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Hvalfjordur pa Island.jpg
COA Hvalfjarðarsveit.png
Coat of arms of Hvalfjarðarsveit
Hvalfjarðarsveit map.png
Location of Hvalfjarðarsveit
RegionWestern Region
ConstituencyNorthwest Constituency
Established1 June 2006
MayorBjörgvin Helgason
Area494 km2 (191 sq mi)
Population612 (1 december 2013)
Density1.24/km2 (3.2/sq mi)
Municipal number3511
Postal code(s)301

Hvalfjarðarsveit is a municipality in Vesturland in Iceland. The municipality derives its name from the fjord Hvalfjörður, which forms its southern border.

The municipality formed on 1 June 2006, by the union of the former municipalities of Hvalfjarðarstrandarhreppur, Innri-Akraneshreppur, Leirár- og Melahreppur and Skilmannahreppur.[1]


The shores of Hvalfjörður, Faxaflói and Borgarfjörður form the region's southern and western borders. Hvalfjarðarsveit additionally borders the municipalities of Kjósarhreppur in the south, Akranes in the west, as well as Borgarbyggð and Skorradalshreppur in the north, and Bláskógabyggð in the highlands to the east.[2]

The largest settlement in the municipality is Melahverfi with a population of 111 in 2016.[3]

Prominent mountains in Hvalfjarðarsveit (from west to east) include Akrafjall, Hafnarfjall, Skarðsheiði and Botnssúlur. Notable lakes (from west to east) include Lake Eiði, Hólmavatn, Eyrarvatn, Glammastaðavatn, Geitabergsvatn and Hvalvatn. Iceland's tallest waterfall, Glymur, forms part of the river Botnsá that runs from Hvalvatn into the eastern bottom of Hvalfjörður.[2]

Some 30 km of the Ring Road pass through Hvalfjarðarsveit, between the Hvalfjörður Tunnel in the south and Borgarnes in the north.


Although the region is mostly rural and scarcely populated, Grundartangi industrial area contains a significant part of Iceland's heavy industry, and one of the country's largest ports. The port of Grundartangi opened in 1978, is operated by Faxaflóahafnir[4] and owned by some of the neighbouring municipalities.[5]

A ferrosilicon plant began operations in 1979 and is now the world's second largest producer,[6] operated by Elkem, a subsidiary of China National Bluestar Group.[7] An aluminium plant began operations in 1998, operated by Norðurál, a subsidiary of Century Aluminum.[8] Silicor Materials is currently planning to construct a solar silicon plant at Grundartangi.[9]

Pollution in the region caused by sulphur dioxide and fluorine emissions from the industrial area is controversial.[10]


  1. ^ "Sameining sveitarfélaga sunnan Skarðsheiðar" (in Icelandic). Ministry of Welfare (Velferðarráðuneytið). Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Web maps of the National Land Survey of Iceland" (in Icelandic). National Land Survey of Iceland (Landmælingar Íslands). Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Population by urban nuclei, age and sex 1 January 2011-2016". Statistics Iceland (Hagstofa Íslands). 1 January 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Faxaflóahafnir official webpage". Faxaflóahafnir (port authority of Reykjavik). Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Grundartangahöfn: Skipulag og starfsemi" (pdf) (in Icelandic). Faxaflóahafnir (port authority of Reykjavik). Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  6. ^ "About Elkem Foundry Products". Elkem Iceland. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  7. ^ "Our shareholders". Elkem. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  8. ^ "Norðurál official webpage". Norðurál. Archived from the original on 23 May 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  9. ^ "Grundartangi is absolutely gorgeous". Icelandic Times. 27 April 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Mengun við þolmörk á Grundartanga" (in Icelandic). Vísir. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 64°17′45″N 21°55′30″W / 64.2959°N 21.9251°W / 64.2959; -21.9251