Höfn is a thriving fishing village on the southeast tip of Iceland. The charming town is the perfect stop for travelers visiting the remote wilderness of the East Fjords or popular sites of the South Coast. Explore the stunning glaciers, waterfalls, and hot springs surrounding the peninsula.
Hofn, while small, is a major coastal hub in Southeast Iceland. Visitors can find a variety of restaurants, museums, tours of natural attractions, a pool, and even a domestic airport.
Many travelers who visit Höfn stop to rest before or after visiting the South Coast or East Fjords, and are quickly enchanted by the town's charm and amazing landscapes. Situated at the base of Vatnajökull National Park, home to Europe’s largest glacier, the park has become a major draw for tourists.
Adventure seekers can find hiking trail maps at the park's visitor center as well as information on camping sites. Sightseeing tours from Höfn offer guided nature experiences such as bird watching, kayaking, and glacier hiking.
Inside the town, Höfn has a variety of cultural attractions. There are several folk and art museums where you can enjoy local artists’ work. Visitors can stop at the Cultural Center and Local Museum for information on artistic events and exhibitions around town.
Höfn is perhaps most famous for its culinary culture. The town has made a name for itself, quite literally, for its signature lobster dishes. Höfn is known as the Lobster Capital of Iceland and is where both Norwegian and Icelandic lobsters are caught and processed.
People only began to settle in Höfn less than two centuries ago to work in the fishing industry. The first inhabitants of the region are believed to be Irish monks who lived there until the Vikings arrived in around 870 AD/CE. An early Viking farm called "Horn" is the namesake for the nearby Hornafjörður fjord. The rough translation of the name is “Horn’s fjord.”
Curious where the name Horn Farm comes from? Look no further than the "horn-shaped" peaks of the surrounding mountain ranges, the most notable one being Vestrahorn. The name Höfn has nothing to do with mountains and translates to “harbor.” The port is one of the few natural harbors in the area.
Hofn is located on the tip of its own peninsula in Southeast Iceland. The town is accessible by car from the famous Ring Road 1, at the base of road nr 99. Höfn is 458.2 km (284.7 mi) from Reykjavík, 271,6 km (169 mi) from Vík and 256,3 km (159,2 mi) from Egilsstaðir.
GPS coordinates of Hofn: 64.2497° N, 15.2020° W
When the weather is good Hofn be reached easily by plane or car. The town is one of the few places in Iceland with its own domestic airport.
Driving from Reykjavík to Höfn takes about 6 hours without any stops, following the Ring Road 1 through the towns of Hveragerði, Selfoss, Hella, and Hvolsvölur. Most people don't make this trip in one go and instead, make stops at all the amazing Ring Road attractions along the way.
On this route, you will drive past the impressive Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, the town of Vík and Reynisfjara Black Sand beach. Further along, you will encounter the fantastic glacial views of Skaftafell National Park and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon.