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Heading to Húsavík on an exciting adventure? Find out about the top 5 things to do in the whale-watching capital of Iceland in our new blog.
Welcome to Húsavík, a town in the north of Iceland best known for its whale-watching tours and its role in Will Ferrell's Netflix comedy 'Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga'. Though much smaller than Reykjavik to the south and even nearby Akureyri, Húsavík is a popular destination for tourists, and it’s not difficult to see why.
Whether you find yourself with a day or two to explore the entire town, or maybe it’s just a stop on a self-drive tour of Iceland, Húsavík is worth a visit. Don’t forget to wander the charming streets and enjoy tasty local seafood in between attractions!
Well within reach of Iceland’s rugged natural landscapes, Húsavík also has lots to do for the whole family without going anywhere. Wildlife fans, history buffs, or lovers of Eurovision - there’s something for everyone and more. Let’s take a look at the top 5 things to do in Húsavík.
5. Traditional Turf House
Traditional turf houses of Iceland
Belonging to The Culture House of Húsavík, these turf-covered houses are an excellent and more off-the-beaten-path feature of local history. Dating back to Iceland’s settlement over 1,000 years ago, the site of Grenjaðarstaður farm was once one of the chief’s farms. Since 1958, the structure has been used as a heritage museum, displaying hundreds of donated items that paint a picture of how past Húsavík residents might have lived. There are picnic tables behind the sloping turf roofs or cafe facilities for warm drinks on site.
4. Húsavík Whale Museum
Husavik is an iconic whale-watching destination for Iceland. The Húsavík Whale Museum is unique in that it’s one of just a few museums in the world that pays homage to whales only. Within more than 8 exhibition rooms, you’ll find out all about the types of whales you’ll stand a chance of spotting off Iceland’s shores. 11 whale skeletons in all their glory are displayed across the museum, all but 1 of which, a gift from neighboring Greenland, died of natural causes. Discover the country’s relationship with whaling over the years, as well as the rest of the world. And you can’t miss the museum’s newest star, the 25m Blue Whale skeleton - the only full Blue Whale skeleton in Iceland.
3. Horseback Riding
Beautiful Icelandic horses in different colors
Whales are not the only animals special to Húsavík, and Iceland in general. Icelandic horses are gorgeous, intelligent and strong creatures, many of which live on farms across the country. There are many unique qualities of Icelandic horses, one of which is their 5 gaits (compared to just 4 of other horse species). Even if horseback riding is not a regular hobby, observing stunning black sand beaches, coastlines, and rocky outcrops feels particularly special on the back of such a graceful animal. Húsavík is home to many Icelandic horse farms, so there’s no shortage of horses here.
2. Geosea Geothermal Baths
Geosea geothermal baths in Husavik, Iceland
Upon discovering hot water underground that was too rich in minerals to heat houses, residents of Húsavík have enjoyed the relaxing benefits of the Geosea geothermal baths. Geosea sits on the cliffside overlooking Skjálfandi Bay, allowing a view of the ocean for optimistic whale-watchers. Enjoy temperatures of 38 - 39℃ - perfect for soaking sore muscles, stimulating circulation, and gently treating skin conditions, such as psoriasis. What’s more, top your experience off with a refreshing drink from the swim-up bar.
1. Whale Watching
Whale tail spotted during the whale watching tour by boat in Iceland
As you might have guessed, this list would not be complete without Húsavík’s incredible whale-watching opportunities at the top. The town’s position means that year round there are always whales feeding on nutrients provided by nearby currents. Highly regarded not only in Iceland but also across Europe as a top whale-watching destination, this is absolutely unmissable should you find yourself nearby on your trip.