Húsavík

Set along the eastern shore of Skjalfandi Bay, Husavik is a delightful town that has come into its own as a tourism destination in recent years. The plankton and fish-rich feeding ground of the surrounding waters have allowed the town to establish itself as the undisputed ‘Whale Watching Capital’ of Europe boasting astonishingly high success rates. Whales are often encountered within 20 minutes of leaving the harbor and include such magnificent species as the elusive humpback whale and the enormous blue whale.

The bustling harbor teeming with colorful trawlers is set against a stunning backdrop of granite mountains that are artfully snow-capped, even in summer. The picturesque coastline makes for some good walks along grassy headlands and small beaches from where seals are often spotted. Nature lovers also enjoy the rich birdlife, botanical gardens, nearby campgrounds and golf course.

As the oldest settlement in the country, Husavik boasts a flourishing cultural scene with a full program of theatrical performances and music festivals. The Museum House serves as the district’s cultural center, housing a maritime museum, natural history museum, folk museum, district archives, photograph archives, and an art gallery. Before heading out on a sail through the ocean in pursuit of those gentle giants, visit the superb harbor-side Husavik Whale Museum which exhibits the history of whales and whaling in Iceland as well as a number of whale skeletons on display.