What To See and Do in The Village of Husavik
Iceland is, without a doubt, a country full of attractions and surprises. Nature plays the leading role, which barely needs promotion. If you have already seen pictures of the landscapes of Iceland, you already know what I mean. Cities here are rather small and not as urbanized as other cities in Europe. It is common to find small fishing towns right by mighty fjords, powerful waterfalls, and powerful volcanoes. This pattern adds an extra charm to the country. The average climate and weather do invite you to come to these enchanting towns instead of big, concrete jungles with crowded places. I guess the weather, history, and urban development are intertwined. It shows the best of what Iceland has to offer. One of those places is undoubtedly the village of Husavik. According to the settlement book called Landnamabok, Husavik was the first area to have settlements in Iceland.
Most of you will firstly associate this place with the whale watching tours, and it is obvious why, as it is well known as the whale watching capital of Iceland. There is, however, much more to do here and to see around. We will give you further reasons for you to add Husavik to your road trip itinerary.
Where is Husavik located?
Húsavík is a small fishing town located on the eastern shore of the Skjálfandi bay in the North of Iceland. It is around 50 kilometers away from Lake Myvatn. Reaching the village is quite easy. You will start driving on the well known Ring Road, road number one, to then turn into road 87 and turn right into 85, which will lead you straight to your destination, Husavik.
It has approximately 2000 inhabitants, which makes it a familiar and cozy place. It is a perfect place to stay for the night when traveling in the north between Myvatn and Akureyri, so you should fit it into your road trip itinerary.
Husavik whale watching
Undoubtedly, whale watching is the main activity of Husavik. This city earned its nickname for the increasing demand from tourists. Those tours started running in 1994, and the industry developed quickly. New companies started offering these tours to the market because the request was growing accordingly.
The season for the whale watching tours starts in April, and you will be able to enjoy them daily until the end of November. According to the statistics, around 60 thousand people come to Husavik for a whale watching tour.
You will be able to observe around 23 species of whales within the Icelandic water limits, among which the most common ones are: humpbacks, blue whales, orcas, Greenwald's and dolphins. While the blue whales are the largest ones, the most attractive ones are the humpbacks. If you are lucky enough, you will be able to see them jumping out of the water to hit the surface with great force then. They are called gentle giants and for a reason, as they are very friendly and not even scared of people.
The boat tour lasts around 3 hours, during which the guide will do his best to make your experience as great as possible. Make sure you put on some warm clothes, a waterproof coat, and a hut. It can get quite chilly, especially when the boat takes on speed. Do not make the weather ruin your experience!
What to do in Husavik?
There are a few places you should visit in the town center. There are two restaurants, among which one was founded in 1843, it is well known! It is eco-friendly as none of the trees were cut to build the place. You will probably wonder how it was made if Iceland has almost no forests? The wood dragged into the shores by the sea was gathered and voila! Here we have the Gamli Bauker restaurant.
When you already charge your batteries after a good meal and the best Icelandic coffee, it is time to have a little walk. You should direct your steps to the small harbor where the boat moor. Some of them are stylized to look like the old Viking boats, which will make perfect scenery for cute pictures.
The whale watching boat tour will for sure be on the first place of your "to do" list. However, for those who are not fully satisfied with the whale watching boat tour, which we doubt, or simply have not enough of those animals, we have another point you should visit—the whale museum. You will be able to see the exhibition of the skeletons of the whales that were washed ashore in the past years.
Husavik took part in the astronauts training for the Apollo mission in the sixties. Askja was then their first destination because of its specific landscapes. Most of which reminded the astronauts of the moon's surface.
The Exploration Museum in Husavik is dedicated to the human exploration from the early settlers to space exploration. You can see here everything about the history of the training, photos and read interesting facts. It was officially opened in 2014. Near the museum, you can find a monument, which was funded in 2015 for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo training in Iceland.
Also, fans of the natural hot springs will find here something for them. Nearby you will find the Geosea Sea Baths heated with the geothermal water. You can relax in the warm water, which will smooth your nerves and help you chill out thoroughly. Some say that the water in the geothermal hot pools has healing proprieties for those who have skin diseases, so make sure you swim if you only have such a chance! If you are traveling to Husavik between September to April, you have a chance to see the Northern Lights during your relaxing bath. Can you imagine how beautiful the view will be with the Eyjafjordur fiords in the background?
Near Husavik you will also find many other exciting places you should visit. Do not forget about passing through the Asbyrgi Canyon, which is only a 38km drive from Husavik!