It was a surprise for me to see the small village Hauganes following me on Twitter and starting its promotion as a tourist destination. I passed by Hauganes by chance a few days ago after I was told there isn’t much to do there. Visit Hauganes! its tourism marketing efforts proved me wrong.
The slogan of the village of Hauganes, “A village so quiet you can hear your inner voice”, speaks volumes. This small village of 137 inhabitants in Eyjafjörður sits halfway between Akureyri and Dalvík. Its name comes from Old Norse haugr, which means hill. Fishing is the main activity in the village and also, tourism seems to be growing. The website states “Hauganes is also a popular tourist destination”
Hauganes has a small industry that produces salted fish (Ektafiskur). There is a brasserie restaurant serving sea food specialties (Baccalá bar, open only in summer), three houses Airbnb accommodation for tourists, and offers whale watching excursions -an excellent way to discover the beautiful surroundings and with a little luck, you can spot whales and seals. The village is very close to the beautiful small island of Hrísey; I urge you to go during your visit in the north of Iceland.
Hauganes boasts about being an ideal destination for peace and quiet -a commodity; I must say, which is becoming increasingly rare in the Icelandic summer. With the ocean, the birds and the wind, it is true that Hauganes may be the ideal place to relax and take your time – there’s no hurry.
One activity in Hauganes takes you through the fisheries in the region and invites you to discover the history of local fishing -with shark tasting. This event called “the Ektafiskur experience” is only available for groups of ten or more. For others, you can always join an excursion and go fishing with professionals, and hope to catch cod, haddock or halibut. You can also take your rod and try to catch your dinner from the pier.
Walking in the village you will discover some surrounding wonders of Eyjafjörður, like Mount Kaldbakur, or the Þorvaldsdalur Valley, a few kilometers west of the village. This valley, uninhabited since 1979, is known for its 20 kilometres hike, you can also look in on the event Þorvaldsalsskokk that takes place the first week of July. In winter, avalanche risks are frequent, and it is imperative to follow the advice of locals and inform someone of your route if you decide to venture out there in the snow.
Another easy walk four kilometres (one way) takes you to the nearby village of Litli Árskógssandur, or you can, optionally, visit the local Kaldi brewery, where the ferry takes you to the pretty Hrísey!
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