Neskaupstaður Travel Guide
Neskaupstadur, in the fjord Nordfjordur, is a fishing town of around 1500 people in East Iceland. It is the largest town of the municipality of Fjardabyggd. Neskaupstadur has a strong fishing industry, is close to attractive nature, features an interesting museum and hosts two popular annual festivals.
Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Lala Lugo. No edits made.
The fishing industry is the mainstay of Neskaupstadur's economy, along with services and tourism. One of the largest fishing companies in Iceland, Sildarvinnslan hf, has its headquarters in the town and runs one of the largest fish processing plants in Europe. There is also some farming is the region and the regional hospital employs many people as well.
We recommend visiting the old warehouse, hosting three museums. First off is the maritime museum, which displays artefacts of fishing, ironwork, boat building and others that bear witness to the way of living for Icelanders in former times. Here you may also see an old iron workshop.
The art museum of painter Tryggvi Olafsson is also well worth a visit. Tryggvi was born in Neskaupsstadur and is well known in Iceland. The third one is the museum of natural history, displaying some of the best of Icelandic nature, mostly collected from the nearby area. It thus features mammals, birds, shellfish, insects, a stone collection and various specimen of the East Icelandic flora.
The annual Verslunarmannahelgi, the weekend before the first monday of August, sees indoor and outdoor festivals throughout the country. One of the most popular is Neistaflug ('Flying Sparks'), a family festival with many events going on, among them concerts and overall partying. Most of the biggest bands in Iceland have played in this festival.
Another festival in Neskaupsstadur has gained increased popularity, the annual Eistnaflug. The name is actually a pun on the other festival and means 'Flying balls'. This is a (mainly) three day rock festical, on the second weekend of July. As well as featuring hard rock and heavy metal acts, punk and indie bands also share the stage. The lineup usually has about 30-40 bands. The festival is also renowned for how free from trouble and well organized it is. Both Icelandic and foreign bands have played Eistnaflug, among the former are Napalm Death and Hamferd, among the latter are Solstafir, Gone Postal and Innvortis.
Nature & Surroundings
Nordfjardarnipa, a.k.a. 'Nipan' is held by many to be highest palasides that protrudes into the sea in Iceland. It separates the fjords Nordfjordur and Mjoifjordur. In 1972 the surrounding area became Iceland's first official national park. This is an area of immense natural beauty and offers many great trails, but the most popular is one that leads to the cave Paskahellir ('Easter Cave'), carved out from the waves. The small holes on the cave walls were left by trees that were covered by lava a long time back and give a great idea of Iceland's volcanic history.
Oddskard in Nordfjordur is a great skiing area and this area is indeed sometimes refered to as 'The Alps of the East'.
The easternmost part of Iceland lies between Nordfjordur and Eskifjordur and is called Gerpir. It offers a great view of the sea and the surrounding mountains. South of Gerpir is the beautiful deserted creek Sandvik (not to be confused with Sandvik on the Reykjanes peninsula). The ghost Glaesir is associated with Sandvik, said to greet travelers by taking off his head.
Hengifoss is a beautiful waterfall in Norfjordur, but should not be confused with the one near Lagarfljot, which is Iceland's third highest. The one in Nordfordur is in the river Hengia and falls into a beautiful gorge, rich with vegitation.
By Nordfjordur bay are the beautiful rhyolite mountains Raudubjorg. It is said that if the sun shines on Raudubjorg in the evening, it forebodes good weather the following day.
Two other fjords are in the same bay as Nordfjordur. The fjord Vidfjordur is said to be haunted and the fjord Hellisfjordur is a deserted fjord that featuress beautiful nature and the remains of an old whaling station.