The Westfjords region is a large peninsula in north western Iceland and is well known for its remote and stunning natural beauty. The high mountains and undisturbed landscapes make the Westfjords a great place to spot wildlife. Here is our ultimate guide on what to do and see in the Westfjords, to make the most of your trip to Iceland.
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is the least populated region of Iceland and is the best place to take hiking trips throughout the mountainous landscapes. There is a rich abundance of flora and fauna, great for spotting wildlife. The native arctic fox can sometimes be spotted when looking carefully, as they can be well camouflaged in the wintry landscapes. In addition, they are very cautious of humans, so it is important to be careful when looking for one. Seals are also commonly sighted on the rocks along the coastline. Due to the lack of grazing animals in Hornstrandir, there is a wealth of plant life – great for anyone with an interest in nature.
Krosseneslaug is a geothermal infinity swimming pool on the beach north of Norðurfjörður. It is considered an infinity pool because of its magnificent views it has over the sea, with nothing blocking the view between the two waters. The area is very remote and overlooks a wild black pebble beach. When swimming in the pool, many people get the sensation that they are swimming in the sea, except it’s a lot warmer. The experience is unique, and the pool is surrounded by a beautiful landscape. You can often see whales in the ocean, breaking the surface of the cold Icelandic waters with their flukes. You can only access Krosseneslaug from mid-May to August, due to its location. The icy roads for the rest of the year can make the journey to Krossneslaug a dangerous one, so always plan ahead of your journey.
The fjords themselves hold immense beauty, with the tall mountainous land stretching high above the waters below. The best way to explore them is to get in the car and go on a tour of the fjords, so that you can explore them on your own accord, following your own personal itinerary. The fjords are long, deep and narrow and are filled with sea water and define Iceland’s rugged coastline.
Ísafjörður is known as the capital of the Westfjords and is the only official town in the area. There are many things there to keep you entertained, with several popular bars and restaurants. The maritime museum is a bonus and can prove popular with anyone interested the history of the Icelandic waters. Ísafjörður has some of the oldest building in Iceland, some dating back to the 18th century. For a slice of history, visit this small town!
The small settlement of Hólmavík is a small fishing village in the Westfjords. It is home to the museum of sorcery and witchcraft, where visitors can learn about magic and Iceland. The small village of Hólmavík is very interesting and has a Sheep farming museum – perfect for those that are interested in agriculture!