Djúpavík is a village in the Westfjords of Iceland, located in Árneshreppur which is the least populous municipality in the country.
Djúpavík is located in the North-West part of Iceland and the eastern part of the Westfjords. The village is as rural as they come, as it currently consists of a single hotel, one abandoned herring factory and just about seven houses.
In 1917, a man called Elías Stefánsson constructed a salting factory for herring at the location, thus beginning settlement of the bay. However, the country was facing an economic depression, so the factory went bankrupt only two years later, or in 1919. New owners tried to salvage it, only to abandon it again in the 1920s.
In 1934, a new factory got built at the site―the largest building made of concrete in Iceland at the time―which turned out very successfully and herring fishing was bountiful over the next decade. Numbers of herring started to decline rapidly in the 1940s, and by 1954 the factory shut down again.
The 1980s saw the opening of Hótel Djúpavík, as conservation of the legendary herring factory and other village buildings began. The hotel is open all through the year, but the houses are only inhabited during the summer season.
Sites and Nature
Djúpavík is lovely to visit in the summer. Several hiking trails are available in the area, where complete solitude is all but guaranteed. The waterfall Djúpavíkurfoss cascades down the mountain cliffs that tower over the village and hiking up the mountain provides stunning views of the old factory and the entire fjord.
The herring factory offers guided tours as part of the greater Djúpavík exhibition. The easiest way to reach Djúpavík from Reykjavík is to take a domestic flight to the airport at Gjögur by the coast of Húnaflói bay.