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Skjalfandi Bay | Information to Iceland

The spectacular Skjalfandi Bay is surrounded by mountains and is a popular whale-watching destination in North Iceland.Skjalfandi is a bay in North Iceland referred to as the most effective whale-watching locations within the nation.

You may go to Skjalfandi Bay as a part of a whale-watching boat tour from Husavik, the one city on the waterfront. You too can drive alongside the bay’s coast as a part of a self-drive tour of Iceland — head north alongside Route 85 from the Ring Street.

Skjalfandi Bay, spelled as Skjálfandi in Icelandic, is a unbelievable place to see whales and different sea creatures. A number of species of seabirds additionally reside across the bay, so it’s one of many greatest locations in Iceland to see puffins.

Picture from Wikimedia, Artistic Commons, by Andreas Tille. No edits made.

A Transient Historical past of Skjalfandi Bay

Skjalfandi Bay will get its title from the Icelandic phrase for “tremble” (“skjálfa”). The time period “Skjalfandi” interprets to “shaky bay” or “trembly bay.” It was most likely named for prime ranges of seismic exercise within the space. 

There’s nonetheless the occasional tremor round Husavik and the bay, however there’s been no important earthquake right here for over a century.

Skjalfandi Bay can also be the previous house of one among Iceland’s first Scandinavian settlers, Gardar Svavarsson. He arrived in Iceland round 860 and constructed a home in Skjalfandi — however he didn’t keep lengthy. He solely spent just a few months right here earlier than transferring on and leaving Iceland.

Animal Life in Skjalfandi Bay

A whale dives down into the waters of Skjalfandi Bay on a whale-watching boat tour.Picture from Unique 3-Hour Whale Watching Journey in Oak Boats with Switch from Husavik.

Guests to Iceland who wish to see whales almost all the time discover themselves on a whale-watching tour in Skjalfandi Bay. Humpback, blue, minke, and northern bottlenose whales swim within the waters, however there are additionally orcas, white-beaked dolphins, and porpoises. 

The bay additionally incorporates a number of chicken life. There are two islands within the bay: Flatey Island (to not be confused with the Flatey Island within the Breidafjordur fjord) and Lundey Island. Lundey Island is often known as “puffin island” — it’s the nesting level for Atlantic puffins, Arctic terns, guillemots, and different stunning seabirds. 

Skjalfandi Bay’s Pure Magnificence

The blue waters of Skjalfandi Bay in North Iceland with mountains in the background.Picture from Wikimedia, Artistic Commons, by Luis Bartolomé Marcos. No edits made.

Skjalfandi Bay is surrounded by an attractive shoreline and the Kinnarfjoll mountains, making this an extremely picturesque vacation spot. Glacial exercise created the bay, which is now fed by two rivers: the Laxa and Skjalfandafljot.

The Laxa river is a freshwater river identified for its massive inhabitants of salmon. Elements of the river are protected against environmental harm underneath the Ramsar Conference.

The Skjalfandafljot river is the fourth-longest river in Iceland at 111 miles (about 180 kilometers). Its supply is the Vatnajokull glacier, making it a glacial river. Springwater from the Odadahraun lava discipline additionally feeds it. The Skjalfandafljot river is the place you’ll discover Godafoss waterfall, one among Iceland’s most spectacular falls. 

Easy methods to Attain Skjalfandi Bay

Skjalfandi Bay is located in North Iceland, roughly 288 miles (about 463 kilometers) from Reykjavik

The simplest approach to go to the wealthy waters of Skjalfandi Bay is on a whale-watching tour from Husavik. Nonetheless, you may also take a ship tour to the bay from Akureyri, a city referred to as the capital of North Iceland. 

Akureyri is on Route 1, so Ring Street vacationers can cease off right here on their approach across the nation. There’s additionally an airport right here with home flights from Reykjavik Airport

From Akureyri, it’s solely 45 miles (roughly 75 kilometers) to Husavik. Comply with the Ring Street eastwards out of Akureyri for round 15 miles (about 25 kilometers), then flip left onto Route 85 (Nordausturvegur). This highway leads immediately into Husavik.

Different Points of interest Close to Skjalfandi Bay

Guests to Skjalfandi Bay can discover a number of different sights within the close by space.


The picturesque fishing village of Husavik sits on the coastline of Skjalfandi Bay.Picture from Flickr, Artistic Commons, by Orly Orlyson. No edits made.

The city of Husavik, proper on the bay’s waters, has a lot to supply vacationers past whale-watching excursions. The attractive Husavikurkirkja church is value a glance, and the fascinating Husavik Whale Museum offers guests an opportunity to study extra in regards to the whales they’ve seen on the bay.

There are additionally horse-riding excursions within the space for anybody who desires to see the shoreline in a different way.

The Diamond Circle

Husavik is only one cease on Iceland’s spectacular Diamond Circle, a 160-mile (roughly 260-kilometer) vacationer route — North Iceland’s reply to the better-known Golden Circle

The opposite points of interest on the Diamond Circle embrace Lake Myvatn, a volcanic lake with a number of the greatest bird-watching within the nation. Dettifoss waterfall, probably the most highly effective in Europe, can also be on the route, and so is the Asbyrgi canyon

It’s attainable to go to all of the sights of the Diamond Circle in a single day, and Husavik on Skjalfandi Bay makes a wonderful base. 


There’s additionally a lot to do within the city of Akureyri – see the imposing Akureyrarkirkja church or go to the Christmas Home for some festive enjoyable. 

Akureyri additionally has an fascinating historical past and tradition. Guests can study extra in regards to the Icelandic settlers with a go to to the Laufas turf homes. Alternatively, a visit to the botanical gardens can educate you about Arctic flora.

Different Pure Points of interest

Whether or not you keep in Akureyri or Husavik, there are a number of different pure points of interest within the space that you just shouldn’t miss. 

The Godafoss and Aedafossar waterfalls are each spectacular sights. Godafoss is simply 30 miles (about 47 kilometers) from Husavik, whereas Aedafossar is even nearer at 6 miles (round 10 kilometers) away. 

The Hljodaklettar cliffs, referred to as the “echo rocks” or “whispering cliffs,” are 45 miles (about 72 kilometers) from Husavik, and the gorgeous Raudanes cape is simply over 80 miles away (somewhat over 130 kilometers).



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