Seals at Illugastadir (Illugastaðir)

Seals at Illugastadir (Illugastaðir)

Before visiting the seal colonies, you may like to take a look at the informative Selasetur (Seal Centre) exhibition at Hvammstangi village.

To visit observe the seals, take road 711 and 15km north of Hvammstangi, park your car at the farm of Illugastaðir. There are a café and toilets here.  It is a short walk on a level trail down to the shore.  

Seals can be observed in the sea and on the offshore rocks. They can be quite curious about people but are also easily spooked and you should not try to approach them as it may affect their behaviour.  Instead, bring binoculars and observe them from a distance without disturbing them. 

If you have read Hannah Kent’s novel ‘Burial Rites’, you may recognize the farm’s name. The novel tells the story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, who was executed for the murder of the farmer at Illugastaðir in 1828.

Note that Illugastaðir is closed to visitors before 29th June, to protect the eider colony nesting in the vicinity.  Another seal colony hauls out on the sands at Ósar on the east coast of Vatnsnes Peninsula.