View over Hvammstangi from above,with is church and the Miðfjörður

What to do in Hvammstangi

Halfway between Reykjavík and Akureyri, only three minutes from the Ring Road one can find this little gem of a village, and turning is worth it! Hvammstangi (pronounced: Kvamm-stown-gee) is the western starting point of the new tourist route Arctic Coast Way as well as a gateway to the Vatnsnes peninsula.

What’s not available here you don’t need

Hvammstangi harbour and fishing boat on a cold winter morning
Hvammstangi used to be a fisherman's town, now service industry and tourism are the main professional fields in town

Before we explore the sights that can be found around Hvammstangi, let's stock up on everything we need in the town’s legendary supermarket. The Kaupfelag is one of very few cooperatively operated grocery stores left in Iceland and for over 110 years now, it has successfully been serving its customers under the motto „what’s not available here, you don‘t need.“ It’s true.

Treasure Hunting in Local Shops

Scattered around town one can find even more treasures: KIDKA,one of the largest knitting factories in Iceland and its wool factory shop, the old Trade Museum and local handicraft shop Bardúsa as well as the craft and souvenir shop Verslunin Hlín. Whatever you search for: you‘ll find it.

Where walking -”distance” is too much of a word

Red, yellow and blue house in a street in Hvammstangi
Colorful houses are spread all over town

While crossing the town on its main road takes barely 10 minutes by walking, it has extraordinarily much to offer for its size (700 inhabitants). The supermarket also marks the “city center” encompassing the harbor, Seal Center as well as Bank, Post Office, and the fish restaurant Sjávarborg.

A few roads up, a surprisingly large swimming pool with a waterslide, 3 different hot tubs, and a gym take care of wellness needs and fun entertainment for kids.

Seal Center

Stuffed seal in an exhibition case at the Seal Center
No life seals can be found at the seal center but lots of information and entertainment as well as a new walrus exhibition

Seal Center

adults and kids can learn everything about these marine mammals.

Icelandic Museum of Natural history

about Walruses in Iceland enhances the seal exhibition.

A Camping place to stretch one’s legs

A walking path along the river leads up to the idyllic campsite and its hiking paths. Hikes in different lengths eventually offer a breathtaking view over the town, the fjord and on good weather days, over to the Westfjords.

The Vatnsnes Peninsula and more Next-door attractions  

Hamarsrétt sheep round up  by the beach on the Vatsnes peninsula
A traditional sheep round-up on Vatnsnes peninsula

Hvammstangi is perfect for relaxing and getting used to the stress-free Icelandic small-town life, but it is also the ideal basecamp to explore the Vatnsnes peninsula and more beautiful treasures around:

The 90-kilometer-long coastline around Vatnsnes is home to the Instagram-famous sea-stack Hvítserkur (also called dinosaur rock),  a large seal colony and

one of Iceland's most famous murder cases

dating back to the 1830s.

Kolugljúfur canyon


Borgarvirki „castle“ rock formation

are in close vicinity and complete the circle around the peninsula.

Get inspired

You might also be interested in: