Siglufjörður is the northernmost town in Iceland and it is named after the fjord it lies within. The town used to be the herring capital of Iceland because of the great herring adventure (1867-1968). In the 19th century Norwegians came to Iceland to catch herring from Icelandic waters. With the arrival of the Norwegians, employment was created for hundreds of Icelanders, processing the herring for them.
Later the Icelanders took their matters into their own hands, fishing, processing and selling the herring. The herring could be used for many purposes. Usually it was eaten by people, but the herring that was not sent abroad was processed even more. By separating the oil from the meat, using the meat to make pet food and the oil for chemical industry. Siglufjörður soon became the main place for herring production, the town was filled with life, more people moved to the town and there were more opportunities for children, women and men to work. But the herring adventure came to an end in the year 1968 when the herring was nowhere to be found around Iceland. The disappearance of the herring had a big impact on those who worked in the herring production and for the economy in Iceland, until then the herring had made up for half of Iceland’s export income.
Since the herring adventure came to an end, Siglufjörður became a some kind of ghost town. A lot of the residents moved away to other places in search for work. There came a long period of time where there was nothing special to do in Siglufjörður other than normal day to day living. The residents of Siglufjörður wanted to keep the story about he herring adventure alive and in the year 1957 the idea about opening an herring museum first came up. After years of working toward the goal, gathering stories and items from the herring era, renovating an old building that was the perfect place for the museum and other actions that were needed to make it all happen, the museum was finally opened in 1994. Along with the herring era museum there is an annual herring adventure festival in the town where people come together and celebrate!
Today Siglufjörður has become a popular tourist destination. There has been a lot of changes and renovation in the town. Old buildings have been given a new and more colorful life and both the Hótel Sigló and Siglunes guesthouse make it possible for travelers to spend the night in Siglufjörður to have a greater experience of the town. The town is a great destination for those interested in the history or for those who like to eat good food, take pictures of cool buildings and the astounding nature!