A short drive north of Húsavík, is one of Iceland´s only fossil beaches, Tungulending. Set beside an old deserted lumpfish factory with a small concrete jetty and a shipwrecked boat, it´s a picturesque location to visit, offering excellent views of Skjalfandi Bay, with Puffins and other birds nesting on the nearby cliffs.
Café and Guesthouse
Abandoned for the last 15 years, Tungulending was originally used to process saltfish, and then later lumpfish caviar. But, over the next few years, this area will be bought back to life. About to be renovated by a local film-maker, the factory building will soon be reincarnated as a café and guesthouse, with the opening planned for 2015.
Being a relatively new landmass, fossils can be hard to come by in Iceland. Tungulending however, is one of the exceptions. Layers of fossilised gastropods and bivalves inhabit the rock strata here; exposed by the steep banks as you approach, they crumble on to the beach beneath. There is also fossilised wood, seal bones and a few years ago even a whale skull was excavated here. Being a rare commodity, the fossils are protected by Icelandic law, so please look, but don’t touch.
About 15 minutes north of Húsavík, just before the road turns east is a turning marked Tungulending. The track is accessible in a normal car, though caution is recommended for the steep road down to the beach itself. If the road looks a little difficult for your vehicle, park at the top and it’s only a short walk down.
View the route map from Húsavík