The municipality of Skagafjörður offers a rich variety of places to live. A quarter of area residents make their homes in the country, since Skagafjörður is one of Iceland’s most prosperous agricultural regions, with widespread dairy and sheep farming in addition to the horse breeding for which the region is famed. Finally, ever more people nowadays are choosing to live in the countryside while going to work in the villages.
The municipality contains four villages. Hofsós, a peaceful seaside village with a high concentration of tourism and with 200 residents, is best known in recent times for its splendid Icelandic Emigration Centre.
Hólar, on the other hand, in Hjaltadalur valley, has through the centuries been one of Iceland’s most renowned seats of education and culture. The well-run university there is expanding fast.
Varmahlíð farther south, a small centre of services for the rural community, is located by Ring Road No. 1, helping it to serve a great number of tourists per year. Also, Varmahlíð offers an excellent school, swimming pool, and Skagafjörður’s largest community centre, Miðgarður.
Finally, Sauðárkrókur is one of Iceland’s most vigorous towns outside the capital city area, joining shipping and fishing, the processing of farm products from a wide expanse, and services equalling the best anywhere away from the capital itself. Suffice it to mention the fine offering of stores, a hospital, comprehensive secondary school, and varied recreational opportunities. All efforts are expended to guarantee quality preschool and compulsory school activities, in addition to other services for individuals and families.
The employment sector at Sauðárkrókur is many-sided, with a higher ratio of man-years in the services than is generally found in rural Iceland, and with the lowest unemployment in the entire country. Among the manufacturing firms are a major one producing mineral wool, and a carpentry company reputed for instance for its attractive furnishings. Some examples of the assorted processing of agricultural products include a dairy cooperative and a meat-processing plant, and modern companies are engaged in the processing of ocean goods, for example shrimp, with Fiskiðjan Skagfirðingur Ltd. being one of Iceland’s leading fishery corporations. Added to this are a number of service businesses, such as an auto repair shop, beauty parlours, hair salons, and ambitious merchants who provide residents with first-class service, while good restaurants, a cinema and entertainment establishments ensure that no one gets bored.
During recent years, jobs at Sauðárkrókur have perhaps multiplied most rapidly in public service, partly because of the Institute of Regional Development and a portion of the Housing Finance Fund being transferred there. Furthermore, the Health Directorate at Sauðárkrókur conducts assorted operations as the town’s biggest single employer, and the over 400 students of the surrounding region’s comprehensive secondary school contribute pleasantly to local society in the wintertime.
There are plenty of reasons that Skagafjörður is a desirable place to live, not in the least for family people: a closeness to magnificent nature, reliable schools at every level, Iceland’s least expensive geothermal heating utility, definite security, varied services, vibrant sports activities, comfortable weather conditions, and the energetic cultural life mentioned earlier. Furthermore, road connections are convenient — just about an hour’s drive to Akureyri in the North and about a three hours’ drive to Reykjavík.
On last December 1, the population of Skagafjörður municipality was 4,178, including 2,620 at Sauðárkrókur. In the past years, numbers have been increasing; in fact, the population of Sauðárkrókur rose considerably faster than the Icelandic average for 2003.
In view of all this, there is no occasion for expecting anything but a bright future for Skagafjörður.
Come to Skagafjörður — and stay as long as you like!