Exploring Iceland’s Charming Coastal Town, Höfn in Hornafjörður Iceland

Welcome to Höfn, a charming town located on the southeastern coast of Iceland with a population of around 2,200. As soon as you arrive, you’ll be struck by the breathtaking scenery of the surrounding mountains, glaciers, and ocean. I had the pleasure of visiting Höfn for the first time a few years ago, and I was immediately captivated by its beauty and unique character.

One of the things that set Höfn apart is its rich history, dating back to the Viking era. The town was founded in the late 19th century and has since grown into a thriving hub of activity, with a bustling economy and a vibrant community of locals and visitors alike. For many years, Höfn was primarily a fishing village, but in recent years, it has experienced a boom in tourism, thanks in part to its stunning natural surroundings and unique cultural offerings.

But Höfn is not just a pretty face. It is a town with a fascinating past and a bright future. In the next few sections, we’ll explore everything that Höfn has to offer, from its top-notch accommodations and restaurants to its natural wonders and exciting activities. So, let’s embark on this exciting journey together and discover the magic of Höfn.

History of Höfn

Höfn, located in southeast Iceland, has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the Viking Age. The name “Höfn” actually means “harbor” in Icelandic, reflecting the town’s history as an important fishing port.

In the early days, Höfn was a small village with a few scattered farms. However, as the fishing industry grew in the 19th century, the town began to expand rapidly. By the early 20th century, Höfn had become one of the largest fishing ports in Iceland, with a thriving community of fishermen and their families.

Despite the hardships of the harsh Icelandic climate and the dangers of the open sea, the people of Höfn continued to thrive and grow. Today, Höfn is a vibrant and welcoming town that is proud of its rich history and culture. Visitors can explore the town’s museums and historic sites, and learn about the fascinating stories of the people who have called Höfn home for centuries.

Things to do around Höfn

Are you ready for some adventure? Höfn and its surrounding area offer an array of exciting activities for nature lovers, thrill-seekers, and history buffs alike. Get ready to explore stunning natural landscapes, spot fascinating wildlife, and immerse yourself in local culture.

One of the most popular attractions in the area is Vatnajökull National Park, which is home to Europe’s largest glacier and a vast range of diverse natural features, from ice caves to waterfalls. Take a guided tour of the glacier or explore the park’s hiking trails to witness the stunning beauty of the Icelandic wilderness. Another must-see is the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, where you can see icebergs of various shapes and sizes floating in the crystal-clear water. Take a boat tour to get up close to the icebergs and see the local wildlife, including seals and various seabirds.

For those looking for a bit of a thrill, Höfn offers various adventure activities such as ATV tours, snowmobiling, and boat tours. Experience the adrenaline rush as you explore the rugged terrain of the surrounding area on an ATV or snowmobile.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history and culture of the area, Höfn has plenty to offer as well.  The Huldusteinn Stone Museum, located nearby, is also worth a visit to see its fascinating collection of over 400 runic inscribed stones from the Middle Ages.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a history buff, Höfn and its surrounding area offer something for everyone. So pack your bags, put on your hiking boots, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in this stunning corner of Iceland.

The Icelandic Lobsters in Höfn

Lobster is a specialty in Höfn, and visitors to the town simply cannot leave without trying this delicacy. The town is known for its langoustine (Norway lobster), which is often considered the best in the country. In fact, the langoustine industry is a significant part of the local economy, and many of the town’s restaurants feature langoustine prominently on their menus.

One of the best ways to experience the local lobster is to visit one of the restaurants that specialize in seafood. Kaffi Hornið is a popular spot, serving up langoustine soup, grilled langoustine tails, and other seafood dishes. Pakkhús is another great option, featuring a unique twist on traditional Icelandic cuisine with its lobster pizza.

But the most famous lobster restaurant in Höfn is Humarhöfnin (Lobster Harbour). Located right by the harbor, Humarhöfnin is a cozy and welcoming spot that serves some of the freshest and most delicious langoustines in the town. The restaurant’s menu includes various dishes made with langoustine, such as the popular langoustine soup, langoustine tails with garlic butter, and even langoustine ice cream for those who want to try something truly unique. The prices at Humarhöfnin are reasonable for the quality of food and service, making it a must-visit spot for any lobster lover.

Overall, whether you’re a seafood lover or just looking for a taste of the local cuisine, trying the famous langoustine in Höfn is an absolute must.

Restaurants and Dining in Höfn

When it comes to dining in Höfn, you won’t be disappointed. This charming town boasts a wide variety of restaurants and dining options to suit all tastes and budgets. If you’re a seafood lover, you’re in luck – Höfn is known for its fresh and delicious seafood, caught right off the coast.

One of my personal favorite restaurants in Höfn is Pakkhús Restaurant. This cozy eatery is located right on the harbor, offering stunning views of the sea and mountains. The menu is full of fresh and locally sourced seafood dishes, including the must-try langoustine, which is a type of Icelandic lobster that is considered a delicacy.

For a more upscale dining experience, try Humarhöfnin Restaurant, which specializes in seafood and offers an extensive wine list to complement your meal. The restaurant is located in a picturesque location by the harbor, and the dishes are beautifully presented, making it a perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a special occasion.

If you’re looking for something more casual, try Kaffi Hornið, a cozy cafe that offers a variety of light bites, including sandwiches, soups, and cakes. They also have a great selection of coffee and tea, perfect for a mid-day pick-me-up.

No matter where you choose to dine in Höfn, be sure to try some of the local specialties, such as the aforementioned langoustine, smoked lamb, and Icelandic-style hot dogs. With so many delicious options to choose from, you won’t leave Höfn hungry!

Where to stay in Höfn

When it comes to finding a place to stay in Höfn, visitors have a variety of options to choose from. Whether you prefer a luxurious hotel or a more budget-friendly guesthouse, Höfn has something for everyone.

One of the most popular options for visitors is staying in a hotel, and Höfn has several to choose from. These range from high-end options with stunning views of the harbor and surrounding mountains, to more affordable options that still offer comfortable rooms and great amenities.

For those looking for a more intimate experience, guesthouses are a great choice. Many of these are family-run and offer a cozy, homelike atmosphere. They are often located in quieter areas outside of town, offering a more peaceful stay.

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, camping is also a popular choice. Höfn has several campsites with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Camping is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area and connect with other travelers.

No matter what your preferences or budget, Höfn has a range of accommodations to suit your needs.

Here are some popular hotels in Höfn:

  1. Hotel Höfn – A modern hotel located in the heart of Höfn, featuring comfortable rooms and stunning views of the Vatnajökull glacier.
  2. Fosshotel Vatnajökull – A stylish hotel with cozy rooms and an on-site restaurant serving local cuisine. The hotel also offers tours to nearby natural landmarks and attractions.
  3. Hótel Edda Höfn – A budget-friendly hotel with simple rooms and a convenient location close to the town center.
  4. Hotel Jökull – A family-run hotel with spacious rooms and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant and bar.
  5. Seljavellir Guesthouse – A charming guesthouse located in a quiet residential area, featuring cozy rooms and a beautiful garden. The guesthouse is just a short walk from the town center and the harbor.

As we come to the end of our journey through Höfn, I hope that I’ve convinced you of its unique charm and beauty. From its stunning natural surroundings to its rich history and thriving community, Höfn truly has something for everyone.

We’ve explored the many exciting things to see and do in and around Höfn, including hiking, wildlife watching, and visiting cultural and historical attractions. We’ve also delved into the world of Höfn’s culinary scene, from its world-renowned lobster to its diverse range of restaurants.

And let’s not forget about the accommodations! With options ranging from luxurious hotels to cozy guesthouses and campsites, there’s no shortage of great places to stay in Höfn.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to pack your bags and come explore this hidden gem on the southeastern coast of Iceland. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or a foodie, Höfn has something to offer. Don’t miss out on this incredible destination – book your trip to Höfn today!