Step into the heart of Iceland’s untouched beauty and immerse yourself in the mystic allure on this Westfjörds Tour. Located just a whisper below the Arctic Circle, this hidden gem comes alive in the summer with endless daylight, ensuring your camera never stops and your adventures stretch long into the twilight hours. Go beyond the ordinary, challenge your spirit, and indulge in a journey where passion meets fun. Book now and let the Westfjörds illuminate your wanderlust!
Embarking on a journey to the scenic Dalir, we delve into the rich history where the iconic Leifur Eríksson, the pioneer credited with the first European settlement in North America called Vínland, once roamed. The experience becomes vivid as we set foot on a meticulously reconstructed farmstead. Here, history enthusiasts will appreciate interpreters donning authentic period attire, offering a tangible connection to the life and times of Eríksson and his contemporaries.
From there, our exploration continues to Reykhólar, nestled on the southern brink of the stunning Westfjords. Reykhólar’s coastal landscape is uniquely adorned with a myriad of skerries (rocky islets) and inlets. Nature aficionados will revel in spotting both harbor and grey seals, as they bask in their natural habitat. Birdwatchers are in for a treat too; this region is a sanctuary for an array of Icelandic seabirds, including the eider duck – renowned worldwide for its plush down.
As dusk sets in, we’ll settle in Reykhólar for the night. Following a satisfying dinner, travelers have the freedom to either rejuvenate in the soothing warmth of the local geothermal pool or take a serene evening walk along the captivating coast.
The second day of our journey begins by taking us winding through a labyrinth of slender fjords, each turn revealing new vistas begging to be captured in photographs. At every bend, we pause, taking the opportunity to delve deeper, immersing ourselves in the unique characteristics of each location.
As the day progresses, Rauðisandur emerges through a narrow, steep canyon, a vast expanse of sand shimmering in shades of red and gold. A closer look reveals a thriving seal colony, adding life to the serene backdrop. As the sun casts its long shadows, we settle down for the night in a nearby accommodation.
But the day isn’t over just yet. As evening’s calm envelops us, we make our way to Látrabjarg, known as Europe’s westernmost point. This dramatic location boasts towering sea cliffs, standing 500 meters tall, that house a myriad of avian life. Here, bird enthusiasts will find themselves in the company of puffins, their colorful beaks contrasting against the rugged backdrop. Alongside them, various seabirds nest, making the cliffs a cacophony of calls, squawks, and songs. With the setting sun painting the sky, it’s an unforgettable moment that encapsulates the raw beauty of Iceland.
Our trip unfolds further as we approach Örlygshöfn. This destination, while serene, is pulsing with life, particularly at the river’s estuary. Here, one can find a rich tapestry of avian life, from eiders with their soft down to the delicate-footed waders that dance at the water’s edge.
A stone’s throw away is the folk museum at Hnjótur. As we step inside, we are instantly transported to another time, an era that shaped the very essence of Iceland. The displays here are a treasure trove of history. From farming tools that once tilled the land, to aged airplanes that trace the evolution of Icelandic aviation, and fishing artifacts that speak of the toils and triumphs of fishermen past, each item tells a story.
The journey doesn’t end here. We meander on to the village of Patreksfjördur. This village, while small, brims with character. Each nook and cranny, each alleyway, has its own tale to tell. But our day culminates in Tálknafjördur, a fishing village where time seems to slow. The village exudes an atmosphere of tranquility, the perfect spot to rest and reflect on the day’s discoveries as we nestle down for the night.
Today’s itinerary promises to immerse us in the serene landscapes of southern Arnarfjördur. As we follow the gentle curve of the fjord, the tranquility is almost palpable, only interrupted by the whispers of the breeze and distant bird calls.
Our path leads us to the tucked-away gem of Selárdalur. Here, the legacy of the local artist, Samúel Jónsson, waits to be discovered. An embodiment of passion and persistence, Samúel’s collection is a testament to his eccentric vision and unparalleled dedication. But, what might captivate one most is a structure of devotion: a church meticulously constructed by Samúel’s very own hands. Each brick and beam resonates with his spirit, making it an awe-inspiring testament to the power of individual determination.
Our next departure is from Bíldudalur, where we’ll swap land for water. As we embark on a boat journey across the expansive fjord, anticipate the sheer marvel of Dynjandi. This cascading waterfall, with its thunderous roars and gentle mists, stands as a majestic sentinel of nature’s raw power and elegance.
After a day brimming with awe and wonder, we’ll find our resting place in Thingeyri. This charming settlement will be our haven for the next two nights, offering ample opportunity to soak in the local atmosphere and prepare for further exploration.
Set off on today’s adventure along a cliff-hugging road, presenting us with panoramas that challenge the boundaries of imagination. As our path weaves between the towering peaks of what many fondly dub the ‘Westfjords Alps,’ the sheer magnitude of these rugged mountains leaves one in silent reverence.
As we delve deeper into the West Fjords, remnants of a bygone era emerge. Here, nestled amidst nature’s grandeur, lies the footprint of an old farming community. These abandoned settlements whisper tales of resilience, giving us a glimpse into the challenging living conditions endured by its inhabitants. The stark contrast of their humble homes against the backdrop of imposing mountains is a testament to the human spirit’s perseverance.
As daylight starts its slow descent, we make our way back to the comfort of Thingeyri. But the day’s revelations are far from over. An inviting, albeit modest, mountain nearby beckons us for a light evening stroll. As we ascend its slopes, the world below unfurls, offering breathtaking views of the fjord’s sinuous silhouette, bathed in the soft hues of the twilight. An ideal setting to reflect, rejuvenate, and eagerly anticipate the adventures that tomorrow might bring.
The trip continues as we set our sights on Ísafjörður, often heralded as the crown jewel of the Westfjords. Rich in history, this seasoned fishing town boasts a tapestry of stories that span several centuries. As you meander through its quaint streets, you’ll be transported back in time, with well-preserved 17th-century houses standing as silent witnesses to the town’s storied past.
One such historic abode, not just a relic of a bygone era but a living testament to the town’s heritage, will graciously host us for lunch. Imagine dining amidst centuries-old wooden beams and walls that have withstood the test of time — it’s not just a meal, but an immersive experience into Ísafjörður’s rich cultural fabric.
But Ísafjörður is not just about looking back; it’s a vibrant town with a pulse. The friendly locals, bustling marketplaces, and scenic neighboring areas offer myriad avenues for exploration and discovery.
As the day winds down, rest assured knowing that we’ve arranged comfortable accommodations right in the heart of this historic town. Over the next two nights, Ísafjörður’s ambient sounds, from distant harbor bells to soft evening whispers, will serenade you to sleep, further deepening your connection with this enchanting Icelandic haven.
As our journey unfolds, we’ll find ourselves in Bolungarvík, the northernmost town of the region, a place steeped in maritime heritage. Here, a meticulously curated maritime museum stands as a testament to the town’s rich seafaring history. Through its exhibits, you’ll get a glimpse into the lives of the early seafarers, their tales of adventure, challenges, and their indomitable spirit.
But history is not just confined within walls. From Bolungarvík, we’ll embark on a boat ride, navigating through the crisp Icelandic waters towards the Hornstrandir nature preserve. Our destination? An enigmatic abandoned village, standing in silent contrast against the rugged natural beauty of the preserve. The whispers of the past can be felt as you wander through this once-thriving settlement, now reclaimed by nature.
Our return journey promises yet another treat. Close to Bolungarvík rises a towering mountain, stretching an impressive 600 meters towards the sky. For those up for a bit of an adventure, a trek awaits, leading you to its summit. And once there, a panorama unravels – a breathtaking, unobstructed view of the surrounding landscapes, a moment of pure awe that promises to etch itself in your memories. The blend of history, nature, and adventure makes this segment of the trip a truly immersive experience.
The day begins with a serene sailing excursion to Vigur island, a haven for bird enthusiasts. This picturesque island plays host to flocks of puffins, their vibrant beaks and curious eyes peering from the cliffs, and eiders, gracefully gliding across the water. As you wander the island, amidst its lush greenery and the symphony of bird calls, you’ll stumble upon a piece of Iceland’s architectural heritage: a meticulously preserved 18th-century windmill, the last of its kind in the country. Standing tall amidst historical farmhouses, this windmill serves as a quiet reminder of Iceland’s agrarian past.
Upon our return to the mainland, a delicious lunch awaits, offering local flavors that are as much a reflection of Iceland’s rich culinary heritage as they are of its abundant natural resources. Post lunch, we’ll have ample time to roam and soak in the local atmosphere, discovering hidden nooks and absorbing the tranquil beauty of the nearby surroundings.
As evening descends, we’ll retire to a charming farm guesthouse, echoing the simplicity and warmth of Icelandic hospitality. Here, just a stone’s throw away, lies a geothermal hot spring, its steamy waters beckoning. A dip into these naturally heated pools, with the northern sky as a canopy, is a therapeutic experience. It’s the perfect way to unwind, letting the warmth seep into our muscles and rejuvenate our weary legs, all while reflecting on the day’s adventures and the promise of tomorrow.
Today we will be treking near Drangajökull, the sole glacier of the Westfjords. This glacier stands as a majestic testament to nature’s grandeur, with its icy expanses telling tales of time, weather, and geological forces. As we approach, every step will bring us closer to this ancient ice mass, revealing its intricate patterns, crevices, and the play of light on its surface.
En route to Strandir, we’ll traverse through landscapes that evoke a sense of solitude and timelessness. These stretches of coastal farmland and vast moorland, with their sparse population, paint a picture of life in its most elemental form. The journey will offer glimpses of rugged coastlines, grazing livestock, and perhaps even the occasional farmer tending to the land – a harmonious blend of nature and the few inhabitants who call this place home.
As the day draws to a close, we’ll find ourselves at a cozy country hotel, thoughtfully chosen for its blend of comfort and authenticity. Beyond the inviting rooms, the hotel boasts a natural hot pool and spring. Imagine soaking in these geothermal waters, enveloped in warmth, as the cool Icelandic air brushes against your face and the vast sky overhead transitions from twilight hues to a starry canopy. It’s an experience of contrasts – hot and cold, day and night, activity and relaxation – that encapsulates the essence of our Icelandic journey.
In the next leg of our journey, we venture into the charming village of Hólmavík. As one walks its streets, it’s easy to be transported back in time, with its quaint houses and the peaceful ambiance that pervades the area.
Near this village lies a coastline rich in natural wonders. The Icelandic harbor and grey seals, residents of these shores, often grace visitors with their playful antics and serene presence. As we explore the coastline, there’s an interesting phenomenon to watch out for: driftwood. While driftwood is common in many coastal regions, what’s fascinating here is the origin of some of these wooden pieces. Many have journeyed from places as distant as Siberia, carried by powerful ocean currents and winds, to finally rest on these Icelandic shores. As we conclude our time near Hólmavík, guests are free to enjoy the local city.