Best of Isafjordur

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Isafjordur
Gateway to the Westfjords, Ísafjörður lies at the epicenter of one of Iceland’s most remote regions. The tiny town has historic wooden and tin buildings, some of which date back to the 18th century when the harbor was filled with tall-masted ships and whaling vessels. While it’s easy to imagine yourself stepping back in time while wandering the old quarter, Ísafjörður has ample modern-day comforts including some excellent restaurants, lively cafes and unique clothing and craft shops. 

After taking in the town’s sights, you can experience the pristine wilderness in Ísafjörður’s backyard. Paddling trips take you along the calm waters of the fjord, with views of the verdant peaks towering over the town. Heading further out, you can catch a boat to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve for all-day or multi-day hikes past waterfalls, sea cliffs, tundra and secluded coves. With no access roads and few visitors, this is one of Europe’s most unspoiled pockets.
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Isafjordur Essentials

Calm water kayaking in Ísafjörður (photo by Borea Adventures)
Kayaking around Isafjordur, heart of the Westfjords

Paddle through majestic fjords below towering mountains as you spot seals, whales, and birds along the way. Here are a few kayaking options ranging from a couple hours up to a full week of exploring at your own speed.

The Green Cliffs of Hornstrandir Nature Preserve (photo by Borea Adventures)
Map of Best Panoramic Hikes around Ísafjörður: Calm Fjords and Untouched Nature
Best Panoramic Hikes around Ísafjörður: Calm Fjords and Untouched Nature

Isafjordur is home to some of the best hiking areas in all of Iceland. Whether you’re looking for short hikes with jaw-dropping views, day trips to remote areas, or multi-day backpacking treks where you can camp out away from it all, the heart of the Westfjords has it all. Here are a few hikes to that will really make your time in the Westfjords memorable.

Explore the beautiful fjords of Iceland
What to Do in Ísafjörður and Beyond

Ísafjörður (Isafjordur) is the largest town in Iceland's beautiful Westfjords, making it a perfect jumping off point for day trips around the region. The town itself, surrounded by dramatic scenery, also has a lot to offer in the way of historical value and opportunities to get out into nature.

Isafjordur Itineraries

Iceland's lesser-visited west coast
Map of Iceland West Coast Road Trip - 6 Days
Iceland West Coast Road Trip - 6 Days

This unique self-drive tour travels through Iceland's beautiful west coast and Westfjords region where few travelers roam. Starting in Reykjavik, you'll drive to the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula before taking a car ferry to some of the most dramatic landscapes in Iceland. Here you'll hike the jagged cliffs at Londrangar, visit black, gold, and red sand beaches, and see the powerful Dynjandi Waterfall. End the trip in Isafjordur—a great base for activities in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, accessible only by boat and trail.

A view over the town of Isafjordur in the Westfjords
Map of Iceland West Coast Road Trip - 8 Days
Iceland West Coast Road Trip - 8 Days

Experience the best sites along Iceland's west coast and remote Westfjords region with this 8-day tour. Starting in Reykjavik, you'll drive to the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula before taking a car ferry to some of the most dramatic landscapes in Iceland. Here you'll hike along the jagged cliffs at Londrangar, visit black, gold, and red sand beaches, and see the powerful Dynjandi Waterfall. End the trip in Isafjordur—a great base for activities in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, accessible only by boat and trail.

Dynjandi is the most famous waterfall of the Westfjords
Map of Best of Iceland's West Coast - 9 Days
Best of Iceland's West Coast - 9 Days

This self-driving trip takes you to the highlights of Iceland's west coast and the remote Westfjords area. Starting in Reykjavik, you'll drive to the volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula before taking a car ferry to some of the most dramatic landscapes in Iceland. Here you'll hike along the jagged cliffs at Londrangar, visit black, gold, and red sand beaches, and see the powerful Dynjandi Waterfall. End the trip in Isafjordur—a great base for activities in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, accessible only by boat and trail.

Iceland Escape
Map of Iceland Off The Beaten Path: West and North Escape - 10 Days
Iceland Off The Beaten Path: West and North Escape - 10 Days

This 10-day driving itinerary is great for the summer when the crowds of the south coast and golden circle area are at their peak and accommodation can be hard to find. Instead, escape to the more remote areas of the country to experience some of the best that Iceland has to offer, with few other people to share it with.

North Iceland's Viti crater is filled with a bright blue lake
Map of Iceland Ring Road & Westfjords Adventure - 12 Days
Iceland Ring Road & Westfjords Adventure - 12 Days

This epic 12-day road trip is a perfect way to absorb Iceland as you traverse all four corners of the country. You'll visit popular spots along the famous 828-mile Ring Road, and head off the beaten path to detour through the Westfjords (great for mountain biking and kayaking). The self-drive loop also includes stops in Iceland's two biggest cities, and numerous natural sites like volcanoes, waterfalls, lava fields, black sand beaches, glaciers, and more.

Godafoss waterfall in the north
Map of Best of West & North Iceland - 12 Days
Best of West & North Iceland - 12 Days

This off-the-beaten-path road trip is especially great during summer months when peak crowds head for Iceland's south coast and Golden Circle (and accommodations can be hard to find). Instead, you'll escape to more remote areas of the country, traveling from Reykjavik all the way to its sunnier north coast with stops in Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the Westfjords (by way of car ferry), Husavik, and Lake Myvatn. There's plenty of time to experience unique geological features along the way with lava fields, volcano hikes, massive waterfalls, and geothermal pools, not to mention cool Scandinavian culture and cuisine.

Explore Iceland on a road trip of a lifetime
Map of 2-Week Ring Road Self-Drive Itinerary: Highlights of Iceland and the Remote Westfjords
2-Week Ring Road Self-Drive Itinerary: Highlights of Iceland and the Remote Westfjords

With 2 weeks in Iceland, you can complete the entire ring road and add some great detours. This grand tour will take you to all the best places giving you plenty of time to hike, explore, and soak it all in. This 14-day itinerary covers all the major regions except the highlands, which you can see with a couple more days or by spending less time in some of the areas below.

Hiking near three of Iceland's biggest glaciers
Map of Iceland Remote Hiking Adventure - 10 Days
Iceland Remote Hiking Adventure - 10 Days

This active 10-day itinerary highlights two major hiking areas in Iceland: the southern highlands and the Westfjords. Start off with a bus trip to Thorsmork for a plethora of trails overlooking moss-covered mountains, waterfalls, volcanoes, and glaciers. Next, you'll fly to Isafjordur—a great base for activities in Hornstrandir, accessible only by boat and trail, where you'll take a 3-day trek with a local guide. Return to Reykjavik for a night on the town and a chance to soak your muscles in the Blue Lagoon.