Iceland’s Westfjords are home to flat-topped mountains, abundant wildlife, and dramatic coastlines. It’s a place where solitary wooden churches perch on hillsides, cascades plummet into crystalline pools, and purple lupines and patches of ice blanket the tundra.
Explore the picturesque port town of Ísafjörður. This former salt fish trading post nestled beneath a mountain is the capital of the Westfjords. The town center delights with colorful houses, a maritime and heritage museum, and lively harborfront.
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve can be accessed from here by boat to spot the elusive Arctic fox, and whale-watching tours operate throughout the summer months when over 20 different whale species and seals frequent the waters.
North of Ísafjörður, in the small town of Bolungarvik, delve into Iceland’s maritime history at Ósvör – a replica of a 19th century Icelandic fishing station, or hike to the summit of Bolafjall Mountain with views of Greenland on a clear day.
While in the Westfjords, take a walk along Rauðisandur beach, a six mile long stretch engrained with red colored sand, or enjoy a tour to Dynjandi Waterfall – revered as Iceland’s most beautiful cascade. The waterfall stands at an impressive 100 meters tall, and as long strands of foaming white water plummet into the crystalline pool below, it begins to resemble a wedding veil.
If birdwatching is your activity of choice, add Látrabjarg Cliffs to your vacation itinerary. The jagged cliff faces are home to the emblematic puffin, fulmars, and kittiwakes, attracting over a million nesting birds each summer. Alternatively, spend a day on Vigur Island, also known as “Puffin Island”. In addition to being a refuge for colonies of birds, it’s also home to Iceland’s only windmill.
Visitors interested in embracing their Viking heritage can spend time at the Þingeyri Viking settlement, or pop into an intriguing center of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft in Holmavik to learn about mystical runes and ancient folklore…