WORK / PROJECT: SEEDS volunteers will be working and living in Ólafsfjörður a town at Eyjafjörður, Iceland’s longest fjord located in the north of the country. There is a newly formed sailing club and this summer the club wants to offer the opportunity for youngsters to be able learn how to sail small boats, rowing boats and kayaks. It is highly recommended that volunteers have some sort of experience in handling small boats or sailing knowledge.
Our main responsibilities will be to oversee the group of youngsters that will be participating in the training courses. We will assist the youngsters in the boats, guide them in how to sail and make sure youngsters are following safety procedures, as to keep up high moral in the groups.
During the project we will have the chance to participate in the celebrations of Iceland’s Independence Day on June 17th and there is also a Blues festival in the first weekend of July that we can participate in. SEEDS will also have groups of volunteers that will be working in the community at the same time.
ACCOMMODATION: In a local house, we recommend that volunteers bring a sleeping bag. Volunteers will receive ingredients and share together the cooking and cleaning.
LOCATION: The town of Ólafsfjörður is in the municipality of Fjallabyggð (“Mountain Settlement”), located in the northern part of Iceland. There are two town communities in the municipality: Siglufjörður and Ólafsfjörður, with a combined population of 2200 inhabitants. The two towns are primarily built around the fish industry and related services. Today other industries, such as the building of fire-engines, ambulances, boats and machines for fish trawlers have started to gain foothold in Fjallabyggð.
In summer, Fjallabyggd turns into a paradise for hikers. There are a variety of hiking paths in the majestic landscape. Visitors are also drawn to the black-sand beaches and the peaceful Ólafsfjörður Lake (Ólafsfjardarvatn).
Ólafsfjörður stands on a magnificent environment, clinging all the way to the steep slopes of the mountains that plunge into the steely waters of Eyjafjörður, and with superb views of the snowy peaks of the uninhabited Látraströnd coastline on the opposite shore. On a clear day it is easily possible to spot the island of Grímsey, northeast of the fjord’s mouth, bisected by the Arctic Circle.
Ólafsfjörður is more than a typical fishing community, with all you would expect to find there. When you drive through the road tunnel and see Ólafsfjörður in front of you, stop awhile, and you will see it is different in many ways. The mountains surrounding the fjord are unusually high and steep, with many hanging valleys, tempting destinations for those who enjoy short or long walks.
The waters of Ólafsfjörður Lake, reflects the town along with the mountains and the sky, and occasionally a trout breaks the surface, as a reminder of what is up and what is down in this mysterious mountain retreat. The lake itself has a long-lived reputation for mystery; not least because both fresh-water and salt–water fish are caught in it.
The midnight sun in Ólafsfjörður is an unforgettable experience and during the months June and July you will be able to have 24 hours of light in the area, the town is located above 66 degrees of latitude north, making it one of the Icelandic towns closest to the Arctic Circle.
LANGUAGE: English will be the language of the camp; high proficiency is not required.
TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík (Reykjavík), KEF. SEEDS organises the “minibus option”, a shared transport from Reykjavík to the camps and back again, which apart from being cheaper and more convenient, allows volunteers to meet fellow campers and have a relaxed trip, while stopping on the way for interesting and tourist sites.
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 100,- (Euros). Volunteers will have free access to Ólafsfjörður’s outdoor swimming pool with jacuzzis, a shallow pool, a wading pool with a mushroom feature and a steam bath.