The Westfjords lie entirely outside of the Ring Road’s island-encompassing loop, making them one of the more remote corners of Iceland. The roads are carved into an endless sequence of vast flat-topped mountains punctuated by tiny towns in narrow fjords, often with great pools and hot pots. At the northern edge lies the wild nature reserve of Hornstrandir, only accessible by boat or on foot. To get away from the bustle of the tourist trail, the Westfjords are always a good bet.
Best Bathing Spot
With four choices: two indoor polls, a regular warm swimming pool, and a basic hot tub, Heydalur wins. What makes them special is that they’re housed in a greenhouse surrounded by fruit-bearing trees, creating a little oasis. The real treasure is the vaguely slimy 40-degree natural hot pot, accessed by rolling up your pants and wading across a cold but narrow glacial stream. As several panellists have pointed out, low-key suffering is part of the charm of the Westfjords.
Being a bit out of the way, these pools are more likely to be deserted. There are a series of three hot pots dammed up from the original source as well as one full-size pool at the end, each cascading into the next. With four options, one of them is bound to be the perfect Goldilocks temperature for every bathing booty.
The remote Krossneslaug is on the way to Hornstrandir. This beautiful old-school pool is built on the shore. It offers beautiful views, looking straight up the mountainside on one side and out to sea on the other. Despite its location near the end of the known world, you might see a curious fox or, as one panellist experienced, Ólafur Arnalds. (No guarantees!)
More Best Of Iceland Awards
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Iceland 2018 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Iceland—here, posted worldwide. We also have a Special Offer double-pack that also includes our Best Of Reykjavík magazine, about places to eat, see, swim, visit, and shop in the country’s capital city, here.