Presentation of the destination
The city of Hvammstangi can be found in the northwest of Iceland. Since 1846, the city has acted as an important trading centre in the region and as the central provider for the area’s education, administration, and as a tourist destination. In fact, the city has focused on developing its tourism industry in recent years and has made great strides towards transforming Hvammstangi into a destination with plenty to do without being inundated with tourists.As a coastal city on an island, it is hardly surprising that the city of Hvammstangi is home to a fairly large fishing-driven economy which provides the city with shrimp. On dry land, Hvammstangi is home to Iceland’s largest textile factory.The city is located on the Vatnsnes peninsula which is heavily-populated with seals. If you happen to love these beautiful creatures, you will not be disappointed with the large number of seal-related activities available to the tourist in Hvammstangi.
Points of interests / things to see
With Iceland being situated between the Atlantic and the Arctic Oceans, it is quite obvious that the weather is fairly cold. However, thanks to the Gulf Stream, the weather is Iceland is not as cold as you may expect.Even though the Gulf Stream makes Iceland warmer, it is still cold so you will not be surprised to learn that there is a large industry of wool makers and a large knitwear industry. Years of rearing sheep, producing wool, and creating knitwear, has helped make Iceland one of the greatest destinations for high-quality wool products.One of the finest producers of wool products and knitwear is the Kidka Company, which is based in Hvammstangi. The production methods used by Kidka have been passed down from generation to generation over many years. However, the knitwear produced by the Kidka Company blends the modern with the traditional to make a series of unique products. Those who find themselves staying in Hvammstangi, Iceland, should head to the Kidka Wool Factory Shop to ensure they pick up a piece of Hvammstangi’s cultural heritage directly from the source.The Kidka Wool Factory Shop can be reached by heading south from the centre of Hvammstangi and should take around quarter of an hour by foot.
As the whole region is home to plenty of seals, it is hardly surprising that Hvammstangi is home to the Icelandic Seal Center. The centre acts as both a centre for research and for exhibition meaning that while you enjoy what the centre has to offer visitors, you are also supporting research into seals.The Icelandic Seal Center can be found in the VSP, the Verslun Sigurðar Pálmasonar, and occupies two floors of the building. The building can be found in the centre of Hvammstangi and has been renovated to accommodate the Icelandic Seal Center, which bought the first two floors of the building in 2005.While the main focus of the centre is definitely seals, there are also a variety of art exhibitions that take place during the summer months. The Icelandic Seal Center in Hvammstangi also plays host to Hvammstangi’s tourist information centre so you can get inspiration for your next adventure in the area before you have even left the building.Due to the efforts of the Icelandic Seal Center, on 10 November 2005 the centre was credited with the award for being the “Most interesting innovation in North Icelandic Tourism 2005” and continues to innovate to this day.
While the Icelandic Seal Center should offer you a plethora of information on the creatures that dwell in the oceans around Iceland, you actually have the opportunity to head out to sea to see them while staying in Hvammstangi.The sealwatching experience is a new addition to the touristic landscape of Hvammstangi and the trips that will take tourists out to witness these creatures are being operated by the company “Sealwatching”. The company was founded in 2010 and utilises a traditional Icelandic fishing boat to take visitors out to view these beautiful creatures. While the boat was built from oak in 1973, it was restored in 2010 and retains its original character while being perfectly suited to accommodate visitors on expeditions. The trip to see the seals takes nearly two hours and operates between mid-May to mid-September. Trips leave 10:00 in the morning, and 1:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon. Those who take the trip are also treated to hot chocolate, a cinnamon roll, and a traditional Icelandic “ástarpungar”.The great advantage about taking a sealwatching trip is that seals by nature are friendly creatures and keen photographers will enjoy snapping these animals behaving normally in a natural environment. Of course, the sea can be quite unpredictable and those who suffer from travel sickness should carefully consider heading out on the boat.
Even though Iceland’s temperatures are colder than many places on earth, swimming is a popular pursuit in the country, there are a large number of swimming pools and natural baths across the region.Hveraborg is a popular natural bathing spot that can be found in the river Siká. For those wishing to take advantage of this beautiful natural spot, visitors should first contact the information center in Stadarskali before embarking on the path to Hveraborg.When the weather is nice, visitors to Hvammstangi should make the trip to Blonduos, where they can take advantage of the outdoor swimming pool which also features hot tubs and a pool for children. Getting to Blonduos should take around 45 minutes by car and can be found to the northeast of Hvammstangi.There is also an outdoor heated pool with hot tubs in Hunavellir, which could be considered an alternative to the pool at Blonduos as it is a similar distance from Hvammstangi and in the same direction as Blonduos.One of the newer swimming pools in the region is in Hofsos. While Hofsos is nearly two hours from Hvammstangi, it is a beautiful part of the world and the pool opened as recently as 2010.
Those visiting Hvammstangi who have a fondness for history and culture should not miss the opportunity to spend some time appreciating the Reykir Folk Museum. The museum can be found in the nearby town of Reykir, which is around an hour from Hvammstangi by car and worth venturing out for as the scenery on the route there is incredible.The Reykir Folk Museum has provided a fascinating narrative on the folk culture and history of northwestern Iceland since 9 July 1967, when the museum was opened. The museum is a collaborative effort between the three countries around the museum: West Húnaþing, East-Húnavatnssýsla county, and Strandasýsla-county. Almost twenty years after opening, the museum was expanded in 1986 to cover around 600 square metres.Whether you are an individual or part of a group, the museum will be happy to accommodate you. Guided tours are available to visitors and groups and are provided in three languages: Icelandic, Danish, and English. The tours cover the local history of this part of Iceland, particularly the shark-fishing era and the farming society that is still somewhat prominent in Iceland.During the summer, the museum is open from 10:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening, except on Fridays when it is open until 9:00 in the evening.
If you find yourself visiting the Icelandic Seal Centre in Hvammstangi or even just heading into the tourist information centre to find out what to do next, you should make the time to visit the Commercial Museum in Hvammstangi. The Commercial Museum in Hvammstangi is in the Verslun Sigurðar Daviðssonar, or VSL, the same building as both the Icelandic Seal Centre and the tourist information centre.The displays and exhibitions in the museum cover the local history of Hvammstangi through the goods that were sold in the old shop, which now houses a number of modern amenities and tourist attractions, as well as crafts and pieces from local artists.
It would be foolish to visit Iceland, especially Hvammstangi, and not to enjoy some of Iceland’s most popular cuisine, seafood. One of the best places according to many in the area, is the Geitafell Seafood Restaurant.The restaurant uses local ingredients and serves up a variety of dishes, with soups and seafood being their speciality, all served with homemade bread. The fish used in their seafood only comes from nearby sources and is of the finest quality. The restaurant is open from 11:00 in the morning until 10:00 in the evening from June until August, though reservations can be made for groups at other times.
Art lovers who find themselves in Hvammtangi and looking for some beautiful locally-produced art are in luck. About a kilometre from Iceland’s Highway 1, visitors will find “Greta’s House of Clay”, or Leirhús Grétu, as it is known in Icelandic.The Leirhús Grétu houses a number of unique pieces of pottery which have been designed and made by the Icelandic artist and sculptor Gréta Jósefsdóttir. From 15 June to 20 August the gallery is open from 1:00 in the afternoon until 6:00 in the evening on weekdays and from 1:00 in the afternoon until 4:00 in the afternoon on Saturdays.
While the capital and largest city in Iceland is around three hours from Hvammstangi, it would be foolish to ignore it during your stay in Hvammstangi. The city is the northernmost capital city in the world and home to around 120,000 people (200,000 if you count the larger urban area). There are plenty of things to do in Reykjavík and the city has a great reputation as a safe and ecological city.As the capital city, Reykjavík is the centre of most things in Iceland, including its economy and culture. The city also plays host to numerous festivals throughout the year, so make sure you check what is going on while you are there.
Vacation rentals in Hvammstangi (Northwestern Region)
How to get there ?
Thanks to Iceland’s membership to the Schengen Agreement, it is very simple to visit the country if you are a citizen of the EU or another Schengen nation. As an island nation, the simplest way to reach Iceland is by air and the main airport for entering the country is Keflavík.Keflavík Airport is the country’s main international airport and is around 40 kilometres from the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavík. As domestic flights are fairly common in Iceland and you may wish to fly from Reykjavík to Blonduos Airport, be prepared to entertain yourself as there are not many amenities in Keflavík Airport.If you have decided to head from Keflavík Airport by road, the drive should take around three hours, depending on traffic and the weather. If you decide to take a connecting flight from Keflavík to Blonduos, then you can expect around an hour of driving once you leave the airport in order to reach Hvammstangi.If you have a real sense of adventure, you can even travel to Iceland by boat. There is a ferry once a week from Hirtshals, Denmark. This trip will take you two nights and arrives in the east coast of Iceland. This should only be considered if you have the means to get from the east coast to the northwest of the country.
Hotels in Hvammstangi (Northwestern Region)