Whether you’re a first time visitor who wants to get off the tourist trail, or a seasoned Iceland adventurer looking for something different to do on your next trip, here are some travel ideas we’d recommend.
The Hornstrandir nature reserve, on the northern edge of the Westfjords, is only reachable by boat from Ísafjörður. The area is deserted, having been abandoned by its entire farming community during World War II. Throughout history it was a place where outlaws hid away before boarding ships for distant shores, and where polar bear attacks were frequent. Today, it has become a popular hiking area, with its sublime nature attracting hundreds each summer.
Event: Sæluhelgin Suðureyri
The village of Suðureyri, population 270, was founded in the 9th century by Hallvarður Súgandi, who fled Norway after losing a battle against King Harald. Each summer in the beginning of July it sheds its bloody past and celebrates Sæluhelgi (“Pleasure weekend,” in English—and no, not that kind, you pervert). It’s a family-friendly festival filled with activities, and a Friday party. The village is charming, and the festival is a remnant of an Iceland before tourism.
Do you like puffins? Of course you do. What about ferries? Well, we do. Therefore, taking the ferry Baldur from Stykkishólmur is highly recommended. The trip takes you over Breiðafjörður, an island-filled fjord. The most prominent is Flatey, which has a cosy little hotel; it was on Flatey that the most extensive manuscript in Icelandic history, Flateyjabók, was written. You could also treat yourself to the “Viking Sushi” boat tour—it’s yummy.
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