Your Guide to the Wild Westfjords
Many of the people that visit Iceland come to the country for its natural beauty and unique landscapes. If you are one of these people then you might have already heard about the wild Westfjords of Iceland. This very remote part of the island can provide the perfect place to explore and become one with nature. We have put together a guide to the largely unexplored wilds of the Westfjords to give you an idea of some of the best places to go and things to see.
One of the first things to note about the region is that the area is particularly isolated. You won’t see many signs of other human life in the region. One of the most northern towns in the country, Skálavík, was inhabited until around the 1960s but now has a total population of zero. The region became deserted after those living in the area found the conditions too harsh and were unable to make a living from the sea or land. The area is now full of secluded hiking trails and occasionally a few caravans dotted around. This landscape offers a remoteness and isolation that many people look for when they come to Iceland. It is a place where you can truly be one with nature and detach from the outside world. The Westfjords are often referred to as the best kept secret, as they receive fewer than 10% of the country’s tourists.
One area of the Westfjords that you need to make sure you visit is the waterfall at Dynjandi. Around a 90 minute drive south of the deserted town of Skálavík is the waterfall, which highlights the natural beauty of the region. It is well worth the trip as the waterfall, standing at nearly 100 meters high, is the largest in the region and translates as the “thundering noise”. The trek to the top of the falls is not difficult as it is actually a series of eight falls, and once you are there you have stunning views across the region. The difficulty of the falls is deciding whether you prefer taking in the power of the falls from the ground or the stunning views at the top of the hike.
Although the region is known for being remote and isolated, there are actually still plenty of things for you to do in the area. You can enjoy a whole host of activities in the region such as kayaking, cycling tours, hiking trails, skiing and even golf courses. Many of the activities can be organised in the regions capital, Ísafjörður, and there are plenty of areas around the region where you can join in with the activities. However, if you are planning to head out on the trip yourself then you might want to plan your trip in great detail in advance, as it isn’t always clear where the trails are. There is an emphasis on nature in the region which means that there are very few ropes or signs marking the right way to go.
One of the main reasons for people visiting Iceland is to experience the natural geothermal pools that are famous worldwide. The Blue Lagoon hot springs are probably the most famous and can often be seen in a lot of tourism guides. However, as the hot springs have become so popular, it can often feel more like a tourist attraction than a natural wonder. If you are looking for a more natural geothermal pool then you can find plenty in the Westfjords. Hellulaug pool is located to the south of the region in Flókalundur and is completely natural, with geothermal pools in the rock face that reach warm temperatures. The pool is on the beach and has great views out to sea. Some of the other great pools in the area include Reykjafjarðarlaug pool and Pollurinn in Tálknafjörður.
There are plenty more areas to explore and enjoy in the Westfjords, our guide just gives you an idea of some things to do. As the region is largely remote and untouched, the ideal way to get around the Westfjords would be to hire a car. Reykjavik Rent a Car has a great range of cars for you to choose from and get your adventure started. Book online today with just a 15% deposit and pay the balance when you arrive.