Information about Höfn

Hofn harbour is a beautiful location to spend the evening.Photo by Emmanuel Milou

Höfn is an Icelandic fishing town of just over two thousand people in south-east Iceland. It is the most significant settlement on Route 1 between the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the south and Egilsstaðir in the east.

Geography of Höfn

Höfn means ‘harbour’, as the town is located in one of the few natural harbours of Iceland’s South Coast; unlike the rest of the country, this stretch is beachy and flat, thus there are hardly any small coastal villages when compared to places such as the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

The town is right at the tip of its own peninsula, which is easy to reach throughout the year; it is at the base of Route 99, which detours off from Route 1. It is surrounded on three sides by the ocean, which has been known to freeze over in extreme conditions.

The town can also be reached by plane in good weather, as it is one of the few locations in the country with a domestic airport.

The largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull, which sits in a National Park of the same name, is within clear view of Höfn.

Nearby Locations to Höfn

Vestrahorn is one of the greatest places in south-east Iceland for photographers.

Höfn is most often visited by those driving the full Ring Road of Iceland, as a place to stay just before or after visiting the South Coast or East Fjords.

It is also visited independently, however, by those seeking to spend enough time near the sites of south-east Iceland, most notably Vatnajökull National Park, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, the Diamond Beach and Vestrahorn Mountain.

All of these sites are incredible. Vatnajökull, for example, is incredibly diverse, boasting a huge array of different sites to marvel over. In its southwestern corner, for example, it is home to the Skaftafell Nature Reserve, an oasis of unbelievable scenery, whereas to its west is the mighty mountain Snaefell, renowned for its wildlife such as pink-footed geese and reindeer.

The Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon has recently been enveloped into the National Park, but warrants its own discussion. Out of all the sites listed, it is here where most staying over in Höfn want to spend most time. This lagoon is, in fact, Iceland’s deepest lake, and renowned for being full of great icebergs throughout the year.

These bergs snap off of a tongue of Vatnajökull glacier, before slowly cruising through the waters towards the ocean. As they travel, they often become resting spots for some of the many seals who live in and around the lagoon.

The site is marvellous to behold, with particular appeal to landscape photographers. Visitors, however, should not spend all their time in the lagoon. By following the channel from Jökulsárlón to the ocean, you will come onto the Diamond Beach, where these icebergs wash on the shore and glisten against the black sands.

A final site in south-east Iceland, closer to Höfn than those previously listed, is Mount Vestrahorn. This jagged peak is ominous and dramatic, with two sharp peaks that have created the nickname ‘the Batman Mountain’. Another favourite amongst photographers, it’s distinct silhouette and colouration make it the perfect subject regardless of the weather.

Culture at Höfn

Like many of Iceland’s small, coastal towns, Höfn has a surprising amount of culture. Its cuisine is particularly of note, with the celebration of it coming to a head at the annual Lobster Festival, held every July. This is little surprise considering the town’s long history as an important fishing port.

Höfn also has several art museums where visitors can admire local handicrafts, although it should be noted, in spite of conflicting evidence on the internet, that the Höfn Glacier Museum is now closed.

 

Services near Höfn

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Höfn

Hornafjörður

Hornafjörður (“Fjord of Horns”) is a fjord, municipality and growing community found in southeast Iceland. The fjord takes its ...

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Almannaskarðsgöng

Almannaskarðsgöng is a 1312m (roughly 1.3km) tunnel along Route 1, located near Höfn (Hornafjörður) in the eastern region of Ic...

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Stokksnes

Vestrahorn, on the Stokksnes peninsula in Southeast Iceland, is one of the country’s most breathtaking mountains. With peaks reaching up to 45...

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Heinabergslón

Credit: PhotoVicky.  Heinabergslón is a little-known glacial lagoon in the south of Iceland. It can be found within Vatnajökull Nat...

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Svínafellsjökull

Svínafellsjökull in an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, the largest ice cap in Europe. It is one of the country’s most popular ...

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Fláajökull

Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Credit:  Jerzy Strzelecki. Fláajökull ("Sloping Glacier") is a small glacier tongue foun...

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Þórbergssetur

Thorbergssetur, located in the remote region of Sudursveit in South-East Iceland, is a culture center and heritage museum dedicated to the history of ...

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Eyjabakkajökull

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by NASA. Eyjabakkajökull is a northeastern glacial tongue of the great Vatnajökull glacier,...

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Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón is Iceland’s most famous glacier lagoon. Conveniently located in the southeast by Route 1, about halfway betwee...

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Diamond Beach

The Diamond Beach is a strip of black sand belonging to the greater Breiðamerkursandur glacial plain, located by Jökulsárl...

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Breiðamerkurjökull

Breiðamerkurjökull is the glacial tongue that extends from southern Vatnajökull and into the glacier lagoon Jökulsárl&oacu...

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Breiðárlón

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Bromr. Breiðárlón is a gorgeous, yet often overlooked glacier lagoon, that can be found ...

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Eyjabakkar

Eyjabakkar is an oasis in the East Highlands of Iceland.  This is Iceland's second-largest wetland, the largest being Thjorsarver, itself a ...

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Papey

The quiet and quaint island of Papey can be found off Iceland's east coast, in the municipality of Djúpavogshreppur. Roughly 2 square kilom...

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Fjallsárlón

Fjallsárlón is a glacial lagoon in Iceland, located on the southern end of  Vatnajökull glacier. Fjallsárlón c...

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Djúpivogur

Djúpivogur is a small coastal village located on the Búlandsnes peninsula, nestled between the picturesque fjord, Hamarsfjörður...

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Snæfell

  Snaefell, in the east of the Icelandic highlands,  is the highest freestanding mountain in the country. It is located within the vast Vat...

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Fjallsjökull

Fjallsjokull is an outlet glacier of Oraefajokull and is located in Vatnajokull National Park, not far from Skaftafell. At this glacier you'll b...

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Bruarjokull

Wikimedia. Creative Commons. NASA.  Brúarjökull is a 1600 sq km (617 sq mi) glacier tongue extending from Iceland's largest ice-...

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Eastfjords

The East Fjords of Iceland is a 120 kilometre (75 mile) long stretch of coastline from Berufjörður, in the south, to the small fishing vill...

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