Hofn in Hornafjordur

  • Hofn I Hornafirdi Iceland

    Scenic viewpoint of Almannaskarð
    Between Lón and the town Höfn, the road lies over the mountain pass, Almannaskarð. There one enjoys a panoramic scenary of Hornafjörður, Vatnajökull and its side glaciers and mountains.

    Black sands and seals
    East of Höfn lies Stokksnes, with a survey station of NATO. Austurfjörur are black basalt beaches running west from there - often a resting place for seals and a convenient place to see them.
    Huge magma intrusions make up the mountain Vestrahorn above Stokksnes,. Horn is an appropriate name both for the peninsulas jutting into the sea and the stark mountain tips.

    Colourful rhyolite often displays itself in this area, which has some of Icelands largest deposits. Red, yellow, grey and even green colours are prominent, sometimes laced by dykes, which are younger strands of darker lava running through.

    Hornafjörður, vicinity of Höfn
    The glacial rivers have created wide watery plains by depositing sand ground from the gray basalt mountains by the underside of the glacier. Organized revegetation is taking place to prevent sandstorms and improve the soil.

    Swans and ponds, seals and sands
    Water standing on the plains shelters white whooper swans (Cygnus cygnus) and numerous other birds at many sites, for instance at the lake Þveit by the road on the east side of the valley, or at Skógey or Árnanes near the airport.
    If you are interested in modern architecture, visit the church at Bjarnanes, a simple but unusual white concrete structure.

    Bustling fishing village
    The basic industry is fishing and fish processing. Due to glacial sand filling up inlets on the south coast, the first other good harbour to the west is at the islands Vestmannaeyjar. Höfn actually means harbour, though even here repeated dredging has proved necessary to keep the entrance safe from sand deposits.
    Ships come and go, the catch enters the fish processing plants and can be tried out in local restaurants. Besides general fish, the port is renowned for lobsters and prawns.

    Computer development
    Höfn has sometimes been in the forefront for computer development in Iceland. Minutes of meetings in the community government were some of the first to be published on the Internet.

    Museum
    Folk museum is in Gamla búð which is the oldest house in Höfn. The house was originally built as a shop í Papós in Lón in 1864 bun n 1897 it was moved to its present site. The museum has all kinds of tools and items from centuries past that cast a light on the conditions of local life long ago.
    Pakkhúsið is a maritimal-museum down at the harbour at Höfn.

    Many birds accompany the walker, such as the arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea). Ósland estuary is promising for birdwatching, but they appear at many places around the village, with its blend of glacial runoff, basalt sand, vegetation and sea. Migratory birds of spring in Iceland frequently appear first at Höfn, due to its situation at the southeast corner of the island.

    Hiking trails
    There are several marked hiking trails in the vicinity of Höfn.

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