Epic views of Djúpavíkurfoss waterfall are your reward for reaching the village of Djúpavík on the southern shores of Reykjarfjörður fjord. Venture to this quiet corner of the Westfjords and you’ll find yourself in Árneshreppur municipality, the least populated part of Iceland.
This 780 sq km (300 sq mi) area of the country is home to roughly 50 people. In the village itself, you’ll find an abandoned herring factory, the rusty wreck of the Suðurland mailboat, and a handful of summer homes. There’s also Hotel Djúpavík, which has dubbed itself the 'loneliest hotel in the world'.
The easiest way to reach Djúpavík is by car. From route 61, the main road around the Westfjords, turn onto road 643 and follow it north along the coast until you get to the village.
It’s worth checking the forecast before you set out on your journey, as route 643 is often closed in snowy conditions. This means summer is likely the best time of year for you to visit Djúpavík.
As soon as you arrive, you’ll see Djúpavíkurfoss waterfall tumbling down cliffs high above the village.
For even better views of the falls, you could slip on your hiking boots and follow a trail to the top of the plateau. On this 2-hour hike, enjoy the breathtaking fjord scenery and get a bird’s eye view of the village.
A trip to Djúpavík isn’t just about soaking up the surrounding natural beauty. You could also take in some local culture on one of the factory’s guided tours.
Once owned by entrepreneur Elías Stefánsson, the herring salting factory was built in 1917, only to be abandoned 2 years later. But this wasn’t the end. Go on a tour, and your guide will tell you about how it opened and closed a few times before shutting down for good in the 1950s.
Back when it first opened, the factory was one of the largest concrete buildings in Iceland. Nowadays, you’ll find that it’s a space for theater and art exhibitions. So it’s worth checking to see what’s on when you stop by.
Drive another 35 km (22 mi) beyond Djúpavík and you’ll come to the village of Krossnes. But why make the extra journey? The village has a geothermal pool with ocean views – perfect for your post-hike dip.