water flows from River Skjalfandafljot which is also the main source for some of the other nearby waterfalls. Godafoss is easily accessible from the Ring Road. It’s just a short walking distance from the visitors’ car park. It’s also a great place to capture the beautiful Northern Lights.