Núpur, once a boarding school, offers accommodation in two former school buildings. The hostel has around 40 rooms with a washbasin and shared bathroom facilities. There are also two rooms that have private bathrooms.
The hostel has a spacious restaurant and bar. Emphasis on the use of locally-grown ingredients. Three kitchens are available for those who prefer to cook themselves. Free Wi-Fi in communal areas. The nearest shop is in Þingeyri.
There are plenty of activities to choose from at Núpur and in the neighbourhood, including hiking, sea angling, kayaking and horse – and bike rentals. Just outside Þingeyri (25 km/16mi) there is a good, challenging 9-hole golf course. Þingeyri also has an indoor swimming pool with a hot tub and sauna.
Central location in the Westfjords
From Núpur, which in on the northern coast of Dýrafjörður fjord, easy day tours can be made by car to the neighbouring fjords heading both south and north, all the way to Ísafjörður, the ‘Capital of the Westfjords’ (42 km/26.2 mi). On the southern side of Dýrafjörður lies Þingeyri, a small village with all the usual services (25 km/16 mi). From there it is not far to Arnarfjörður. Heading north from Núpur you cross the heath to Önundarfjörður and from there through a tunnel to Ísafjörður town.
Nature’s wonders and an atmosphere of times gone by
Hrafnseyri, about an hour’s drive from Núpur, is a museum about Jón Sigurðsson, the man who fought for Iceland’s indpendence from Denmark in the early 20th century. The waterfall Dynjandi, at the bottom of Arnarfjörður fjord, is a wonder of nature and a popular attraction in this area. The southern coast of Arnarfjörður makes for an interesting drive from the village Bíldudalur all the way to Sauðlauksdalur, at the edge of the ocean (3-4 hour drive). Here, you will find one of the most eccentric sculpture gardens in the world. A drive along Dýrafjörður’s south coast also comes recommended, out to Haukadalur valley, the site of an important Icelandic Saga about the outlaw Gísli Súrsson. From Ísafjörður town there are daily boat tours and sightseeing tours to Vigur Island.
The ‘Alps of the Westfjords’ and abandoned farms
The mountain range which can be viewed from Núpur, between Dýrafjörður and Arnarfjörður, is an adventure playground for avid hikers. One of the more popular hikes is up Kaldbakur, the tallest mountain in the Westfjords (998m/3,274 ft.). There are countless other walks and hikes possible in the area, for all abilities. One of them is a walk along an old road leading to the northern shore of Arnarfjörður. There, deep valleys with farmsteads, full of life until the mid-20th century but now abandoned, offer a very special – and peaceful - atmosphere.
Hosts: Guðmundur Helgason and Ásta Hafberg