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Wednesday, June 8th Update Part 2: Laufás, Húsavík museums, Whale Watching with North Sailing

While some of the family spent the day in Akureyri, the rest of us headed to Húsavík, the self-proclaimed whale capital of Iceland. On the way (well, only slightly out of the way) we stopped at Laufás, a museum featuring a turf house from the 1840s:

turf houses

The inside was huge– this was a rectory, and it was quite spacious for the time. You come across room after room as you walk down the original hallway:

inside laufas

The museum costs 1000 krona (about $8 for adults) and is free for kids 17 and under. But it is also part of an Akureyri museum pass, which costs 2000 krona for a day and gives adults access to 5 museums:

day pass

The main 2 draws here are Laufás and the first one, which is the Akureyri Museum (sorry, that’s in Icelandic.) Both cost 1000 for adults, making the other 3 museums free with the card. And you’d only need to pay for the adults in your party.

Once we made it to Húsavík, we headed first to the Whale Museum. I couldn’t really capture the size of this thing, but this is a blue whale skeleton. It’s over 75 FEET long:

blue whale

There are also a lot of other whale skeletons to see:

lots of whales

Next we made a quick stop at the Exploration Museum down the street. This was a surprise to us- apparently, Neil Armstrong and other Apollo astronauts came to Iceland in 1967 as part of their training for the moon landings?


Inside, there are exhibits with memorabilia about the moon landings, as well as other exploration-themed rooms:



Then, it was time for whale watching. I was worried about the 4 hour trip- what if a kid got seasick, or just didn’t like it? As it turns out, they want to go again!

We started with a visit to “Puffin Island”, which, as you would expect, is an island surrounded by thousands of birds:

puffin island

puffin big

(That picture above is very zoomed in, as you may be able to tell. You don’t see them up that close.)

puffin and white bird

Then it was on to search for whales. At first, we found one or two here and there; this was tough for the kids, as there was a sense of stress- there was just a whale on the other side of the boat, and I missed it!

blowhole better

But a while later, we were able to laugh those fears away, as our boat was surrounded by 3 or 4 different kinds of whales (several of each) and one would surface every few seconds! There must have been 20 or more whales to see. Apparently, whale watching in Húsavík has been the best anyone has seen in many years.

humpback maybe


porpoises maybe

Thanks to North Sailing for the trip– highly recommended! Though I do worry we just got very lucky. Does anyone else have a whale watching experience in Iceland to share? How many whales did you see?

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Wednesday, June 8th Update Part 2: Laufás, Húsavík museums, Whale Watching with North Sailing was last modified: January 11th, 2017 by Eric