This fishing town of just under 2,000 people, on the western shore of Eyjafjörður 44km (27 miles) north of Akureyri, may provide a diversion worth adding to a ferry trip to Hrísey or Grímsey.

Essentials

By car, take Route 82 from the Ring Road 10km (6[b]1/4 miles) north of Akureyri. Trex (tel. 587-6000; www.trex.is) runs three buses between Akureyri and Dalvík on weekdays year-round; the ride is 55 minutes and costs 1,100kr ($18/£8.80).

Dalvík's information center, Svarfaðarbraut (tel. 466-3233; www.dalvik.is; June-Aug Mon-Fri 6:15am-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-9pm; Sept-May Mon-Fri 6:15am-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-4:30pm), is at the local swimming pool, and the website has thorough service information in English. Cafe Sogn, Goðabraut 3 (tel. 466-3330), is the best place to grab a meal.

Exploring Dalvík;

Little known among tourists, "The Great Fish Day" (Fiskidagurinn) is a huge, outdoor festival that takes place on the first or second weekend of August. Everything is free: food, beverages, live music, folk dancing in traditional costume, short films, and, of course, exhibitions of fish in tubs full of ice. The local fish factory is the main sponsor, and all workers are volunteers. On Saturday from 11am to 5pm, the largest grill in Iceland cooks up cod, haddock, salmon, and about 12,000 fish burgers. The night before, around 70 Dalvík families place two torches outside their doors, a signal that anyone is welcome to stop in for fish soup.

Outdoor Activities

Hótel Sóley, Skíðarbraut 18 (tel. 466-3395; www.hotel-soley.com), is the best town agent for bike rental, guided hiking tours on Tröllaskagi Peninsula (including the fabulous 2- to 3-day route from Dalvík west to Hólar), sea kayaking, and horseback riding in the lovely Svarfaðardalur Valley south of town.

Most vacationers in north Iceland save their whale-watching for Húsavík, which has better infrastructure -- more scheduled departures, harborside coffee houses, the whale museum -- but only a marginal advantage in whale sightings. Sea Tours (Sjóferðir) (tel. 863-2555; www.hvalaskodun.is), based in Dalvík, leads 3-hour whale-watching tours (3,900kr/$62/£31 adults, 1,950kr/$31/£16 children 8-12; June 16-July daily 9am, 1:30pm, 8pm; Aug 1-Aug 20 9am, 1:30pm; Apr-June 15 and Aug 21-Sept 9am), and sea-angling trips by arrangement. Whale Watching Eyjafjörður (tel. 867-0000; www.niels.is), based in Hauganes, 30km (19 miles)north of Akureyri and 14km (8 3/4 miles) south of Dalvík, has comparable services.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.