Bildudalur is a pretty village on the shores of Arnarfjordur with a dark and scary secret. The history of sea monster sightings in Icelandic history, folk culture and literature is revealed in the Icelandic Sea Monster Museum.
An extreme number of sea monsters have been spotted in and around Arnarfjordur, one of the largest fjords in the Westfjords. Or so the legend tells. So, keep an eye on the surface of the fjord as you leave the village. Are you sure that was just a seal dipping out of view?
The village prospered in the 19th century mostly thanks to the booming fishery industry and some business enterprises. In the late 20th century and early 21st century the decline of the fishing industry has led the town to diverse its economy. The village is now home to a factory, which processes algae found in Arnarfjordur fjord. Bildudalur is also becoming a popular tourist destination, especially for fishing trips.
Although the population of Bildudalur is only about 200, music and culture has flourished there for decades. The village hosts an annual folk music festival with work-shops that visitors can attend. Bildudalur is also the location of Iceland‘s only steam-punk festival. Finally, the village is becoming a popular destination for artists seeking inspiration from the spectacular scenery.
What to do in Bildudalur?
The number one attraction is surely the Icelandic Sea Monster Museum, so that’s something nobody should miss. Reykjafjardarlaug pool, although not directly in the village itself, is a mere 20 minutes drive away. It’s a rustic pool fed with very hot natural water, that makes for a great relaxing stop.
Check out our complete guide to the Westfjords.