Hofn in Hornafirdi


Hofn or Höfn í Hornafirði as locals call the place is an Icelandic fishing town located on the South Eastern peninsula of Iceland. From here you can glance at Vatnajökull, the largest ice cap in Europe by volume. Hofn is surrounded with several small islands; one of them the largest is Mikley, followed by Hellir and Krokalatur. It has three fishing ports by the sea. In this area, you can see sand bars and glacial rivers that form lagoons and sand reefs.


There are 1,641 inhabitants as of the 2011 survey in this Town. The economy revolves on fishing, tourism and small businesses. The fishing industry in Hofn employs a large number of residents and their main productions are bacaloa (saltfish) and lobsters. There are ten large boats and few small ones that make the production possible.


The tourism industry is focused in offering trips or tours to Vatnajökull glacier. The surrounding area of the town was chosen to be the best filming site for Hollywood films which includes Die Another Day, Tomb Raider and Batman Begins.

The town of Hofn


There are several small businesses that cover supermarket, cloth shops, flower shop, hairdressers, gym, golf course, and computer shop. Two banks are the ways of monetary transactions and there are four schools that provide a decent education.


Hafnarkirkja church stands proudly in the town as well it is a place that reminds the locals about how blessed they are to have such a wonderful and peaceful town.

Culture also livens up the town as they annually celebrate Humarhátíð, this is lobster festival, which is celebrated every first weekend of July. In summer, the old supermarket building in Hofn holds out Glacier Exhibition as well.

Several museums are;

Hofn Glacier Museum- you can learn about geology, ecology and history of glaciers. There are also displays such as explorers’ tents and climbing ropes and the like.

Gamlabúð Folk Museum- this museum features the lives of the inhabitants between the periods 1850 to 1950. This is located just by the main road leading into the town proper.

Hornafjörður Art Museum- displays the works of the Icelandic artists and the municipal art collections. You can visit this place at Hafnarbraut 27.

Huldusteinn- for those rock and geology enthusiasts, you can view the odd collection of rocks in this museum. Art collecting is one of East Iceland popular hobby. This is located at Hafnarbraut 11.


Here in Hofn, there is this oldest house (that is still being used)called Gamlabúð. The amazing thing about this old house is that it has been moved around several times around the southeast of Iceland. It also served three purposes, the first one was as a trading center in Papós, then became a store when it was moved in Hofn and now it is a museum that features the settlements of the town.

What to do in Hofn

Hiking is probably the most popular activity in Hofn. The place has great hiking paths and wonderful mountains and most of them are safe to hike on where you can view magnificent landscapes.

From Hofn, it can be an easy access to several great places including Vatnajökull Nationa Park, Skálfellsjökull icefall and Jökulsárlón where you get into the Amphibian boat and view the floating ice caps.

Shopping in Hofn is often underrated but this place offers some really great products like handicrafts and arts that are worth checking out for. Handraðinn, along Vesturbraut is the local craft centre where you can get some really remarkable items.

Dining in Hofn is never a problem as there are many restaurants and fast food that offer really great food. Below is the list of restaurants and their specialties;

Hafnarbúðin – for those who can’t let go of burgers and subs, you can dine in or drive-through at this place located at Ránarslóð 2. It is actually half kilometer across Hofn.

Humarhöfnin – Looking for great lobster meal? Then this place can give you the most delicious lobster meal in East Iceland. Located at Hafnarbraut 4 just next to the harbor.

Kaffi Hornið – For a cozy home feeling, you can visit Kaffi Hornið, they serve Icelandic dishes, sandwiches and pasta. Just head to Hafnarbraut 42.

Ósinn – If you decided to stay in Hotel Hofn, then go no further to get that scrumptious Icelandic meal, because Osinn is located in the same building.

Víkin – If you want to just chill out, you can have a little drink at this place and you can also pair up your beer with burgers and pizza. It is located at Víkurbraut 2

Kokkur – Yet another Lobster house. This restaurant is well known for serving one of the best meals in entire Iceland. Be sure to visit them at Álaugarvegi 8.

Pakkhús Restaurant – Lobster pizza, lobster sandwich, lamb dish and more! This is located by the harbor.

Where to sleep in Hofn

Hofn is a quiet town where you can get a real goodnight sleep, even in summer when the sun seems to be always present at night. There are hotels and guesthouses as well as farmhouses that offer excellent accommodation.

Ásgarður Guesthouse – located at Ránarslóð 3, their rooms with odd numbers have this magnificent view of the glaciers.

Guesthouse Hvammur – located at Ránarslóð 2 just near N1 gas station, they offer rooms with shared bathrooms and rooms with private bathrooms.

Hotel Hofn – this hotel is classic and has this great view.

Hofn Hostel – when you are on a budget, then this place is just right for you. It is located at Hafnarbraut 8.

You can find farmhouses around Hofn by looking for a bed sign by the road.

Northern Lights at Hofn


When you are planning to catch Aurora Borealis and wanted to stay in a solemn place, then the best way to do it is to get a flight going to Hofn. Northern Lights hunting is done in a very basic way in this place; just join a guided walking tour around the town in search of the Northern Lights. Hofn is not as busy as Reykjavik so there are no lights that will deter the Northern Lights show up in the sky.


Location Map: Hofn

Getting in Hofn is quite easy; you can either take a plane, a bus or follow the Ring Road with your rented car. By plane, Eagle Air flies from Reykjavik to Hofn, vice versa. Though the airport is couple of kilometers away from the town proper, however, you can ask some folks there how to get to the town. By bus, you can get a bus from BSI bus terminal and they will drop you off to Hofn in N1 gas station. You can either a taxi from there or walk, anyway the town of Hofn is small enough to explore by walking.