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.

A family watching the northern lights
Map of Relaxed West Iceland Family Self-Drive - 10 Days
Relaxed West Iceland Family Self-Drive - 10 Days

Experience West Iceland's wild beauty with this enchanting 10-day road trip, perfect for families who want to see the country's natural wonders at a more leisurely pace. Journey across the resplendent Snæfellsnes Peninsula and encounter tiny fishing villages, black sandy beaches, and epic mountains before finishing in the remote, untouched magnificence of the Westfjords. Along the way, savor magical moments with whales, seals, puffins, and Arctic foxes as you create memories to last a lifetime.

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.

A local resident puffin, one of millions on the Látrabjarg cliffs
Map of Best of Iceland's West & North: Snaefellsnes, Westfjords, Vatnsnes & Diamond Circle - 12 Days
Best of Iceland's West & North: Snaefellsnes, Westfjords, Vatnsnes & Diamond Circle - 12 Days

Two of Iceland's more remote and scenically stunning yet lesser-visited regions—Westfjords and North Iceland—are the focus of this scenic 12-day active self-drive adventure, which also includes the mesmerizing Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The non-stop experiences range from clifftop hikes and wildlife viewing to helicopter flightseeing, as well as visits to many of Iceland's iconic and less familiar but equally spectacular sites.

Hike remote Hornstrandir and see puffins and Arctic fox
Map of Active Iceland Adventure: North to South – 11 Days
Active Iceland Adventure: North to South – 11 Days

This 11-day itinerary checks off an entire bucket list of iconic sites, from Iceland's northernmost to its southernmost points. You'll snorkel the crystal-clear waters of the Mid-Atlantic Rift, hike to see puffins and Arctic fox in the remote Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, and gallop along Löngufjörur Beach on a tame Icelandic pony. These are among many activities you'll enjoy as you explore the Westfjords, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, West Iceland, "Golden Circle," and South Coast, plus Reykjavik.

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.

Icelandic horses
Map of Iceland Off-the-Beaten-Path Road Trip: North & West - 12 Days
Iceland Off-the-Beaten-Path Road Trip: North & West - 12 Days

Follow an arc from eastern to western Iceland via the north coast on this 12-day active self-drive adventure. You'll pack in many of the country's most iconic sites, from Godafoss waterfall and the volcanic wonders of Lake Mývatn to the dizzying Látrabjarg cliffs and world-famous Kirkjufell mountain. Plus, you'll thrill to mountain hikes, "Super Jeep" adventures, and even snorkeling in the Silfra fissure of the Mid-Atlantic Rift.

Puffins
Map of Discover West Iceland: Family-Friendly Road Trip - 7 Days
Discover West Iceland: Family-Friendly Road Trip - 7 Days

Packed full of family-friendly wildlife excursions and exhilarating drives through Iceland's rugged Westfjords region, this seven-day itinerary takes you past waterfalls, mountains, fjords, and red-sand beaches to wind up in the contemporary environs of Reykjavík. Along the way, discover tiny fishing villages untouched by time, remote islands full of seabirds, and the breathtaking landscape of Iceland's lesser-traveled western side.

Isafjordur in Iceland's Westfjords
Map of Iceland Westfjords Self-Drive Tour - 13 Days
Iceland Westfjords Self-Drive Tour - 13 Days

Discover the wild beauty of western Iceland on an epic road trip adventure. Over 13 event-filled days, you'll travel up the country's famous Route 1 and venture down backroads to visit highlights and hidden gems. These include historic fishing villages, rugged sea cliffs, vast fjords, plunging waterfalls, volcanic rock formations, and other geological wonders you can only find in the land of ice and fire.

Iceland
Map of Iceland Self-Drive Adventure: Waterfalls, Geysers & Hot Springs  - 13 Days
Iceland Self-Drive Adventure: Waterfalls, Geysers & Hot Springs - 13 Days

This thirteen-day driving tour of Iceland takes you to some of the country's most amazing landmarks and historic sites. Travel along Iceland's Ring Road, where you'll see crashing waterfalls and long stretches of lava fields at Lake Mývatn. Visit historic fishing villages for beautiful harbor views and marine life tours, then hike the peaks of Kaldbakur Mountain. See geysers erupt into the sky, walk the cliffs of Arnarstapi, and take in the geological wonders of the Golden Circle and Þingvellir National Park.

The Ring Road
Map of Iceland's Magical Ring Road: Waterfalls, Lava Fields, Hot Springs & Wildlife - 13 Days
Iceland's Magical Ring Road: Waterfalls, Lava Fields, Hot Springs & Wildlife - 13 Days

See the magic of Iceland's Ring Road with this 13-day self-drive tour. Start in Reykjavík for whale watching and a vibrant downtown scene. From here, drive the Snæfellsnes Peninsula with its crashing waterfalls and black-sand beaches, then ferry to the Westfjords. Hike the cliffs of Látrabjarg, kayak to Vigur Island, and ride horses along the Westfjords' "Alps." Walk among icebergs at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, visit breathtaking Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and end with a dip in the iconic Blue Lagoon.

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.

Iceland
Map of Iceland Best of the West: Snæfellsnes & Westfjords - 15 Days
Iceland Best of the West: Snæfellsnes & Westfjords - 15 Days

The rugged beauty of Iceland was made for road-tripping, which is precisely what you'll do on this 15-day self-drive excursion. You'll be traveling through the west, which is packed full of highlights ranging from waterfalls and glaciers to fjords and natural hot springs. You'll even have time for a detour to the north, where you'll ride horses, take helicopter tours, and drive the scenic Diamond Circle route.

Children playing in Iceland
Map of The Best of Iceland's Wild West & Arctic North: Family Friendly Road Trip - 10 Days
The Best of Iceland's Wild West & Arctic North: Family Friendly Road Trip - 10 Days

Leave your cares behind you on this rejuvenating 10-day Icelandic family adventure that kicks off in the iconic Blue Lagoon Spa and ends with a journey into the icy heart of the Langjökull glacier. Along the way, discover Norse mythology, waterfalls, and lava caves among the wild beauty of Borgarfjörður and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Go horseback riding, whale watching, and puffin spotting along the northern coast, then head for the myriad charms of Reykjavík via the geothermal wonders of Lake Mývatn.

A snowy Icelandic scene near Arnarstapi area in Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Map of Self-Drive Iceland North, West & South: Ultimate Winter Adventure - 12 Days
Self-Drive Iceland North, West & South: Ultimate Winter Adventure - 12 Days

Enjoy an array of diverse regions, geological wonders, and exciting experiences on this 12-day self-drive itinerary, which explores Iceland's north, west, and south in the winter months. Wander through ice caves on the Vatnajökull glacier, snowmobile on the Myrdalsjokull ice cap, view seals on the Vatnsnes Peninsula, and even sample cheese at a goat farm. Add soaks in geothermal hot springs, hikes to iconic waterfalls, and drives through the majestic fjords of Westfjords for a comprehensive, in-depth self-drive exploration of Iceland.

Views across the countryside near Vík
Map of Iceland Highlights & Ring Road Adventure - 15 Days
Iceland Highlights & Ring Road Adventure - 15 Days

Hit the road on Iceland's main highway for a 15-day self-drive adventure. You'll arrive in the west and, from there, head south, stopping at waterfalls, glaciers, and black-sand beaches. As you travel up to the east and north, you'll pass scenic fjords, go whale watching, brave river rapids, hike along sea cliffs, and explore lava caves before completing the circuit back in Reykjavík, Iceland's capital.