Iceland

West Fjords holidays

Flatey, West Fjords, Iceland
RTH Sigurdsson

This is the oldest and wildest region – remote and stunningly beautiful with countless fjords, precipitous mountains, amazing coastal roads and hidden gems. Sparsely populated, the region is connected to the rest of Iceland by a mere seven kilometre wide strip of land.

Places to visit

Latrabjarg

The impressive bird cliffs at Latrabjarg form the westernmost point of Iceland. At 14km long and 444m high, these sheer cliffs are home to the country’s largest concentration of sea birds including puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills, fulmars and guillemots.

Raudisandur

For those looking for a picturesque walk this incredible 20-km golden sand beach is often deserted and just right for a romantic stroll.

Isafjordur

The largest settlement in the region (population 3,500), is located on a spit of land which juts into Isafjardardjup, creating a perfect natural harbour. It has a Maritime Museum with a collection of delightful 18th century timbered buildings which are a popular subject for artists and photographers, and a fine fish restaurant with marvellous views.

Flateyri

This typical Icelandic fishing village has an idyllic setting on the shores of Onundarfjordur. A whale’s pelvic bone sits in the main square and a little church completes the picture.

iceland west fjords dyrafjordur

Dynjandi

These 'mountain falls', made up of a numerous smaller falls, are also known as Fjallfoss. Water tumbles from a height of 100m, fanning out to the base, 60m in width.

Hornstandir

This wilderness peninsula is 580 sq km of nature reserve: golden sands; towering bird cliffs; glacial valleys and no inhabitants other than Arctic foxes, seals, cetaceans offshore and a myriad of bird life. Hiking here is the order of the day – some trails inspiring, some for serious contenders only! Hornstandir is accessible during the summer by boat from the Isafjordur area.

Isafjardardjup

This spectacular 75km long fjord almost cuts the region in two, with the remote Hornstandir nature reserve at its northernmost reach. It is one of around fifty deep fjords, with alternating steep headlands, which make up this least visited part of the country. The fjord, which splits into yet more fjords, provides ample kayaking opportunities and a very scenic drive to Isafjordur. A pretty speck of land ‘Vigur’ lies within the fjord, boasting Iceland’s only windmill and a single farm. Boat trips are possible in the summer months and the unique scenery and prolific bird life make it worthwhile.

Strandir

The east coast of the region, or 'Strandir' presents yet more amazing coastlines and a scattering of settlements, mainly associated with fishing and sheep farming. Visit the once-derelict herring factory at Djupavik, now home to an exhibition of days gone by. Huge amounts of driftwood are washed ashore here from Scandinavia and Siberia and although visitor facilities are limited, the area has a lure of its own with a rich and vivid folklore. Drangsnes and Nordurfjordur compete for the best-sited geothermal bathing pools in Iceland – both are right on the shore!

On a clear day the views from the radar station at Bolungarvik are outstanding – worth a little detour. At Hornbjarg yet more impressive bird cliffs are the nesting ground for thousands of pairs of very noisy birds!

iceland hornstrandir puffins


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