Project Description

NESKAUPSTAÐUR

The route from Eskifjördur to Norðfjörður where the town Neskaupstaður is located is a unique one and driving it is an experience in itself. You travel through the highest highway pass in Iceland, through a 630 meters long, single lane tunnel before you drive a very steep road into town. It is one of the largest of the fjord towns but its dramatic end-of-line location makes it feel small and secluded, far away from the rest of the world.

The town was only accessible by sea until 50 years ago and this has had a significant effect on the local culture, which is surprisingly lively and vibrant. It is known for the music scene where the blues, rock and jazz club Brján serves as a central hub and the town is home to Iceland’s only hard-rock and metal music festival, Eistnaflug. Hiking trails around Neskaupsstaður are renowned for their natural beauty, diverse birdlife and fauna along with the sturdy anti-avalanche structures but on 20th of December 1974 avalanches came from the entire mountainside above the town, killing 12 people. Since the time of the deadly avalanches, protective barriers have been installed above the town with the aim to avoid future disasters. Neskaupstaður joined Eskifjördur and Reydarfjordur in 1998 to form a new municipality of Fjarðabyggð.

Neskaupsstaður thrives as a fishing town but it also caters to tourists with quality dining and drinking establishments. The town also offers excellent opportunities for outdoor activities and tours such as horseback riding, kayaking and boat rides.

HOW TO GET THERE

GPS: 65.144643,-14.2676065

DIRECTIONS

WHAT TO DO IN NESKAUPSTAÐUR?

neskaupstadur-eistnaflugEistnaflug is an annual music festival held in Neskaupsstaður. Every year, on the second weekend of July, the population of the town doubles, as hard-rock and metal lovers flock into the peaceful town to celebrate rock in all its forms. The first festival was held on 27th of August in 2005 and has since grown immensely and is now a four-day festival where metal, hardcore, punk, rock and indie bands perform. Due to popularity, the festival was moved to a larger venue in 2015 to make room for the guests looking to watch 60 bands take the stage. Eistnaflug is a remarkable melting pot, with a few selected, prime foreign acts stacking up against a massive selection of all the great bands the Icelandic music scene has to offer each year.

neskaupstadur-museum-houseA renovated building worth admiring in its own right as well as for the history linked to it. The Museum House is beautifully situated by the sea and is home to three excellent and contrasting collections: those of the Museum of Natural History, Tryggvi Ólafsson’s Art Collection and Jósafat Hinriksson’s Seafaring and Smithy Museum.

The East Iceland Museum of Natural History

The Museum of Natural History holds an excellent collection of the Icelandic fauna, including a large collection of birds, a collection of fish, along with some rarer species, and some interesting creatures from the bottom of the sea. The wild Icelandic mammals also have their own representatives. Guests will also be able to inspect collections of minerals, plants, and insects.

Jósafat Hinriksson’s Seafaring and Smithy Museum

This museum was founded by the mechanic and entrepreneur Jósefat Hinriksson from Neskaupsstað. In this museum, you will be able to explore interesting objects linked to fishing, blacksmithing, boat building, as well as to uniquely Icelandic working practices of earlier times. In addition, the museum displays a replication of Josefat’s father’s old smithy where Josefat studied and started his career. The exhibition serves as an important documentation for the building techniques of earlier times.

Tryggvi Ólafsson Art Collection

Tryggvi Ólafsson was born in Norðfjörður in 1940 and therefore it is appropriate to celebrate his works in his hometown. He studied at the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts and in Copenhagen. He spent most of his working career in Copenhagen and early on adapted his unique and easily recognisable style that gave him an edge and quickly put him amongst Iceland’s best-known contemporary artists.

NESBÆR

Nesbær is a lovely coffee house in the town of Neskaupsstaður and has been a significant part in the small town life for more than a decade. It’s a place where locals and travellers alike meet up to chat and unwind. It is located in an old commercial building in the heart of Neskaupsstaður which has a long and interesting trading history dating back more than a century. It is the ideal place for anyone looking for delicious refreshments such as cakes and freshly brewed coffee. But Nesbær is so much more that just a coffee house. They sell flowers, yarn, handcraft and frequently display artefacts made by local artists.

Nesbær also serves as a cultural hub in Neskaupsstaður with regular art exhibitions emphasising on supporting local artists along with a small arts and crafts market. What is better that enjoying a delicious hot coffee while contemplating the art on the walls and the artefacts on the crafts market. Nesbær is a must-stop when in Neskaupstaður, as it offers travellers to get a glimpse of the local life in Neskaupsstaður. It has a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere, an excellent service and delicious refreshments.

We were exploring the Eastern Fjords and found the Nesbær Kaffihus on my wife’s birthday – it was perfect for that birthday treat of pancakes and coffee. We had cinnamon and sugar, and walnut and banana. The service was excellent and we certainly enjoyed the birthday treat. If you find yourself in the region drop in for sandwiches, snacks, coffee and cake, pancakes etc – you will not be disappointed.
Martin W - Trip Advisor