Did you know

...the lava field in which the town is situated is 7000 years old.

...in the early fifteenth century, Hafnarfjörður was an „English town”.

...towards the close of the fifteenth century, the English and Germans were battling for power over the town, a struggle eventually won by the Germans. During the late fifteenth century and throughout the sixteenth century, Hafnarfjörður was a “German town”.

...in the seventeenth century, King Christian IV of Denmark issued an edict forbidding all but his Danish subjects to trade in Iceland. This marked the end of German influence in Hafnarfjörður and the start of the 200-years Danish monopoly.

...in the 1920s, Hafnarfjörður became the cradle of handball. To this day, the town remains a bastion of this hugely popular sport in Iceland.

...Hafnarfjörður's population is presently just over 26,000 and growing at an annual rate of 4%, not counting the “hidden people” and elves.

...Hafnarfjörður is part of the Greater Reykjavík Area.

...the Krýsuvík area, which is partly owned by Hafnarfjörður, has sizzling hot springs and is adorned in a unique array of colours.

The elves

Population figures for Hafnarfjörður are tricky, as every rock and cave in the town is home to elves and hidden people that not everyone is gifted enough to see.


The third Thursday in April is a public holiday to celebrate the First Day of Summer and bestow gifts on children to mark the occasion.

The darkness

During the darkest winter days, it's light for only four hours a day. However, the same part of the year is brightened up by elaborate and extravagant Christmas lights, which keep on shining until March.

The colours

The Old Town brims with colourful houses clad with corrugated iron. In fact, Hafnarfjörður holds the Icelandic record for the largest continuous conurbation of timber houses covered with corrugated iron.

The town's character

Despite its close proximity to the capital city, Hafnarfjörður has a friendly, village-like atmosphere resembling that of rural seaside villages.

The port

Hafnarfjörður has an excellent natural harbour, which made it Iceland's main port for years.


Hafnarfjörður is one of Iceland's oldest townships, despite being a spring chicken compared with many towns in neighbouring countries. The township's 100th anniversary was celebrated in 2008.

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights dancing over the Faxaflói bay are a breathtaking spectacle and cast a mystical glow over the town.

Viking heritage

Viking festivals are held in the town regularly, and are attended by a motley mix of mock fighters, artists and story tellers, not to forget magicians and sorceresses.

The fish

A stronghold of the fishing industry, Hafnarfjörður used to be said to reek of money. In fact, it was the smell of fish in which the town was enveloped at the time.

Nature at your doorstep

Despite Hafnarfjörður being an ever-growing town, pristine nature is always close by in the town's environs.


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