Hornafjörður (“Fjord of Horns”) is a fjord, municipality and growing community found in southeast Iceland. The fjord takes its name from the curved shapes of the sand reefs that have formed just off the coastline.
Hornafjörður is one of the larger municipalities found in Iceland, covering a total area of 260 km, all for a population of little over 2,200. The southern end of Vatnajokull National Park falls under Hornafjörður’s jurisdiction.
Höfn (“Harbour”)—known from 1994 to 1998 as Hornafjarðarbær—is the second largest town found in the region, famous for its cultural heritage, stunning panoramas and glittering fjord. The town’s biggest industries are tourism and fishing, the latter of which is divided into both sea fishing and factory processing.
Culture is thriving in Höfn; the town boasts excellent education and welfare services, a public library, football club, several museums, a golf course, numerous hotels and a variety of shops. Of particular note is Gamlabúð ("Old Shop"), the oldest building in town, that has been utilised as a merchant’s post, a general good’s store and, now, an information centre for Vatnajokull National Park.
In the centre of Höfn, one can find Hornafjörður Art Museum. During the summer, the museum dedicates itself to the creative works of Icelandic artist, Svavar Gudnason, whilst the winter months are focused on exhibiting the work of new artists. The town also boasts a 25 m swimming pool, complete with jacuzzis, an ice bath and a steam room.
South of Hofn, one can spend some time hiking the natural paradise that is the Ósland Conservation Area. Nature lovers, ramblers and bird enthusiasts will find the luscious, green panoramas of this region a true delight. Ósland was once an island but is now connected to the mainland.
The area is particularly famous for being one of the larger nesting grounds for Arctic Terns. Hikers can also visit Óslandshæð, a hill that sports a memorial to local fishermen and incredible views of the nearby glaciers.
Header Photo: Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Photo Credit: TommyBee.