Iceland is a well trodden path and certainly at first thought is not ”Off the Beaten Track”, however North Iceland is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by those travelling to Iceland.
The northern airport is at Akureyri serviced by AirIceland, (not to be confused with IcelandAir), which is about an hours drive to Husavik. Husavik is a small fishing harbour filled with colourful houses and a restaurant right on the harbour serving fresh local seafood. Husavik is also the base for what many would call the best whale watching in Europe. In fact it is called “The Whale Watching Capital of Europe”, and with a 97% incidence of whale sightings in the high season in 2014 (May - Sept) it is clear why!
Weekend a La Carte only work with North Sailing who pioneered whale watching in Iceland from Husavik only 20 years ago with their first boat in 1995 to see the Minke Whales. However over the years more and variety of whales have entered the bay, with the Humpback Whale now being the most popular to view. White beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises are quite frequently seen, as is the colossal Blue whale. In fact there are 8 different species that can be seen which also include Fin whales and Sperm whales, though these two are much more unusual.
Husavik also offers a fascinating whale museum full of huge skeletons and a fascinating insight into the whale research in the area, and is definitely worth a visit for adult and child alike.
Of course North Iceland is not just about Whale Watching as in the area you have the Diamond Ring, full of volcanic marvels. It is possible to just drive the Diamond Ring and stop wherever there is a brown local interest sign as there is so much to see , but the highlights not to be missed include the majestic Godafoss waterfall - one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland, as well as Dettifoss considered to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe.You should definitely visit the beautiful Lake Myvatn created 2300 years ago by a basaltic lava eruption and now teeming with bird life. Geothermal activity abounds and fascinating lava shapes and lava pillars can be seen in all directions and is a perfect picnic stop. Finally Krafla with its dramatic 800m high and 10km diameter Caldera should not be missed.
Weekend a La Carte offer Whale Watching trips to Husavik staying in some beautiful cottages just outside Husavik. Each cottage has their own big private terrace with an outstanding view of wetlands teaming with bird life (The latest count was 92 species), sea and snow capped mountains. There are shared Geothermal Hot Tubs with probably the best view in Iceland!
For those looking to experience dramatic volcanic landscape and beautiful wildlife this Whale Watching trip to Husavik is hard to beat.