Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New tunnel in Iceland, an opportunity or a threat?

We have big news for all those interested in travelling in Iceland.

October 2nd 2010, a new tunnel opened in the north of Iceland, connecting the northmost village Siglufjörður with Ólafsfjörður.

Now, what does it mean in practice for YOU, an explorer of Iceland, living up to the values of local travel?

1, On your way from Reykjavík to Akureyri, we definitely recommend taking the left turn after passing Varmahlíð in the direction of Hofsós. WHY?

Because thanks to this turn, you will be able to explore rich natural and cultural jewels hidden in and around fishing villages on your way, that you otherwise would not see, had you taken the usual way (so called ring road #1).

2, The northmost village of Iceland called Siglufjörður, famous for its unique museum, as well as blooming tourism with great services and extremely hospitable locals is perfectly accessable from Akureyri all year round.

This was not the case before the tunnel came, and the locals would be often literally locked out due to bad weather conditions in winter from the outside world.

You can imagine that such village has both, its special charm, as well as strong community bonds inside the village.

3, The tunnel was built in a way that it connects 3 fjords. This means that the tunnel itself consists of two smaller parts that are connected by a bridge. The bridge was built in virgin fjord (Héðinsfjörður )where the last families lived til the end of a second world war. The area has endless opportunities for hiking in 'Alp-like' mountains, which is truly recommended.

4, Leaving Siglufjörður, passing virgin fjord called Héðinsfjörður, coming out in Ólafsfjörður (great area for birdwatching) brings you to Dalvík - small fishing village with rich free time activities including horse back and whale watching - both in a family like atmosphere and very private and personal service. What is still a challenge for this small fishing village is a local fish restaurant - we hear that they´re working on it, so hopefuly by the time you come, all will be ready.

Now, there´s much more that Troll Peninsula has on offer than all listed above. We will help you explore it, be it through this web page (check out earlier blogs), as well as through personal advice - just drop us an email:

lenka.uhrova@gmail.com and we´ll gladly assist.

Last but not least, such gate to the very north of Iceland that this tunnel represents can also be a threat.

  • What will happen if all the tourists, who normally explore Iceland by driving the famous ringroad, will start using the tunnel instead of a ring road #1?

  • How will this efect these picturesque small villages and settlements and personal service?

  • What is the healthy limit that the locals need in order to make profit, through offering a good service, yet not ruining the nature and culture that has been present for ages?

Well, the time will tell, but it´s good to bear this all in mind, both from a tourist and tourism provdiers´point of view.

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