With coastline, lakes and mountains to traverse, Húsavík isn’t simply a destination for whale watchers. Set in a lush surrounding, rich in wildlife, make sure you allow time to relax and take in the local environment while you are here, as there is plenty to see.
Click on the map to see the different footpaths available, or read below for more detailed information about the walking areas.
The area to the north is the best place for coastal walks. Take a stroll above the cliffs at Hofði, and from the lighthouse there is a path down to reach the beach. Or, if you are in a car, you can head to Bakki and walk from there. At summer solstice, amidst the vivid blue swathes of the lupin, this is a special place to watch the midnight sun – if you’re lucky you may even catch a glimpse of whales surfacing in the bay. Watch out for the Arctic Terns though! If you get too close to their nests, they might take a dive at your head.
The lakes are also a popular option, especially for those interested in birds. At the lakes of Kaldbakstjarnir, to the south of Húsavík, there is usually a range of species to be seen, with regulars including the Horned Grebe and the Red Breasted Merganser. Alternatively, in the valley beneath Húsavík Mountain lies the larger lake of Botnsvatn. Head this way to hear the eerie calls of the Northern Diver, or simply sit awhile and picnic as the waters lap at the shore. This lake can be reached by car, or by taking one of the trails across the moors. If you take the footpath in the autumn, keep your eyes peeled for blueberries.
For those fancying a challenge, you can climb Húsavík Mountain (Húsavíkurfjall). This takes about one hour to reach the summit. Or if you´re in a 4×4 you can simply drive. Aswell as the impressive panorama of Skjálfandi Bay, you can look east across the black deserts towards Mývatn, or further round, you can see the lake of Botnsvatn from on high.
For those looking for a more gentle stroll, the town park (Skrúðgarður) is a surprisingly attractive place to visit at any time of year. A great starting point for walks out of town, or a sympathetic place for the young and old, the park acts as a gateway to the outside world. Small wooden bridges criss-cross the River Búðara while picnic benches offer spots to sit and enjoy the view.
Near to Húsavík
Húsavík is a great base to use while you explore the rest of the region. It’s within an hours drive of both Ásbyrgi and Mývatn – both geological hotspots on the diamond circle. At either location there is a range of different routes to explore. For in depth information about hiking in the Diamond Circle, visit www.diamondcircle.is/hiking.