Published August 24, 2018
If you’ve travelled the Westfjords, you probably know that driving through this region of Iceland requires following roads along the coastlines of a seemingly infinite number of fjords—which means that you have to drive far—all the way into the mouth of each fjord and all the way back to the ocean again—to travel only very short distances. It can take you hours to reach a destination that looks deceivingly close to your point of departure on Google Maps.
So while you’ve probably found yourself awe-struck by the beautiful fjords of the region, you have probably also found yourself frazzled by the repetitive nature of these endlessly winding, lonely roads in the Icelandic wilderness.
Be our guest
Litlibær Café helps you regain focus. At the tip of a fjord opening and just when you feel that nature is truly at the forefront, a small sign reads “welcome” on the side of the road and beckons you to stop your car, walk up to a café, and rejoin civilization.
Inside a small turf house, a hospitable Icelandic family greets you and invites you to relax, let them pull up a chair, as they proudly present: your afternoon tea.
As if through magic, they unveil hot pastries, cakes, and pies fresh out of the oven, crispy waffles, and your choice of coffee or tea. They’ve even got vegan options for you. The long drive here had made you forget that a bakery could smell so sweet. You learn that the blueberries in the cake come from the local mountainside, while the rhubarb in the pie was grown in the garden right outside. After hours of driving through fjord upon fjord without any contact with other humans, these homemade delicacies will make your mouth water.
Mysterious turf home
Adorning the wooden walls that surround you as you eat are pictures of families past who used to live in the turf house. Some of the people represented on the photos are the ancestors of the family who currently own the house.
“Before we made the turf house into a café, people would come to ask our family if they could have a look inside the structure,” says Guðrún Fjóla Kristjánsdóttir, the daughter of the owners. “The idea for the café came when people would talk about the long journey they had made through the Westfjords and asked for coffee and refreshments.”
Even though Guðrún and her parents own the turf house, it is also part of the National Museum, which restored it so that the home now consists of both new and old parts.
As you finish eating the delicious refreshments on offer and prepare to continue your journey through the Westfjords with your stomach full, you realize that, indeed, the family’s idea to turn the turf house into a café was brilliant. As the animated character Lumière, from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ sings, “if you’re stressed, it’s fine dining we suggest!” This wise recommendation seems to be the slogan of the Litlibær Café.