Experience a breathtaking 2,5-hour whale watching tour from the small fishing village of Hjalteyri, located within 20 minutes from Akureyri. Many Northerners believe that Hjalteyri is one of the best-kept secrets of North Iceland, and who can blame them?
With a population of only 43 inhabitants, tranquillity best explains the village’s character. Though minuscule, the village’s history is immense as it used to be one of the major fishing ports in the northern region. North Sailing’s first ever whale watching vessel, the traditional refurbished oak boat Knörrinn, gives you glimpses to the mindset of the then-local fishermen going out at sea, as it was originally built for fishing. Nowadays, however, you enjoy a quiet sailing in the calm seas if Eyjafjörður, Iceland’s longest fjord. Eyjafjörður is a favourable habitat of marine life, so favourable in fact that whales have been spotted in 99,4% of all our tours in the last three years. It’s not for no reason that Hjalteyri’s former fishermen have a saying: “Water is wet, the sky is blue, and Eyjafjörður is swarmed with whales!“
Under the guidance and expertise of our most qualified crew, this tour gives you the unique and exceptional opportunity to get in touch with the magnificent wildlife found in the North of Iceland, most notably the majestic whales and graceful seabirds.
Refreshments on board
- Delicious hot chocolate and cinnamon buns.
- Expert whale watching guide.
Extra clothes on board
- We provide warm overalls and also raincoats if needed.
Daily Departures 2022
2,5 hours approx.
Daily June – September
10.300 ISK Adults
3.300 ISK 7-15 years
FREE Under 7 years
(All prices include 11% VAT)
Book this tour
Welcome to Hjalteyri
Hjalteyri is a miniature former fishing village located on the western edge of Eyjafjörður, 20 minutes from Akureyri. Hjalteyri used to be one of the focal points of the Icelandic herring fishing industry up until the twentieth century, and the old herring factory which cannot go unnoticed used to be the largest of its kind in the country. Nowadays, however, it hosts various activities and is often used as a venue for art exhibitions.
In addition to phenomenal whale watching, the only scuba dive accessible hydrothermal chimney is in Hjalteyri, which rises from 65 – 15 meters. It was formed over 10.000 years ago and is the first underwater protected area in Iceland.
Enjoy the scenic surroundings of Hjalteyri and experience the aura of old times.
Activities and recreation in Hjalteyri
Strýtan Dive Centre
Strýtan Dive Center strives to provide the most personal diving experience that you can find anywhere, in addition to keeping the diving groups small enough to give each diver a special diving journey and caring for nature and treating it with respect.
As Hjalteyri is sheltered from big ocean waves, it is the ideal place for kayaking. You can choose between paddling on the pond, if you’re inexperienced, or head straight on out to ocean. The kayaks are sit-on-top kayaks, and everyone is provided with lifejackets to insure safety.
Coined “the Center for Contemporary Art”, the artist exhibitions are open Tuesdays to Sundays from 14 to 17. Admission is free!
The 1500 m2 former historical herring factory has been revitalized into an exhibition space. A vast sum of artists, both Icelandic and non-Icelandic, exhibit works in this huge space – from paintings to sculptures and everything in between – where they seek inspiration from the area surrounding them.
A perfect place not only to look at the artist’s works but also to witness how the factory once was, as it hasn’t been altered greatly. Without a doubt one of the coolest exhibition spaces in all of Iceland!
The old herring factory
The old herring factory has been transformed from its original role of processing fish meal and oil into a venue for modern art. Built in 1937 and closed in 1966, it is a huge concrete structure sprawling on the edge of the fjord. The old concrete tanks and decaying walls cannot go unnoticed and give the harbor a unique look to it.
Outdoor hot tubs
Down by the sea you can find a marvelous hot tub run by donations. Ideal to warm up after having been out at sea or pre-heat yourself before the activities coming up. Fantastic sceneries over Eyjafjörður as the hot tub is almost parallel to the sea and mountains are all around.
Apt. Hotel Hjalteyri
Apt. Hotel Hjalteyri is a family run apartment hotel eager to provide excellent service to make your holiday both relaxing and rememberable. It’s stylish, clean and comfortable and features views of the sea and the mountains from every apartment.
Location in the heart of Eyjafjörður, Iceland
Our boat Knörrinn
We take pride in preserving cultural heritage
Our traditional refurbished oak boat, Knörrinn, was the first scheduled whale watching boat ever to sail in Iceland. How about that! It began its journey in Húsavík over 20 years ago and has since sailed over 2.000 voyages accompanying nearly 40.000 passengers in various weathers.
This former fishing boat has been restored to fit its new purpose – scouting for whales – without wrecking its original character.
North Sailing in Hjalteyri
North Sailing is easy to find once you arrive in Hjalteyri. Besides the fact that it only takes about 3 minutes to drive all the streets in the village, you can find our “Lighthouse” down by the harbor – close by the gigantic old, gray herring factory. Trust me, you can’t miss us!