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.

All About Höfn

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.

Town Of Hofn In Iceland

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.

Aerial view of Hofn 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. 

History of Höfn

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.”

Hofn Town reflection

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. 

Quick Facts About Höfn

  • Höfn only officially became a town in 1988  
  • The city’s nickname is “The Lobster Capital” or “The Lobster Town”
  • Only a little over 2,000 residents live in the Hornafjordur municipality 
  • Höfn is one of a few natural harbours on Iceland’s South Coast

Where is Höfn Located?

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

How To Get To Höfn

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.

Airport Hornafjordur Hofn

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.

Things To Do and See Around Höfn

Vestrahorn mountai
  • Höfn Port: Walk along the charming harbor full of colorful boats. There is a bird reserve south of the harbor accessible by the harbor walking paths.
  • Höfn Swimming Pool: Take a dip in an outdoor swimming pool like a true Icelander. This family friendly facility also has a children’s pool, hot tub, ice bath and jacuzzi.
  • The Þórbergur Centre: Founded in honor of the famous Icelandic writer Þórbergur Þórðarsson (1888 - 1974), the center has a heritage museum and interesting exhibitions on the author and his hometown.  
  • Gamlabúð Museum: The ‘Old Shop’ is a folk Museum set up in one of the oldest houses in Höfn. Discover the history of one of the most isolated areas of Iceland. The exhibit takes you back in time to the Icelandic farming communities of 1850-1950.
  • Vatnajökull National Park: Hike Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier, and discover the dazzling ice caves below on a glacier tour. Looking for something more relaxing? Hit the open waters on a kayaking adventure in Jökulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and admire the glacier from below.
  • Vestrahorn: Take a ride of the beaten path to Stokksnes Peninsula for some amazing mountain views. The steep cliffs of the mountain and its surrounding black sand beaches have made the site popular for photographers. Just a 20 minute drive from Höfn, it is well worth the trip.