Top 5 Free Things To Do in Húsavík
Located in the unspoiled north of Iceland, the peaceful harbour town of Húsavík offers endless adventure opportunities for your holiday trip.
Húsavík is a perfect place to experience a fantastic whale watching tour that will take you across Skjálfandi bay and let you have a refreshing encounter with whales, dolphins and many seabirds hovering around. Most travellers finish the day in Geothermal Sea Baths, but Húsavík has so much more to offer!
Húsavík is where every traveller needs to be if nature and adventure are what they love. From buzzing community life to unspoiled nature all around the town. You can make the most of your days there with good tips from locals and doing things on your own. Húsavík is one of the best holiday destinations in Iceland.
We’ve asked the locals for their favourite activity, and here’s our list of Top 5 free things to do in Húsavík!
1. Stroll around Húsavík harbour
Stroll down to Húsavík harbour, where local fishermen have set out to sail for centuries and still do. Drop by at one of the restaurants down by the harbour and admire the most beautiful boats and sailboats in Iceland with mesmerizing Kinnarfjöll mountains in the background.
Húsavík port is a charming place that retains the unique spirit of the Northern coast of Iceland. The cosy atmosphere can be enjoyed at any time of the year. In spring and summer, the harbour restaurants, whale watching boats and local fishermen are in full swing. As autumn rolls around the harbour to quieten down and life moves at a more peaceful pace. In winter, the port is covered with snow, but the work on the ships doesn’t stop, as everyone is preparing their vessels for the upcoming season.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Húsavík harbour is one of the locals’ favourite places.
2. Eurovision movie location
You have probably heard the song ‘Húsavík – My Home Town’ already performed by Will Ferrell and Molly Sandén for the film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga! It makes all residents of Húsavík proud to hear the main chorus from the radio “Where the whales can live ’cause they’re gentle people”!
Nowadays, you have a unique opportunity just by walking around Húsavík to find spots where Pierce Brosnan, Rachel McAdams and Will Ferrell performed their roles, including already recommended Húsavík church. If you want to hear stories from locals, our friends can also organise a guided tour.
We have never imagined in our wildest dreams that a film based in our tiny hometown would receive worldwide recognition. What an achievement! In fact, the song ‘Húsavík’ was nominated for an Oscar in the 93rd Academy Awards!
3. Lake Botnsvatn
Located 130 meters above sea level, Lake Botnsvatn is Húsavík’s hidden pearl. It’s one of the most scenic walks you can do while here. Surrounded by soothing birdsongs, sighs of the wind, and whooshing, calming water sounds, Lake Botnsvatn is an unspoiled place not to miss!
The distance from downtown Húsavík to Lake Botnsvatn is about 2.5 km. It’s possible to drive up to the Lake following a gravel road. It’s easily accessible, so you wouldn’t require 4×4. However, it’s also possible to walk up to Lake Botnsvatn. Either by following the same gravel road or, better yet, walking through Húsavík’s Botanic Gardens. That trail is beautiful and completely traffic-free. Additionally, the blossoming flora won’t leave you disappointed!
Once there, the trail around the lake is 5 km, so it’s about an hour if you’re walking. You might be a bit longer if you stop to appreciate the serenity unfolding all around you.
Lake Botnsvatn is exceptionally beautiful and kids of all ages will love exploring the Icelandic vegetation and numerous bird species around the trail.
Are you on an active vacation? Botnsvatn area is trail runner’s paradise! Whether you start from downtown or have a short run around the lake, you will be experiencing wild nature and stunning scenery all the way.
4. Húsavík Church
Húsavíkurkirkja (Húsavík Church) is a famous landmark of the town and one of the most picturesque churches in all of Iceland. Consecrated in 1907, the church has served the community ever since. Standing at a respectable twenty-six metres high, it looks out across the harbour, ready to welcome the whale watchers back in town after an exciting day on Skjálfandi bay.
Just open the door, admission is free!
5. Húsavík mountain
Húsavík sits below Húsavíkurfjall mountain. Rising to 417 meters above sea level, Húsavíkurfjall overlooks the town like a watchful guardian. If visiting in the summer, thousands of lupin flowers are blossoming, colouring the mountain purple in certain areas.
The best way to experience the mountain and its surroundings is by foot. It’s possible to follow an easy gravel path from start to finish. The hike takes approximately 1 – 2 hours to reach the summit, but you’re way quicker downhill!
Once at the top, remember to take it easy, rest, inhale and be stunned by the magnificent view! Overlooking Húsavík and Skjálfandi Bay on a beautiful summer day can easily be the highlight of your trip to Iceland. Further away, in Skjálfandi Bay, you’ll be able to see Puffin Island, Flatey Island and even Grímsey all the way to the Arctic circle!
Don’t get your hopes up! Even though you’d bring binoculars, you wouldn’t be able to see the puffins. However, if you’re super excited about these iconic Iceland birds, North Sailing offers a whale and puffin watching tour, which might be exactly what you’re looking for! In fact, you can visit the other two islands onboard our vessels too! Bring your friends and arrange a private tour to Flatey island or join us on summer solstice for a sailing expedition and cross the Arctic Circle in Grímsey Island!
You can also drive up to the summit, but 4×4 is highly recommended. Although less amusing, driving to the top ensures the same spectacular view!
To conclude, it’s something you shouldn’t miss! And don’t forget your camera, this view is worth a few shots.
You can easily spend a great week holiday in Húsavík! Whether the reason for your visit is seeing marine mammals in their natural habitat, calming down watching the sunset at natural baths or simply strolling around this picturesque small harbour town. Húsavík also has a lot of foody gems and charming accommodations and offers a great variety of outdoor activities to choose from.