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 museum in West Iceland and the runner-ups.
Bókhlöðustígur 17, Stykkishólmur
Vatnasafn—or The Library of Water—is an eye-opening museum and the best museum in West Iceland. Made by Roni Horn, the main room is a display of glass cylinders filled with meltwater from Iceland’s glaciers. It’s fascinating how the colour of each sample is unique, and sobering to think that more than one of these samples comes from a glacier that no longer exists. Eventually, as the glaciers keep melting, the samples in the museum could be all that’s left of Iceland’s mighty ice giants.
Bjarnarbraut 4-6, Borgarnes
“It’s a solid museum, whether you’re interested in history, art or nature,” said the panel. The artfully arranged Borgarnes Museum gives visitors an overview of the flora, fauna, and history of the area, but it’s the permanent childhood-themed exhibition that’ll keep you engaged with its treasure trove of hidden artefacts.
Eiríksstaðir is the farmstead of Erik the Red, the birthplace of Leifur Eriksson, a.k.a. Leif the Lucky, a.k.a. the first European in North America. See where the legend was born and learn about Icelandic farm life 1,000 years ago. “It’s one of the most historic sites of Iceland,” noted the panel. It is, no doubt, one of the best museums in West Iceland.
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