The fishing hamlet of Hofsós, halfway up Skagafjörður’s eastern shore, was a trading post as far back at the 1500s. Later it became a launching point for many of Iceland’s emigrants to North America.
One of Iceland's oldest buildings, it is in the charge of the National Museum which had it renovated in the 1990's. It is now on view in its near-original state. The renovated old Co-op now functions as the original home of the Icelandic Emigration Center (Vesturfarasetrið), housing the Glaumbaer Folk Muesum's exhibit "New Land, New Life", which tells the story of the Icelandic people who emigrated to North America. From June 2002 it will also house a new exhibit on the life and works of the Markerville poet Stephan Stephanson.
In Frændgarður, the Center's new building by the harbour, there is a genealogy service and an exhibit on the Icelandic Mormons' journey to Utah. In June 2002 an exhibit on the North Dakota Icelanders opens in another new building. Both these new buildings are in the style of the Old Warehouse, giving the old village back the feel of the trading center of by-gone days. The cove Staðalbjargavík just below Hofsós is lined with tall basaltic columns. Similar rock formations can be seen all along the shore and especially at near-by Þórðarhöfði head-land, named for the 10th century settler whose farmland is still in use today. The population of Hofsós is around 200.
We recommend visiting the town’s local swimming pool, which is located on the cliff tops with spectacular views across Skagafjörður Fjord to Mt. Tindastóll.