There are three urban centres in Vesturbyggð Urban Area: Bíldudalur, Birkimelur and Patreksfjörður. Vesturbyggð is in Barðaströnd County together with Tálknafjörður Rural District (see map). Approximately 1.300 residents live in the area. Chief occupation is commercial fishing and fish processing. Patreksfjörður is the largest service centre in the southern part of West Fjords offering general urban services to the community.

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Port Information
Information on two harbours in Vesturbyggd; Bildudalur and Patreksfjordur.

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Vesturbyggð - school policy

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Vesturbyggð Municipal Office
Aðalstræti 63 • tel: 450 2300 • fax 456 1142 • 
The Major, Office Manager, Salary Representative, Accountant and Debt Collection Representative. It also contains Offices of Vesturbyggð Representatives for Social Issues and Leisure Activities, as well as The Real Estate Office of Vesturbyggð. Unemployed individuals register at the West Fjords Office of Labour (Vinnumálastofnun Vestfjarða),, phone 450 3000, but registration papers are handed out at the Municipal Office.

Other services available at the municipality
The Municipality operates two sports centres – one in Bíldudalur, and the other one at Patreksfjörður, as well as swimming pool. The Vestend Social Centre is opened to young people from the 7th grade and upwards. Social Centres for Senior Citizens are operated in Lækur, Bíldudalur and at Eyrarsel in Patreksfjörður. The Municipality has port and service facilities at Bíldudalur and Patreksfjörður.

Healthcare Services of Patreksjörður
An outpatient clinic and a hospital are operated at Petreksfjörður. Doctors, nurses and physiotherapists work there, ultrasonic testing and surveillance station for future mothers and new born babies service operates there. Appointments are also regularly conducted at Bíldudalur. Appointments are made on the phone 450 2000. There is also a dentist’s cabinet at the outpatient clinic, phone 456 1212. Also, a Regional Office for the Issue of Disabled Citizens operates at the West Fjords. Its phone number is 456 1337.


The National Insurance Office has a branch at the Office of County Magistrate on Aðalstræti 92, Patreksfjörður, phone 450 2200. There is also a police station at Patreksfjörður. The Police Emergency Number is 112.
There are also the following services at Patreksfjörður: a branch of the Sparisjóður Vestfirðinga Bank, a chemist’s shop, auto repair shops, food markets, a building materials market, a gift shop, florist’s and a needlework shops, kiosks, a branch of VIS Insurance Ltd (VIS), an Office of West Fjords Regional Development Agency, guesthouses, coffee shops, a restaurant, a library, a carpenter’s shop, tradesmen shops, hairdressing salons and a beauty parlour, a licensed massage therapist, etc.

Bildudalur offers the following services to the public: a branch of the Sparisjóður Vestfirðinga Bank, a restaurant, a small shop and a kiosk, a guesthouse, a library, a carpenter’s shop, tradesmen services, hairdressing salon, etc. There is an airfield and ground service at Bildudalur: flight information can be found on the website of Eagle Air services – or on the phone 562 4200.

Primary Schooling
Elementary schools operate according to the legislation on primary schooling and on the basis of the National Curriculum. They appertain to the Ministry of Education and are managed by counties. In Iceland obligatory school attendance lasts 10 year, starting from the age of 6 and ending at the age of 16. Parents must enrol their children in elementary school and it is their responsibility to monitor their children’s school attendance, i.e. going to school and homework. Any absence from elementary school should be notified if the child takes a sick leave or other leave of absence. The enrolment at the elementary school is conducted at the office of Principal of Vesturbyggð Primary and Secondary School.
          When a child start attending school parents are invited for an interview in the course of which school issues and matters of the child’s adaptation are discussed and parents receive brochures describing the school system in the language they understand. Students of foreign origin receive special training in Icelandic whereby a child is assisted with adjusting to school in a group of peers, which is the easiest way to achieve best results. The school has access to interpreting services if such is needed.
          Parent interviews are held regularly for grade-masters and parents to discuss children’s academic progress, as well as general conduct and conditions of children at school. It is parents’ responsibility to attend such meetings.
          School year ends in early June and is therefore about 9 months-long. Although there is no winter school holidays at the Vesturbyggð Primary and Secondary School, there are holidays at Christmas and Easter. There is one shift at the school but a longer school day is not offered. There is a canteen which offers lunch. For further information call the municipal office tel: 450 2300.
There are three divisions at the Primary – Secondary School of Vesturbyggð ( at Bíldudalur, Birkimelur and at Patreksfjörður. Division Managers work at schools in each place, whereas the School Principal has general overview over the school.

The pre-school stage of education is not obligatory in Iceland, but playschools operate under the purview of the Ministry of Education just as Primary-Secondary Schools and are ran by Municipal authorities. It is parents’ choice whether they wish to send their kids to playschool or not, but each municipality is obliged to provide equal opportunity for children to attend a playschool, which is often counted from the age of two. Only children with legal address in a respective municipal area are entitled to a place in a playschool. Vacancies at playschools are applied for at the municipal authority which also provides other information about pre-schooling stage. In the event of any special circumstances authorities always try to secure a space at a playschool for small children. Children with parents of foreign extraction often enjoy priority in terms of playschool space, since it is there that children receive important social and linguistic stimuli. A child needs to first attend the so-called adaptation stage at the playschool, the duration of which differs for each child and his period of adaptation.
          The playschool works to achieve certain goals; therefore it is necessary for the child to regularly attend it. Parents can apply for a full day or half a day at the playschool. If a child attends the playschool for a full day it gets all the meals during the day, whereas half-day goers can get a lunch, if requested. The playschool opens at 07:45 and closes at 17:15 on workdays.
          Parent interviews are regularly held, being an important way of learning about the child’s progress and conditions at playschool. If there is a language problem in terms of communications with parents the playschool shall seek assistance of an interpreter.
          The Vesturbyggð County runs two playschool: one at Bíldudalur, and the other at Patreksfjörður. The playschool headmaster oversees the activities of both playschools.

Babyminders look after toddlers or children who are not able to attend playschool for some reason. Day care is conducted in a family house, but in order to be able to qualify as babyminders day-time ‘parents’ need to be fully licensed by the town hall.  If parents need to find babyminders for children who have not reached playschool age they are advised to contact the Vesturbyggð Representative for Social Issues.

Social Services
According to the Law a Municipality is in duty bound to provide certain cervices to its residents. The objective of the Social Services is to ensure financial and social security of the community, striving to achieve its wellbeing, and to encourage an individual to take responsibility for oneself and others, thus making one more able to help oneself.
Social Services in Vesturbyggð are supplied according to the Act on Social Services Provided by Municipalities Nr 40/1991 The Act on Protection of Children Nr 80/2002 (, The Act on Issues of Senior Citizens Nr 125/1999 (, the Act on Issues of Disabled Individuals Nr 40/1991 (, The Act on Housing Issues Nr 44/1998 (, The  Act On Housing Subsidies Nr 138/1997 (, as well as other laws and legal acts applicable in each specific case.
The Social Issues and Child Protection Committee attend to social issued on the authority of the town hall. The manager of social services is Elsa Reimarsdóttir, representative for social and leisure Issues:

Confidentiality Duty
Representatives of the Social Issues and Child Protection Committee, as well as members of the Social Services team, are in duty bound to observe the confidentiality clause applying to privacy of information from users of their services. The confidentiality duty continues even AFTER a staff member has discontinued employment.

Child Protection
Social Counsel
Financial Aid
Social Services at Home
Housing Issues
Services for the Disabled
Services for Senior Citizens
Services for Children and Youth

Outdoors Time For Children
There are rules on outdoor time for children in Iceland. These rules are set forth to protect children and youth. They state that children of 12 years of age and younger are not allowed to be anywhere in public areas after 20:00, unless accompanied by adults. Children between 13 and 16 years of age are not to be in public areas after 22:00, unless on their way home from a recognised school, sports or youth association. Age limitations are applied with respect to the date of birth.
During the period from 1 May to 1 September the legal outdoors time is extended by two hours. Good cooperation with police is encouraged in this respect.



Vesturbyggð - Kt. 510694-2369 - Aðalstræti 63 - 450 Patreksfirði - Sími: 450 2300 - Fax: 456 1142 - Netfang: