ICELAND  |  Olafsvik and Rif, Iceland Travel Guide
Monday, July 22, 2024

Olafsvik and Rif, Iceland

Village of Arnarstapi on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula near Olafsvik, Iceland (cc)
Photo: Reykholt


Olafsvik, according to the Book of Settlements, was originally settled by Olafur the Bloated. On the western end of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, it has a population of slightly more than 1,000, and has enjoyed municipal status since 1687 – longer than any other Icelandic community. Originally, it was a trading center, welcoming ships from Denmark and even as far away as Portugal.

In the 1950s, the harbor was rebuilt and greatly enlarged, making it the most productive fishing village on the peninsula.


Rif, another historic fishing village, features an excellent harbor which is used by the fishermen from Hellissandur. The town was one of the most important commercial ports on the peninsula until the Holmkelsa river changed course and damaged the harbor. The harbor has subsequently been rebuilt.

Nearby, large colonies of Arctic terns can be seen, and there are salmon in the Lysa lake area and in the Haffjardara and Straumfjardara rivers. Trout and char also can be found in the Lysa lake area, as well as in the neighboring Vatnsholtvotn, Langavatn, Stadarsveit, Hagayatn, and Midhusavatn lakes.

The local BIRF airport has oil-gravel runways, and accommodates round-trip daily flights on Eagle Air from Reykjavik to Stykkishholmur and back, Monday through Thursday. On Friday and Sunday, there are direct flights from Reykjavik.

Last updated May 21, 2011
Posted in   Iceland  |  Olafsvik and Rif
Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)
Explore the Destination
Amenities and Resources
  • Weather Forecast
  • Broken clouds
    • Reported on:
      Mon, 07/22/2024 - 08:00
    Broken clouds Temperature: 11 °C
Trending Themes:

Guides to Popular Ski Resorts

  • Ischgl is a small mountain village turned hip ski resort, with massive appeal among the party-hearty young crowds. It is... Read More

  • Andorra la Vella is its own little world, and not just because it’s a 290-square-mile independent principality (a fifth the... Read More

  • Bariloche (officially San Carlos de Bariloche) is the place to be seen. It is to Argentina what Aspen is to the... Read More

  • Aspen is America's most famous ski resort. And that's an understatement. For, as a ski complex, Aspen is unsurpassed. Its... Read More

  • Zermatt is a small but glamorous mountain resort town, with a population of approximately 5,700. It is one of Switzerland's... Read More

  • St. Moritz is a glitzy, alpine resort town in the celebrated Engadin Valley of Switzerland, with huge notoriety as the... Read More

  • Lake Tahoe is the premier lake resort of America, and the largest alpine lake in all of North America. It is an absolutely... Read More

  • St. Anton, Sankt Anton am Arlberg in German, is Austria's premier ski-bum resort! It's actually a small village cum... Read More

  • Kitzbühel, a small, Tyrolian resort town in the Kitzbüheler Alps, comes with international renown and huge snob appeal, and... Read More


Copyright © 2010-2013 Indian Chief Travel Guides. Images tagged as (cc) are licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license.