Located a short drive away from the capital city of Reykjavík, the whale-fjord or Hvalfjörður lays between the towns Mosfellsbær and Akranes. Just 50 km north of Reykjavík, you are invited to snap up an excellent opportunity to enjoy the beauty of this unique Icelandic fjord with boats, beaches, mountains and waterfalls. The whale-fjord also holds a controversial history of whaling and a British and American naval base during World War II. One of the most famous attractions, definitely not to be missed, whilst visiting the fjord is Glymur Waterfall, the highest waterfall in Iceland.

Whale Fjord

History

The name "whale- fjord" derives from the fact that for centuries, numerous whales meet up in these tranquil waters to eat and due to the fact that this is the only whaling station that still exists in Iceland. The station can be found on the grounds of the US and British military basis that were established in the area during World War II. The herring fish industry was very popular here in the past, but today, fewer schools of these fish are seen here.

In 1998, an underground tunnel was built under the fjord in which promising to shorten the journey for those travelling north from Reykjavik, by 62 kilometers. Towards the end of 1998 the Hvalfjarðargöngin Tunnel officially opened to traffic and shortened the trip, as promised. The length of the tunnel is nearly six km's long and the depth is 165 meters below sea level. This is one of Iceland's many tunnels, but the only one classed as a toll tunnel and entails a crossing fee.

The innermost side of the fjord shows an interesting mix of volcanoes and lush vegetation in the summer with lupines, various other flowers and moss, as well as small forests of birches and conifers. The region is a good example of the National Forestry Project that was implemented in Iceland for several years.

The Eastern inner side of the fjord has a hiking route to Iceland's highest waterfall, Glymur Waterfall, that falls from a height of 198 meters.

Whale-Fjord Map