Hofn On a BudgetHofn is a very small fishing town on the southeast of Iceland, measuring just over half a mile across. It is best known for being located in the beautiful Vatnajokull Region, where the largest glacier in Europe is located. Hofn, and the surrounding area, is full of breathtaking natural scenery including lagoons, icefalls, and mountains.
Hofn's climate is cold and wet, with temperatures rarely going above 50° Fahrenheit. The coldest and wettest months are October-February, while the driest month is April, just as temperatures warm to 30-40° F.
SightsSome of the best sights in Hofn involve their renowned natural beauty, including the large glacial rivers and glacier topped mountains dotted throughout the area. You'll find some of these natural wonders at Oraefajokull, a sub-glacier that contains Iceland's tallest mountain, Hvannadalshnjukur. At Jokulsarlon, the most famous glacial lagoon in the area, you can watch as chunks of ice fall off of the glacier and into the lagoon, creating small icebergs. Keep in mind, hiring a guide or going through a tour company is the best option when exploring the region. These guides are familiar with the area and can help you see all of the sights while ensuring you're doing so safely.
In town, you'll find the Gamalabuo Folk Museum which explores the lives of local people from 1850-1950. There's also the Hornafjorour Art Museum, a small gallery featuring contemporary art from local artists. In the Mikligarour, an old building by the harbor, there's workshops and galleries belonging to local artists where you can peruse their work and pick up a few souvenirs.
NeighborhoodsHofn is often used as a basecamp for exploring other, more rural, areas of the Vatnajokull Region. One such area is the Vatnajokull National Park, which displays stunning examples of the fight between fire and ice. Here, you'll find glaciers blending with black sands from the volcanoes, hot steam coming through the ice, and mountains towering over glacial lakes.
South of Hofn is Osland, a conservation area perfect for hiking and bird watching. You can climb the Osland hill to get incredible views of the surrounding glaciers and mountains.
East of Hofn is the Horn area, situated below the Vestra-Horn Mountain. This area is popular for sightseeing and history buffs, as the area was once a base for the British Army and a NATO radar station.
ActivitiesThere are many sport activities to do throughout Hofn and the surrounding area. One of the most popular is hiking the Lonsoraefi wilderness which provides perfect day-long hikes with incredible scenic views. While hiking, keep a lookout for herds of wild reindeer, who roam through the mountains, especially during summertime.
For something adventurous, go to Super Jeep Glacier Tour, a company who will take you through the breathtakingly beautiful Vatnajokull National Park either in a Jeep or on snowmobile. Or, go on a boat tour through the Fjallsarlon glacial lagoon and enjoy the sights of the mountain while also navigating through iceberg riddled waters. In the surrounding area of Hofn, you can also go ice climbing, kayaking, horseback riding, and golfing, all of which can be set up through a local tour company.
Food and DiningHofn is one of the most famous lobster fishing harbors in Iceland, making it one of the best places to enjoy the delicacy. Humarhofnin restaurant specializes in making lobster, although they tend to be open only during the summer. There are just a few other restaurants in the area, most of which are laid back burger and pizza joints. If you're looking for something more upscale, check out Osinn restaurant located in the Hotel Hofn.
TransportationThe easiest way to get into Hofn is to come from Reykjavik; this can be done by airplane via Eagle Air, by bus, or by rented car. If you go with a rented car, you're in luck as it's extremely easy to get around due to the limited number of roads in Iceland. Renting a car also makes it much easier to get around Hofn and the surrounding area. There is only one taxi that serves Hofn, although with such a small town, you can easily get around by foot.
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Train and Bus Prices
The best prices for buses and trains in Iceland can be found on Omio (formerly GoEuro). They let you search across all train, bus, and plane routes throughout the region.