Höfn, Iceland

Höfn landscape

Höfn at a Glance

A small fishing town in the south eastern part of Iceland, Höfn is located on a peninsula about 458 km (285 miles) from Iceland's capital, Reykjavík. It is the main town in the area, is quite near a fjord called Hornafjörður, and is thought to have the best surrounding scenery of any Icelandic town. There are great views from here, including the snow-capped Vatnajökull, one of Europe's largest icecaps. Even though the population of Höfn is only 1,800, it can seem like a large town after a long drive through a number of tiny, empty villages along the southeastern coast.

With such a great setting and such beautiful scenery, it is not surprising that many tourists visit Höfn. The fishing village is surrounded by the sea on three sides, and there are beaches along the lengthy shoreline on the southeastern side. Because it is located in the south of the country, it enjoys a relatively warm climate. The area is criss-crossed by glacier rivers and sand bars with many moving lagoons and sand reefs. A number of small islands surround the village, including Hellir, Krókalátur and Mikley, which is the largest. There is also a small marshy area where a number of bird species have made their homes. A lot of visitors use Höfn as a starting point for tours and hikes around the Vatnajokull ice cap and, with Skaftafell also being close by, visitors can indulge in a spot of glacier walking. An annual Lobster Festival takes place in the village each summer, usually the first week in July, and this is another opportunity for visitors to meet other people, immerse themselves in local culture, drink, and generally have fun.  

The word Höfn means harbor and it is one of the few harbors on Iceland's south coast that needs careful navigation due to changing shoal patterns. The town has a good selection of accommodation, shops, and restaurants, as well as a swimming pool and museum.