Pingdom Check
06/02/2023 | 12:00 PM

Celebrating ​Fishermen's Day

Fishermen's Day (in Icelandic, Sjómannadagurinn) is usually celebrated on the first Sunday in June each year. In 2024, it's held on June 2; in 2025 it will be June 1. 

The tradition began in 1938 in Reykjavík and Ísafjörður in the Westfjords, and it honors Iceland’s strong seafaring heritage while giving sailors a well-deserved day off. All the ships are docked, so fishermen and -women can spend the day with their families. 

One of the best places to learn about Iceland's relationship to the sea is at the Reykjavík Maritime Museum, down by the harbor in the Grandi neighborhood. Here you can also tour the Coast Guard vessel Óðinn.

There are excellent maritime museums in a number of smaller towns around Iceland. Look out for the award-winning Herring Era Museum, which examines the herring boom in Siglufjörður in North Iceland, and the super-scenic Ósvör Maritime Museum at Bolungarvík in the Westfjords. In East Iceland, stop by Randulffssjóhús in Eskifjörður, to see amazing artifacts in a 'sea house' that now doubles as a restaurant.   

a boat sailing down a fjord in Iceland, surrounded by mountains and crystal blue sky

Fishermen's Day events

On Fishermen's Day, family-friendly celebrations take place around the country, with typical festivities including boat rides, speeches and dances, helpings of delicious seafood, and various other nautical fun. If you're anywhere close to an Icelandic town with a fishing harbor over the weekend, look out for some form of celebration.

Some of the biggest Fishermen's Day events are celebrated in the Grandi area, by Reykjavík Harbor. There are also celebrations in scenic fishing towns including Bolungarvík in the Westfjords, Akranes in West Iceland, and Ólafsfjörður in North Iceland. 

Where to find fab fish in Iceland

Fish are abundant in Icelandic waters. The catch of the day in most Icelandic restaurants is likely to be cod, ling or catfish. There are prolific fishing grounds around the island, so your fish should be fresh when it lands on your plate.

We've got the rundown on where to taste-test the freshest seafood around the country, from local langoustine to sublime sushi, plus seafood tours: read our guide, 'There's plenty more fish in the sea'.

Exporting Icelandic fish to the world

Icelanders export the majority of their catch. Thanks to the services of Icelandair Cargo, diners in Europe and North America can be eating sustainably and responsibly caught fish that was swimming in Icelandic waters only 36 hours earlier!

The Points Guy came to Iceland to investigate the fresh fishy journey, from fishing boat to Icelandair aircraft to restaurant kitchen. Follow that fish!