Day 9: Laugar – Djúpavík – Hólmavík

posted in: Agenda | 2

Day 09: Tuesday 11 July 2017


Another good nights sleep.

Weather at start of day, and for the rest of the day, was excellent, with blue skies, few clouds, light breeze, and warm sun – perfect summer conditions..



Neil taped over the bolt holes on the spare wheel on the roof-rack, to reduce whistle noise from wind whilst driving – which has been quite intense at times…



Left campsite at Hotel Edda Laugar i Saelingsdal, along Road 60 (Vestfjarðavegur) northwards, until just after crossing Gilsfjörður bridge, where we turned northeast to join Road 605 (Geiradalsvegur) (((or Road 61 (Djúpvegur) )))) crossing Tröllatunguheiði, to Hólmavík.



Once we arrived at Hólmavík we immediately found Hólmavík Campsite, where we set-up tent and power cable, ready for this evening.



We then joined Road 643 (Strandavegur) along the eastern coast of Westfjords, to Djúpavík.



Djúpavík is a small village in the North-West of Iceland. It is located at the head of Reykjarfjörður on the Strandir coast in the Westfjords region (Vestfirðir), in the municipality of Árneshreppur. It is approximately 70 km away from Hólmavík (the nearest settlement of any account), 280 km from Ísafjörður. At present it only consists of seven houses, a hotel and the ruins of a herring factory.



Djúpavík was first settled in 1917 when Elías Stefánsson built a herring salting factory there.
However, due to economic depression, this enterprise went bankrupt in 1919 and, although the business was briefly taken over by others, the site was abandoned during the 1920s.



1934 saw the resettlement of Djúpavík with the foundation of Djúpavík Ltd.. A new factory was built (at the time of its construction it was the biggest concrete building in Iceland and one of the biggest in Europe) and, despite the harsh conditions, the construction was completed within the span of just one year and the factory was operational by July 1935. Initial worries that the catches would not meet requirements proved unfounded and during its early years the enterprise boomed, bringing improved financial status and living standards to the whole region.



Herring catches started to decline after 1944, with a sharp drop in 1948 (when there were almost no catches for two years) and, despite attempts to keep the enterprise running by processing other fish besides herring, the factory closed in 1954 while Djúpavík Ltd. was officially wound down in 1968. After this the residents moved away and the settlement was abandoned again.

In 1985 Hótel Djúpavík was established in the old women’s quarters (gamli kvennabragginn) and conservation of the factory and other buildings began.
The building that is now the hotel was constructed in the 1930s for the women who worked in the herring factory.
It was extensively renovated in 1985 and the first visitors booked in during in the summer of that year



The rusting shipwreck site of SS Suðurland, which is an old abandoned cargo and passenger vessel, that is now spending its final days rusting on the shore next to the abandoned factory, is a photographers paradise.




We then retraced our steps along the coast-hugging Road 643 (Strandavegur) back to Hólmavík




Arrived back at Hólmavík in afternoon / evening.

After dinner, we went to Hólmavík swimming pool & hot tubs, adjacent to the campsite.



Here is the Tracking Data Map of today:



2 Responses

  1. Mike
    | Reply

    You should have gone to the end of the road. .which would have magical in such good weather.

    • Neil Smith
      | Reply

      Hei Mike
      Gunnar was feeling too tired to continue the drive to the end……
      So, we had to turn around and leave it for another time.
      Maybe with you and Dreki sometime.

      Rain all day today……..
      Not the best of days in Iceland !!!

      Neil 🙂

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