Hafnarfjordur

You’re in elf country! Nestled in a fantastic lava field just outside of Reykjavik, the colorful harbor town of Hafnarfjordur has a distinct atmosphere where you can experience both traditional and offbeat experiences. Hafnarfjordur is considered Iceland’s unofficial elf capital, well known for its ‘hidden population’ or Huldufolk which are the elves and trolls believed to be roaming and living in the town’s lava formations.

Pick up a map at the local tourist office and discover locations where these mysterious beings may live. Hafnarfjordur has also become the ‘Viking Center’ of Iceland with the nation’s only Viking restaurant which hosts a Viking Village and Festival during two spirited weekends in June.

In the downtown area you’ll find the lovely Hellisgerdi public park with volcanic boulders, small caves and the northernmost bonsai garden in the world. The cool, white Hafnarborg Arts Center on the waterfront is a local treasure, offering a full program of art shows and musical events. The Hafnarfjordur Museum offers a walk through the town’s history as a thriving fishing port and is based in three distinct buildings. The seaside suburb is also home to good restaurants, whale watching tours and horseback riding in the Burfell lava fields.

Population: 27.300