One of most hidden Icelandic gems is Tröllaskagi peninsula, a truly astonishing and fascinating kingdom a bit separated from the rest of the country because of the high and dense mountains which cover it all. The highest point is mount Kerling, Kerlingarfjöll, with its 1538mt, and two fjords flank the peninsula. Skagafjörður on the West is the gateway to northwestern Iceland while Eyjafjörður on the East gets the name from the presence of an island in it: Hrísey, a pleasant green and flat island accessible several times a day by ferry from Dalvík or from the small village of Árskógssandur.
The main town in Tröllaskagi, Siglufjörður, is in the northernmost part of the peninsula, framed by steep mountain slopes on three sides and by the water of a small fjord on the fourth. The location is extraordinarily spectacular and the feeling of almost total inaccessibility gives even more charm to this already charming town where you can find one of the best museums of all Iceland. The Herring Era Museum successfully recreates, in several beautiful buildings along the main street, the life of the town in its golden age, which is to say between 1867 and 1968 when Siglufjörður was the herring fishing capital of the whole world.
From Siglufjörður the road along the west coast leads to Hófsos, a small town with a two-faced look: the anonymity of most of it contrasts with the enchanting area of the peaceful harbor, liven up by pastel coloured old wooden houses all around. But the main highlight of the town is the outdoor swimming pool, probably the most impressive in the country. Built on a vertical cliff over the sea, from here you’d have beautiful views of Skagafjörður and its islands. South-East from Hófsos is Hólar, a little tiny village with a surprisingly impressive red church and the Icelandic Horse History Centre.
Going South from Siglufjörður along the east coast you’ll first run across the end-of-the-world looking fishing village of Ólafsfjörður, residence of a quite big community of artists. The next town is Dalvík, spectacularly located on the western shores of Eyjafjörður and connected to the islands of Hrísey and Grimsey. Though seeming a sleepy place for most of the time it gets suddenly alive for the Fish Festival, in August. Road n.1 crosses the base of the peninsula without having specific highlights but the landscape is stunning all along the way. In winter Tröllaskagi offers excellent skiing opportunities making it an all year round attractive destination.
How to get there and around:
Akureyri is at the eastern bottom of Tröllaskagi. From here road n.1 crosses the southern part of the peninsula. Road n.82 goes along the eastern coast while road n.76 is on the western side. Both of them starts at a junction with road n.1. Siglufjörður and Ólafsfjörður are linked thanks to a relatively new tunnel but the old mountain pass between the two town is still open during most of summer.
From Akureyri to Siglufjörður there are 76km to drive. 10km are on road n.1, direction North-West, 50km are on road n.82 to Ólafsfjörður, direction North, and 16km are mostly through the tunnels of road n.76.
From Reykjavík to Siglufjörður there are 399km. 298km are on road n.1, until the junction with road n.76 and from here it’s 101km more direction North.
Siglufjörður to Hófsos is 60km on road n.76. Siglufjörður to Dalvík is 16km through the tunnel of road n.76, to Ólafsfjörður, and from here it’s 19km more on road n.82.