Best of the Westfjords

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Westfjords
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Westfjords Essentials

Six Great Day-Hikes in the Westfjords
Six Great Day-Hikes in the Westfjords

Home to a rugged landscape and trails for every type of hiker, the Westfjords region provides a perfect backdrop for exploring Iceland on foot. Marvel at geysers, have a picnic on the shores of a scenic bay, and take in the mountain peaks as you make your way through one of the country's most beautiful trekking areas.

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.

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.

Hike in one of Iceland's most remote regions
Map of Guide to Hornstrandir Nature Preserve - Remote Wilderness in Northwest Iceland
Guide to Hornstrandir Nature Preserve - Remote Wilderness in Northwest Iceland

The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is a remote wilderness in the northwest claw of Iceland’s West Fjords. A wild gem of green slopes, snow-capped glacier peninsulas, and slate-blue bays, Hornstrandir is largely uninhabited and accessible only in during summer by daily ferry. It’s precisely these features that make it one of the best-preserved parts of Iceland--nothing for miles except green valleys, tufts of dandelions and Angelica, and pebbled shores. If you’re lucky, you may just spot a flying goose or an Arctic fox.

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.

Westfjords Itineraries

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.

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'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.

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.

Látrabjarg Bird Cliffs
Map of Best of West Iceland & Scenic Westfjords - 10 Days
Best of West Iceland & Scenic Westfjords - 10 Days

Enjoy the best of Western Iceland and the Westfjords on this 10-day summer adventure. Escape the crowds of the South Coast and Golden Circle area at their peak, when accommodations can be hard to secure. Instead, discover more remote areas of the country, while still experiencing the magnificence of this stunning country. Visit black-sand beaches and fishing towns in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula,  incredible cliffs in Patreksfjörður, delicious, fresh seafood in Isafjordur, plenty of scenic hikes in the remote Westfjords, and more.

A view over the town of Isafjordur in the Westfjords
Map of Best of the West: Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Westfjords - 7 Days
Best of the West: Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Westfjords - 7 Days

This weeklong trip takes you to the highlights of the West and remote Westfjords. Travel to some of the lesser-visited areas, with only a fraction of the crowds—compared to the Golden Circle and South Coast. Spend a few days in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula before ferrying to the remote Westfjords, home to some of the most dramatic landscapes in all of Iceland. Hike along the jagged cliffs at Látrabjarg, visit a red-sand beach, and picnic at the powerful Dynjandi Waterfall. Spend time in Isafjordur and drive along the eight-fjord system to stop in small towns. In Holmavik, visit a sorcery museum prior to driving back to the capital for some city exploration.

Látrabjarg Bird Cliffs
Map of Best of the West: Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Westfjords - 8 Days
Best of the West: Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Westfjords - 8 Days

This eight-day Icelandic road trip takes you to the highlights of the west. Travel to some of the less-visited areas, with only a fraction of the crowds of the Golden Circle and South Coast. Explore the Volcanic Snaefellsnes Peninsula before taking a car ferry past Flatey Island to the remote Westfjords, home to some of the most dramatic landscapes in all of Iceland. Hike along the jagged cliffs at Londrangar to seek out active birdlife, see black-, golden-, and red-sand beaches, and visit the powerful Dynjandi Waterfall. Spend a couple of nights in Isafjordur, a great base for hiking, kayaking, and day trips across the fjord to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve—only accessible by boat and trail.

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.

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 (1,332 km) Ring Road, while also having the opportunity to escape the crowds as you detour through the Westfjords with some of Iceland's most dramatic landscapes (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 blockbuster attractions in the Golden Circle.

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.