There really is just one place to be at Easter in Iceland – and that’s Isafjordur. Isafjordur is a small town in the Westfjords. It can get pretty hard to get to this time of year, but somehow people do get there and create the best rock festival in the country. And it’s all for free.

Photo: Jonathan

How it all began!

The story begins with the very popular and talented musician Mugison from Isafjordur. He and his dad, Papamug, thought: hey, why don’t we create a rock festival where everybody plays for free just for fun and all the other work is based on volunteers. Let’s also allow all kinds of people not so famous hit the stage and just play music. 

So they proposed the idea to several people, and everyone was up for it. That happened in 2003, and the festival is still going strong!

Aldrei fór ég suður!

Mugison at Aldrei fór ég suður.

The festival is called Aldrei fór ég suður, which literally means I never went south, but what that really means is I never moved to Reykjavik. The three-day festival is an ongoing party in a small music hall (tiny actually). It’s not the only location. There are concerts and events in every corner of this tiny little town during the festivities. You could party until morning and start at noon again if you got the stomach. Speaking of stomachs, you can pack up your backpack with beverages and food and bring your own. But also, just by the music hall, you can warm up with the traditional Icelandic lamb soup and a beer. I say warm up because it’s going to be cold. Do not forget your winter coat, hat, scarf, and gloves. You can find more information on the festival here.

So ready to party? I will tell you how to get there.

It’s best to fly to Ísafjörður

You start by flying to Iceland, KEF airport. Then you get yourself to Reykjavik airport and take a local plane to Ísafjörður with Icelandair. Flights are twice daily (when the weather allows) and take about 40-50 minutes. When the plane lands, it flies very close to one of the mountains, so for those afraid of flying, it is not a good idea to look out the window precisely at that moment. 

You could also drive

You can also rent a car and drive, but conditions can be hard. We do not recommend you drive if you are not used to driving on icy roads with limited views in the middle of the country. The car must also be well-equipped for winter. It is about 455km between Reykjavik and Isafjordur, so it can take up to 6 hours to drive there. There is no bus service to Isafjordur during winter.

So if you are brave enough to give it a go, I salute you! It will definitely be different. And if you like outdoor activities, pack your skiing gear and enjoy the slopes in the area. Also, bring your bathing suit and take a dip in the local swimming pool.

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