Iceland’s Diamond Circle: A Guide

Húsavík in Northern Iceland

What is the Diamond Circle in Iceland?

The Diamond Circle showcases some of northern Iceland’s magnificent waterfalls, geothermal, and volcanic sites. It consists of Goðafoss waterfall, Mývatn lake, Dettifoss waterfall, Ásbyrgi canyon, and Húsavík fishing town. The Diamond Circle itself can be completed in a day, as the driving distance with Akureyri as a starting point is about 224 km [139 mi]. The total time will vary based on the time spent at each site. Guided excursions and tours are available, but you can also choose to explore The Diamond Circle independently, at your own pace. The roads connecting the Diamond Circle are paved.

We will start in Akureyri, the third-largest city in Iceland, with a population of 20,000. The 390 km drive to Akureyri from the capital area is quite simple, as you drive on the same road the whole way- Route 1 or the “Ring Road” as it’s often called.

Goðafoss Waterfall

From Akureyri, you will continue on Route 1 for about 34 km [21 mi] before turning right towards Goðafoss.

On the sightseeing platform, you can take in the panoramic view of this 12 m [39 ft] high, 30 m [98 ft] wide waterfall that runs from the glacial river Skjálfandafljót. Goðafoss waterfall is a historic site in Iceland. In the year 1,000, Þorgeir Þorkellsson, the lawmaker of Iceland, had concluded that Iceland should become a Christian country. Believing in the Norse gods was still allowed, but that religion had to be practised in one’s home. He is said to have gone to Goðafoss waterfall (translated as “Waterfall of the Gods”) and thrown his heathen idols into the water.

Goðafoss Waterfall, Iceland
Photo: Golli. Goðafoss Waterfall in Iceland.

The geothermal area of Mývatn Lake

Return to Route 1, turning right to keep driving towards Mývatn lake. 30 km [22 mi], turn left to stay on Route 1, following the Húsavík/Egilsstaðir/Fuglasafn sign. Shortly, you will see the lake and can pick a stop of your choosing along the route- there will be several.

Mývatn lake was formed about 2,300 years ago due to a volcanic eruption. With an area of approximately 73 km2 [28 mi2], it’s the fourth-largest lake in Iceland. Mývatn lake is known for its rich birdlife and its surrounding geothermal area, including hot springs and mud pots.

You may want to experience the Mývatn Nature Baths for a relaxing stop. To get to the baths, stay on Route 1. Following the sign for Egilsstaðir, turn left to continue on Route 1. Follow the signs for Jarðböðin við Mývatn (Mývatn Nature Baths) and enjoy the beauty of this geothermal lagoon. This area also has a cafe where you can stop by for a snack.

Dettifoss Waterfall

From the baths, turn right to continue on Route 1 for 23 km [14 mi]. Then, turn left towards Dettifoss on Route 862 and follow the signs for Dettifoss. You will arrive at a parking lot. From the lot, there will be about an 850 m [0.52 mi] walk to the viewpoint. Dettifoss waterfall is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, with a flow rate of 193 m3 [6,815 ft3]. Dettifoss is located in Vatnajökull National Park, and its water runs from the glacial river “Jökulsá á fjöllum” directly from Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. The waterfall is 44-45 m [144-147 ft] high and 100 m [328 ft] wide.

Ásbyrgi Canyon in North Iceland

Return to Dettifossvegur (Route 862) and turn right. When you approach the intersection of Route 862 and Route 85, turn right. Shortly, there will be a sign for Ásbyrgi canyon.

Ásbyrgi is a glacial canyon in the shape of a horseshoe. Like Dettifoss waterfall, it’s a part of Vatnajökull National Park. Ásbyrgi was formed due to a glacial flood from Jökulsár á fjöllum river during a volcanic eruption in Grímsvötn volcano. Ásbyrgi is about 3.5 km [2.2 mi] long and 1.1 km [0.7 mi] wide. In the middle stands a large 25 m [82 ft] high rock formation called Eyjan (The Island), emphasising the canyon’s horseshoe shape. Its surrounding cliffs are about 100 m [328ft] high. You can choose from several hiking trails with stunning panoramic views along the way.

Húsavík: Whale Watching Capital of Iceland

To get to Húsavík from Ásbyrgi, drive back towards Route 85 and make a left. The drive is 62 km [38 mi] long.
Húsavík is a small fishing town in Skjálfandi bay, with a population of about 2,300. It is home to The Exploration Museum, The Whale Museum and Húsavík Museum. The Húsavík Museum is a cultural centre displaying the historic exhibitions “Daily Life and Nature-100 years in Þingeyjarsýslur” as well as the “Maritime Museum”. This picturesque town is a prime whale-watching destination, offering tours to see some of the 23 species of whales. Húsavík has several restaurants and cafes with a beautiful view of the harbour.

Akureyrarkirkja Church, Akureyri Iceland
Photo: Akureyrarkirkja Church, Iceland.

Back to Akureyri

To return to Akureyri, drive south on Route 85 for 45 km [28 mi] until you hit Route 1. Make a right and continue for 30 km [19 mi] following the signs for Akureyri.

From the trembling power of Dettifoss waterfall to the tranquillity of Mývatn lake, the Diamond Circle is a great route to experience the distinct beauty of northern Iceland. It unveils the region‘s geological wonders of volcanic and geothermal areas, waterfalls, and cultural sites, making the trip an exciting adventure for any explorer.

 

Possibility of Wind Power Being Explored

Húsavík

The municipality of Norðurþing has granted permission to the National Power Company of Iceland (Landsvirkjun) to conduct research around Húsavík, North Iceland, on the possibility of setting up a wind farm there.

Most of Iceland’s electricity is generated either through geothermal power or hydropower, but Landsvirkjun does operate two windmills for research purposes.

Any visitor to, or resident of, Iceland can attest that wind is a natural resource Iceland certainly has plenty of, and Landsvirkjun has been eager to explore wind power, but the subject has been a contentious one for many years.

The area that Landsvirkjun and Norðurþing agreed on for the research of more wind power covers an area of approximately 12 square kilometres. There, no more than 20 windmills would be raised, each 150 metres tall, if the area is considered appropriate for wind power.

They will also be situated in such a way that they will not be seen from within Húsavík, which Norðurþing municipal council director Katrín Sigurjónsdóttir told RÚV is the most controversial aspect of raising any windmills.

When asked if she anticipated opposition from Húsavík residents to the windmills, she responded that the project was still in the beginning stages and how people will respond remains to be seen, but that “this area is probably the least controversial in the Húsavík vicinity.”

Whales of Iceland: Which whales can you find around Iceland?

Whales of Iceland

Iceland is a fantastic place to observe whales. Due to its prime location in the North Atlantic Ocean, many whales migrate to Icelandic waters to feed during the warmer summer months. More than 20 whale species call the Icelandic waters their home. Venturing out on one of the many whale-watching tours is usually one of the easiest ways to spot the cetaceans, but some lucky devils might also catch a glimpse of a whale from Iceland’s shores! 

If you’re interested in finding the best whale-watching tours in Iceland, make sure also to check out our whale-watching guide and find the best spots to observe these large ocean mammals!

Here’s a guide to all the whale species around Iceland and their favourite spots.

Whales of Iceland

Whale species in Iceland

Whales are warm-blooded mammals which nurse their offspring and need to come up to the surface to breathe air. Interestingly enough, all whales have hair in some way or another. Most whales have their hair follicles, whereas land mammals have their whiskers today. Humpback whales, for instance, have bumps on their head, each containing a follicle with a single hair! The existence of hair might be a remnant of their land-mammal ancestors. Whales and cows (and other hoofed animals) actually share a common ancestor about 50 million years ago!

Whales belong to the cetacea category, also including dolphins and porpoises. Whale species can generally be distinguished into toothed and baleen whales. While baleen whales, like blue whales and humpback whales, have – well – baleens to filter their food, toothed whales like orcas (also commonly known as “killer whales”), beluga whales and pilot whales use their teeth to hunt and eat larger prey items.

Due to their proximity to the Arctic, Icelandic waters are rich in nutrients, such as krill, small fish, and other small crustaceans. That is why many whales spend their summers in colder waters off the shores of Iceland, Canada and Greenland. They stay in these waters for 4 to 6 months, eating and bulking up in blubber as a food reserve for the winter months when they migrate back to tropical areas for breeding and calving season, where food is scarce.

Whales of Iceland
Whale-Watching in Faxaflói, Reykjavík (credit: Golli)

Baleen whales around Iceland

Baleen whales are among the biggest species on our planet and are generally larger than toothed whales. In contrast to toothed whales, they have two blowholes on the top of their head, whereas toothed whales only have one. With their baleen plates, they mostly feed on plankton, especially krill, which are tiny crustaceans that can be found in all the world’s oceans. Baleen whales also have wide ranges and usually migrate thousands of kilometres to reach their destination. Generally, baleen whales tend to be slower than their toothed peers, with a few exceptions: one of them is the fin whale, also called the Greyhound of the sea.

Blue whale
Blue Whale
Swimming blue whale (credit: NOAA)

Famously known as the biggest animal that has ever lived, the blue whale also visits Iceland during summer. Female animals can reach a length of up to 32 metres (104 ft), while their male counterparts reach about 27 metres (88 ft). In Iceland, we have the northern blue whale, mostly found in the north of Iceland. Húsavík is the whale-watching capital of Iceland, and even though it is quite rare, there have been sightings of blue whales nearly every year! 

In a single mouthful of water, a blue whale can engulf over 100 tonnes of water and eat up between 10 and 22 tonnes of krill per day (22,000-48,000 pounds). As blue whales produce very tall blows (about 10m/32ft), they are easily spotted. Usually, they can dive for more than 30 minutes, making it quite possible to observe one on a whale-watching tour! “Icelandic” blue whales usually migrate here from places like the Azores and the northwest coast of Africa, though not all migration routes are known.

During the peak of commercial whaling, thousands of animals were killed, leading to repercussions in blue whale populations today. The species is on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red Endangered Species list. In Iceland, blue whales have been protected from whaling since 1960.

Fin whale
hvalur whaling in iceland
Dead fin whale at the whaling station on Hvalfjörður (credit: Golli)

Fin whales are the second largest animal on earth after blue whales. In contrast to their blue whale peers, they are also called the greyhounds of the sea, as they can reach a very fast speed (for their size) of a maximum of 47 km/h (15mi/h) in small outbursts. Females can reach a length of about 18-20 metres (65ft). Fin whales tend to favour offshore waters between Iceland and Greenland as their summer feeding grounds and are usually quite far out – further than whale-watching observation grounds. As blue whales and fin whales share their feeding areas within Icelandic water, there are cases where the two species have produced offspring together, so-called hybrids.

The worldwide population of fin whales is considered vulnerable, with about 40,000 individuals in the entire North Atlantic. Unfortunately, Iceland is still one of the only countries to commercially whale – and the only nation left that hunts fin whales. After a short hiatus, whaling in Iceland resumed in the last few years, killing hundreds of fin whales and small numbers of hybrid whales for meat export to Japan. If you’re interested in reading more about whale hunting in Iceland, you can check out our recent feature article here and listen to our Deep North podcast episode here.

Humpback whale
Whales of Iceland
Humpback whale munching on some food in Faxaflói, Reykjavík (credit: Golli)

Humpback whales are one of the kinds that are most commonly observed from the shores or on whale-watching tours in Iceland. Female humpbacks reach an average length of about 15 metres (50ft), while males are up to 14 metres in size. Due to their agility, they often breach, making it easy to spot them! In the summer of 2019, humpbacks were seen on 28 out of 31 days from whale watching tours in Reykjavík!

Usually, humpback whales like to stay in solitude but occasionally stay in small groups and pairs. Interestingly enough, they have various hunting techniques, like bubble-net feeding, where they swim beneath a school of fish and release air bubbles, which trap the fish in the bubble net, making it easy and clever for them to catch their prey!

Minke whale
Minke whale Iceland
Minke whale swimming about (credit: Wikimedia Commons/Waielbi)

While the previous baleen whales have all been massive in size, the minke whale is the smallest species of baleen whales found around Iceland. The North Atlantic minke whale is dark grey with a white belly and distinctive white bands on their pectoral fins. 

They usually surface quite often before venturing on a deeper dive that lasts approximately 20 minutes. They are, therefore, quite commonly spotted from whale watching boatsMinke whales are the most common whales in the coastal Icelandic waters, with approximately 13,000 individuals. Iceland stopped hunting the species in 2019.

Sei whale
A mother Sei Whale and it's calf.
A sei whale mother and her calf (credit: Christin Khan, NOAA)

Sei whales are the third-largest baleen whales. Just like fin whales, they are very fast and prefer offshore waters. They are, therefore, not very likely to be spotted either from land or on a whale-watching tour. According to observations, there are about 10,000 individuals in the North Atlantic, with the most animals between Iceland and Greenland. During the height of modern whaling in the 20th century, the population of sei whales also decreased drastically after stocks of prior “popular” hunted whales were nearly depleted. Since the late 70s, the population size has slowly been recovering.

Grey whale
A grey whale breaching in Alaska (credit: Merrill Gosho, NOAA)

These large species can reach a maximum length of about 15 metres (50ft) and cannot be found in the North Atlantic, and therefore Iceland, anymore. You might wonder why they are then mentioned on the list of whales around Iceland. Well, a long time ago, grey whales were abundant around Europe. However, due to extensive whaling dating back as early as AD 500, the species was driven to extinction in that region. In Iceland, grey whales have been wiped out since the early 1700s. Nowadays, grey whales can only be found in the Pacific Ocean.

Toothed whales around Iceland

Toothed whales generally feed on fish and squid. They utilise their teeth for capturing and tearing their prey into smaller pieces, but they don’t chew them as we humans would. Most toothed whales use echolocation to communicate and hunt.

Orca / Killer whale
Orca, Whales of Iceland
An orca in the wild (credit: Felix Rottmann)

This apex predator can kill great white sharks without trouble and is also part of Iceland’s flourishing ocean wildlife! Orcas are highly intelligent, and they usually hunt in groups. They have quite a diverse diet, eating everything from fish, and sharks, to seals and other whales. The best place to see orcas in Iceland is on the Snæfellsnes peninsula with Láki tours from Ólafsvík. If herring is in the fjord, orcas can also often be spotted in the winter months – but the best time for observing them is from March until June. Check out orca whale-watching tours here

Pilot whale
Pilot whales
Pilot whale pod (credit: Bill Thompson/USFWS)

Long-finned pilot whales can be found in the North Atlantic and the Southern Hemisphere. The animals are very sociable, forming large groups of 20 to 150 individuals, but the pods can reach up to thousands of individuals. They form very strong bonds within their matrilineal group, with other adult animals often “babysitting” calves, even when they’re not closely related. 

Pilot whales frequently beach themselves, and often, the whole pod follows one leading animal, leading to hundreds dying. In 2019, around 50 pilot whales beached on the Snæfellsness peninsula, which was Iceland’s second-largest mass stranding of the past 40 years. It is not too usual to see pilot whales on whale-watching tours, but with some luck, you could definitely catch sight of a pod offshore the Snæfellsness peninsula!

Beluga whale
Beluga whales Little White & Little Grey take their first swim in their Beluga Whale Sanctuary home in Iceland
Little White & Little Grey in Klettsvík bay on Heimaey (credit: Sea Life Trust)

The “Canaries of the Sea” – as the species is often called due to their high vocality and use of various songs, clicks and whistles. Belugas have a distinct melon-shaped head with the melon – as it’s called – consisting of oil, which helps echolocation. Their vertebrae in the neck are not fused, so they can turn their heads without moving their white bodies, making their movement seem quite human-like. 

Belugas are not commonly seen in Iceland, but two rescued beluga whales are in the Sea Life sanctuary on Heimaey in the Westman Islands. Little White and Little Grey were rescued from an aquarium in Shanghai, and it is planned for them to move into a bay on the island for more freedom.

Narwhal
Narwhal Iceland
A narwhal and its great tusk near the Karl Alexander and Jackson Islands (northern part of the Franz Josef Land archipelago), June 2019 (credit: Wikimedia Commons, press service of Gazprom Neft PJSC)

Narwhals (Yes, they are spelled like that), also commonly referred to as the unicorns of the sea due to their unique ivory tusk, are excellent deep divers, reaching depths up to 800 metres (2,600ft). They travel in pods of about 20-30 animals. Their tusk grows out of their mouths into a spiral and possesses millions of nerve endings, helping them sense their surroundings. The tusk can reach a size of up to 3 metres (10ft). Interestingly enough, the tusk is the animals’ only tooth – so they swallow their prey whole! 

Generally, narwhal sightings in Iceland are pretty rare, with their natural habitat being in the Arctic waters of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia. Rarely they can be spotted in the far north of Iceland. 

Sperm whale
Sperm whale Iceland
A sperm whale mother with her calf (credit: Gabriel Barathieu, Wikimedia Commons)

Sperm whales are the largest toothed whales, reaching lengths between 11-16 metres (36-50ft). The species regularly dives to depths of 500-1000 metres (1640-3280ft) and can remain underwater for up to 40 minutes. They are quite known for their strong echolocation clicks, which they use to search for prey and communicate with their peers. Their top prey are medium-large squid and fish, with some sperm whales even carrying battle scars with giant squid! Interestingly enough, sperm whales around Iceland tend to hunt bony fish rather than squid. 

They are not often observed around the shores of Iceland, as they spend very little time at the surface, but they can be found off Iceland’s west coast and occasionally in the north of Iceland in late spring and summer.

The Whales of Iceland Museum

If you want to see all the mentioned whales above and even more in life-size, we highly recommend checking out the Whales of Iceland museum in Reykjavík. You can learn more about these fantastic animals inhabiting Icelandic waters in their exhibition. It’s also a great choice, in case the weather should be bad and your whale-watching tour has been cancelled! The museum is located in Grandi, right by the ocean, next to the big supermarket chain Krónan. 

Check out their website here.

You can book a whale-watching tour here.

What can you tell me about North Iceland?

iceland districts

Traditionally, Iceland was divided into four quarters: North, South, East, and West. This was of course a geographical division, but it also had important implications for the legal system in medieval Iceland. Each district had its own legal assemblies where local matters would be solved. More important matters, and matters of unclear jurisdiction, would be brought before Alþingi, the national assembly.

Today, Iceland is organised differently, but when people talk of “going North” or to other regions, the modern usage still conforms largely to the historical boundaries of these districts.

The largest settlement in North Iceland is by far Akureyri, with some 20,000 inhabitants. In fact, Akureyri is the largest settlement outside of the great capital region. Akureyri is a charming town with a bustling but modest walking district. We recommend seeing the church, botanical gardens, and harbour. For winter visitors, Akureyri also has some excellent ski slopes.

Húsavík is also another small but important settlement. A historical fishing and whaling village, it remains an excellent place to go whale watching and is a very popular summer destination.

North Iceland also has numerous natural features, such as Dettioss and Goðafoss waterfalls, lake Mývatn, the Dimmuborgir lava fields, and Ásbyrgi, an impressive horse-shoe shaped canyon near Húsavík.

Besides that, North Iceland is also known rather surprisingly for its summers, which are often warmer and clearer than in the capital region.

Christmas Tree Democracy: Húsavík Inhabitants Vote on Town Tannenbaum

For the past four years, residents of Húsavík, North Iceland, have voted on which evergreen will decorate the town centre as its Christmas tree. This year’s tree won by a landslide, getting 180 out of 200 votes. Many of the residents submit trees from their yards in the running.

Smári J. Lúðviksson, environmental manager of Norðurþing municipality, says there are plenty of trees in Húsavík and around the town to choose from. “There’s been a lot of growth in town and we are starting to get some big and thick spruce trees here, and they are consequently becoming too big for front yards, so we’re trying to utilise them by using them as the town Christmas tree.”

City authorities take care of cutting down the winning tree, setting it up, and lighting it in the town centre. Children from the local preschool and primary school were present when the tree was lit and sang carols and danced around the tree according to Icelandic tradition.

Smári says the goal of holding a vote is for residents to choose a Christmas tree they’re happy with. “Now it’s the residents themselves that get to choose the tree and if you’re not happy with the tree that was chosen then you could have voted. You could call it Christmas tree democracy.”

Húsavík, Iceland Rolls Out the Red Carpet for Oscars Ceremony

Húsavík Oscar

Residents of Húsavík have literally painted the town red for this Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, which features a musical performance filmed in the North Iceland locale. A girls’ choir from the town will take part in the ceremony in a performance of the Oscar-nominated ballad Húsavík, featured in the Will Ferrel film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. The other four nominated songs will be performed from the roof terrace of Los Angeles’ yet-to-open Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

Húsavík residents have made the most of the nomination, painting a red carpet on the main street and launching a campaign called “An Óskar for Húsavík,” where they implore the world to help the ballad win an Academy Award. The campaign is part of town residents’ efforts to open a temporary Eurovision museum, in collaboration with the European Broadcasting Union and Iceland’s national broadcaster RÚV.

The song Húsavík – My Home Town can be heard in its entirety below.

Song From Eurovision Film in iTunes’ Top Ten

Eurovision film Will Ferrel Rachel McAdams

Power ballad Húsavík, featured in the newly-released Will Ferrel and Rachel McAdams film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is currently the 7th most popular song on iTunes in the US. The song is charting 4th in Ireland, 5th in the UK, and 8th in Australia on the streaming platform. Critics, however, are not as enthusiastic about the movie as listeners are about its music. RÚV reported first.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga follows Icelandic musicians Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdóttir (played by Farrel and Adams) as they represent Iceland at the popular song competition. The movie was partially filmed in Húsavík, a town on on Iceland’s north coast.

The Story of Fire Saga has received mixed reviews, with one BBC critic calling it “misjudged and tedious,” and its depiction of Icelanders as “an unsophisticated bunch of beer-drinking, whale-watching, knitted jumper-wearing innocents” as “tiresome and ignorant.” Not all Icelanders agree with the judgement, however. Steinunn Björk Bragadóttir sits on the board of Iceland’s official Eurovision fan club OGAE. “I found it very funny and it showed how we Icelanders are so occupied with appearing cooler than we are,” she stated in an interview. “But we’re just a bunch of people in lopapeysur who want to hear Nína at the bar and nothing else will do.”

Foreign Tourist With Coronavirus Dies in North Iceland

Húsavík

An Australian tourist in his 30s who sought medical attention in Húsavík, North Iceland for serious illness turned out to be infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, RÚV reports. The man died shortly after arriving at the Húsavík health clinic. His cause of death has not been determined, but despite testing positive for the novel coronavirus, his symptoms were not typical of COVID-19.

In a press conference today, Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason confirmed that the man was showing no symptoms of COVID-19 and it is unlikely that it was his cause of death. His wife, who was also travelling with him, also tested positive for coronavirus and has been set in isolation.

An investigation is underway to determine the man’s cause of death. The Husavík health clinic staff who came in contact with the man are being quarantined and the clinic itself will be disinfected. The clinic will scale back operation in the coming days, making every effort to ensure important services are maintained.

Ferrell’s Eurovision Film Prompts Mayor’s Endearing Statement

Filming of the upcoming Netflix comedy Eurovision is currently underway in Húsavík in North Iceland. The film – which is directed by David Dobkin, and written by Andrew Steele and Will Ferrell – stars Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Demi Lovato, and Will Ferrell himself. The film follows Icelanders Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdottir, who are chosen to represent their nation at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Prior to the filming, Kristján Þór Magnússon, Mayor of Húsavík, released a statement on the municipality of Norðurþing’s website, detailing the extent of the preparations and warning of possible disturbances to life in town. With reference to “the principles” of filmmaking, Magnússon’s statement – which is alternately endearing and inspirational – asks citizens to respect the crew’s privacy on set:

“… The excitement in the run-up to the project’s filming has mounted over the past few weeks, and it is understandable that many are equal parts thrilled and curious about the film. Everyone involved in the film’s production is exceedingly grateful to the positive outlook the inhabitants of Húsavík have adopted toward it.

During the production of a large-scale film project such as this, it is important that we adhere to the rules applicable on and around the set. The production company, the actors, and other affiliated parties expect much of us. On behalf of the municipality, I would like to request that we demonstrate our trustworthiness to our fine guests; that we respect the privacy of the film’s staff and actors; and that we demonstrate our capability of taking on additional projects, by not violating the principles of the film-making business. Those principles are, in their most basic form, the following:

  • Absolutely no photographs are to be taken of the actors or other on-set paraphernalia and published on social media.
  • No drones are to be operated over or around the set during filming.
  • The temporarily closing of roads during production is to be met with patience and understanding.

A crew of approximately 250 people will arrive in Húsavík to film between Friday, October 11th, and Monday, October 14th. During that time, a certain perturbation of town-life is unavoidable.

Finally, I hope we enjoy this fun project together, and may it go down, through our collevtive efforts, as one of the most fantastic events in the history of Húsavík. Let us receive the crew with open arms, let us respect their privacy, and let us throw a real Eurovision party come next spring!

On behalf of Norðurþing,

Kristján Þór Magnússon”

The full statement is accessible here (in Icelandic).

Geosea Sea Baths Named One of ‘World’s Greatest Places’

Húsavík’s Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths have been named one of Time magazine’s 100 “destinations to experience right now,” Vísir reports.

The Geosea baths opened just last year in August 2018 and have been hugely popular since their inception. They were designed by Basalt Architects and are located right on the North Icelandic village’s harbour, offering a view of Skjálfandi Bay and the Kinnarfjöll Mountains. The spa draws its water from two sea water bore holes that were originally intended to be used for the collection of sea salt but are now used to produce a steady flow of mineral-rich saltwater for its infinity-style pools.

“Overtourism is a tremendous problem for Iceland,” reads the Time location description, “its iconic Blue Lagoon packs in visitors by the busload. But roughly 300 miles north in Húsavík…a lesser-known geothermal spa gives its guests plenty of room to breathe” and is, the publication concludes, “a spectacular way to catch the Northern Lights when swimming after dark.”

The American publication’s full “Greatest Places 2019” list includes a wide variety of destinations all over the world from the Museum of Black Civilizations in Dakar, Senegal and the Central Library in Calgary, Canada, to the Liechtenstein Trail in Liechtenstein and the Zealandia ecosanctuary in Wellington, New Zealand.