Are you ready to experience the wilds of Iceland’s Westfjords? Discover the region’s highlights with our detailed itinerary for your dream road trip. Read our blog now!
Welcome to the Westfjords!
If you’re keen to discover the best of what Iceland has on offer without the overcrowded touristy spots found in the more accessible areas of the island, the Westfjords might be just the place for you. Nestled in the northwest corner of Iceland, the Westfjords region is wild and untouched, full of heart-stopping scenery cut with long, deep and tranquil fjords. Driving the Westfjords in Iceland is the best way to see the area at your own pace.
We’re partial to a road trip, so we’d absolutely suggest renting your own car to experience the majesty of the Westfjords region. Here, we’re bringing together all the information you need for a fantastic Westfjords driving itinerary.
Starting point: Reykjavik
We know, we know - Reykjavik is not in the Westfjords. But, if you’re like most visitors that come to our humble isle, your Westfjords road trip is likely to start in Reykjavik, where the biggest airport in Iceland is located. Once you’ve collected your rental car, then the adventure can start. But in the meantime, it’s worth spending a day or two in Reykjavik taking in the sights. You can enjoy some quirky and cheap restaurants in Reykjavik, or discover the best of the city’s nightlife.
Source: Reykjavik Tourist Info
Destination 1: Guðrúnarlaug Hot Pot
Heading North out of Reykjavik will lead you towards the Westfjords and your first highlight of the trip: a relaxing hot soak in the earth. The natural geothermal pool is located near the highway, so you can pull over and enjoy the warm water while looking out over the haunting scenery all around.
Destination 2: The Coastal Cliffs at Króksfjarðarnes
As you head deeper into the heart of the Westfjords, you’ll come to the small village of Króksfjarðarnes. In the area around the village, you can enjoy incredible views of the surrounding sea cliffs looking onto the fjord. It’s an excellent opportunity to take panoramic photos and absorb the immenseness of the landscape.
Destination 3: Látrabjarg
Next up, head to the westernmost point of Iceland at the cliffs of Látrabjarg. The area is a famous spot to see puffins at the right time of the year, from May to early August. Even if you come in the off-season when there are no puffins to be found, the area’s natural beauty and dramatic plunging sea cliffs are well worth the trip.
Destination 4: Rauðisandur
Once you’ve had your fill of sea cliffs, it’s time to head to the beautiful crescent beach at Rauðisandur. Here, you’ll find sparkling sands of gold, pink and red, rather than the black volcanic sands you might be more accustomed to seeing on Iceland’s beaches. It’s an amazing area to explore on foot and enjoy the coastal views.
Destination 5: Dynjandi
Heading north will take you to one of the most spectacular waterfalls in all of Iceland. Dynjandi may not be Iceland’s most powerful or tallest waterfall, but the terraced flow of water is certainly something to behold. There are lots of waterfalls to see in the area and some great terrain for avid hikers to explore.
Destination 6: Ísafjörður
Literally translating to “Ice ford,” this is the biggest town in all of the Westfjords. It’s much smaller than Reykjavik, and much colder due to its location, but it’s your best chance for experiencing town vibes and some culture in the region. The small harbour town boasts plenty of places to eat, sleep, and explore, so it’s an ideal location to take a break from the road for a day or two. In the surrounding area, you can also enjoy hiking and wildlife spotting.
Destination 7: Arctic Fox Centre
Just a short drive along and you will come to the Arctic Fox Centre. While it’s possible to spot a fox in the wild, they are skittish creatures and so it is never guaranteed. The Westfjords are one of the last places in Iceland where you can catch a glimpse of the creatures, but if you want to see one for sure, a visit to the Centre is best.
Source: Iceland Magazine
Destination 8: Djúpavík and the Strandir Coast
From here, enjoy a long drive weaving back and forth across the Icelandic scenery along the fjords. The route will take you to the town of Djúpavík along the Strandir Coast, which makes up the eastern coastline of the Westfjords. This is one of the more isolated parts of the region, but there is plenty of scenery to make up for the lack of people and towns.
The route ends at the entrance to Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the north, where you will find Iceland at its most pure, wild and unpopulated. You can only hike in the area, so if you’re not up for wild camping and hiking, you’re best to head back to civilization and Reykjavik at this point.