Visitors to the north coast of Iceland will experience unique breathtaking landscapes and seascapes. Most will enjoy these sights from the familiar footing of dry land. But travelers to this region should be aware that the settlements here have survived through the centuries only because of the ocean on the shores of which they were built.

These days, the adventurous wanderer can experience the peaceful majesty of the ocean in a variety of ways along Iceland’s northern border. Such activities as whale watching, sea angling, scuba diving, and kayaking are among the most active methods to take advantage of the joy of the ocean.

Such towns as Hauganes, Dalvík, Akureyri, and Húsavík all offer whale watching. Sea angling is available at Blönduós, Hauganes, and Þórshöfn, among other places. The sea angler in Iceland can expect to catch cod (commonly 3.5+ kg/8+ lbs), saithe (European pollock), and haddock, as well as a few types of flatfish, Atlantic wolffish, and the occasional anglerfish.There is even a good chance of catching large, feisty sea-run brown trout and Arctic char within the fjords.

In the village of Hjalteyri, in Eyjafjörður, is a dive center specializing in scuba diving to the protected geothermal chimneys and vents in the fjord. This is the only place in the world where such chimneys are within the depth range of normal scuba gear and the sight is spectacular.

In the town of Akureyri is a boating club from which kayaks can be rented for a peaceful morning or afternoon of paddling on the large sheltered fjord.

For those who do not want to venture onto or into the cold water, there are several museums and exhibits along the north coast dedicated to marine life and society’s connection to the ocean.