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The top 10 Things to Do in Höfn and its Surroundings

Fjallsarlon Iceland Boat Tours

Höfn is a popular base for travellers looping the ring road, offering a wider range of facilities, accommodation, and eateries than other, smaller settlements along this part of the southeast coast. Don’t pass by without sampling a little of what it has to offer: here are the top ten things to do in Höfn and its surroundings.

Lobster Hofn

Eat lobster

Höfn is often referred to as the lobster capital of Iceland, so eating seafood is a must while you’re in town. This easterly fishing town boasts a bustling harbour. As you watch the boats land their catch, you can be sure that the seafood that makes its way to your plate here is fresh as it gets. If you can, time your visit to coincide with the town’s summer lobster festival when this tasty crustacean becomes the focus of special celebrations.

Admire the art on display at Svavarssafn museum

Open year-round, the Svavar Guðnason Art Museum brings contemporary art to Höfn in Hornafjördur. It’s named after Svavar Guðnason, a 20th century abstract painter who was born there. The museum also places a particular emphasis on showcasing the work of local artists or those with a strong connection to this part of Iceland. Among the pieces on display you’ll usually find dramatic landscapes as artists try to encapsulate the incredible scenery and magical light that characterises this area.

Svavarssafn Hofn
Frisbee Golf

Play frisbee golf

The popularity of frisbee golf, also known as folf or disc golf, really took off in Iceland about a decade ago and you’ll find courses all over the country. If you’re a fan or simply keen to try a new experience, then you’ll be glad to hear that Höfn has its own nine-basket course. To play (rules are similar in many respects to traditional golf) head over to the first hole, located close to the water tower.

Go for a swim – Hofn swimming pool

Swimming is integral to the Icelandic culture and consequently you’ll find pools all over the country. Höfn is no exception and its 25-metre long outdoor pool is a popular place for locals and visitors alike. There are a range of facilities, from the heated main pool to a Jacuzzi and hot tub which boast temperatures of 39 and 41°C respectively. You’ll also find an ice bath, though its temperature – usually between 4 and 7°C – is bracing to put it mildly. If you’re travelling with the kids in tow you’ll be pleased to learn there’s a dedicated pool for children.

Swimming pool-hofn-iceland
Fjallsarlon Iceberg Boat Tours - Glacier lagoon Iceland

Take a boat trip on Fjallsárlón

The pretty lagoon of Fjallsárlón is about an hour west of Höfn, making this area an ideal last stop in a day’s sightseeing before finding your overnight accommodation in the harbour town. Fjallsjökull glacier is the steep but scenic backdrop to this intimate, iceberg-strewn lagoon. It’s worth booking a boat trip out on the water to get a closer look at both; you might also want to arrange a hike up onto the glacier itself.

Watch the seals frolic in Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon

Seals are often spotted in the larger lagoon that neighbours Fjallsárlón. Jökulsárlón is connected to the ocean via a channel and these delightful creatures seek refuge here from the orcas that swim close to the shore. You can see them from the path at the edge of the lake but to get a closer look at them playing on and around the icebergs, it’s best to book a boat trip.

Jokulsarlon Seal heloise-delbos
Diamond beach Iceland iskra-photography

Snap a selfie on Diamond Beach

The icebergs that calve off Breiðamerkurjökull finish up on Diamond Beach after a short spell in the sea. Eroded into myriad shapes, these icy sculptures are a magnificent sight on the black sand. It’s an easy stroll from Jökulsárlón or a short drive from Fjallsárlón but wherever you’re coming from, you won’t want to pass up the chance to grab a selfie against this glittering backdrop.

Gaze across the black sand at Stokksnes to appreciate Vestrahorn

The jagged peaks that characterise the Stokksnes peninsula are a firm favourite with those looking for dramatic scenery. Situated close to Höfn, an iconic mountain called Vestrahorn is the steep-sided, craggy backdrop that you’ll see across the beach. With grasses swaying in the breeze above the black sand, it’s no wonder that this view has become one of the most photographed in the country in recent years. Don’t pass up the chance to see it with your own eyes.

Stokksnes kameron-kincade
Skútafoss waterfall Iceland

Stand behind a waterfall – Skútafoss

Like the much larger Seljalandsfoss further to the west, it’s possible to walk behind the curtain of water that forms Skútafoss. The most scenic part of this waterfall area is tucked away, but worth the short hike. There’s a meander in the river and this bend means that you can’t see Skútafoss until you’re almost upon it. It’s about a 20 minute drive north east of Höfn, so easy to add into your itinerary.

Soak in a hot tub at Hoffell

Last but not least, let’s take a look at Hoffell, located close to another of Vatnajökull’s outlet glaciers, this time Hoffelsjökull. The area is formed of gabbro, a different type of igneous rock to the more ubiquitous basalt which cools much quicker. In this part of Iceland, you might catch a glimpse of an Arctic fox or, seasonally, maybe even wild reindeer; plant lovers will be impressed by the flora too. But one of the best reasons to come is for a soak in its geothermal hot tubs. Turn left instead of right when approaching Höfn from the west – it’s less than a five minute drive from the ring road.

Hoffell hot tub

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