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Whale Watching in Húsavík

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With schools of herring and abundant plankton, the freezing waters of the Northern Atlantic have always been prime whale territory. In years past, that meant excellent hunting. And though there’s still a little killing going on, today the most common way to shoot whales in Iceland is with a camera.

Humpback Fin

Whale watching tours are offered in Reykjavík and other towns along the coast, but we held off until arriving in Húsavík, which is considered the best spot in Iceland. It was mid-September, a little late in the season, but the whales hadn’t yet migrated south for the winter.

After days of rain and snow, the weather had cleared up completely, and we were in high spirits while boarding an oak boat operated by North Sailing. We crawled into extra-warm sailing suits, and set off for the mouth of the Skjálfandi Bay, where a group of humpback whales had been seen earlier in the day.

Soon we spotted the first water spouts. The humpbacks weren’t far off, but by the time we came near, they had dived for food and wouldn’t resurface for awhile. Much of our three-hour tour was spent in this frustrating game of chase, but we got lucky twice, when whales resurfaced right next to our boat. The first time, I was taken totally off-guard by the massive beast which had suddenly popped up just meters away. She didn’t seem all that concerned about our boat… perhaps because she was nearly as big as it.

The tour lasted for three hours, and we must have seen at least a dozen separate whales. All humpbacks, but it’s also possible to see sperm whales, blue whales and even killer whales during excursions from Húsavík. This is an essential Iceland experience, and relatively inexpensive, considering the length of the tour and the likelihood of success.

Another essential Húsavík experience is offered by the incredible Whale Museum, found at the harbor. This massive former whaling station has turned its focus from slaughtering whales to educating the public about them, and it does a fantastic job. With skeletons from various species, including an enormous sperm whale, movies and hands-on exhibits, this is the kind of place in which you could spend hours.

Location of Húsavík on our Map
North Sailing – Website

We stayed in this hotel in Húsavík

Preparing Whale Watching
Whale Watcher
Husavik Whale Watching
Humpback Spouting
Húsavík Whales
LittleWhale
Humpback Blog
Iceland Flag
Húsavík things To do
Húsavík
Húsavík Ships
Húsavík Harbor
Húsavík Blog
Black Ship
Húsavík Travel Guide
Ice Fishing Húsavík
Husavik Fish Factory
Húsavík
Halloween In Iceland
Whale Museum Húsavík
Húsavík Ice
Húsavík Ring
Stoned
Húsavík Restaurant
Húsavík Iceland
Húsavík Church
Whale Baleen
Blue Wale Sex
Humpback Three Way
Whale Hand
Blue Whale Hunting Technique
Whale Skeleton
Whale Speer
Whale Bone Art
Narwhale
Whale Museum Iceland
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October 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm Comment (1)

The 871±2 Settlement Exhibition

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Iceland welcomed its first permanent resident in the 9th century, when Ingólfur Arnarson landed on the shores of Reykjavík. Today, most physical traces of early Viking culture have vanished, so it was a big deal when, in 2001, a longhouse was discovered in the center of the capital. After careful excavation, it’s been opened to visitors as the the 871±2 Settlement Exhibition.

Settlement Exhibition Reykjavik

The strange name of the exhibition refers to the year the discovered settlement has been dated to, plus or minus the two-year range of error. And since Ingólfur was thought to have arrived in 874, it’s safe to say that the remains found on Aðalstræti are among the very earliest traces of humanity anywhere in Iceland.

Apart from the longhouse itself, there isn’t a whole lot to see within the exhibition; just artifacts found around the grounds like an axe handle or a flint stone. But the house itself is interesting and there’s an incredible amount of information about the settlement era. It can be rewarding for those who don’t mind taking time to read. The exhibition is fairly high-tech, with multimedia exhibits recreating life in the era, and interactive programs that illuminate early Icelandic language and culture.

The Settlement Exhibition is perfect for a rainy day in Reykjavík, when you have time to kill and are in the mood for some history. A comprehensive visit takes about an hour, and provides a nice overview of the Vikings who settled Iceland.

Location our Iceland Map
The Settlement Exhibition – Website

Check For Reykjavik Vacation Rental Prices Here!

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August 2, 2013 at 6:47 pm Comments (0)
Whale Watching in Hsavk With schools of herring and abundant plankton, the freezing waters of the Northern Atlantic have always been prime whale territory. In years past, that meant excellent hunting. And though there's still a little killing going on, today the most common way to shoot whales in Iceland is with a camera.
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