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Breiðdalur rural municipality
Basic data
State : IcelandIceland Iceland
Region: Austurland
Constituency : Norðausturkjördæmi
Sýsla : Suður-Múlasýsla
Population: Invalid metadata key 7613
(1. Januar 2019)
Surface: 452 km²
Population density: Error in expression: Unexpected operator < inhabitants / km²
Post Code: 760 (Breiðdalsvík)
Community number 7613
Mayor: Sigfríður Þorsteinsdóttir
Address of the municipal administration: Ásvegi 32
760 Breiðdalsvík
Location of the rural community of Breiðdalur

Coordinates: 64 ° 48 ′  N , 14 ° 0 ′  W


The rural community of Breiðdalur ( Icelandic Breiðdalshreppur ) is located in eastern Iceland in the Austurland region .

On January 1, 2011 the community had 199 inhabitants.

Location, geography and name

The municipality belongs to the region of the Icelandic East Fjords . It is located between the Berufjörður fjord in the west and Stöðvarfjörður in the east, mostly in the broad valley of the same name, Breiðdalur, hence the name. The valley is surrounded by mountains up to 1,100 m and 1,200 m high.

The Breiðdalur valley

Breiðdalur is the largest valley in the mountain ranges of the Icelandic Eastfjords. It has a length of 35 to 40 km and a width of up to 8 to 10 km.

In the middle of the valley there are hills that indicate the former course of the coast.

The valley is green, there is hardly any erosion, but there are a number of forests.

Towards the sea below is a wide, bowl-shaped plain that splits towards the mountains into a wider southern and a narrow northern valley, Suðurdalur and Norðurdalur. In both valleys there are several farms that belong to the community.

Breiðdalsvík bay

The bay is considered difficult to navigate because there are numerous skerries and shoals in it. There are also strong currents.

In the bay of Breiðdalsvík, after which the main town of the municipality is named, there are some small islands. On them there are nests of the eider ducks , whose down the farmers in the area sell and use it as extra income. In earlier times seals were also hunted there.

Geology of the area

In the background of the bay stood a large central volcano that had since cooled down during the Ice Age, the Breiðdalsvulkan , which was active about 6-7 million years ago and formed the surrounding mountains.

Like the East Fjords as a whole, it was also heavily eroded by the glaciers of the Ice Age, which explains the area's appearance, which is reminiscent of Alpine landscapes.

Main town Breiðdalsvík

The main town Breiðdalsvík ( Eng. "Bay of the wide valley"), located on the bay of the same name, forms the service center of the region. On January 1, 2011, 139 residents lived here.


The place itself was not built until around 1960, but the first house was built here as early as 1880, and trading rights were acquired three years later. In 1896 a permanent settlement was established from Seyðisfjörður with the establishment of a trading post .

During the Second World War , Breiðdalsvík was attacked by German bombers.

The expansion of the port after the end of World War II led to a rapid increase in population. The light orange lighthouse Kambanesviti , on the road to the nearest fjord, Stöðvarfjörður , dates from 1922.


Today sheep breeding and fishing are the main livelihoods of the place, but tourism is also being expanded. There are e.g. B. a hotel with restaurant and a natural stone museum.

Transport links

Breiðdalsvík is connected to Reykjavík via the No. 1 ring road . The distance to the capital Reykjavík is 617 kilometers, to the next largest town in a south-westerly direction, Djúpivogur , about 65 kilometers.

At the village the ring road bends away from the coast inland, where you can reach the town of Egilsstaðir via the Breiðdalsheiði pass road . If you follow the Suðurfjarðavegur , the road no. 96, along the coast to the north, you get to the Stöðvarfjörður , if you follow the Hringvegur to the southwest, you get to Berufjörður and Djúpivogur.

Own power station

As in other parts of Iceland, e.g. B. further west at the Smyrlabjörg farm , there is a small power station that supplies a farm with electricity. This is the Þorgrímsstaðir farm , which is located in the very center of the valley at the entrance to the Breiðdalsheiði. The water here overcomes the highest drop of all such power plants in Iceland, namely 225 m.

Population development

Like most areas of Iceland in the meantime, except for the southwest around the capital Reykjavík, Breiðdalur was affected by severe rural exodus. From 1997 to 2005 the population decline was 23%. Since then, there has been a slight increase in population, which will be reversed in 2007.

date Residents
Dec. 1, 1997: 300
Dec. 1, 2003: 258
Dec. 1, 2004: 249
Dec. 1, 2005: 232
Dec. 1, 2006: 244
Dec. 1, 2007: 218
Dec. 1, 2008: 197
Dec. 1, 2009: 209
Dec. 1, 2010: 205

See also

Web links

Commons : Breiðdalsvík  - collection of images, videos and audio files

See also

Individual evidence

  1. cf. HU Schmid: Dictionary Icelandic - German. Buske, Hamburg, 30 a. 37.
  2. a b c d e Íslandshandbókin. Náttúra, saga og sérkenni. 2. bindi. Edited by T. Einarsson, H. Magnússon. Örn og Örlygur, Reykjavík 1989, 612.
  3. a b Vegahandbókin. Ed. Landmælingar Íslands, 2006, 106.
  4. a b c Íslandshandbókin. Náttúra, saga og sérkenni. 2. bindi. Edited by T. Einarsson, H. Magnússon. Örn og Örlygur, Reykjavík 1989, 611.
  5. ^ HU Schmid: Dictionary Icelandic - German. Buske, Hamburg, sou 288.