West is best! However true that sentiment rings, we’ll try a little harder to illustrate what we love about the region. The West of Iceland is a stunning place to explore, offering up some version of the numerous wonders that Iceland at large has become famous for. From the frigid expanse of Langjökull to the otherworldly beacon that is Snæfellsjökull, from the lush serenity of Hvalfjöður to the stark and shapeshifting lava formations of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, from the peaks of mountains to the depths of the lava caves; it is a region rich in well-known sites and hidden gems. To help you out, here is the best hike in West Iceland and the runner-ups.
Botnsdalur valley, Hvalfjörður
If you want a hike to brag about, try Glymur. Iceland’s second-tallest waterfall, Glymur plummets an impressive 198m, and it is a real gem of the oft-overlooked or bypassed entirely Hvalfjörður. Be warned, though—it’s no stroll in the park. The hike is a four-hour round trip on uneven terrain, and crossing a stream. Sturdy hiking boots and a decent level of physical fitness are required, but the payoff is, as our panel puts it, “Breathtaking!” It’s, no doubt, the best hike in West Iceland.
If you need to stretch your legs on a Snæfellsnes road trip, this is a no-brainer. It’s an easy coastal walk that takes around 50 minutes (one way); in exchange for your minimal effort, you’ll see crashing waves, lively bird cliffs, lush valleys and possibly a playful seal or two.
This trek up a volcano isn’t for beginners, but, as the panel exclaimed, “Oh my, those views!” Your hike begins near the base of the bridge running across the fjord from Borgarnes, and will take you to a height of 844m. It can be windy, so check the forecast before lacing up your boots for one of the best hikes in West Iceland.
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