Eyjafjörður Fjord in North Iceland - part II - Dalvík Town & the Great Fish Day

Dalvík is a town in Eyjafjörður fjord in North-Iceland with ca 1,200 inhabitants. The main industries here are fish processing, fisheries, industry and trade.

In Dalvíka very popular annual family festival called Fiskidagurinn mikli or the Great Fish Day is held every year. It is held on the second weekend in August, the week after "Verslunarmannahelgin" or the Bank holiday weekend, which is Iceland's biggest summer festival.

The theme of the Great Fish Day is for people to get together, have fun and eat fish :)  And the nation is invited to a great sea-food buffet.

The Great Fish Day in Dalvík, north Iceland

It is so much fun and people from all over Iceland visit Dalvík this weekend. The festival starts on Friday when locals offer "fiskisúpa" or fish-soup in their homes, but the main events are on Saturday. 

The theme is fish and all kinds of fish-courses are offered to guests for FREE - even the soda-pop is for free. The main events and entertainment are by the harbour and there you can see lines of people by the many-stalls getting their different fish-courses. Master-cooks prepare the courses and you can taste many different types of fish. On the longest barbecue (8 meters) in Iceland fish-burgers are prepared. 

Dried fish hanging in Dalvík

There is music and singing and good comradeship - it is just so much fun and a lot of people attend :)

Every guest-house is booked solid and the camping areas are full. I was lucky enough to be offered to camp in nearby Hauganes village with relatives, where my great-aunt used to live.

Now I have a friend in Akureyri, with whom I stay during this weekend.

Eyjafjörður Fjord in North Iceland - part II - Dalvík Town & the Great Fish Day
The stalls are open from 11:00-17:00 on Saturday and in the evening there are bands playing by the harbour - I have listened to some fantastic concerts here. The festival then finishes with a big fireworks show. 

When I attend this festival I always meet up with a lot of my relatives, who live in the neighbouring towns and villages - and even some who have driven from Reykjavík, which is 412 km away.

Fish day in Dalvík, north Iceland

I must give big thanks to the fish-producers and other companies in Dalvík for their great generosity towards the nation and guests visiting Iceland :) Kudos to them for a job well done!

Visiting Dalvík during the Great Fish Day festival is highly recommended if you are in this area on the second weekend of August. I never miss it.

The tallest Icelander 

The tallest Icelander was from Dalvík in north Iceland

The tallest Icelander that we know of was from Dalvík and a museum is dedicated to him in Dalvík - Byggðasafnið Hvoll. His name was Jóhann Kristinn Pétursson (1913-1984), often called Jóhann Svarfdælingur or Jóhann risi (the giant). He was 2.34 m tall. 

Jóhann was born in Akureyri town but was raised in Svarfaðardalur. By the time he was twenty he had become 2.25 m tall (7 ft 8 in) and weighed 163 kg. He was regarded the tallest man in the world until another taller man was found - as it were.

Jóhann came from a poor family and quickly outgrew all of his clothes. Due to his size, all his clothes had to be custom made. He grew so fast that sometimes when he went to pick up his clothes from his tailor he had already outgrown them.  Jóhann's things had to be custom made, f.ex. his bicycle, his car, his bed and his recliner, plus his accordion. 

Custom made clothes for the tallest man in Iceland Jóhann

When Jóhann was 22 years old he went to Denmark and started working at the circus. He performed all over Europe and took part in the World Fair in 1937.  In 1945 he returned back to Iceland where he travelled all around the country and showed films.

He then moved to the USA in 1948 and worked in circuses until he retired. He played in a couple of movies - here is an interview taken in 1972 Jóhann risi. In 1982 he moved back to Dalvík and died here in 1984 and was buried in the cemetery in Dalvík.

There are more interesting things to see at the museum at Dalvík, f.ex. this polar bear.

Eyjafjörður Fjord in North Iceland - part II - Dalvík Town & the Great Fish Day

Now that I have written about Hrísey the Pearl of Eyjafjörður fjord and Dalvík and the fun activities there I will take you south the fjord towards Akureyri, the capital of the North.

But I will make one stop on the way, at the historical Gásir.

Eyjafjörður Fjord in North Iceland - part II - Dalvík Town & the Great Fish Day

Dalvík is located 404 km away from the capital city. To reach Dalvík from Reykjavík you can rent a car and drive up there in a day or two. Guide to Iceland has also put together several self-drive tours around Iceland with a detailed itinerary, accommodation and a car included.

Also check out these awesome tours by Saga Travel up north.  And why not go whale watching from Dalvík?

If you want to continue to travel with me in Eyjafjörður then there is so much to see and do in this longest of Iceland's fjords:

Have a lovely time in Dalvík :)

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