Husavik, Iceland Day Trip: 5 Awesome Things You Can’t Miss

Husavik, Iceland Day Trip: 5 Awesome Things You Can’t Miss
Husavik Iceland

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Húsavík is undeniably Iceland’s premier destination for seafaring adventures. This Northern Icelandic fishing village is indisputably the whale watching capital of Iceland and according to some, all of Europe. Stay a few hours longer and you’ll discover the charms of this quaint town with a gorgeous harbour dotted with, scrumptiously delicious sea food, bright and colorful wooden buildings, and local museums. Find out five awesome things you can’t miss on your next visit to to Húsavík, Iceland!

Visit Húsavík, Iceland

If you’re looking for an exciting oceanic wildlife viewing adventure you’ve come to the right place. Visit Húsavík, Iceland as a day trip from Akureyri or as part of the Diamond Circle route. If you have your own wheels, it’s worth detouring off the Ring Road.
Whale watching

Whale watching

Whale Watching

Climb aboard a traditional Icelandic oak vessel for a relaxed journey or get your adrenaline pumping with a high speed zodiac boat. Bring your binoculars and keep an eagle eye out for the gentle beasts that live underwater. While whale sightings are not guaranteed, operators try their best to ensure a positive experience and know the areas well. There is a high likelihood of sighting humpback whales and blue whales. In the summer operators will seek out puffins, dolphins and seals as well!

Húsavíkurkirkja in North Iceland

Húsavíkurkirkja in North Iceland


Unlike the futuristic towering churches of Reykjavik and Akureyri, the Church of Húsavík is a humble, wooden red and white church located on Garðarsbraut. Built in 1907 from imported Norwegian timber, this aesthetically pleasing church is free to entry and provides a break from our busy travel itinerary and a few quiet moments of peace and stillness.
Húsavík Whale Museum in North Iceland

Húsavík Whale Museum by the harbour

Húsavík Whale Museum

The Húsavík Whale Museum is conveniently located by the harbour in a former slaughterhouse. The unique museum provides an educational and enjoyable overview of the 23 different species of whales of Iceland. Look up to view authentic whale skeletons hang from the ceiling. Its an ideal place and setting to whet your appetite before setting foot on your water vessel. Expect to have a whale of a time ;). Warm up with the free coffee available in the library.

Húsavík  Harbour in  North Iceland

View of the harbour

Húsavík Harbour

The picturesque harbour is replete with handsome wooden boats and sturdy metal sea vessels. Across the bay snow-capped mountains rise elegantly above the water. Verdant undulating hills in the backdrop complement the urban landscape of the town.

Wooden buildings in Husavik, North Iceland with whale watching flags

Whale watching outfitters

Several whale watching outfitters are located on the harbour. Most notably, tours from Gentle Giants and North Sailing are the most well respected and customer oriented companies.

Fish and chips in Husavik, North Iceland

The best Fish and Chips in Iceland

Make sure to stop at the Fish and Chips counter if you’re feeling peckish. We both agreed it was the most delicious fish and chips we’d ever tasted. Large portions meant we could share! Would go back in a heartbeat. Yum!

Húsavík Hot Tubs

Húsavík Egg Carton Hot Pot in North Iceland

Húsavík Egg Carton Hot Pot

It’s no secret that almost every Icelandic person can swim and just about every town or village in Iceland has a swimming complex. If you’re lucky you may even find the secret hot pot to relax in!

When visiting Húsavík, Iceland get off the beaten track and go find the hidden hot tubs of Ostakarið. Situated on a hill overlooking the bay, the hot tubs are a fantastic way to relax after your whale watching excursion or on a rainy, windy day (which is often the norm in Iceland). There is a basic enclosed container as a changing room with an honesty collection box asking for 500isk. Make sure to shower before entering the hot tub!

Ostakarið hot tubs are approximately 1.6km North from Húsavíkurkirkja or a 5 minute drive.

Head North from the church on Héðinsbraut then turn left onto Laugarbrekka
Than turn right onto Höfðavegur for 500m.
Turn right on the non signed road and follow the path until you reach the hot tubs. Have fun! 

Feel free to download or print the map directions here!

How to drive to Húsavík, Iceland

  • Akureyri to Húsavík: Route 1 and 85 are paved, well maintained roads. Total driving time will be 1 hour and 14 mins and distance covered is 93.6km.
  • Myvatn Lake to Húsavík: Route 87 is predominately paved with short stretches of unpaved road. The drive will take 54.5km in 45 mins.
  • Route 864 to : It will take at least 45 mins or 31.9km from Route 1 to the Dettifoss parking lot and then only another 32 mins or 26.2km to connect with paved route 85. Expect at least an hour and 15 mins to complete route 864 South to North or vice versa. Driving time will vary depending on how comfortable you feel on the pothole riddled road and the speed with which you drive.
  • Route 862 connects the Ring road to Route 85. The road is paved up until the Dettifoss parking lot. Further North the road is unpaved, very rough and not recommended for 2WD.

If you have enough time why not take the incredibly scenic route 85 off of Route 1 and explore the far reaches of the Northeast fjords on your way to Husavik? This was one of our favourite road trip days in our whole trip. Beautiful weather, fantastic ocean views and lonely roads. Google maps estimates 272km or 3h 16mins to reach Husavik with this route.

Road Trip to Husavik in Northern Iceland on Route 87

Travelling to Husavik in Northern Iceland on Route 87

It’s not necessary to rent a GPS from your vehicle rental company if you download the map above or utilize the app Maps.Me, an excellent offline map and navigation tool which we use frequently.

Accommodation in Húsavík, Iceland

If you decide to stay a night in Húsavík here are some recommendations:


Húsavík Campground – Simple campsite of walking distance to all amenities in town. Cooking facilities, showers, laundry and free wifi included.


Húsavík Hostel– Clean, comfortable and centrally located in town. Kitchen is well equipped and wifi is included. Ask about sleeping bag accomodation as linen is not included in the price.

Check prices on: HotelsCombined | Agoda


Fosshotel Húsavík – Modern, spacious hotel with an in-house restaurant. Centrally located in town near the harbour.

Check prices on: Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda


If you’re interested in staying with the locals check out AirBnB. You can sign up with a new account at Airbnb and get a $30EURO or $35USD discount on your first stay!

Planning a Trip To Húsavík, Iceland?

We never leave home without emergency medical and trip protection cover. We utilize travel insurance from World Nomads for short trips abroad. Protect yourself and your wallet from unexpected injury, sickness & theft abroad. 

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Iceland Travel Guide

The Lonely Planet Iceland book travelled with us the entire time we were in Iceland. We found it to be a comprehensive and useful book for both pre-planning our trip to Iceland and during the journey itself.  2015 Edition

We also own a Iceland National Geographic Adventure Map. At night during our spare time we would ink in the roads we’d driven on our road trip in Iceland!

Another excellent book to pick up is the Frommer’s Easy Guide to Iceland, a great resource for hiking and outdoor adventures.

Finally, if you’re interested in garnering a better understanding of contemporary Iceland, pick up a copy of Alda Sigmundsdottir’s entertaining and readable “The Little Book of Tourists in Iceland“.

Dress Appropriately for the Weather

Iceland is notorious for its unpredictable and versatile climate. It’s not uncommon for the weather to change in the blink of an eye. Be prepared for sun, rain, hail, and wind.

We recommend waterproof jackets and boots, quick drying pants, warm layers to take on and off depending on the weather. Shop our favourite Iceland travel essentials to keep you warm, dry and comfortable all day!

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5 Awesome Things to Do in Husavik Iceland

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Have you gone whale watching before and if so where did you go? What activities would you do if you went to Húsavík? Let us know in the comments below!

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