Delve into tales of witchcraft and go whale watching from this small village in the Westfjords.

The village of Hólmavík at sunset
Best time to visit
Charging station

Surround yourself with nature and local folklore in Hólmavík, Iceland

Hólmavík village is the largest settlement in Iceland’s Strandir region. You’ll find it tucked away on the east-facing shore of Steingrímsfjörður fjord.

With a population of around 375 people, you might be wondering why you’d want to make the journey to Hólmavík. But there are two main reasons to stop here on your tour of the Westfjords: witchcraft and whale-watching.

It might seem surprising now, with Hólmavík being in such an idyllic location, but the village has a strong connection with the occult and a history of witch hunts.

The village is not only home to the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, but also the University of Iceland’s folklore research center. Visit the museum to learn about local superstitions, sorcery, runic designs, and more.

Hólmavík is also one of the best places in Iceland to join a whale watching tour. If you’re lucky enough to see one of these gentle giants during a guided boat trip, it’s likely to be a humpback.

These curious whales are often spotted swimming in the nearby fjords. If they’re not tail-slapping or jumping out of the water, they might even come up to the side of your boat.

Other things to see and do in Hólmavík

Whether you’re in the mood to relax or exercise, the local swimming pool is worth a visit. You could swim some lengths, soak in the hot tub, or unwind in the sauna.

Stretch your legs on a stroll around the village and you’ll come across memorials to two notable Icelanders. They are the poet Stefán frá Hvítdal and Hermann Jónsson, who was Iceland’s Prime Minister during WWII.

Then grab a bite to eat in the village’s oldest house, which has been converted into a restaurant. Or why not visit the Sheep Farming Museum, where you can feed lambs in the summer?

Other attractions near Hólmavík

The village of Drangsnes in the Westfjords at sunset


Soak in hot pots overlooking the rugged Westfjords in this quiet fishing village.

32 km (20 mi)

A rusty shipwreck in the village of Djúpavík in the Westfjords


Uncover the secrets of this Icelandic gem, tucked away in the remote Westfjords.

69 km (43 mi)

Multiple cascades of the Dynjandi waterfall in summer


Check out this bridal veil waterfall in Iceland, a jewel of the Westfjords.

169 km (105 mi)

The town of Ísafjörður on a sunny day


Connect with Icelandic culture and enjoy local cuisine in the unofficial capital of the Westfjords.

223 km (139 mi)