This wild region is one of Iceland’s most remote and most beautiful. Here you can really get off the beaten track and up close to wildlife like Arctic foxes and puffins. It’s the perfect place to disconnect and recharge in the tranquility of nature.

An abandoned hut in the Westfjords
Snowy mountain landscape in Westfjords
brown arctic fox amidst green grass and yellow flowers
An abandoned hut in the Westfjords
Snowy mountain landscape in Westfjords

More attractions in the Westfjords

FAQs about the Westfjords

Definitely! Iceland’s Westfjords offer a truly off-the-beaten-path experience. Here you can disconnect completely from the world and enjoy the unspoiled wilderness, if that’s your thing.

In this region, winding roads skirt past dramatic mountain faces and deep fjords. As you turn each corner, you’re presented with a dramatic new landscape. So you’ll have the perfect excuse to slow down and travel at a more leisurely pace.

Here, the real reward isn’t so much the destination, but the journey itself. That said, the Westfjords are studded with natural sights that have their own undeniable draw.

The town of Hólmavík in the southeastern part of the Westfjords is just over 230 km (140 mi) from Reykjavík. Take road 68, which connects up to the Ring Road just north of the Staðarskáli service station.

To reach the capital of the region, Ísafjörður, you need to drive a further 220 km (135 mi). Much of the route is on roads that weave in and out of the many fjords. In this slice of Iceland there are no shortcuts, but that is part of the region’s remote appeal.

If you’re planning on driving in the Westfjords, summer is the best time to go. At this time of year, you won’t need a 4x4 or specialist tires. Most of the main roads are paved, including road 60 which circles the entire region.

In wintertime, roads are often covered in snow. Some are even closed for the entire season. At this time of year, you would need a 4x4 with studded snow tires. A winter trip to the Westfjords is something you should only consider if you are experienced driving in heavy wintry conditions.

Read this guide to driving in Iceland for more info.

It’s possible to visit the Westfjords in winter, although you should beware that some roads may be closed and driving conditions can be challenging. The region is criss-crossed with mountain passes and gravel roads, which are not serviced in the snowier months.

The ideal time for a road trip in the Westfjords is during the summer. At this time of year you can be sure that roads will be open and you won’t be facing icy or snowy conditions.

The unofficial capital of the Westfjords and largest town is Ísafjörður. After driving through the endless calming beauty of the region, you’ll probably feel like the town is a mega metropolis.

In Ísafjörður you’ll find quaint streets lined with colorful traditional houses. Around the main street is a cluster of shops and restaurants, so this is a great place to stop for a bite to eat.

The town is also home to the Museum of Everyday Life, which pays tribute to home life in Iceland through the ages.

Because distances between attractions tend to be longer in the Westfjords than elsewhere in Iceland, we recommend spending at least 3 days in the region. This way you won’t be rushed and you’ll be able to enjoy all there is to see and do.

If you’re planning to visit the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, you would need at least 5 days altogether in the Westfjords. The reserve is only accessible by boat from Ísafjörður.

This tranquil corner of Iceland is dotted with delightful things to see and do. When visiting the Westfjords, you could:

  • Marvel at the multi-tiered Dynjandi waterfall
  • Learn about runes and witchcraft at the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery
  • Go puffing spotting at the Látrabjarg sea cliffs
  • Roam the red-gold sands of Rauðisandur beach
  • Discover Iceland’s past at museums in Ísafjörður
  • Stand above a fjord at the Bolafjall observation deck in Bolungarvík
  • Sail across the scenic Breiðafjörður bay to the Snæfellsnes peninsula
  • Watch Arctic foxes wandering free in the wilderness
  • Bathe in the open air in natural hot springs
  • Explore Djúpavík, an abandoned whaling station

For more inspiration, check out this ultimate guide to the Westfjords.

Yes, both Arctic foxes and puffins are plentiful in the region. Although you have the chance to spot these creatures anywhere in the Westfjords, your best chances are in the remote Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.

This part of Westfjords is one of the least populated areas of Iceland and isn’t accessible by car. For this reason, it’s become a haven for the country’s wildlife. Arctic foxes roam free here.

It’s in Hornstrandir that you’ll also find the Látrabjarg bird cliff, the longest single stretch of rock in Iceland where seabirds nest. Come here in early summer to spot puffins, razorbills, guillemots, and plenty of other Icelandic birds.


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