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Þykkvibær

Þykkvibær is the oldest rural village in Iceland and was in fact the only rural village in the country for around a thousand years. Þykkvibær used to have a range of services, such as a grocery store, slaughterhouse, meat processing plant, primary school and nursery school. Over time, however, as the population dwindled, these services have been moved to Hella or discontinued. At present, the local authorities operate a sports centre, and there is also a potato processing plant in the area, Þykkvabæjar. Þykkvibær boasts of one of the most extensive potato growing operations in Iceland, and the trademark Þykkvibæjar is extremely well known in Iceland.

In years gone past, Þykkvibær used to be isolated, as the river Þverá flowed above the village and made transport difficult. In 1923 came a remarkable turning point in the history of the village when local people banded together and constructed the Djúpósstífla dam, which diverted Þverá into the Hólmsá river. The land above Þykkvibær slowly dried out, and the farmers in the area were able to use it to grow crops. The construction is all the more remarkable as everything was done by hand. The dam is 340 m long and 15 m wide and is still standing.

Fishing used to be practiced extensively from Þykkvibær, and farmers would often travel there from further inland for the fishing season. Seafaring was subject to a wide range of difficulties, and in 1896, the entire Þykkvibær fishing fleet was destroyed. All fishing vessel operation subsequently stopped until 1916, when one vessel was operated from the area. Their number then steadily increased. In 1923, however, no one went fishing, as all working hands were busy constructing the Djúpósstífla dam. Late in March 1955, an eight-oar boat with 11 seamen on board was sailing out the sea. When the boat came out of the outflow channel, however, it capsized, throwing everyone into the ocean. Luckily, all survived. The event was considered particularly remarkable as a photograph was taken at the very moment that the boat was capsizing. This accident put a complete stop to all fishing activities in Þykkvibær.

Tourism services are being developed in Þykkvibær and in the surrounding areas. At present, accommodation and refreshments can be found in several locations, and riding tours along the Þykkvibær shoreline have become a regular feature.

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Þykkvibær
GPS Points N63° 44' 45.509" W20° 36' 34.180"
Postal code

851

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South Iceland

Towns & Villages

The south of Iceland has several towns and villages, each with its own style, charm and points of interest. Selfoss is the largest town and has a variety of shops, services, many restaurants and fast food places. Most towns are close to the main route, making them accessible and enjoyable.

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Map Höfn Kirkjubæjarklaustur Vík Vestmannaeyjar Hvolsvöllur Flúðir Laugarvatn Reykholt Laugarás Borg Brautarholt Hveragerði Árnes Selfoss Hella Stokkseyri Eyrarbakki Þykkvibær Þórlákshöfn