Westfjords Travel Tips
This hidden gem involves an exciting drive with arresting views over Dýrafjörður fjord. Between the towns of Flateyri and Þingeyri, Sæból is a beautifully isolated valley with just one permanent settlement remaining: a lone sheep farm and a well-maintained church from a time when other farmers lived there year round as well.
There are two main reasons to visit Sæból: the unquestionable peace and natural beauty and the farmhouse where the farmer supplements her income selling a wide range of hand made crafts, clothes and jewellery – as well as good coffee.
Dynjandi is the most spectacular waterfall in the Westfjords region and probably one of the most distinctive and beautiful anywhere.
A seemingly delicate cascade of water, Dynjandi actually means 'Booming´ or 'Droning´ and is much wider at the bottom than the top; giving it an appearance somewhat like a skirt. Because it is so cascading, Dynjandi is, technically speaking, a series of waterfalls and not just one.
Hrafnseyri is the site of a farm from the Viking settlement age and still features turf roofed farmhouses today.
As well as being a Viking-age historical site, it was also the birthplace of Jón Sigurðsson; by far the best-known of Iceland´s nationalists who pushed for Icelandic independence from Denmark.
Jón Sigurðsson is often called Jón the President, even though he died some 70 years before Iceland gained its full independence – an event which is deliberately celebrated on Jón´s birthday, the 17th June. You can see Jón Sigurðsson on the 500 krónur notes in your pocket and also at the Jón Sigurðsson museum at Hrafnseyri.
Hornstrandir is possibly the most peaceful place in Iceland. Totally uninhabited since the middle of last century, there are no roads or mains electricity in the area and the only ways to get there are by hiking from the south or by boat from Ísafjörður and nearby towns.
Hornstrandir is Iceland´s northernmost peninsula and is a nature reserve. It is the only place in the country where the Arctic fox is completely protected; making it one of very few places the animals are comfortable enough to make themselves seen regularly.
Hornstrandir lies directly to the north of Drangajökull, the Westfjords´ only glacier.
Located at the innermost part of the huge Ísafjarðardjúp fjord, at the opening of the smaller Ísafjörður fjord, Nauteyri is a natural pearl offering the visitor plenty to explore.
There is a natural hot pot on the site, as well as lakes, rivers and important bird habitats. In the autumn, Nauteyri plays host to many thousands of migrating geese.
Nauteyri has a wooden church and a non-profit organisation is hoping to create a sustainable activity and education centre there, as well as green accommodation.
The road north through Nauteyri ends as close as one can drive to Hornstrandir and runs tantalisingly close along the edge of the imposing Drangajökull glacier.