Ólafsvík is a small fishing town on the northern side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula in West Iceland. The town’s population is about 1,100 people and it is the main town of the municipality Snæfellsbær that also includes the small villages Hellissandur and Rif.
Like many other towns in Iceland Ólafsvík has always been a fishing town and it is rich of fishing grounds. The town was also one of the larger trading ports in Iceland in the 17th century but it was the first town in Iceland to receive a commerce license from the Danish king because of it’s good location by the fjord. Today the main sources of the economy is the fishing industry and commerce.
There are many opportunities available for tourists in the area including bird-watching, hiking trails, beautiful beaches and of course the Snæfellsjökull National Park where many of the most popular attractions in Snæfellsnes can be found. Not far from the town, on the east side, is a beautiful waterfall called Bæjarfoss, about 50 meters high. The local museum is called Pakkhúsið or the Old Packing House and was built in 1844.
The town offers a swimming pool and a 9 hole golf course, a great selection of accommodation including a hotel, guesthouses and a camping site. There is also a good restaurant and a café in town.
The drive from Reykjavík to Grundarfjörður is about 2 hours and 30 minutes (187 km). Take Ring Road nr. 1 towards the town Borgarnes. Drive through Borgarnes and take road nr. 54 towards the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Drive for about 1 hour and 20 minutes on road nr. 54 and then turn left on road nr. 574 and then the drive to Ólafsvík is less than 10 minutes.