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Staying overnight in order to enjoy a couple of visits to the Blue Lagoon is advised, and the nearby fishing community of Grindavík, on the south side of the Reykjanes peninsula, is worth a visit. This is a pleasant area to do some hiking (for all levels), followed by a refreshing swim at the local pool. 

Settled in the year 934, it has remained one of the main sources of salted fish in Iceland, and these days, has approximately 2500 inhabitants, most of whom base their livelihoods on fishing and fishing-related industries. Grindavík's illustrious history goes back to when it was a major trading centre during the Middle Ages in the booming Hanseatic period. It was raided by pirates many times and has been the site of many shipwrecks over the ages.

There is a statue dedicated to the families of local fishermen lost at sea, but even more poignant are the remains of two more recent shipwrecks and their memorials along a circular hike around the town. There is still an active fishing fleet and most of their catches go to the local factory that specialises in processing the salted fish for export. 

In the late 19th century, salted fish was to Iceland what oil is to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the image of a golden cod was on Iceland's original coat of arms. As you stroll one of the best harbours in Iceland, you will arrive at the Saltfisksetur Íslands (Icelandic Saltfish Museum), Hafnagata 12a, (Open daily 11-18), where you can learn more about the industry that is an important element in Iceland's economic development, if not prosperity. The Museum opened in 2002 and is dedicated to the history of the salt fish, with a vividly depicted exhibition on the struggle for survival, which is a metaphor for the country as well as the salt fish industry.


Saltfisksetur Íslands in Grindavík (within the Saltfish Museum)
Hafnargata 12 A
Tel. 420 1190
Fax 420 1199