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Icelandic Seal Center Travel Guide

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The Icelandic Seal Center is a leading research and educational facility dedicated to the conservation and study of sealsThe Icelandic Seal Center is a leading research and educational facility dedicated to the conservation and study of seals, offering visitors the chance to learn about and observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

Known as Selasetur Íslands in Icelandic, this museum is located in the small town of Hvammstangi on the Vatnsnes Peninsula in Northwest Iceland. The Icelandic Seal Center a unique attraction that allows visitors to learn about the country's fascinating seal population.

Travelers can visit the Icelandic Seal Center during their journey across North Iceland. It's a convenient stopover before or after visiting the Snaefellsnes Peninsula or the Westfjords

This 10-day tour of the Ring Road and Snaefellsnes Peninsula or this one-week summer self-drive tour of the Ring Road and Golden Circle is ideal for weaving in a visit to the Icelandic Seal Center.

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Páll L Sig No edits made.

About the Icelandic Seal Center

The Icelandic Seal Center is dedicated to research, education, and conservation of seals and their natural habitat. It houses a small museum with a wealth of information and experiences for people of all ages.

Seals are common on the Vatnsnes Peninsula, where the Icelandic Seal Center is located.The center is a leading research facility for seal biology and ecology in Iceland. It is also a hub for public outreach and education, offering a range of programs and activities for schools, tourists, and locals alike.

Visitors to the center can explore various exhibits and displays that provide insights into seals' behavior, biology, and conservation. Interactive displays share details about the different seal species found in Iceland, their habitats, and their unique adaptations.

In addition to the exhibits, the center also houses a research laboratory where scientists conduct ongoing research on seals and their environment.

Another unique aspect of the Icelandic Seal Center is its focus on community engagement and sustainability. The center is a local nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable tourism and supports the local community.

The Icelandic Seal Center works closely with local businesses, schools, and organizations to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and environmental protection.

The Great Seal Count

Seals can be found all around Iceland's shores.The Great Seal Count is an annual project organized by the Icelandic Seal Center, which encourages volunteers to help monitor and count the seal population in Iceland. 

The project is open to everyone comfortable walking between 1.2 to 4.3 miles (two to seven kilometers) on the beach. Participants receive a briefing and short training session before starting their mission.   

Researchers use the data collected from the project to understand seal behavior and population dynamics better. The Great Seal Count is a fantastic way for people to get involved in scientific research and contribute to the conservation of these amazing animals.

The Icelandic Seal Center logoPhoto from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Páll L Sig No edits made.

Getting to the Icelandic Seal Center

Getting to the Icelandic Seal Center is relatively easy, as it's close to the Ring Road (Route 1), the main highway that circles the entire island of Iceland. Turn off Route 1 and head north for 3.7 miles (six kilometers) to reach the museum.

To make the most of your visit, you can stay in accommodation in Hvammstangi. You'll find the Seal Center located by the village's harbor.

The Icelandic Seal Center is 122 miles (197 kilometers) north of Reykjavik and 125 miles (202 kilometers) west of Akureyri. It's also conveniently positioned for visiting the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the Westfjords, so travelers touring these areas can easily plan a trip to the museum.

Icelandic Seal Center Opening Hours

The Icelandic Seal Center is open daily during summer, with shorter hours during the off-season. It's always best to check the center's website or contact them directly to confirm their opening hours before planning a visit.

Attractions Near the Icelandic Seal Center

Hvitserkur is a rock monument in north Iceland.Several other attractions and activities are worth checking out for those interested in exploring the Vatnsnes Peninsula in more detail. The peninsula is known for its stunning coastal landscapes, birdwatching opportunities, and hiking trails. 

There are also various small towns and villages in the area that offer unique cultural experiences, such as traditional Icelandic cuisine, local arts and crafts, and live music.


The Hvitserkur rock formation is a popular attraction on the Vatnsnes Peninsula. This unique structure has an unusual appearance, resembling an elephant from the shore but a dinosaur or dragon from different angles. In folklore, Hvitserkur is said to be a troll frozen by sunlight.

Because of its location and shape, Hvitserkur is a popular site for photographers. It can be found 29 miles (47 kilometers) from the Icelandic Seal Center.

The Arctic Coast Way

The Arctic Coast Way is a scenic driving route that spans the northern coast of Iceland, offering breathtaking views of the rugged coastline, dramatic fjords, and charming fishing villages. 

The Icelandic Seal Center is just one of many attractions along the Arctic Coast Way, making it a fantastic way to experience North Iceland's natural beauty and cultural heritage.

The Seal Circle

The Seal Circle is a driving route that connects various seal-related attractions in northern Iceland, including the Icelandic Seal Center in Hvammstangi. This route allows travelers to experience the country's rich seal culture and learn about the fascinating animals in the surrounding waters. 

A seal looks coyly at a camera in Iceland.The Seal Circle lets you observe seals in their natural habitat, visit local museums and exhibitions, and learn about conservation efforts to protect these amazing creatures. Hvammstangi, as part of the Seal Circle, is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in seals and their role in Icelandic culture and ecology.

When seal-watching, make sure to approach the seals respectfully and not to disturb their natural habitat. Maintain a good distance and avoid making loud noises that might startle the seals. As always, don't litter, and keep Iceland clean!

The Icelandic Seal Center (Selasetur Islands) | In Conclusion

In summary, the Icelandic Seal Center is a unique attraction that allows visitors to learn about and engage with Iceland's fascinating seal population. The center's focus on education, research, and community engagement sets it apart from other wildlife attractions in the country.

Overall, it's a must-visit destination for anyone interested in wildlife and conservation. Getting to the center is relatively easy for those traveling through Northwest Iceland. Visitors can easily spend a day or more exploring the Vatnsnes Peninsula and its many other attractions before or after their trip to the museum.

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