Húsavík, by Skjálfandi Bay in North Iceland, is a town of just over two thousand people. It is considered to be one of the best places in Europe for whale watching in the summer.
Húsavík is often nicknamed the whale watching capital of Europe, due to the fact that throughout the vast majority of summers, tour operators have 100% sighting rates.
Humpback Whales are the most common species in Skjálfandi Bay. These gentle giants are renowned for being possibly the most entertaining of the great whales to observe, due to the fact they always show their tail before a dive, and exhibit many other behaviours at the surface, such as breaching and fin slapping.
Other animals that reside within the bay include White Beaked Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises. It is not at all unheard of, however, for Fin and Blue Whales to be seen, nor Orcas or Belugas.
Many whale watching tours also include a puffin-watching component.
Húsavík is home to the Húsavíkurkirkja church, a beautiful wooden structure built in 1907 and the civic museum for culture and biology, which amongst other things features a stuffed polar bear and ancient boats, bearing witness to the history of seafaring in Iceland.
There is also an Exploration Museum on the spirit of discovery, from early explorations to space missions.
In Húsavík you'll also find cute cafés and restaurants offering tasty treats, and you'll have a gorgeous view over the Skjálfandi Bay. There is a wealth of accommodation options available, from nice hotels to cabins and hostels.
Húsavík means ‘the Bay of Houses’, as according to legend, it was settled before the official ‘settlement date’ of 874 AD.
Garðar Svavarsson was a Swede who wintered in Iceland in 870 AD. According to legend and Sagas, he left a man called Náttfari and two slaves to tend a farm here. It is said that the town was named after their houses.