Stykkisholmur is the largest town, the commercial center and the transit hub of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. The village gets its name from the small island called Stykkid (meaning ‘the piece’) that is connected to the port by a narrow causeway. The town has an easily accessible and naturally sheltered harbor, and in 1550 a trading post was founded there. Nowadays, the people of Stykkisholmur make their living from fishing – especially for shellfish – and tourism.
If arriving by ferry, the harbor’s beautiful rock formations and a hill right at the port is visible with a bright red and yellow old lighthouse on top. This is in fact an islet in its own right called Sugandisey. It’s an easy walk to the top and a great place to get a view of some of the town’s colorful houses, as well as out to sea and across Breidafjordur to the Westfjords.
The building up on the hill with big bay windows, towering across the town is Vatnasafn, the Library of Water. This unique museum exhibits melted glaciers from the island’s five largest ice-caps.
Iceland’s oldest meteorological station is in Stykkisholmur . It was first manned in 1845 by Arni Thorlacius, who in 1832 had built the Norwegian House (Norska Husid), an elegant timber building that has been lovingly renovated and houses the local folk museum. The timber was imported from Norway, hence the name, and the building was a palace in its time. Exhibits recount town history, assemble artifacts, and re-create the ambiance of the 19th century. The Norwegian House’s gift shop reflects this ambiance and emphasizes truly Icelandic ware.
In addition to the Norwegian House, many of Stykkisholmur’s buildings are well preserved and painted in bright colors, adding to the charm of the place.
The futuristic Stykkisholmur’s church is an eye-catching landmark whether viewed from land or by sea.
What to do in Stykkisholmur?
Bird watching and sea angling trips out onto the fjord are a highlight for many visitors to the town. When dining in the area restaurants, a taste of the locally caught scallops or mussels are a local favorite.
Check out our complete guide to Snaefellsnes peninsula.