Visiting West Iceland

Published on: 2015/09/18
Visiting West Iceland

Are you planning a road trip around Iceland or maybe you only have a few days to spend and not sure what to do. West Iceland is a magical area in so many ways, so definitely add it to your #TripInIceland itinerary list! 

In this blog I'm sharing highlights on what to do & see in West Iceland. Some of the places I recommend you to visit: Hraunfossar (lava waterfalls), Deildartunguhver hot spring, Reykholt, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Kirkjufell mountain, Djúpalónssandur beach, Vatnshellir cave tour and Into the glacier tour. 

September 18th, I did a trip with the official marketing office of West Iceland. They invited me to stay at Hotel Húsafell for one night which was really great (hotel review soon to follow). After a good night's sleep I started the day with breakfast at the hotel and then did the Into the Glacier tour (glacier tunnel in Langjökull). It opened last June so I was excited to check it out! It was really cool experience.

After the glacier tour I road tripped back to Reykjavík with a few stops along the way.

Hraunfossar, lava waterfalls. This series of pristine waterfalls trickles, gushes, and flows out of a craggy lava field that formed when a volcano erupted under a glacier.

Hraunfossar

West Iceland is home to most of the Icelandic sagas and their heroes. So the next stop is Reykholt and Snorrastofa. Reykholt, is an historic site where the great writer Snorri Sturluson lived and died in 1241. The academic institution Snorrastofa is situated there, dedicated to the memory of Snorri. 

Deildartunguhver is Europe’s most powerful hot spring. It provides 180 l/sec of 100°C hot water. Most of the water used for central heating in the towns of Borgarnes and Akranes comes from Deildartunguhver.

Deildartunguhver

I picked a few photos to highlight #WestIceland

Snæfellsjökull

Arnarstapi

I asked my followers to share their favorite places and things to do when traveling around West Iceland

Instagrammers recommended this:

  • So hard to pick a favorite! Búðir, Kirkjufell and Stykkishólmur
  • Arnarstapi and Stapafell mountain
  • Avoid Hvalfjarðargöng tunnel and drive Hvalfjörður, its more scenic
  • Hike Helgafell mountain
  • Djúpalónssandur & Dritvík beach and the Shark Museum at Bjarnarhöfn is pretty quirky!
  • The black church at Búðir, great for photos!
  • Kirkjufell mountain and Grundarfjörður
  • You have deffinitly to recommend the tiny but colorful fish'n'chips Shop in Stykkishólmur. Awesome! Furthermore of course Djupalonssandur - just sit there between the warm Rocks
  • Taking the ferry from Snaefellsness up to the Westfjords
  • Fjöruhúsið cafe is a MUST! Best waffles and lattes. 

Facebook followers said this: 

"We based ourselves in Grundarfjörður and spent a few days just on the peninsula and it was awesome! We took a day to drive the whole thing around, our favorite spots were Ytri Tunga beach where saw some huge seals, vatnshellir cave (what a great and affordable experience!) and Ölkelda farm where we sampled the mineral water! Of course Búðir as well. We were there in the winter and we were lucky enough to spot the orcas near Grundarfjörður from the bridge (we spent about 4 hours there one day!) and we also couldn't miss the fermented shark. We really loved West Iceland and can't wait to come back and adventure to the Westfjords! As much as we loved it in the winter though (no tourists, felt like we had the place to ourselves) we would probably love it more in the summer time :)" - Liz Driedger

"The black church in Búðir, sunset in Stykkishólmur and the 59 gravel road (Búðardalur to Borðeyri) in the middle of nowhere." - Ale Bu Doni 

"I was just there! I really enjoyed the Vatnshellir cave tour & we also found an awesome canyon to hike afterwards, Rauðfeldargjá. The ferry from the Westfjords to this part of the country was also lovely!" - Trailing Away

"Stykkishólmur was the highlight of my time there and making it all the way to the Skalasnagi lighthouse was an achievement. I stopped at every little hot pot I could find. Grundarfjörður was amazing to watch the birds and whales. Hotel Búðir of course with amazing views and a lovely church and cemetery." - Stephanie Gall

Búðarkirkja

West Iceland

Lost house, West Iceland

West Iceland

Here is a list of places I recommend; Arnarstapi, Deildartunguhver geothermal area, Glymur Waterfall, Hraunfossar waterfalls, Akranes lighthouse, Reykholt, Vatnshellir cave, Búðakirkja church, Lóndrangar, Djúpalón & Dritvík beach, Arnarstapi, Hellnar, Kirkjufell mountain, Stykkishólmur, Breiðafjörður (I recommend a boat trip around the fjord), Eiríksstaðir, Guðrúnarlaug natural hot pool and Landbrotalaug (free admission),  Hallmundarhraun lava field, Into the Glacier (glacier tunnel in Langjökull) and visit Háafell, goat farm. The Icelandic goat is an endangered species and Háafell is working towards protecting and maintaining the goat stock in Iceland. Visitors receive a warm welcome from the goats, which are very people-friendly. Plenty of more places to find around West Iceland, so click here for the official website of West Iceland.

If you are on Pinterest then make sure to follow Tiny Iceland. I've pinned over 4K pins divided into 60 boards. Below is my West Iceland Pinterest board. 

Follow Tiny Iceland's board West Iceland on Pinterest.

Read my Iceland Stopover post for more information as well as photos from West Iceland. I'm going to write a few blog posts, about each region in West Iceland and share more detailed information. P.S. Don't forget to tag #TripInIceland via social media so I can follow along and even share some of it with Tiny Iceland's followers.

Have you done a road trip around West Iceland? or done a tour e.g. Vatnshellir cave, horseback riding or Into the Glacier? Leave a comment below!

P.S. Don't forget to tag #TripInIceland via social media so I can follow along and share some of it with Tiny Iceland's followers.

A few key websites to use when in Iceland: Icelandic Met OfficeThe Icelandic road and coastal administration ans The 112 National Emergency Number

Don’t forget to follow Tiny Iceland via social media for frequent updates. TwitterInstagramFacebook and Tiny Iceland's Pinterest profile is filled with boards and pins to get more ideas what to see & do when planning your #TripInIceland. Tag using Tiny Iceland’s official hashtag #TripInIceland. Cheers and happy travels, Inga, founder of TinyIceland.

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