The Ultimate Guide to the Westfjords in Iceland

The Westfjords are an untamed and remote region that shows the true wilderness of Iceland. Get away from the crowds and dare to discover these vast landscapes!

The Westfjords, Iceland

blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

    The Westfjords in Iceland is one of the most remote regions on the island. So if you’re looking for untouched nature and fewer tourists, the Westfjords is the place to go. But don’t think that just because this northwestern peninsula is so remote that nothing is happening in this part of the country. There are plenty of things to see and do, and the Westfjords play host to many events throughout the year.

    If you’ve been pondering a visit to our shores and the Westfjords intrigue you, read on. In this article, we discuss everything about the region and provide you with the best itinerary to go and explore it.

    The Westfjords is a place where each season holds its own beauty, so you’ll not be able to make a decision based on seasonal things to see or do in the Westfjords. The following are a few things to consider when planning your trip:

    • Because of its remoteness, the Westfjords is the perfect place to see the Northern Lights. If this is something on your Iceland bucket list, you should come during the winter season.
    • Most will suggest that you stick to driving in the daylight, especially if you’re road-tripping all across the country. You won’t find many daylight hours during the winter season. So, if you’re planning a road trip, it’s best to come during the summer months when you can experience 20+ hours of daylight each day mid-season.
    • The Westfjords is one of the regions that are worst hit when it comes to road closures. Especially when it comes to the F-roads in Iceland during the colder months. So, if you intend to explore the area via road trip, this could throw a serious spanner in the work.
    • The Iceland road conditions during the colder seasons are not for the faint of heart. With heavy snowfall and slippery, icy roads, nervous or inexperienced drivers should rather opt for a drive in the warmer seasons.
    • Because of its remoteness, someone doing a solo trip might prefer sticking to the busier summer months in terms of safety. Iceland is (officially) the safest country in the world, but that doesn’t safeguard you against something like a flat tire. In a remote region such as the Westfjords you might not want to be waiting for the cavalry for a few days in the freezing cold.

    westfjords Iceland

    The Best Things to do in the Westfjords in Iceland

    As we already mentioned, there is plenty to do and see in the Westfjords in Iceland. If you can, try to get your hands on a Westfjords Iceland map that also includes the local attractions. The following are just a few of the popular things to do:

    • Visit Dynjandi Waterfall
    • Spot the Iceland Puffins at the Latrabjarg Cliffs (only during the breeding season, though)
    • Take a stroll on the Raudisandur Red Sand Beach
    • Go and explore Flatey Island (the only island that is not an uninhabited island in the Westfjords)
    • Take a scenic drive to see all of Iceland’s Western Fjords
    • Try to spot an Arctic Fox in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
    • Discover the (unofficial) capital of the Westfjords, Isafjördur
    • Visit the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft

    Westfjords map

    How to Get to the Westfjords in Iceland

    You have a few options when it comes to getting to the Westfjords in Iceland. We suggest that you grab your Westfjords in Iceland map and check which of these will work best in your situation:

    Getting to the Westfjords in Iceland Via Plane

    This is actually the quickest way to reach the Westfjords. The flight from Reykjavík to the Westfjords takes about 50 minutes. You can choose between three destination airports: Isafjördur, Bildadalur, and Gjögur.

    Getting to the Westfjords in Iceland Via Car

    We always say that the best way to explore the island is by driving it yourself. There are various routes one can take from Reykjavík to the Westfjords depending on where exactly you’re going:

    Reykjavík to Holmavik (233 km in total)

    This route only consists of asphalt roads. Take Roads No 1, 60 and 61 to go Reykjavík – Hvalfjördur Tunnel – Borgarnes – Bifröst – Budardalur - Holmavik

    Reykjavík to Reykholar (228 km in total)

    This route only consists of asphalt roads. Take Roads No 1, 60 and 607 to go to Reykjavík – Hvalfjördur Tunnel – Borgarnes – Bifröst – Budardalur – Reykholar.

    Reykjavík to Patreksfjördur (392 km in total)

    This route only consists of asphalt roads. Take Roads No 1, 60 and 62 to go to Reykjavík – Hvalfjördur Tunnel – Borgarnes – Bifröst – Budardalur – Reykholar.

    Iceland western fjords

    Reykjavik to Isafjördur via Holmavik (455 km in total)

    This route only consists of asphalt roads. Take Roads No 1, 60 and 61 to go Reykjavik – Hvalfjördur Tunnel – Borgarnes – Bifröst – Budardalur – Holmavik – Isafjördur.

    Reykjavík to Isafjördur via Dynjandi (420 km in total)

    This route consists of asphalt roads and roughly 57 kilometers of gravel roads. Take Roads No 1, and 60 to go Reykjavík – Hvalfjördur Tunnel – Borgarnes – Bifröst – Budardalur – Flokalundur - Dynjandi – Isafjördur. 

    Getting to the Westfjords in Iceland Via Bus

    The bus transport to the Westfjords runs all year round, although there are changes in the schedule between the peak season and the down season. So please double-check the operating times for the period you’re planning on visiting.

    Getting to the Westfjords in Iceland Via Ferry

    The Baldur Ferry to the Westfjords (between Stykkisholmur and Brjanslækur) runs all year round. Although, there are changes in the schedule between the peak season and the down season. So please double-check the operating times for the period you’re planning on visiting.

    uninhabited island in the Westfjords

    A 7-day Westfjords in Iceland Itinerary

    The Westfjords is an amazing place that you definitely do not want to rush. You can drive through the Westfjords in one day, we highly recommend that you do not do it in less than 3, with a 7-day Westfjords itinerary being ideal.

    Day 1: Arrival at Reykjavík

    Depending on what time you land at Keflavik Airport, you’ll be able to add a visit to the Blue Lagoon here too.

    Day 2: The Borgarfjördur Area – Holmavik

    Total km to drive: 350 km

    Highlights:

    • Hraunfossar Waterfall
    • Barnafoss Waterfall
    • Deildartunguhver Hot Spring
    • Haafell Goat Farm
    • Holmavik

    Holmavik, Iceland

    Day 3: The Coastal Roads to Isafjördur

    Total km to drive: 220 km

    Highlights:

    • The Mountains & Fjords Along the Way
    • Isafjördur

    westfjords Iceland itinerary

    Day 4: Dynjandi & the Latrabjarg Cliffs to Patreksfjördur

    Total km to drive: 175 km

    Highlights:

    • Dynjandi Waterfall
    • The Latrabjarg Cliffs
    • The Patreksfjördur Area

    Dyjandi waterfall

    Day 5: Raudisandur & Baldur Ferry to Stykkisholmur

    Total km to drive: 165 km

    Highlights:

    • Raudisandur Red Sand Beach
    • Vatnsfjördur Nature Reserve
    • Breidafjördur Bay
    • Stykkisholmur

    Stykkisholmur, Iceland

    Day 6: Snæfellsnes Peninsula to Reykjavík

    Total km to drive: 200 km

    Highlights:

    • Snæfellsjökull Glacier in Snæfellsjökull National Park
    • Arnarstapi Cliffs
    • Djupalonssandur Black Sand Beach
    • Reykjavík

    Arnastapi cliffs

    Day 7: Departure from Keflavik Airport

    Once again, depending on your flight time, you might be able to squeeze in a couple of things to do and see between Reykjavík and the airport.

    Best Places to Stay in the Westfjords in Iceland

    You will find a wide variety of accommodation in the Westfjords in Iceland, but the following comes highly recommended:

    The Westfjords in Iceland; Well Worth the Visit

    Sometimes it pays off to take the “road less traveled” and the Westfjords in Iceland definitely fall into this category. Use our article as a guide and plan out your trip with the help of a Westfjords in Iceland map. Then all you need to do is rent a car in Reykjavík to start your Westfjords in Iceland adventure.

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