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 is the best hike in the Westfjords and the runner-ups.
Arnarfjörður lies Kaldbakur, the highest point of the “Alps of the Westfjords.” Unlike the flat-topped, glacier-shaped mountains you might expect in Iceland, this one is steep and pointy and, as such, it’s recommended that only those who are physically fit, with good hiking gear attempt this hike. That said, the view is worth it, with a 360° expanse of valleys, lakes, mountains, and grasslands for your eyes to drink in.
The crowning jewel of Hornstrandir—the uninhabited northernmost point of the Westfjords—is Hornbjarg. Only accessible by a boat ride and five hour hike, it’s a series of lush, green cliffs that drop abruptly down into the harsh Arctic waves below, with nothing standing between you and the North Pole.
The valley of Syðridalur is a prime location for spotting eiders, bar-tailed godwits, black-headed gulls, and many other winged inhabitants of Iceland. It’s also surrounded by awe-inspiring views. Start in the skiing area in Seljalandsdalur and hike six hours to a beautiful vista overlooking the picturesque Hnífsdalur and Ísafjörður.
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