Hvammstangi: The Seal Capital of Iceland

Chapters

Basic Information

  • Perfect stop between the Westfjords and North Iceland. 
  • The seal capital of Iceland. 
  • Less than 1000 inhabitants. 

Located in northwest Iceland, between the bustling town of Akureyri and the Westfjords, Hvammstangi is a perfect spot if you are on a road trip around the Ring Road. This Icelandic town is thinly populated with less than 1000 inhabitants residing here. Popularly known as the seal capital of Iceland, it is endowed with a beautiful gorge and waterfall, and it’s an exquisite place to relax your senses. The town traces its history back to 1856, and roughly for a century, it used to be an important trading center. Visitors can find all the history of this beautiful town and its early settlers at the Trade Museum Bardusa. There is no place in Iceland more perfect than Hvammstangi to see how thousands of lazy seals sunbathe near its coasts.

northern lights in Hvammstangi

Seal Watching

Hvammstangi, although smaller in size, is blessed with an excellent harbor from which seal watching trips are organized. The seal colonies spend their days sunbathing or just playing around on the Vatnsnes Peninsula.  Along with the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, it is the best place for seal watching. One can learn all about the different seal species found around Iceland and their importance to people here at the Icelandic Seal Center. The center provides all the information regarding seal watching, sightseeing, and boat trips, and acts as a tour desk.

The Town

Just next to the Seal center, there is an excellent seafood restaurant, Sjavarborg, where visitors can enjoy the exquisite delicacies produced from fresh ocean catch. The restaurant also offers a wonderful view of the Miðfjörður fjord.

Visitors interested in handcrafted items and special souvenirs can make a stop at the museum Bardusa. Also being a crafts shop, the museum sells all kinds of locally-made handcrafted items. Hvammstangi has all the other facilities one can expect from a small town. From the supermarket, health center and swimming pool to the cliff-side campsite, there is everything one needs for an enjoyable stay. 

Hvammstangi in north Iceland

Kolugljufur Gorge

Just a few kilometers (22 km) away from Hvammstangi, the Kolugljufur Gorge is a wonderful sight to feast your eyes and see the brilliant waterfall located here. Although relatively lesser-known, Kolugljufur is a massive rocky canyon with a powerful river rushing through it. According to Icelandic folklore, Kolugljufur is named after the giantess Kola as she shaped the gorge while doing her daily chores.

Vatnsnes Peninsula

Easily accessible from Hvammstangi, the Vatnsnes Peninsula offers a wealth of natural landmarks to enjoy its surreal tranquillity. On the western coastline of the peninsula is a jagged rock structure of Ánastaðastapi. And on the eastern side is an extraordinary geological structure, Hvitserkur Troll Rock, the 15 m high basalt monolith standing on its own inside the ocean. Vatnsens with its natural beauties makes it a worthwhile destination for photographers and visitors alike.

Location, Stay and the best time to visit

Although the town has few hotels for a comfortable stay, they can’t beat the experience of staying in Hvammstangi Cottages. Each cottage is equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, and bunk beds. The summer season (May to August) is an ideal time to visit here. During summers, you can catch a glimpse of seal colonies and enjoy the serene and beautiful landscapes of Hvammstangi.

Hvammstangi is roughly a 176 km drive from the capital city of Reykjavík. The bus service is also available and it is the cheapest transport medium to reach the destination. we do recommend that you rent a car and go on a self driving tour to Hvammstangi so you will be able to explore all the beautiful attractions that will be on your way. 

seal in Hvammstangi

Hvammstangi on a map

Interesting locations in the area

Locations
Activities
Hotels & Restaurants

More Nearby Locations

Mývatn Dimmuborgir lava field in north Iceland

Dimmuborgir: Dramatic Lava Rock Formations of North Iceland

gold fish pond in Húsavík north Iceland

The Geothermal Goldfish Pond in Husavik

Lake Myvatn in north Iceland

Mývatn Lake – Shallow Volcanic Lake in North Iceland

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Popular Articles

Highlands of Iceland – Top Attractions

Previous Next Almost all of us who have Iceland on their bucket list of traveling must have heard about the

Best Game of Thrones Locations in Iceland – Winter is here in Iceland

Previous Next Attention Game of Thrones Fans! Here’re your answers to where you can find the mind-blowing backdrops you came

Northern Lights in Iceland | Ultimate Guide

Iceland is well-known around the globe for its breath-taking and gorgeous Northern Lights.

Best Northern Light Tours in Iceland | A Complete Guide for Aurora Borealis Tours

Traveling to Iceland is one of the best things you could plan for yourself. This Land of Fire and Ice

Volcanoes in Iceland | All you need to know about the Volcanoes in Iceland

Previous Next There is a reason why Iceland is called the ‘land of fire and ice’. Because on the ground-

Best Places to Visit on South Coast

Previous Next It is no secret that Iceland is filled with wonders that will render you speechless but there are
Most Popular Tours
0 Reviews
0.0/5

Volcano Tour – Geldingadalur Erupting volcano

0 Reviews
0.0/5

Crystal Ice Cave & Northern Lights | Day Tour from Reykjavik

0 Reviews
0.0/5

Northern Lights Super Jeep

0 Reviews
0.0/5

Golden Circle & Northern Lights

0 Reviews
0.0/5

South Coast & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Most Popular things to do in Iceland

Northern Lights Hunting

Ice Caving

Sightseeing

Hiking

Snowmobile

Whale Watching / Puffins

Glacier Hiking

Horse Riding

Hot Spring Bathing

Top Attractions in Iceland

Seljalandsfoss

Reynisfjara

Gullfoss

Skaftafell

Skógafoss

Jökulsárlón

Þórsmörk

Kirkjufell

Reykjavik

Blue Lagoon

Explore Iceland by Region

Golden Circle

South Iceland

Snaefellsnes

West Iceland

East Iceland

North Iceland

Westfjords

Highlands

Reykjanes

Hidden Gems