Húsavík is the centre of whale watching in Iceland. There are several companies organising tours. We went on board with 'Gentle Giants' a reputable company as it turned out.
Gentle Giants claim to have a success rate of about 97%, meaning that it is as good as certain that you will actually see whales. We were not disappointed. We had really close encounters with huge Humpback Whales, blowing, fluking and even spy hopping! Common in the bay are also the Harbour Porpoise, the Minke Whale and the White-beaked Dolphin.
Gentle Giants organises from 1 (in low October season) up to 7 (in July and early August) tours daily. They have several boats each accomodating some 35 people I guess. There is a ticket office in the harbour, all very small scale as most things in Iceland. Reservation is not really needed.
The whale watching trip takes about 3 hours to complete. Costs are 3,800 ISK (about 46 Euros or US$ 63) for adults and kids under 15 are free of charge. On board there is an English speaking guide and they provide waterproof overalls, hats and gloves. They might come handy as it is very chilly there up north. Also included is hot chocolate with a 'kleina' (a twisted doughnut like pastry) on the way back. You need that!
A rather young museum founded in 1997 by the same people that started 'Gentle Giants' whale watching tours. It looks quite unattractive from the outside but the interior is very friendly and interesting indeed.
They have impressive whale skeletons, artefacts related to whale hunting and a video show. They also make efforts to give an impression of the enormous size of the creatures on one hand and their vulnerability on the other. Quite touching for example is the pile of 240 milk bottles to visualize the daily drinking amount of a baby whale.
There's also a cute gift shop.
Apart from whales, Husavik has another major 'attraction'; the p.e.n.i.s (VT censor doesn't allow the regular spelling) museum, a private enterprise. The Icelandic Phallological Museum (formerly located in Reykjavik) has collected phallic specimens of all land and sea mammals living in Iceland. It has now almost 200 items on display. Only the 'Homo Sapiens' is missing but several volunteers have written letters of donation.
In the summer season (end of May - early September) it is opened every afternoon from 12 to 6. Unfortunately (!?) we were at a whale watching trip so we didn't visit the museum itself so I can't comment on the content.
Ketilsbraut 22, Husavík, 640, Iceland
Good for: Solo
Kofinn isn't that special, but it gives you the true idea of being in Iceland. It's basically just a little service hut and a little terrace with a view over the harbour watching the whale watching boats return. They serve traditional 'pylsur' (Icelandic hotdogs, in all kind of varieties) and there is stockfish hanging out drying. Good coffee too. If weather permits, a great little place.