Get up close to gentle giants on a boat tour from Iceland’s whale watching capital.

North Iceland
The harbor in Húsavík in the wintertime
The harbor in the fishing village of Húsavík
The harbor in Húsavík in the wintertime
Best time to visit
All year
Charging station

Húsavík, Iceland: the biggest little town in the Land of Fire and Ice

In many ways, the coastal town of Húsavík punches well above its weight. Although it’s famous as the whale watching capital of Iceland, it is also known for being the backdrop to the Eurovision film.

Located on Skjálfandi bay in North Iceland, Húsavík can be reached via the 85 road. This connects to the Ring Road (or Route 1) around halfway between Akureyri and Lake Mývatn.

Húsavík is known for its beautiful harbor, lined with traditional wooden buildings. The standout is the church, Húsavíkurkirkja, which was built in 1907.

Even though Húsavík is a small fishing town, it has played an outsized role in history. In the 1960s, Apollo astronauts trained in the moonlike landscapes in the local area. Today, you’ll find a monument outside the Exploration Museum.

Another of the town’s claims to fame is the film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. The main characters in the film, played by Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams, hail from Húsavík. Nominated for an Academy Award, the film and pays tribute to the town with its own original song.

What to see and do in Húsavík

The biggest reason to visit Húsavík is without doubt the spectacular whale watching opportunities. Lots of different species visit the bay around the town, including humpback whales, blue whales, and orcas. You could also see white-beaked dolphins.

Whale watching tours run regularly from the harbor. It’s here that you’ll also find the Whale Museum, where you can learn all there is to know about these gentle giants.

Other things to do in Húsavík include visiting the Exploration Museum, relaxing in the local swimming pool, and grabbing a bite at a local restaurant.

Other attractions near Húsavík

Trees in the lush Ásbyrgi canyon


Venture to this odd-shaped canyon on the Diamond Circle route and discover its mythological connections.

62 km (39 mi)

The rocky Jökulsárgljúfur canyon


Marvel at one of the deepest canyons in Iceland.

72 km (45 mi)

The skyline of Akureyri, North Iceland


Dive into culture, eat great food, and even go skiing in Iceland’s second city.

75 km (47 mi)

The Dettifoss waterfall in autumn


Feel the force of the second most powerful waterfall in Europe.

89 km (55 mi)