As you burst out of the tunnel high on the mountainside at the end of the fjord, the view down to the sea is enough to inspire even the most jaded tourist. However, it is what goes on in the village below that is completely out of the norm.
Frommer’s calls it “the best small village or town to visit in Iceland”, so there is clearly something to experience here that would make the trip to the far north-west fjords memorable and special.
For generations, the only forms of transport were boats, the hardy Icelandic horse or simply walking. However, the massive mountains separating the main town of Ísafjörður from the surrounding villages meant that trips were arduous and in winter hazardous or impossible for long periods. It is only in recent times, with the building of tunnels and modern transport that it has become much easier to reach them.
The famous clothing company, 66° North, was founded by Hans Kristjánsson in Suðureyri in response to the need the sailors had for warm, waterproof clothing. He travelled to Norway to find out about the clothing used by Norwegian sailors. Suðureyri is 66° North of the equator, where good clothing is a must. The company’s clothing is not just for fishermen but its wide range has become some of the warmest, most fashionable clothing that is now sold and worn worldwide!
A village with fresh ideas
Suðureyri (pronounced Soo-ther-ay-ri) is a traditional, yet eco-conscious fishing village that is pioneering a new concept that draws visitors into the daily work life of the village. “Work? Surely not while I’m on holiday! That’s what I’m taking a break from!”, you might say. However, a change is often as good as a break and an opportunity to try your hand at something you would never normally get to do. Whether joining a fishing boat crew or touring a fish-processing factory, these are authentic cross-cultural experiences you’re unlikely to forget!
Here you will find a village that is working together as a team to provide the visitor with an understanding of their way of life – a life they are justifiably proud to share. Here you can learn about all the steps involved in bringing that delicious fish from the sea to your plate. After your fishing trip, you can process your own catch.
The Talisman Restaurant
Finally, to crown the evening, the fish can be cooked by the chef and served on hand-made plates under the glow of handmade designer lamps, both created by local artists, as you dine in a cosy atmosphere at the Talisman Restaurant in the Fisherman Hotel. At the restaurant, every visitor has the opportunity to relish the flavourful experience of some of the village’s top quality fresh products, far removed from the factory mass produced ‘foods’ most people have to endure in today’s world. The restaurant provides excellent personal service, whether you are alone or part of a large group. It offers a high quality ‘á la carte’ fish menu, displayed in artistically-created catfish skin menus in the evening that should not be missed.
After eating so well, you will be glad you booked into the Fisherman 3-star hotel. Self-catering facilities are available, as is wireless Internet access, which is free of charge. If you would prefer to camp, there is a campsite and they can also help you find a summerhouse in the village, if you would like that option.
Feed the Fish
A visit to Suðureyri would not be complete without feeding the fish! The lagoon in the village is full of fish so tame that they will even take food from your hand! Take care, though, as they might try to take a bite of the hand that feeds them! You can buy fish food in the Fisherman mini market. Although they are free to swim out to sea, they have chosen to stay in the lagoon, where they receive a great deal of attention from visitors. Make sure you pay them a visit, too!
While we’re talking about swimming, the open-air pool is geothermally heated and there are also saunas and hot pots to relax in.
For further information and bookings: Tel: +354 450 9000
Email: [email protected]