The name of Kópasker could be translated as seal pup skerry because the area was known for it’s seals. The town is rather young and started forming in the 20th century after a trade post was established in 1880.
Nowadays the town services mainly the surrounding agriculture region and tourism. However, there is a meat processing plant and fishing industry. Nowadays there are around 130 people living here. Despite it’s small size Kópasker has a grocery store, a liquor store, car repair, a health clinic, a pharmacy, a bank, a gas station, several guest houses and a campsite.
Kópasker and surrounding was struck by a major earthquake in 1976 causing considerable damage at buildings and reshaping surrounding landscape. The Earthquake Centre informs about this earthquake and the geological aspects of the area. Close to Kópasker is Snartarstaðir heritage museum with a unique collection of handcrafts and even a traditional wedding dress. Around Kópasker are several hiking trails which are popular among ornithologists because the area is know for it’s rich bird-life. In 2019 a new observation hut was set up close to the shore.
Kópasker is about 95km northeast of Húsavík. Leave Húsavík heading north and follow road 85, pass by at Ásbyrgi and after a couple of kilometers road 85 turns right in the direction of Raufarhöfn. Drive straight and follow road 870 further north, soon you will see Kópasker on the left hand side. Kópasker is part of the Arctic Coast Way.
GPS: 66°18’06.5″N 16°26’46.4″W