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.

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.

Things 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.

Wining and dining in Siglufjordur

If you like small breweries we recommend that you check out Segull 67 brewery, which offer great tours of their brewery with beer tasting.

Siglufjordur also hides a singular gem of a resturant. Siglunes restaurant is a small Morrocan restaurant which offers simply great dishes and if you get the chance to pay it a visit, please do. Be advised, you need to book a table in advance, since this is a very popular restaurant in North Iceland.

Check out our complete guide to travelling in North Iceland.

Siglufjordur village takes its name from the Siglufjordur fjord in the Trollaskagi Peninsula. Siglufjordur actually means “Sailing fjord” and is, as the name suggests, mostly recognized for being the main fishing centre in Iceland early and mid 20th century. At its peak, the town had over 3000 habitants which helped to create one of the most successful economies of that time.

However, as the fishing grounds have changed (away from the Siglufjordur region) in Iceland through the years, the towns size and significance has diminished. Today, the population has scaled down to almost 1/3 of its culmination.

Population: 1.300