Hafnarfjörður is a charming and vibrant seaside town, with colourful houses perched amidst sprawling, rugged lava fields, beautiful nature and plenty of fresh ocean air.
The town centre is a pleasure to explore on foot, with curious little jewelleries, cafes, boutiques and galleries featuring the work of local artists and designers. Cosy local hangouts, warm geothermal pools (Ásvallalaug, Suðurbæjarlaug and Sundhöll Hafnarfjarðar) and ambitious family run restaurants where traditional Icelandic food is served with pleasure and passion are always close by.
A short distance from the centre is the lovely Hellisgerði Lava Garden where – with luck – elves can be seen. For further entertainment and contact with nature, Víðistaðatún playground and camping, the Lækurinn pond and Hamarinn cliff are spots worth
At the heart of Hafnarfjörður is the charming old harbour which today is home to numerous artist studios and galleries that showcase Icelandic art and design. Art lovers should also check out Hafnarborg Art Museum, which hosts various exhibitions and events and Hafnarfjörður Museum is well worth a visit for history enthusiasts. Spread across six buildings, the exhibitions take guests on a fascinating journey through the town’s rich heritage.
Municipal size: 144 km2
Places of interest: Hafnarborg Art Museum, Hafnarfjörður Museum, Hellisgerði lava garden, Hamarinn cliff (great view of the town and landscape), and Víðistaðatún playground and camping.
Thermal pools: 3
Best kept secret: Hvaleyrarvatn lake. This quiet and lush area offers an idyllic spot to spend an afternoon, or for taking a morning stroll. A simple path beckons along the glistening lake rim, fir trees stretching across the gently sloping surrounding hills. Through breaks in the treeline it is possible to catch sight of the cone-shaped Keilir mountain in the distance.