WORK/PROJECT: SEEDS Volunteers will be working on various small projects in Djúpavík, a small village in the Icelandic Westfjords. At present the village only consists of seven houses, a hotel and the ruins of a herring factory. SEEDS has been volunteering there since 2008.
Our hosts are a family that are trying to develop new opportunities for work in the remote area. They live and work there, running diverse facilities and offering services for visitors.
The main tasks will include the building and maintaining of hiking trails and walking paths in the area, to put up sticks and signs if needed. Other tasks will be cleaning the coastline, collecting driftwood and general gardening work.
Volunteers will also assist in the maintenance of the old herring factory, like with the help of the cleaning and possibly painting the roof. The building is used by artists and for cultural events.
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will be hosted in a local summer house, sleeping in shared rooms on bunk beds. Please bring your own sleeping bag.
Food ingredients will be provided and a kitchen is available for use. Volunteers will share the duties of preparing and cooking meals. Most of the facilities are basic and volunteers are expected to show consideration for their companions.
Do not forget some traditional/typical food from your home country for the international evening.
LOCATION: Djúpavík is located at the head of Reykjarfjörður on the Strandir coast in the Westfjords region. The area is one of Iceland's most remote. It is a sheltered bay largely untouched by modern developments, where silence reigns and nature continues to shape a rugged, mountainous landscape. The distance from the capital is about 360 km and the nearest village, Hólmavík, is about 70 km away.
The bay of Djúpavík is among the least frequented parts of the country. The roads up there are only open during the few months of the short summer. It is one of the remotest corners of Europe, where the coastline is covered with vast expanses of driftwood that originated on the other side of the Arctic Ocean, in Russian Siberia. The region is stunningly beautiful and a perfect place to really experience Iceland’s wilderness.
The story of Djúpavík really began in 1915, when Elías Stefánsson started a herring salting station. He went bankrupt in 1919 but in 1934 entrepreneurs of Djúpavík built a huge herring factory that ran for two decades, giving people in the area a chance to earn a living. In 1954 the “herring adventure” (as Icelanders call it) in this part of Iceland was over and the factory went bankrupt.
Today Djúpavík is dominated by the huge ruins of its old herring factory and the rusting shipwreck of the 100-year-old former passenger and cargo ship Suðurland. The tremendous costs involved in demolishing the factory building – once the largest concrete structure in Europe – is too much for the village so its huge shell remains, reminiscent of a Hollywood set. A few years ago, the famous Icelandic band Sigur Rós held a concert in the old herring factory.
LANGUAGE: English will be the language in the camp; basic conversational skills are necessary.
TERMINAL: Closest international Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF). Bus station: Central Reykjavík (BSÍ).
SEEDS organises the “minibus option”, a shared transport from Reykjavík to the camps and vice-versa. This is a cheap, convenient way to travel and it allows volunteers to meet fellow campers.
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 180 (Euros). Please note that these fees are to be paid to SEEDS on arrival in either Euros or Icelandic krónas.
Our hosting partner will organise some free time activities for SEEDS volunteers, for instance a day trip and excursions in the area.