Höfn is one of the most picturesque towns here in Iceland. Three sides of the town are surrounded by the ocean, and it has spectacular views not only of the sea but the rest of the Icelandic landscape (including the Vatnajökull Glacier in nice weather conditions). Indeed, Höfn is the very definition of “a room with a view”.
So, what can you expect from a visit to this town, and what do you need to know before you go? We answer all these questions and more and give you the lowdown on local accommodation, eateries, attractions, and much, much more.
Quick Facts About Höfn
Höfn is considered to be the capital of Southeast Iceland (unofficially).
Although it is the second-largest town in the southeastern part of the island, it still boasts just over 2000 permanent residents.
The town covers 6280 square kilometers.
It is believed that Irish Monks were the first settlers here and not the Vikings.
The name Höfn translates to ‘Harbor’. This makes sense since the town is located in one of Iceland’s natural harbors.
The town has always relied on the fishing industry to sustain it, but today the town is referred to as the Lobster Capital of Iceland because the majority of high-value Norwegian Lobster and Icelandic Lobster is caught and processed here.
Where is Höfn in Iceland?
Höfn lies nestled against the Hornafjördur Fjord in the Southeastern part of Iceland. Höfn is conveniently located close to one of our most popular main roads here on the island, Route 1 aka the Ring Road route, making it the perfect stop along a Ring Road road trip.
How to Get to Höfn
There are a number of ways that one can get to Höfn with the most common being:
Hornafjördur has a domestic airport, so you can catch a flight from Reykjavík Domestic Airport and then just take a 10-minute drive via taxi or rental car to Höfn. The flight will take you between 1-2 hours depending on the Iceland weather.
Via Rental Car
This will always be our preferred method of exploring the island. Getting from Reykjavík to Höfn via the Ring Road will take you about 10-12 hours, so keep this in mind when planning your road trip itinerary. Reaching Höfn is super easy, though; just follow the Ring Road all along the south coast till you reach the signs to Höfn.
Things to Do in Höfn & Surroundings
If you’re still wondering, what to do in Höfn, the following should give you a good idea of what to add to your trip itinerary:
Take a Walk Along the Harbour
A nice leisurely stroll along the harbor with its beautiful colorful boats is not only incredibly relaxing with breathtaking views, but it is also completely free of charge.
Visit the Gamlabud Folk Museum
In one of the oldest houses in Höfn, you will have the opportunity to venture back in time. Gamlabud Folk Museum gives you a look at what living in an Icelandic farming community looked like.
Check out Huldusteinn Stone Museum
This is actually a private collection that is now on display at Höfn’s Swimming Pool. It is an incredibly diverse collection of the various rocks that can be found here on the island.
Admire some extraordinary art at Hornafjördur Art Museum
This museum is essentially a small gallery that showcases local contemporary art, especially that of Svavar Gudnason.
Take a Dip in the Geothermal Pool at Höfn Swimming Pool
This is great fun for the entire family. The Höfn Swimming Pool boasts a 25-meter geothermal pool as well as a few water slides.
Go Snowmobiling on a Glacier
Why watch the Vatnajökull Glacier view from your window in Höfn when you can go cruising across its icy surface on a snowmobile? You’ll need to book your spot on one of the tours in Höfn though, as this activity can only be done via guided tour due to safety concerns.
Where to Stay at Höfn
With so much to do and see in and around Höfn, it’s easy to see why people choose it as a sleepover stop along their road trip. And you’ll have your pick of accommodation options, irrespective of preference or budget.
Where to Eat at Höfn
Höfn is the perfect place to indulge in some local cuisine, especially seafood. Here are a few favorite spots you can go and check out:
Höfn; Bringing You Breathtaking Views and Exciting Experiences
From gazing out across the fjord, the mountains, and the rest of the Icelandic landscape to hiking across a glacier or visiting a museum – Höfn offers all this and more to those visiting this picturesque little town.
So, if you’re planning on renting a car in Iceland to do a road trip around the island, don’t forget to add Höfn as a stop – it promises to be an experience you’ll never forget.