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.
Best Road Trip
The system of fjords in the central Westfjords all open into one giant fjord called Ísafjarðardjúp. Djúpið is its local nickname, meaning simply “The Deep.” It has the best-maintained and least terrifying stretch of road in the Westfjords, and each fjord has its own hidden treasure that’s typically missed by visitors zooming straight to Ísafjörður—Arngerðareyri “castle,” Reykjanes pool, Litlibær turf house, a seal colony, and Valagil canyon to name just a few.
This gravel road between Dýrafjörður and Álftafjörður has switchbacks and rapid climbs that’ll churn your stomach, and bless your eyes. As you begin the descent into Álftafjörður, the mountains reflect in the water, and Dynjandi can be glimpsed in the distance. The road ends at Hrafnseyri, with the Museum of Jón Sigurðsson, a little church, and three turf houses where you can stop for a coffee.
A remote beach on the southwest shore of the Westfjords, named after its reddish-orange sandy beach. It’s a popular summer spot, and the site of the most doomed music festival in our history—winds so strong that tents blew away, and the festival had to be evacuated. Cross the mountain gravel road—only open in summer—you’re rewarded with a rainbow of colours.
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.