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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Skagafjordur Food Chest - Winner 2015

Local gastronomy

The Skagafjordur region is one of the largest agricultural areas in Iceland and the fertile farming landscape is a prominent signature of the area. Free range horses, cows and sheep are a common sight during the summertime.

Local farmers are proud of their production, celebrating it on Farmers' Day in October each year, where they present and promote their food production in the local stores. Fisheries are also a characteristic of Skagafjordur, with big trawlers as well as small fishing vessels operating in the area.

In the biggest town, Saudarkrokur, there is milk, meat, fish and shrimp manufacturing. In general, food production is a very important part of the region’s economy.

Apart from the bigger food production companies there is some small scale production of vegetables, wild mushrooms, sausages, jams and potatoes. This rich food production is the basis of the local gastronomy, both for the local population and for tourists.

Most of the restaurants and entrepreneurs in the area emphasise the use of local ingredients in their dishes and are highly creative in using tradition along with innovation to create a unique authentic experience for their guests.

What makes Skagafjordur special?

The dishes on the menus that are identified with the Skagafjordur Food Chest logo are predominantly made from local ingredients. All year, visitors are able to access a wide range of local produce in restaurants, shops, and even directly from farmers.

This local food project has been well received by local operators. Participants in the project have stated that their involvement has sharpened their approach their own operations, giving them tools to promote their philosophy and opening their eyes to the quality products that are produced in the area. The logo is well known in the region and most people know what it stands for.

In The Icelandic Tourist Board’s annual tourism survey (Tourism in Iceland in Figures 2014), foreign visitors were asked if they visited Skagafjordur during their stay in Iceland. Answers showed that 17.2% visited the area during summer and 5.5% during the winter months. However, the visitor numbers are slowly increasing causing the supply of service in the area to increase as well.

It is safe to say that this Skagafjordur is a destination off the beaten track.


The Sturlunga saga is the main source of Icelandic history during the 12th and 13th centuries. It was written by people who experienced the internal power struggle which ended in Iceland´s loss of sovereignty and submission to Norway in 1262-64.

The Sturlunga saga takes place predominantly in Skagafjordur. The Saga of Grettir Ásmundarson the Strong, is one of the most famous of the Sagas of Icelanders.The island Drangey in Skagafjordur, which is a palagonite cliff out in the fjord, is the location of some of the most important parts of the Saga of Grettir.

Hólar in Hjaltadalur is one of the Icelandic nation's principal historical, cultural, and ecclesiastical sites. Hólar has been a place of learning through the ages, moving with the demands of each new era for education.

Sightseeing tips

Let’s start the adventure! Taste the art of Skagafjordur local cuisine, merge with nature in natural a hot tub with a panoramic view, go white water rafting, experience the Icelandic horse, learn about and reward yourself with local handcraft or just enjoy the moment and take your time – history is beneath your feet.

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Stykkishólmur - Winner 2011

Regeneration and revival

Throughout the regeneration process, the local council focused on four clear objectives, these were: to protect the local cultural heritage; to revive the historical prestige of the village; to offer a wide range of tourism attractions; and to increase the environmental awareness of locals and visitors. These objectives were met through several initiatives. Restoring the old village to its former glory was a crucial aspect of the process. Instead of replacing the old buildings, the municipality decided to renovate them. An extensive study was conducted about the history behind these houses. Based on this insight, the authorities decided on how best to utilise the buildings. For example, renovated residential houses were converted into guest houses, maintaining all original features.

Sightseeing tips

  • a tour around the Snaefellsnes peninsula is an absolute must. Here you can enjoy the magnificent fjords, ocean and serenity of this place
  • visit the Volcano museum, curated by famous volcanologist, Haraldur Sigurdsson. As well as a tour around the museum, Haraldur also offers free lectures on volcanoes to visitors
  • don’t forget to try the local specialty, dried fish. It is available in several stores in the village
  • visit the Norska husid (Norwegian house), a museum on local folk culture, which tells the story about region’s history

More information

Visit the website for Stykkishólmur Municipality

Westfjords - Winner 2010

What makes the Westfjords special?

The thermal pools are one of the popular attractions, where visitors can relax peacefully and de-stress while watching the northern lights at night or the seals by the seashore during the daytime.

The Westfjords region also offers numerous opportunities for those who are looking for something more active, for example snowmobiling, winter sports, sailing, horseback riding, glacier trips and many other activities.

Sightseeing tips

  • Go backpacking around Hornstrandir Nature Reserve and Dragajokull Glacier.
  • Visit the hot pools and the Northern Light Tour.
  • Take a walk along the magnificent Breidafjordur-Bay, Isafjordurdjup-Bay and Hunafloa-Bay.

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