Shaped by the Bay
A Place to Launch Out from on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
On the northern part of the Snæfellsnes peninsula lies Stykkishólmur, a picturesque seaside town that overlooks the beautiful Breiðafjörður bay. The town’s rich history as a centre for trading, transportation, culture and service for the bay area gives it a unique sense of antiquity and historical significance. The town’s centre is home to some of the most colourful and oldest houses in the country – almost making the whole town a museum in itself.
Stykkishólmur is viewed as one of Iceland’s most charming towns by many Icelanders. The town’s close proximity to Breiðafjörður bay contributes largely to its character, surrounding it with exclusive natural beauty. So likewise, the town’s historical significance, as a former centre for trade and commerce centuries ago, and a seat of government. The inhabitants have consciously made an effort to preserve the town’s old spirit, by retaining its appearance and maintaining old traditions from the bay area.
Visitors have the chance to experience this when dining out in Stykkishólmur, where they’ll get fresh ingredients from the bay and surrounding area, served on plates made by local chefs from local ingredients.
Sail Away in Breiðafjörður Bay
If you only have time to partake in one activity while you’re in Stykkishólmur, a chance to go sailing in Breiðafjörður bay is not to be missed. There are numerous professional guides available in the area that will happily provide you with this unforgettable experience. A calming cruise navigating the stunning islets gives a unique opportunity to view the splendid wildlife in the area close-up – such as the seals and the colourful seabirds inhabiting the holms, and the distinctive puffin – from just metres away. You will have a chance to taste the freshest sushi you will probably get in your lifetime. A common practice is to invite guests to sample whatever seafood delicacy comes up when the nets are pulled, such as sea-urchin or scallops, while sailing between the seemingly countless islands and enjoying the quiet grandeur of the scenery.
A Trifle of Culture
History and culture are prominent in Stykkishólmur as the town has three museums. In the ‘Norwegian House’, the oldest two storey timber house in Iceland, you will find the Snæfellsnes district museum. There you can receive a lot of information about the region and its history. The house itself was built in 1832 by Árni Thorlacius, who was a merchant and ship owner in the 19th century.
A Library of Water
Stykkishólmur also prides itself on fine museums that represent the two prevailing elements of Icelandic nature: fire and water, in both original and conventional ways. In the case of water, on the highest point of Stykkishólmur, with its splendid views, the old town library has been changed into a museum of water, weather and words. In the museum you’ll find 24 glass columns with specimens of water from all the primary glaciers of Iceland, in a piece made by renowned artist, Roni Horn.
The Volcano Museum
Dr. Haraldur Sigurðsson, the world-famous volcanologist, founded the Volcano Museum in 2009. In the museum, you not only learn about everything connected with volcanoes, eruptions and other geological matters, but can also see how these strong forces of nature have been expressed in art throughout the centuries, in Iceland and around the world.
The Perfect Base
Accommodation and services are plentiful in Stykkishólmur, with options ranging from a quality campsite, budget hostels and high-class hotels.
You’ll find quality restaurants, a supermarket, golf course and an amazing swimming pool, in which the water has received a quality certification from Institut Fresenius, two hot pots with water straight from the earth and an excellent waterslide. –VAG
Hafnargötu 3 • 340 Stykkishólmur
With an old charm still lingering from the past, dining at Sjávarpakkhúsið (the old fish-packing house) is a truly fulfilling experience. Located right by Stykkishólmur harbour of since 1918, Sjávarpakkhúsið offers guests beautiful harbourfront outdoor seating in one of Iceland’s most magical places.
Delicious fish soup, enjoyed while overlooking the ocean, freshly caught fish or blue-shell mussels from the surrounding seas, meals prepared from wonderfully flavourful, exceptionally lean lamb meat – perhaps with a glass of wine and some music – what could be more enjoyable on a mild summer night on an isolated island located in the North Atlantic Ocean? As one guest put it:
“The almighty Icelandic god of awesome food
has to be the owner of this restaurant.”
Hafnargata 2 • 340 Stykkishólmur
+354 438 1800 & +354 847 1934
[email protected] | Find them on Facebook
Hotel Egilsen is a small boutique hotel exemplifying the town’s charm, tying it to the region’s heritage while seamlessly offering all the high-end amenities of any modern hotel.
You are guaranteed a good night’s sleep in the COCO-mat beds, made of natural materials from renewable sources. Then wake up to homemade breakfast consisting of freshly baked bread, jams from local blueberries and dandelion honey along with other goodies.
There’s a small library to enjoy where you can even trade in one book for another. Enjoy a drink in the beautifully decorated lounge and participate in storytelling with the locals or other guests from all over the world. If a guest submits a story, they receive a discount on their stay!
Aðalgata 2 • 340 Stykkishólmur | +354 554 7700
[email protected] | www.egilsen.is
Known for high-quality food, the chefs of Plássið restaurant make special efforts to find regional, quality ingredients both in food and drink. Mussels and scallops are particularly popular, fresh right from Breiðafjörður bay.
Suitable for family members of all ages, with various seating options inside and out on the veranda. Larger groups are also welcome, as the main room accommodates up to 50 guests. Located right in the heart of Stykkishólmur, Plássið is named after the old downtown area, which was commonly known as ‘The Place’ (Plássið) but the current owners did a complete renovation between 2012-2013.
Offering excellent service, Plássið is open from May to November, but further information on opening hours and catering can be found on their website or Facebook page.
Frúarstígur 1 • 340 Stykkishólmur | +354 436 1600
[email protected] | www.plassid.is