After spending a day in the surroundings of Vík we continued our Iceland road trip to Höfn. Höfn is a small fishing town located in the southeast of Iceland, on a peninsula between the Hornafjörður and Skarðsfjörður fjords. We stayed here for one night, in a hotel, the Milk Factory. After a few nights in guesthouses, it was great to enjoy some luxury!
In this article you can read what you can do in Höfn and find information about the sights around this small fishing town!
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Fjallsárlón glacial lake
The Fjallsárlón glacier lake is located in the south of Iceland, about an hour’s drive from Höfn. I thought this was the coolest glacier lake I’ve ever seen! Fjallsárlón is part of Iceland’s largest glacier Vatnajökull. If you drive from Vík to Höfn, you can stop at several places along the road to see the Fjallsárlón from a distance. Want to get closer to the lake? Then navigate to the Fjallsárlón restaurant and walk towards the lake from here!
Tip: Park at the Fjallsárlón restaurant and walk to the glacier lake. Here you will find huge ice rocks in the water, as far as you can see. A marvelous sight!
The Jökulsárlón glacier lake is the largest (surface area of 23 km²) and the most popular glacier lake in Iceland. The lake is about 250 meters deep, which makes it the deepest in the whole country! Jökulsárlón hasn’t been around that long. It was created around 1934 and has grown considerably over the years due to glacier melting. A river connects the lake to the Atlantic Ocean, which means that seals swim here.
Tip: Drive from Höfn in the direction of Vík along the large parking lot at the Jökulsárlón glacier lake. There are several smaller parking lots a bit further which aren’t that busy. I advise you to park at one of these parking places and walk over the dunes to the lake.
Opposite the large parking lot of Jökulsárlón Glacier Lake, you will find Diamond Beach, a black sand beach where the ice rocks from the glacier lake wash ashore. The ice rocks, which look like diamonds, shine in the sun. The contrast with the black beach makes it a great (Instagram) photo opportunity! Seals swim in the sea and if you’re very lucky you can see orcas or other whales swimming at Diamond Beach.
Stokksnes & Vestrahorn
Stokksnes is a peninsula about 15 kilometers from Höfn and is a popular spot among photographers, because Vestrahorn is located here. Vestrahorn is one of the most beautiful cliffs in Iceland. The peaks of the mountains have an altitude of 454 meters and are surrounded by a black beach. A wonderful bit of nature!
Vestrahorn is just off the beaten track, which makes it not super touristy. The Stokksnes peninsula has an interesting history that dates back to the 9th century, with Horn being one of the first settlements in the country.
To visit Stokksnes and the Vestrahorn viewpoint, you have to pay an entrance fee. The entrance fee is 900 ISK per person.
Viking Village movie set
Another attraction on Stokksnes is the Viking Village film set, an abandoned film set entirely in Viking style, for the never-released Universal film Viking. The film never went into production, because the production company had problems financing it. The set was built in 2010 on a plot of land belonging to a local farmer and is now open to visitors.
The best thing about the village are the cottages, which portray the past well. You can see the houses from the outside, but you can also get inside. You can even visit the dungeon! The dungeon lies under a huge, fake rock.
The entrance fee for the film set is 800 ISK per person.
National Park Skaftafell & Svartifoss waterfall
Skaftafell has been a National Park since 1967 and has been part of Vatnajökull National Park since 2008. It is a perfect place for people who love outdoor activities! The landscape is beautiful, you can hike and there is a campsite where you can spend the night. In the park you will find several hiker routes of up to 30 kilometers.
The Skaftafell National Park is home to the Svartifoss waterfall, a waterfall surrounded by black basalt columns. For me, this was the most beautiful waterfall I’ve seen in Iceland. The basalt columns were created by lava that cooled down very slowly, which allowed it to crystallize.
To get to this waterfall, follow the ‘Svartifoss hike route’. In total this route is 5.5 kilometers long and takes about 2 hours. The route starts next to the Skaftafell visitor center where you will find information and road signs. Walk over the campsite for the first 250 meters and then up the mountain. Follow the signs until you reach a viewpoint above the waterfall. You walk about 1.5 kilometers uphill (140 meters climbing). This is the toughest part. From here it is not too difficult, and you can follow the path in the direction of the waterfall.
The National Park Skaftafell is free to visit. However, you have to pay a parking fee if you arrive by car. The parking fee is 600 ISK per car.
Eating in Höfn: Ishusid Restaurant Pizzeria
Dining out in Iceland is generally quite expensive. That’s why we mainly cooked our own meals in the accommodations and guesthouses we stayed at. In Höfn we did go out to dinner. We ate at Ishusid Restaurant Pizzeria in Höfn harbor. This Italian restaurant is very affordable, both for Icelandic and international standards. You have a choice of 13 different pizzas costing about 2500-3000 ISK and because these pizzas were so tasty, Ishusid Restaurant Pizzeria certainly deserves a mention!