The Westfjords lie entirely outside of the Ring Road’s 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. At the northern edge lies the hikers’ paradise of Hornstrandir, only accessible by boat or on foot. To get away from the bustle of the tourist trail, the Westfjords is as good as it gets. To help you out, here are the best tours in the Westfjords and the runner-ups.
This was an easy one for the panel. “Take any tour out to Hornstrandir,” they said. Lying at the northernmost point of the Westfjords, Hornstrandir is a deserted region that is inaccessible except via boat, or a days-long hike. There are no roads, no hotels, no campsites—not even toilets. That said, you’ll be rewarded with an immersive tract of Icelandic nature. With sheer cliffs, wide valleys and abandoned villages, “it feels like the end of the earth out there.” There was no question that this was winning our “best tour in the Westfjords” award.
In Hólmavík, you’ll probably see a humpback no more than a stone’s throw from the town centre. The calm bay has smooth currents, so it’s a perfect place to see the giant marine mammals. Our panellists recommend Láki Tours. “I don’t think they’ve ever not seen whales on that tour,” they said.
This tiny island, smack in the middle of Ísafjarðardjúp, has more avian residents that humans, including puffins. Reachable via boat from Ísafjörður or by taking a kayak tour, it’s an afternoon trip full of birdwatching bliss. Make sure to pay attention to the shoreline, too—you might just see some sunbathing seals.
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