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.
Although the Blacksmith Museum in Þingeyri is less of a traditional museum than a fully functional blacksmith studio where people are actually bending and hammering iron every single day. That, as the panellists agreed, is exactly what makes it such an unforgettable “museum” experience. The blacksmiths there are passionate about what they do and very willing to explain what it is that they do, how they do it, and how it relates to the history of the town.
Strandgata 7, Bíldudalur
After driving over the mountains and pulling into the tiny village of Bíldudalur, the last thing you’d expect to find is a state-of-the-art interactive exhibition. Based on sea monster sightings along the shores of the fjord, their display includes life-size monster models, an interactive map, video-testimonials, an arcane library, and a touch-screen database of cryptozoology.
For those who want an experience based more on fact than legend, the Arctic Fox Centre has everything you need to know about the first inhabitants of Iceland. Of all Iceland’s animals, foxes are hardest to spot, so a visit to rescued foxes at the centre a must. Your entrance fee helps to support fox research and protection.
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.