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Neskaupstaður (Iceland)
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 65 ° 9 ′  N , 13 ° 42 ′  W Coordinates: 65 ° 9 ′  N , 13 ° 42 ′  W
Basic data
Country Iceland


local community Fjarðabyggð
Residents 1469 (January 1, 2019)
The Norðfjörður and Neskaupstaður in autumn
The Norðfjörður and Neskaupstaður in autumn
Neskaupstaður in winter

Neskaupstaður [ ˈnɛːskøy̑pstaːðʏr ] is a town on the east coast of Iceland with 1,469 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2019). It is located on Norðfjörður and is framed by mountain ridges up to 1,000 m high.

The former municipality of the same name has belonged to the municipality of Fjarðabyggð since June 7, 1998 . In 1994 the rural community of Norðfjörður ( Norðfjarðarhreppur ) was incorporated into Neskaupstaður.


The area has been settled since the Icelandic conquest in the 9th and 10th centuries, the first farm here was the Nes farm , on whose land the present city is partly located. According to Landnámabók , the first settler on this farm was Egill rauði . Proper names indicate that the proximity to rich fishing grounds was used early on. In later centuries, foreign fishing trawlers, especially the Dutch and French, liked to lay at the Neseyri sandbank . From the 1870s, it was the people from the Faroe Islands and the Norwegians who caught the herring here . At this time, fish processing began on a larger scale on site.

In 1892 a trading post was opened on the site of the present-day town on Norðfjörður . Due to its location, the city was cut off from the outside world for a long time in bad weather. Nevertheless, it temporarily became an important trading center through herring fishing and salt fish processing. Due to these possibilities, the population grew rapidly and so the place had 636 inhabitants in 1913. Since then, the number of inhabitants has continued to grow. Besides fishing and processing, people live mainly from trade, trade and services, including tourism as a growth sector. The place houses u. a. also the district hospital.

Neskaupstaður acquired town charter in 1929 and is now the largest town in Fjarðarbyggð municipality.

A tragic event in the city occurred in the mid-1970s when an avalanche destroyed several houses and killed 12 people. In memory of this, a memorial was erected in the small park in the city center. In the meantime, the place is secured by extensive barriers.

Environment, weather and nature

Typically for the fjord location is quite mild weather in summer, on the other hand the east fjords are known for snowy winters, which is why a ski area with lifts and floodlights is operated above the village at the Oddsskarð pass .

The lower slopes of the high surrounding mountain ridges and the flat interior of the fjord are overgrown with grass and blueberry bushes. There is a forest rearing facility above the town.

Various ducks and geese are at home in the fjord and in the lagoon in the interior of the fjord. You can also see various other typical bird species of Iceland and pigeons. You can spot reindeer, rarely see arctic foxes. There are seals at the end of the fjord and in the lagoon. The fishing boats also sometimes catch herrings in the fjord. Trout and char can be found in the Norðfjarðará river

Farm animals such as sheep, horses and chickens are kept by the farmers.


Neskaupstaður can be reached via road 92, Norðfjarðarvegur , which is characterized by tight turns, steep climbs and descents of up to 13 percent . Access is made more difficult in winter by the Oddsskarð pass , which connects the fjords with one another through a 700 m tunnel that was built between 1972 and 1977. With the Norðfjarðargöng a new, longer tunnel is under construction, which is much deeper. Construction began in 2013 and the tunnel is scheduled to open on November 11, 2017. [outdated]

Neskaupstaður has a harbor which is mainly used by the fishing boats of the fish factory. There is also a boat connection to Mjóifjörður, which is inhabited but cannot be reached by car in winter .

In the interior of the fjord there is an airfield with a gravel runway, which, however, is used almost exclusively for patient transports from the hospital.


A major employer in the city is the herring processing fish factory Síldarvinnslan. The hospital is also another great employer.


For medical care, there is a hospital in Neskaupstaður with options for general medical, but also surgical care, as well as a maternity ward. The nearest, better equipped hospital is in Akureyri, 400 km away, or in Reykjavík . A care ward and a supervised dormitory for the elderly are also attached. There is also a general practitioner station, a pharmacy and a dentist.

Two petrol stations and a workshop supply the mobile needs.

There are two supermarkets and various small shops (sports, alcohol, clothing, children's clothing and baby goods, handicraft accessories and flowers, electronics) and craft shops such as hairdressers.

Two branch offices of banks take care of the financial matters.

Education and training

In Neskaupstaður there are two kindergartens, a primary school and the secondary and vocational school for East Iceland (Verkmenntaskóli Austurlands) with boarding school. There is a well-known music school and an educational network with various offers, including correspondence courses from various universities in Iceland, but also adult education courses.


Today's Evangelical Lutheran Neskirkja was built in 1896–97 after its predecessor was blown away in a storm. Its core is made of wood and has been a listed building since 1990.

Tourism and leisure

The place is less known, but in an attractive location and offers tourists many options.

In addition to a summer hotel and two permanent hotels and guest rooms, there are farm holidays with riding facilities and a campsite.

You can get coffee and cake in a café, restaurants offer a wide variety of dishes and a gas station offers fast food.

To the east of the village there is a nature reserve with often marked walking and hiking trails z. B. to the Páskahellir (German Easter Cave ) eroded by the sea . There are also a variety of other hiking opportunities, including to the neighboring fjord Mjóifjörður or two uninhabited fjords north of the village. There are other walks in the reforestation area and around the large avalanche protection wall above the city. In the Seldalur, through which the road leads from the pass, there is a waterfall called Hengifoss .

In the Norðfjarðará river you can fish for trout and char with license.

There is also the possibility to take a tour boat in summer.

Various sports clubs give residents and visitors the opportunity to spend their free time. Furthermore, a golf course and a swimming pool with sauna and a gym are available just outside.

By the fjord in the city center you can visit a museum with departments for nature, fisheries and works by the Icelandic painter Tryggvi Ólafsson , who was born here.

There are also several monuments and works of art to discover, e.g. B. in the small park by the swimming pool in the city center.

Several festivals are held every summer. For example, the Neistaflug family festival at Verslunarmannahelgi in mid-August and the annual, multi-day heavy metal event Eistnaflug take place in the city, to which several hundred fans from all over Iceland come.

Oddsskarð ski area

In winter you can use the ski area with a beginner hill and two slopes of different lengths.

See also

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. T. Einarsson, H. Magnússon (Eds.): Íslandshandbókin. Náttúra, saga og sérkenni. Part 2. Örn og Örlygur, Reykjavík 1989, p. 632.
  2. T. Einarsson, H. Magnússon (Eds.): Íslandshandbókin. Náttúra, saga og sérkenni. Part 2. Örn og Örlygur, Reykjavík 1989, p. 632f.
  3. a b c d e Landmælingar Íslands (ed.): Vegahandbókin. 2006, p. 412.
  4. cf. IMO, Icelandic Meteorological Office with current forecast for the East Fjords, local weather station (English)
  5. Landmælingar Íslands (Ed.): Vegahandbókin. 2006, p. 510.
  6. About the reindeer ( Memento of the original from September 4, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Icelandic); Accessed September 4, 2011 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. a b Information from the owners of fishing rights (English); Accessed September 4, 2011
  8. Rúnar Snær Reynisson: Norðfjarðargöng opnuð 11 November ( Icelandic ) In: . Ríkisútvarpið . October 13, 2017. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  9. cf. Síldarvinnslan (English / Icelandic); Accessed September 4, 2011
  10. cf. also: Hospital ( Memento of the original from March 6, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Icelandic); Accessed September 4, 2011 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  11. (Icelandic); Accessed September 4, 2011
  12. cf. About hiking opportunities (English); Accessed September 4, 2011
  13. Eistnaflug
  14. Ski area at the Oddsskarð pass