The Westfjords, a penisula in the north-west of Iceland is known for its serenity, magnific nature and fjords which are characteristic for this part of Iceland.
The area offers extraordinary views, remote and untouched areas, waterfalls, artic wildlife, white, red and black sands as well as cliffs and mountains of various steepness. In every fjord are possiblilities of scenic routes, either by foot or by car
The second longest tunnel in Iceland (9,120 m) connects Ísafjörður and nearby villages. The third tunnel in the Westfjords, connecting fjords, will open in 2020.
The rural areas, eleven villages and the town of Ísafjörður, have altogether almost 7000 residents.
A century ago the number was twice that high but the area has however an intriguing history of survival and growth. The chief occupation in Westfjords is commercial fishing and fish processing but traditional farming has also been a livelihood though the centuries.
The area covers appr. 9.400 km2 of Iceland or 9,1 % of the Replublic of Iceland. The distance from the capital Reykjavík to Ísafjörður, the largest town in the westfjords is 280 mi.
Around 2 % of the Icelandic population live in the Westfjords.
The penisula can be divided into three mayor districts; in the south-west is Vesturbyggð where Patreksfjörður is the biggest urban center, the middle section is Ísafjarðarsýsla with villages and the town of Ísafjörður. The northern part is Strandir with its urban center in Hólmavík.
The north-west part of the penisula, across Ísafjarðardjúp, lies a large uninhabited area, Jökulfirðir, Snæfjallaströnd and Hornstrandir. Hornstrandir is a nature reserve and a home to the artic fox.
The mountains in Westfjords come in all shape and sizes with the highest one, Kaldbakur at 1000 m. Maps with trails and levels of difficulty are available and we offer both 4-6 hours walk as well as longer hiking tours.
The largest sea bird cliff in Europe is in the south-west corner of the Westfjords where you can find guillermots, razorbills. puffins and northern gannets. Next to Azor Islands in the Atlantic ocean, Látrabjarg is the most western point of Europe. Less than 2 hours drive from Látrabjarg is the best known waterfall in the Westfjords, Dynjandi. The oldest geograpical point of Iceland is in the Westfjords. Some natural geothermal pools can be found in various places, there are however no earthquakes or volcanic activity in the Westfjords.
The nature reserve of Hornstrandir is a home to the artic fox, the only native mammal of Iceland. The small, quick, furry, curious and relatively tame foxes can sometimes pleasantly surprise visitors but they are fully protected in this area from being hunted.
There is also a possibility to encounter snowy owls, gyrfalcons and sea eagles in certain places. When passing a lake while driving through a moor one will almost certainly meet a flock of swans or a group of seals lying idly on rocks by the seashore. Also a variety of land birds, like the redshank, golden plover and whimbrel.