Westfjords!

For my next trip to Iceland, we will be driving around the Westfjords. This is a part of Iceland that most people skip out due to lack of time, or maybe because it doesn’t have any of the “big name” attractions found in other parts of Iceland. For whatever reason it remains even more unspoilt than the rest of Iceland. Although there are a few months to go yet before my visit it’s never too early to start making a Westfjords bucket list! Aside from the amazing fjord scenery, rough roads and hardly any people, here are the things I’m most looking forward to seeing:

Ísafjörður– I love the setting of this place including its scary airport. It will really feel like civilisation after a few days in the car too.

From Wikipedia

From Wikipedia

Arctic Fox Center – the closest thing to a zoo here! A great place to see these animals which have such a hard life.

From melrakki.is

From melrakki.is

The Sorcery Museum – who doesn’t love an eccentric museum? Small but full of everything Icelandic-witchcraft related! I must read Last Rituals by Yrsa S (which references this museum often) again before going.
Bird cliffs of Látrabjarg – just hope it’s not windy! OK, it’s always windy.

from westfjords.is

from westfjords.is

Rauðasandur, or “red sands” – you’ll never guess why! This looks more like the desert to me than Iceland!

from westfjords.is

from westfjords.is

The weird world of Samuel Jonsson. This is the kind of “artwork” that freaks me out really but I like the thought of this being in the middle of nowhere.

from islandsbloggen.com

from islandsbloggen.com

General abandonment – old ships, old factories, as life has moved on there are some fascinating relics left in this area.

from iceland.nordicvisitor.com

from iceland.nordicvisitor.com

OK, I meant to only have 5 things but I got carried away…

Any recommendations of other things to do (or avoid!) in this region are welcome as always as I know many of you have been.

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19 thoughts on “Westfjords!

  1. A few words about Látrabjarg–went there in June a couple years back and at least part of the time it wasn’t windy. Not sure how I managed that! Really incredible photographic opportunities (e.g., http://www.rockslidephoto.com/gallery/saga-visions-of-the-iceland/7708252), with the days so long, there’s still light to photograph by but the puffin, etc., and they are even more docile and sleepy, and open to being approached as the midnight sunset approaches. I’m used to needing long lenses from bird photography, but they weren’t necessary here, I was often able to edge up to less than a meter away from them by sitting down, then slowly edging myself closer.

  2. That museum sounds really cool. I don’t think it ever occurred to me that Iceland has a history of sorcery and witchcraft. Are there any books you would recommend on the topic?

    • I think it’s quite a niche market! The museum itself is the best source for materials and has an online shop. But if you just want to read a bit about it and the area in a mystery, Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s Last Rituals is a good read.

  3. Great To-do-list for the Westfjords. We’ll stay six nights there. Not so much more time for us as you’ll have. It depends from which side you arrive at the Westfjords for what to do and see. We come this time from South East direction and not with the ferry from Stykkishólmur. So we’ll get to know the Southern Coast of the Westfjords more this time. Rauðasandur I would like to visit this time, too. Must be a great place.Last year we hadn’t enough time for it. A visit of the Sorcery Museum must be fun, too. I cross my fingers that you have no wind at Látrabjarg. We hadn’t wind there (and two other days we stayed in the Westfjords). So it’s possible to enjoy this place absolutely windless.

    And I recommmend to jump into the more or less naturally hot pots you’ll find there in many places. Don’t miss the waterfall Dynjandi. Spectacular and absolutely beautiful. I remember I damned the bad gravel roads at the Westfjords (and as you maybe remember from one of my blog posts I named one “road of death”) :). But any driven kilometer is worth the ride. In the Northern parts of the Westfjords from Ísafjörður to Holmavik it’s all asphalt.Couldn’t believe that I’ll come back to the Westfjords so pretty soon. 🙂 But I like the abandonend and at the same time lively charme of this area.

    • Yes, we are coming from the same direction and not doing the ferry. It’s hard to know exactly how many nights is ideal – as many as possible really but it is an expensive place in summer. I have also seen a lot about hot pots everywhere! Sounds fun. I do remember your posts which are always inspiring. I’m glad you are going back so soon too and look forward to your posts!

  4. The Westfjords top the list of my most amazing visit to Iceland, though I’ve been now 5 or 6 times. My sweetie’s Mom spent childhood summers in Ísafjörður so a few years ago we took the ferry across to Flatey and then continued on. I braved the winds at Látrabjarg and had the time of my life, fulfilling a lifetime dream of mine to photograph the Lundi. Good thing I didn’t blow away over the cliffs; my mind and heart were full as I got within an arms length of the sweet Puffins. Had to borrow a camera, because wouldn’t you know it, my battery died just as we arrived… but wow, Best memory of all. Thanks for your great article about the Westfjords… I’m glad it is so remote, as maybe it will remain unspoiled for a bit longer.

  5. The Westfjords top the list of my most amazing visit to Iceland, though I’ve been now 5 or 6 times. My sweetie’s Mom spent childhood summers in Ísafjörður so a few years ago we took the ferry across to Flatey and then continued on. I braved the winds at Látrabjarg and had the time of my life, fulfilling a lifetime dream of mine to photograph the Lundi. Good thing I didn’t blow away over the cliffs; my mind and heart were full as I got within an arms length of the sweet Puffins. Had to borrow a camera, because wouldn’t you know it, my battery died just as we arrived… but wow, Best memory of all. Thanks for your great article about the Westfjords… I’m glad it is so remote, as maybe it will remain unspoiled for a bit longer.

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