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Dalvík is a small fishing town perhaps best known to tourists as the gateway to Grímsey and Hrísey islands, as the ferry to those places departs from the Dalvík harbour. But it’s also a great spot for hikers up for the challenge of navigating the hilly and mountainous landscape around the town.
Aerial view of Dalvík
Best time to visit
All year round
Coordinates
65.97276464381684, -18.531317692121796
Distance from Reykjavík
409km (254mi)

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    There is a lot to explore in Dalvík and surrounding towns

    In a valley just west of town, the Svarfaðardalur Nature Reserve is about 8 square kilometres of wetlands on the banks of the Svarfaðardalsá. The unspoilt environment is a breeding ground for many bird species, including great northern divers and harlequin ducks. Watch where you walk to avoid nests and wear rubber boots in wet weather.

    Meanwhile, the Heritage Museum of Dalvík has an extensive collection of photographs and objects, including tools and home furnishings, that relate to the life and work of Dalvík’s residents over the years. A natural history collection contains mounts of Icelandic mammals and birds, along with eggs, rocks, shells, and grass/moss. Other exhibits relate to renowned individuals from the area, ranging from politicians to artists. The collection is vast and a bit quirky.

    There are numerous hiking opportunities in and around Dalvík for outdoor enthusiasts. For instance, Bæjarfjall is a 9 km round-trip hike. This easy hike starts from the Dalvík church, where a marked gravel road leads to the mountain Bæjarfjall. During the beginning of the walk, you will have beautiful views of a trickling stream and a vast gorge that opens into a valley. As you continue, you will have a clear view over Dalvík if the weather cooperates. You will reach an altitude of 744 metres during this trek. After enjoying some time at the top, you follow the path back down.

    Just outside of Dalvík, you can find Bjórböðin (The Beer Spa), which is owned and operated by local brewery Kaldi. The Beer Spa features seven spa tubs made from Kambala wood full of beer for a relaxing soak. Once you arrive at the facility, a staff member welcomes you, explains the soaking process, provides you with a towel, and shows you to the locker room. Guests have 25 minutes to soak in the beer bath, and then you head to a relaxation room for another 25 minutes.

    For those seeking some time out at sea, whale-watching tours are available from Dalvík’s harbour. Three-hour whale-watching tours give you a chance to see white-beaked dolphins, minke whales, harbour porpoises, and, if you’re lucky, a humpback whale or an enormous blue whale.

    Moreover, the swimming pool in Dalvík is a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. The heated pool offers a relaxing way to unwind while enjoying beautiful mountain views and experiencing a quintessential Icelandic activity.

    Dalvík, located in the north of Iceland, is close to several towns and attractions that are worthwhile to visit.


    Hrísey

    Hrísey was established as a herring station and is today’s significant tourist draw. Known as the “pearl of Eyjafjörður,” the island has a lot of appeal for bird-watching enthusiasts. Hrísey is 7.5 kilometres long and 2.4 kilometres wide, and about 200 people call it home. Its population soars during the summer months when ferries full of tourists come to shore.


    Grímsey

    About 40 kilometres off the coast of Iceland, Grímsey is a secluded, windswept island, about five square kilometres in area, that is reachable by ferry. Roughly 100 people live on Grímsey, and those who remain come from hardy stock, battling arctic temperatures and isolation. Fishermen brave the elements, including frost, storms, and waves that could reach 15 meters high. It’s not an easy life. Travellers come from around the world to visit the tiny island and experience 24 hours of daylight in mid-summer. In fact, the night does not reach Grímsey until late July, when the sun sets around midnight, only to rise a short time later.


    Siglufjörður

    Just about a 40-minute drive from Dalvík is secluded Siglufjörður, the northernmost town on the island. It’s easy to fall in love with this charming harbour town; its marina is home to much of the activity in the village, with restaurants, cafes and museums. For much of the year, the town of less than 2,000 is quiet as it endures a sometimes-punishing winter with wind that feels like it’s cutting through you. That said, skiers are attracted to the region, and there are a couple of trails to enjoy.


    Akureyri

    Akureyri is commonly called Iceland’s “second city,” a moniker many of its 18,000 residents find amusing given its small size. Akureyri has its own unique personality, and it looks and feels quite different from the capital city of Reykjavík. There are gorgeous gardens, fascinating museums, and charming colourful houses.

    Akureyri has a tighter community than Reykjavík, and there is a lot of support for local artists. Painters, sculptors, and craftspeople occupy numerous private studios. The museums reflect the rich cultural landscape of the town, displaying varied works from some of the region’s most influential artists.

    Húsavík

    About a 40-minute drive from Dalvík, Húsavík is renowned as the “Whale Watching Capital of Iceland.” In addition to whale watching, you can explore the Húsavík Whale Museum and enjoy the town’s charming atmosphere.

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