Starting point for marine excursions: Midbakki, Iceland

Starting point for marine excursions: Midbakki, Iceland

Midbakki is a port terminal in the Old Harbour, which has lost its importance as a transit port and is gradually becoming a dumping ground for discarded ships. Though the largest port on the west coast of Iceland is still considered a major gateway to the sea, it’s a tribute to the past that has nothing to do with the present. Now the most important passenger port is Höbn, in the southeast of the island, and the few remaining port terminals survive only on tourism.

As for the Old Harbor as a whole, there are still four port terminals, and Midbakki, the largest and most developed of all. But it has also long ceased to handle large ocean liners, although the width and depth of the fairway in Fahsaflooui Bay makes it possible, considering that half a century ago huge dry cargo ships were still served there. In it, for the most part, mooring recreational sailing vessels, it also begins here marine excursions.

The starting point of marine excursions: Midbakki, Iceland - Photo 2

Starting point for marine excursions: Midbakki, Iceland

Midbakki terminal on the geographical map

The largest and most practical of the port terminals of the Old Harbor, is located in its northern part, the most convenient for the mooring of ships of different drafts. Within Reykjavik, it does not go beyond the city limits, occupying the sparsely populated western outskirts, about 5 km from the historic and geographical center of the Icelandic capital.

The area where the port terminal Midbakka is located, for some unknown reason, is called Central – the famous pragmatism of Icelanders, in this case looks illogical. Finding the terminal is not difficult, given that it is a popular center of seaside tourism, and is located next to the famous Concert Hall “Harpa”.

The starting point of excursions: Midbakki, Iceland - photo 3

Midbakki terminal on the geographical map

The significance of the port on the historical plane

Though it is true that the present harbour has been the gateway to West Iceland since the second half of the ninth century through which this part of the island was settled, the port of Midbakka did not stand out in it. The harbor had only a natural origin for a long time and there was not a single man-made port structure, not counting the mooring poles that appeared later.

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Only towards the end of the XII century there was a small pier and a few wretched huts that served as customs, where merchants paid the duty for importing goods to markets in Reykjavik. Midbakki appeared at the beginning of the last century, when the harbor became an important transportation center. But it was only a fishing port for sailing ships.

Starting point for boat excursions: Midbakki, Iceland - Photo 4

The significance of the port on the historical plane

The meaning of Midbakka on the tourist map

As if a tribute to tradition, and 100 years later, the port terminal receives only sailing ships . But now it’s no longer fishing schooners and whaling boats, but pleasure yachts and sightseeing vessels. Some are limited to sailing within Fachsaflouis Bay, others go far out into the Northwest Atlantic, but they don’t sail for long.

Unfortunately for tourists, many do not manage to get on any of these marine excursions or even coastal walks. The fact that the flow of tourists is such that the tour can be ordered at least two weeks in advance, and for greater security and a month, it can be done online, on the website serving travel companies, and the same to pay for it.

By the way, their services here vying with each other offer numerous privateers, as if spotted by the tourists who were not able to get on board the tour ship. These are mainly owners of floating boats, persuading that if desired, they will take to the coast of Greenland. Offers tempting, but they only take for their dubious services immodestly expensive, up to 25 000 CZK per hour, or about 12 800 rubles. But agreeing to it, visitors put themselves at serious risk.

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