Djupavik (Djúpavík) Herring History and Village

Djupavik (Djúpavík) Herring History and Village

In sheltered Reykjarfjordur, Djupavík’s weather-beaten herring factory and rusting ship are all that remains of an era when this remote outpost was a hive of activity. 

Djupavik’s story began when a herring salting station was built here in 1917. Its heyday was short-lived as it went bankrupt in the great depression of 1919. 

The industry was modernized in 1935 with the construction of a huge factory 90m long and set out over 3 floors.

Equipped with state of the art machinery, workers flocked to process the bumper herring catches. However, stocks of the ‘silver of the sea’ rapidly declined after 1944 and by 1954 the boom was over, the factory at a standstill and people moved away. Of late, it’s become a place to host cultural events: dances, plays, art exhibitions, and music festivals.

The well-known Icelandic band Sigur Ros held a concert there in 2008. An exhibition tells the history of the factory and there are guided tours. If you feel like a short walk, head up the slope behind the factory to the waterfall for a fantastic view across the fjord.  

A longer circular hike climbs above the waterfall taking around 3 hours. Ask for directions at the charming Hotel Djupavik, once lodgings for the factory workers, but now a guesthouse and cafe. 

The area is only accessible in summer.