Welcome to Hafnarfjörður, the charming port town located just 10km south of Reykjavík. As the third-most populous city in Iceland, Hafnarfjörður offers visitors a unique blend of established local industry and a variety of urban activities, along with annual festival events. Let’s dive into the activities, local industry, history, sights, and culture that make Hafnarfjörður a must-visit destination.
Activities: The town is best known for its annual Viking festival, held each June, where Viking enthusiasts from around the world display reconstructions of Viking garb, handicraft, sword-fighting, and longbow shooting. It’s an exciting event that’s not to be missed.
Local Industry: Just outside of Hafnarfjörður is an aluminum smelter, run by Alcan. The smelter was originally built in 1969 and has improved its cleaning process since then, especially regarding fluoride. Local elections were held in May 2006, where the people of the town voted against the extension of the smelter.
History: Hafnarfjörður takes its name from the area’s excellent natural harbor. The town is built on top of Holocene lava fields erupted from the nearby Krýsuvík volcanic system, including the 8000-year-old Búrfellshraun and the much younger 2000-year-old Óbrinnishólabruni. There have been no new lava flows on the site since before the Settlement of Iceland, but the Krýsuvík system is still an active volcano, last erupting in 2021 at Fagradalsfjall further to the southwest. The town is first named in the medieval Landnámabók, and the earliest reports of voyages to H