Djúpivogur is a small coastal village located on the Búlandsnes peninsula, nestled by the picturesque fjord of Hamarsfjörður in East Iceland.
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The town has an approximate population of 400 people. Fishing has been the primary engine for Djúpivogur’s economy for centuries. In recent times, the tourism industry has blossomed and a hotel, restaurants, cafés, a campground and shops can all be found in and around the town.
Djúpivogur’s history is deeply interlinked with trading. Records show that Djúpivogur was a trading centre as far back as 1589, meaning over four centuries of commerce in the region. The historic building Langabúð (the oldest warehouse in Djúpivogur), constructed in 1790, has recently been renovated and now serves as the town's cultural centre. Inside is the Heritage Museum, dedicated Djúpivogur’s commercial past.
The cultural centre also displays the incredible sculptures of the late artist, Ríkarður Jónsson (1888-1977). In addition, the town has excellent sports facilities, a swimming pool, museums, and a garden of outdoor sculptures named Eggin in Gleðivík, by Sigurður Guðmundsson. By design or not, these sculptures perfectly capture the prospering local birdlife across the region and make for beautiful photographs.
Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Olafurbj. No edits made.
The landscape around Djúpivogur is overshadowed by Búlandstindur, a pyramid-shaped basalt mountain peaking at 1069m. The mountain is known across Iceland for it’s staggering, almost sculpted beauty. According to local folklore, the mountain is able to grant wishes during the summer solstice and is an ‘energy centre’ for the entire country.
The town has a public artwork called ‘The Eggs of Merry Bay’, where replicas of the eggs of the 32 birds that nest in the area line the shore. Djúpivogur is also the only ‘Cittaslow’ town in the country, which promotes easy, slow living for personal and environmental health.
From Djúpivogur, boat tours can be taken to the largest island off east Iceland. Papey, roughly two square kilometres in size, was inhabited since the settlement of Iceland until as recently as 1966.
The island still resonates with the ghosts of this lost settlement. The oldest wooden church in Iceland, constructed in 1807, can be found in Papey, alongside an automated weather station and a lighthouse. The island is home to an enormous colony of Atlantic Puffins, and is a fabulous day trip from mainland Iceland.