About a hundred kilometers north of the northern capital of Akureyri lies the village of Húsavík.
A charming fishing port of nearly 2500 inhabitants, this place is particularly popular with tourists due to its geographical location at the extreme edge of the Arctic Circle and the unique activities available.
Located very close to the Arctic Circle, this is a truly magical place to observe the midnight sun in summer from mid-June to mid-July. The sky will be lit up with colour above the impressive Kinnarfjöll Mountains on the other side of the bay.
There are countless viewpoints very close to Húsavík along the Tjornes Peninsula that are perfect to observe the Icelandic midnight sun. In winter, the region is also ideal for observing the Northern Lights, which are very common in this part of Iceland due to its latitude.
The boats in the port of Húsavík are often beautifully colored traditional whalers, which really contributes to the charm of this small fishing port. In recent years, it has become increasingly popular for whale watching.
Húsavík can be reached via Road 85 which splits off from Road number 1 near Akureyri and is easily accessible to any type of vehicle. It only takes one hour to get there from Akureyri (94 km).
Bus line 79 of the Stræto network will take you to Husavik.
The city itself has a magical charm, and it's a delight to stroll the quaint streets of Húsavík with its colorful houses and fishing harbor. These brightly coloured habitations explain why Husavik literally means: “the bay of houses”.
The highlights of Húsavík include:
The Húsavík region is a region known to locals for excellent fishing, including Lake Botnsvatn where you can fish trout free of charge. But its fame is first and foremost as the European capital of whale watching. Many tour companies offer excursion packages extending mostly one or two hours, sometimes more, to set off on the Arctic Sea in the direction of Grimsey and try to spot some whales.
While there are of course no 100% guarantees you will observe whales during your short sea trip, the success rates are close to 100%. And often if you don't get to see one, the agency will give you a voucher to try your luck again free of charge. If you are interested, pay a visit to the Husavik Whale Centre where you can find all the information you need about whales and whale watching.
It really is the perfect place to see them as there are humpback whales, dolphins, Minke whales, blue whales and sometimes killer whales in the coastal waters around Húsavík. This type of sea tour costs around €60 per adult, half for a child aged 7 to 15, and free for the little ones. But this is the arctic sea so dress for the arctic, and even if blankets are available on the boat you will see it is much colder at sea than in the port of Húsavík.
Learn more about whale watching in Iceland.
The port of Húsavík is famous for its wooden constructions, brightly coloured, often beautifully reflected in the sea with the northern light dancing overhead. Among these buildings, one stands out in particular: the Village Church.
Built in 1907, most locals consider it to be the most beautiful church in the country, so make sure to get a picture.
In addition to the popular Folk Museum, Húsavík is a whaling town, so it has a rich heritage showcased in the Whale Museum, a must-see and the most famous whale museum in North Iceland.
The Museum in the Culture House is also very interesting for its focus on Icelanders' everyday life and living conditions from 1850 to 1950.
Very close to the village you will find a surprising and original institution known as the Phallus Museum where you'll quickly learn Icelanders are not without a sense of humour...
And last but not least, just as the Myvatn region has the Myvatn Nature Baths, Húsavík has the GeoSea Baths. This unique spa resort delivers the warm water pools, but this time it's sea water rather than fresh water. Here you can enjoy an incredible view right out to the horizon and the Arctic Circle while bathing in near 40°C water. Additional information and reservations at GeoSea Baths.
In addition to GeoSea, as in any good Icelandic town worthy of the name, there is a heated swimming pool. But there are plenty of other activities, especially in winter, such as ice fishing, skiing, snow scooter tours, super jeep safaris...
And as everywhere in the country, there is a hiking trail near the village that takes you up to the Húsavíkurfjall for a beautiful panoramic view of the town and even the small island of Grimsey in the distance.
For those of you camping out, the city of course offers a campsite, the Húsavík Campground, which is quite well-known and located very close to the city center along the 85.
For visitors who prefer guesthouses or hotels, we recommend:
Both are ideally located less than 100 meters from the port and the main street, are very comfortable and offer an excellent breakfast!