On a coastal fjord less than 40 kilometers (25 mi ) from the Arctic Circle, the humble town of Siglufjordur was from 1905-1965 the booming fishing capital of Iceland and for a time, the herring capital of the world. Over the years, marine resources dwindled and the once thriving ‘Siglo’ declined in quiet isolation.

Today, this historic village with a cheerful array of candy-colored houses and windswept wildflowers. There you’ll also find lively harbor. The town developing into Iceland’s next great undiscovered getaway with the opening of the Hedinsfjordur Tunnel in 2010.  You’ll be charmed by the atmospheric fishing village full of welcoming Icelanders. Also, in Siglufjordur there are colorful folk museums providing rare insight into life in North Iceland.

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North Iceland Coastal Charm
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Siglufjordur and Herring

The award winning Herring Era Museum pleasantly captures the town’s former ‘glory days’ in a trio of elaborate exhibitions. The Museum is set across three building located on the impossibly picturesque marina. During summer months a 1950s harbor atmosphere is brought to life with folk dancing, singing and salt fish demonstrations.

What to do in Siglufjordur

The glaciated mountains, lake and black sandy shores make for fabulous hiking. Siglufjordur is a favorite ski destination in winter. Fishing in the Holsa River and sea angling appeal to outdoor types as do midnight sails across the Arctic Circle and a nine-hole golf course.

A stroll around the Siglufjordur town center is entertaining, revealing local art galleries, cafes and shops in well preserved older buildings of a town wearing its faded glory with style and grace.

Check out our complete guide to travelling in North Iceland.