In Húnaþing you will find stunning nature and vibrant communities. The verdant heathlands, the seashores teeming with life, mountain peaks, rich rivers and lakes along with a wide variety of recreational activities make it a must stop when you are travelling around North Iceland.
The area has four main villages, Skagaströnd, Blönduós, Hvammstangi and Laugarbakki.
Skagaströnd is known as Iceland’s Country Town, is located on the east coast of Húnaflói bay. The small town boasts a beautiful landscape and a flourishing cultural life. Spákonufellshöfði is a popular outdoor recreational area with marked walking trails. Spákonufell mountain rises above the town, with staked out trekking trails that offer a stunning view of sea and shoreline. The Skagaströnd Museum of Prophecies offers exhibitions, story- and fortune telling, centred around Þórdís the fortune-teller, who was the first recorded inhabitant of Skagaströnd. Adding to the cultural life in Skagaströnd is the Nes Artist Residency, where international artists come to stay and work. Other services are overnight facilities, restaurant, café, country museum, grocery store, a good golf course, free camping site with excellent facilities and a small geothermal swimming pool.
Blönduós is the largest urban area in Húnaflói bay and one of the busiest tourist stops in Iceland. For anyone travelling the Ring Road between the Northern Region and the Southern Region, it is a logical stop to rest, eat and fill the tank. Blonduos’s main economy is acting as a serving centre, particularly for dairy products, as well as fishing, light industry and tourism. The town is a base for tours in the Húnaflói area and extends across the river Blanda, surrounding Hrútey Island. Hrútey is blessed with a varied birdlife and vegetation and is protected as a country park. The island is accessible by a pedestrian bridge where it is ideal to take a relaxing break or exercise. In Blönduós you’ll find a Handcraft and Textile Museum and a Sea Ice Exhibition Centre. Other services are a hotel, guesthouses, and self-catering accommodation as well as a camping site, restaurants, cafés, diner, super-market, garages, health care centre and a geothermal swimming pool.
Hvammstangi is the largest community in West Húnaþing, the towns trading history spans over 100 years. The Museum of Local Trade by the harbour displays this history. The town boasts of a good harbour from which seal watching and sea angling trips are organised. For the tourist, Hvammstangi is an excellent place to stop to enjoy the good swimming pool and camping site. Other services include crafts gallery, wool factory shop, supermarket , garages, guesthouse, a diner as well as a health care centre. From Hvammstangi is only a short travel to Vatnsnes with a wealth of varied historical sites, beautiful scenery, great views of the mountains at Strandir and last but not least a seal habitat within easy walking distance.
Laugarbakki village is situated in the west Húnaþing district, on the east bank of Miðfjarðará river, close to the Ring Road No. 1. According to the Saga of Grettir the Strong, horse fights took place on the river banks, at Langafit. Laugarbakki is a geothermal site, which sustains not only this friendly village but also that of Hvammstangi. Fishing licenses for the lakes and rivers at Arnarvatnsheiði can be obtained at Laugarbakki, which almost serves as a gate to the highlands. A greenhouse, primary school, sports hall and hot pots can all be found at Laugarbakki. Other services provided include a crafts workshop and a farmers market with handicrafts and local food inspired by the Saga Age, camping site, a and overnight facilities.
This small but interesting exhibition focuses on Þórdís the fortune-teller, the first named inhabitant of Skagaströnd, who lived there in the late 10th century. The exhibition features all kinds of fascinating information about prophecies and fortune telling. Visitors can have their fortunes told and their palms read on request. Children can examine Þórdís’s gold chest, where various interesting things are hidden.
The Country museum of Iceland is in Kántrýbær in Skagaströnd. It is dedicated to the history and the music of the one and only Country King of Iceland. Hallbjörn, J. Hjartarson and country music in general. The museum has numerous artefacts from Hallbjörn’s music career, his records, tunes and written notes.
The Handicraft and Textile Museum in Blönduós is the only specifically focused textile museum in Iceland. The museum is located in a beautiful building with good visitor access. It hosts several unique and independent exhibitions of embroideries, Icelandic national costumes, the Halldóra room, which is dedicated to the life and work of Halldóra Bjarnadóttir (1873-1981), and a wool exhibition. Annually the museum hosts a special exhibition of Icelandic textile artists and designers.
The Sea Ice Exhibition opened in 2006 and displays a combination of posters, photographs and artefacts related to the arctic region. Sea ice phenomena from many angles are described in this small museum. You can find information about the arctic region, changes in the weather, sea ice around Iceland, a weather station at the town of Blönduós, sea ice research through time, East Greenland and the king of the Arctic – the polar bear.