You won‘t find Hvammstangi in your standard tourist guide. It is a small town located by the coast just north of the main road in North Iceland. But I really like it as well as having special feelings for Hvammstangi because I was born there and I lived there the first two years of my life. Of course I don‘t remember any of it but I know a lot of people who remember me and are fond of me and my parents. When I travel to Hvammstangi I always show my travel companions the small hospital where I was born and the house I lived in.
The river Hvammsá runs through Hvammstangi. Really, it is just a small creek, but in this area people tend to call the smallest creeks rivers. My husband thinks it’s funny because he grew up in the south close to big glacier rivers. Anyway, the river and its banks form a beautiful green area sheltered from the northern sea breeze that usually starts blowing in the afternoon.
One cute characteristic of Hvammstangi are many very, very small old houses. Many of them are probably not more than 30m2. They are mostly occupied by the locals but some are vacation houses.
Hvammstangi has a little seaport. In the summer it is possible to go sealwatching on a small boat from the port. I especially recommend going late in a summer evening when the breeze has settled and the sun is still up.
Hvammstangi is marketing itself as the seal capital of Iceland and rightly so because that is where The Icelandic Seal Center is situated where adults and children alike enjoy familiarizing themselves with different species of seals and other trivia. We have been there a few times and have always enjoyed it very much.
In Hvammstangi is also a Kaupfélag, or a Co-op, one of the few left in Iceland. It has an old feel and it is possible to buy almost anything there, as a friend of my mother used to say: „If you can‘t get it at the Co-op, you don‘t really need it“.
In one of the old buildings is a Museum of trading goods from 1950–1970 which I find very interesting. You can find old style pantyhoses, furniture mail order catalogs, toys, fish-nets, farming goods and so forth. The building is also a home to a handicraft market, one of the ones I always explore when I‘m there.
Hvammstangi has a very nice swimming pool with three hot tubs with different temperatures and a steam bath.We always go there when we visit Hvammstangi and the girls even have an annual membership card.
The population in Hvammstangi and surroundings (Húnaþing vestra) is little under 1200. In Hvammstangi itself are probably around 600 inhabitants. The people there are friendly but you will notice they know you are not from there.
Most of the jobs are related to services to the farms, slaughter house, branches of government institutions and the Seal Center. People like living there and there are quite a few children at the kindergarten.
How to get there:
From ring road no. 1 there are 6 km to Hvammstangi on road no. 72.