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West Iceland & the Westfjords

10 days
 / 9 nights

Explore the magical Westfjords and West Iceland for 10 days and 9 nights on a classical road trip on your own terms. This self-drive tour is a great way for independent travelers to experience the best of Iceland.

If you are interested in receiving a price calculation or additional information about a personalized travel package, please click on the “Send Request” button.

Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs and travel preferences. If a self-drive tour is not what you prefer, this travel package can also be offered as a privately guided trip.

Feel confident and safe on your trip

Book now for travel with Activity Iceland in 2021 without worry. Activity Iceland has received the Clean & Safe World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp, which provides travelers with assurance that our company and our partners have adopted health and hygiene global standardized protocols.

10 days
 / 9 nights

Estimated price per person from:

335,000 ISK
Estimated high-season price per person based on bookings for 2 people in a double room

We will tailor this vacation package to you. Change anything – from activities to accommodation to places visited.

Got question? We can help.

Call us to plan your trip! We’ll find you the best option. We’re available Mon – Fri: 9:00 am to 5:00  pm UTC

(+354) 533 6003

You can request a call back from our travel expert team at anytime within our standard working hours.

What's Included

Included

Accommodation for 9 nights
Rental car of your choice with unlimited mileage
Daily breakfast
Detailed personal itinerary
Taxes and service fees
Expert trip manager and local guides

Not included

Flights and connections to Iceland
Personal travel insurance
Petrol/Gasoline
Tunnel and road tolls unless specified
Admissions and activities other than specified in the itinerary
Beverages, snacks, lunches, dinners unless otherwise noted in your itinerary
Any service not specifically listed under “Included”

Highlights

Reykjanes Peninsula
Grabrok Crater
Strandir
Djupavik
Krossneslaug geothermal pool
Grimsey - The Puffin Island
Litlibær í Skötufirði
Valagil ravine
Ísafjörður
Vigur Island
Flateyri
Dynjandi waterfall
Látrabjarg cliffs
Rauðisandur
Borgarfjörður
Hvalfjörður

Itinerary

Day 1

Pick up your car at Keflavík Airport

Your Kia Sportage automatic vehicle (or similar) is ready for pick up at Enterprise Car rental service desk. Please proceed directly to the car rental shuttle bus, located just outside the arrival hall. They will take you to Enterprise service desk on the other end of the premises. Shuttle departures every 10-15 minutes.

Included in your rental are: CDW Insurance, GPS navigation system, theft protection (TP), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

Reykjanes Peninsula

Reykjanes Peninsula is a UNESCO Global Geopark – a cultural, geographical, and historical treasure trove where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level. Nowhere else in the world can you see the oceanic ridge and its divergent plate boundary as clearly as in Reykjanes. Pillow lava, curious rock formations in the shape of elves, trolls and outlaws put their distinct mark on the amazing landscape of the peninsula.

Day 2

From Reykjavík to Hólmavík

Today you will head out of the capital city up through West Iceland through a route that offers a great variety of landscapes. We recommend making a stop at the Grabrok Crater, a 3.400 years crater that is situated next to the road making it a perfect stop to stretch your legs and enjoy the amazing 360° view from the top, all the way over the historic Borgarfjordur fjord. Shortly after departing from Grabrok, you will make your way off the Ring road, towards the spectacular Westfjords.

The Westfjords is where Iceland’s dramatic landscapes come to a riveting climax and where the crowds disappear. Despite its uniqueness, most travelers miss this oldest part of the island.

The Westfjords offer you the opportunity to enjoy Iceland’s beautiful nature as it is meant to be explored, alone and completely free from the crowds of the south shore. Standing alone in these jaw-dropping coastal fjords amongst the over immense mountains is a sublime feeling, so stop at one of the many lay-by and parking spaces situated next to the road (you can spot the red and yellow triangle signs with a bench and a tree along the road,) and enjoy this superb opportunity to be one with nature.

Day 3

Strandir - Westfjords

Enjoy the day exploring the Strandir area, one of the most remote areas of Iceland. The area was once very populated but is now home to only about 50 residents who enjoy living in this beautiful place despite it’s ruralness. The drive from the area is one of the most scenic drives you will take, besides the breathtaking nature you are bound to be captivated by the tiny settlements that greet you on the way.

The first settlement you will reach is the village Djupavik, whom at its peak was home to 200 residents when an entrepreneur built the most high-tech herring factory in Europe. The herring, however, left the area only a couple of decades later resulting in most of the habitats moving away. We recommend paying a visit to the museum which has now been put up in the old factory by the owners of the hotel next door. It is a unique experience never forgotten. Despite the remoteness of the area it has appeared in several movies, as producers fall in love with this unique place. Strandir area even appeared in the new Justice League movie.

Continue north from Djupavik, towards the geothermal pool Krossneslaug. This pool at Krossnes in Strandir is one of the most interesting pools in Iceland as it is built on the shore in this remote area surrounded by stunning mountains and bare oceans. Relaxing in the naturally warm waters streaming from a nearby source, overlooking the magnificent waves with only the sound of the ocean and the birds in your ears will leave you in a tranquil state. Take your time to enjoy it!

When you are ready, you can continue your drive back towards the hotel. If you are up for a detour you can visit the small village at Drangsnes and take an afternoon tour to the nearby puffin island, Grimsey, where you will get the rare opportunity of walking next to the birds in their natural habitat before returning to the hotel.

Day 4

Hótel Heydalur - Westfjords

Heydalur is a paradise for those who like birdlife and to take pictures of birds. Heydalur offers horseback rides in Heydalur valley and many attractions for the family. The hot natural pool in Heydalur is a few minutes of walk from the country Hotel Heydalur. Sitting in the hot natural pool feeling the fatigue in your body float away is a feeling like no other. Some say that laying the hot pool in Heydalur gives you strength, and for many, that is so true. You can easily plan day tours to the nearest fjords and farmlands and explore abandoned farms, villages and towns. The population in the West Fjords has declined rapidly during the past decades, and what remains is a captivating and enigmatic atmosphere, colored by the sea and mountains, where nature and history together are a beautiful setting, unmatched elsewhere in Iceland.

Day 5

Litlibær í Skötufirði

Litlibær is a historical turf farmstead in Northwest Iceland, by Ísafjörður, the capital of the Westfjords.

The farmstead was originally built in 1875. From settlement until the 20th Century, most Icelanders lived in such turf buildings. These houses were built under the earth, surrounded by rocks, then covered in turf, due to the lack of wood in the country.

Valagil - Westfjords

Valagil is a spectacular ravine, complete with mighty waterfall and made from layers upon layers of ancient lava. You will find Valagil at the landward end of Álftafjörður, not too far from Súðavík. There is a marked footpath to the ravine from the road. Some say the ravine is named after the falcons (valur is Icelandic for falcon) which reported used to nest there. Other people say it is named after a woman called Vala who is said to have fallen to her death in the gully (hundreds of years ago).

Ísafjörður - Westfjords

The town of Isafjordur is considered the honorary capital of the Westfjords, and has a real vibrancy with a thriving harbor, world-class dining, swanky cafes and an annual music festival that draws fans from all over the world. The broad fjord of Isafjardardjup provides a phenomenal backdrop for a charming fishing village. With its colorful narrow streets and old buildings, the town is simply charming. Settled in the 1580s, Isafjordur boasts a lovely old town center with some of the finest and most beautifully restored timber buildings in the country. The meticulously restored Turnhus (Tower House), built in 1744, now houses the Westfjords Heritage Museum.

Day 6

Ísafjörður

After days driving around the magical places, a day spent in Ísafjordur, the capital of the Westfjords offers the chance to rejuvenate and re-energize.

Vigur Island - Westfjords

Vigur is one of three islands in Ísafjarðardjúp. The island is long an narrow and gets its name from the shape, Vigur means spear. The island's unique wildlife has been a popular tourist attraction.

Puffins, eiders, guillemoths and arctic terns are this island's magnets, and they are all abundant. Indeed, as the puffins, which nest in burrows, have dug through much of the island's soil, travellers have to follow a certain path to avoid falling into one. This small bird, by some dubbed the penguin of the north, is a clumsy flier but impresses visitors by artfully stacking its beak full of sand eel or small fish, carrying it home to its hungry chicks. Being the opposite of the hospitable humans that live on the island, the Arctic terns fight to keep intruders away. Luckily, a stick held above the head does the trick. Eiders and humans share a mutual beneficence; eiders get protecion by nesting in close vicinity of the people, who collect the precious down from the eider nests.

In Vigur you find the smallest post office in Iceland, as well as the only windmill and beautifully renewed houses.

To get to Vigur, there is a daily boat tour from Ísafjörður.

Day 7

Flateyri - Westfjords

Flateyri has been a trading post since 1792 and saw its heyday in the 19th century when it was home to a fleet of decked vessels and the base for shark-hunting and whaling operations. The fishing industry has always been vital for the villages in the Westfjords, and in Flateyri the tradition of fishing has successfully been linked to tourism as the village has become a very popular destination for foreign sea anglers. The fjord also offers great opportunities for kayaking.
The old village bookshop has been turned into a museum where visitors can learn about the history of Flateyri while buying second-hand books and visiting the old merchant's home. An international doll museum and the popular Nonsense Museum can also be found in Flateyri. Accommodation is available at the hostel or in self-catering flats. A small shop, a restaurant/pub and a nice swimming pool with brand new outdoor hot-pots provide visitors with all the basic services.
Across the fjord, you will find a white, sandy beach. Although the sea might be colder for bathing than most people prefer, the sand is great for building sandcastles. This beach is actually the venue for an annual sandcastle competition which attracts hundreds of participants every year, children and adults alike.

Skrúður Botanical garden - Westfjords

The garden was officially opened on August 7th 1909. In 1992, a group of people decided on their own to restore the garden, and on August 18th 1996 they formally returned the garden to its owner - the Ministry of Education. In November of the same year the Ministry handed over the garden to the town of Ísafjörður to own and care for. The formal aim of the garden is to be a memorial to itself and to the concept of school gardens where the sustaining of nature's bounty and environmental education are linked to the operations of public schools. The garden is also an example of successful horticulture in such northern climes, and as such, a notable part of the country's horticultural history.

Hrafnseyri - Westfjords

Hrafnseyri is an old town in the Westfjords that dates back to the Settlement Era and has links to Iceland’s independence movement.

The settlement is named after one of its earliest residents, Hrafn Sveinbjarnason, who lived here in the 12th Century. He is not the area’s most famous child, however; it was also the birthplace of Jón Sigurðsson, the father of Iceland’s push for independence from Denmark.

Although Jón never lived to see his dream of a free nation pan out, he is still revered nationwide. At Hrafnseyri, there is a museum dedicated to him and his efforts, aptly called the Museum of Jón Sigurðsson.

Dynjandi waterfall

Easily the most spectacular site in Iceland’s remote Westfjords is Dynjandi Waterfall (The Thunderer) which is a collection of seven cascades resembling a tiered wedding cake. The thunderous power of the main cascade drops 100 meters (329 ft) off the edge of a mountain.

Dynjandi waterfall is the largest waterfall in the Westfjords and many locals say that it is the most majestic and most beautiful waterfall in Iceland. Though not all agree on that point, it's fair to say that the waterfall is a sight and is preserved as a natural monument since 1981, so please stay on the paths.

Make sure you don't miss out on the few ruins there. Not far from the parking lot you can find an old home stead, ruins of an old turf house, which was inhabited until 1951. As the story goes, the wife of the farmer who used to live there couldn't stand listen to the constant roar of the thunderous waterfall.

As a part of the museum is the old turf house that Jón grew up in and the chapel that was built in his memory. The church that stands outside is always open for guests as well. In Hrafnseyri there is a really good access for disabled people and the place is recently renovated with access for everyone as a first priority.

In the old turf house is a small coffee house where you can get soup, bread, coffee and homemade treats.

To add to the historic ambiance that imbues this village, there is a cafe within an old turf-roofed building.

Patreksfjörður - Westfjords

Patreksfjörður is the biggest town in the southern part of the Westfjords, with a population of around 660. Early in the 20th century, Patreksfjörður was a pioneering force in Iceland's fishing industry, initiating trawler fishing. Still today the chief occupation is commercial fishing and fish processing. Other industries, like fish farming and services are also increasingly important.
Tourism has been on the rise in Patreksfjörður, not surprisingly, as the village has gems like Látrabjarg cliffs, Rauðasandur beach and Dynjandi waterfall within its reach. Patreksfjörður has a new, absolutely gorgeous outdoor swimming pool, and if you prefer natural hot pots you will find them within an easy driving distance from the town. In Patreksfjörður you can enjoy hotels or guesthouses, restaurants and various tours. You can reach Patreksfjörður by flight six days per week via Bíldudalur (fly-bus takes you to Patreksfjörður), or by a bus from Reykjavík to Stykkisholmur, then the ferry Baldur to Brjánslækur and a bus from there to Patreksfjörður. If you drive on your own during winter, please remember to get updates on weather and road conditions.

Day 8

Látrabjarg - Westfjords

Latrabjarg is Iceland’s largest sea cliff stretching 14 kilometers (8.75 mi) and peaking at a height of 441 meters (1,447 ft). This majestic cliff’s claim to fame is that it is the westernmost point in Europe and hosts Iceland’s greatest concentration of seabirds. The cliffs also make a stunning viewpoint for Aurora Borealis during Northern Lights Season, but hikers should beware as the cliff edges are fragile and it is a long drop to the beautiful beaches below.

Birdlife in Latrabjarg cliffs

The variety and sheer number of birds that can be seen in Latrabjarg at one time are astounding. Safe from Arctic foxes, the birds are fearless, providing ample opportunities to take wonderful photographs from close range as Latrabjarg is unrestricted during nesting season.

Thousands of Iceland’s iconic puffins frolic about as well as gannets, guillemots, razorbills, white-tailed eagles, red-throated loons, arctic terns, redshanks, snipes, auks, murres, kittiwakes, fulmars, snow buntings, and ringed plovers.

Each year, the puffin season in Latrabjarg starts from the middle of May until late August.

Barðarströnd- Westfjords

The road from Gilsfjörður to Kleifaheiði on the south coast of West Fjord peninsula is often referred to as Barðaströnd or the Barðaströnd drive. It is one of the few roads in the main highways that are not paved and considerable parts of the road are gravel roads and often poorly maintained. Although this sounds a bit harsh it should not prevent you from taking the Barðaströnd drive on the south West Fjord peninsula. It is one of the most spectacular drives in Iceland. You should just drive carefully and slowly, which is an advantage since there is much to appreciate in the stunning landscape. With the view over the Breiðafjörður bay, with its hundreds of islands and islets, it is simply breathtaking. Between the mountains, you will find yourself driving narrow fjords, in and out. In spite of this area sporting relatively large vegetation with considerable amounts of shrub, it is very sparsely populated. Here, tranquility is complete. As Barðaströnd is the area where the majestic Eagle resides, you are quite likely to spot one.

Rauðisandur

Raudisandur offers a spectacular view and countless numbers of seabirds and seals. Raudisandur is a golden red sand beach in the Látrabjarg area. The magnificent hues of the sand differ with daylight and weather. Raudisandur (Red Sand) takes its name from the multitudes of pulverized scallop shells that make up the beach, having accumulated over the centuries. There are some that say that the Viking settler Armodur ‘The Red’ Thorbjarnarson gave the beach its name.

Dalir - Westfjords/West

Dalir is a family-friendly place to visit, combining historical and cultural attractions with an enchanting world of wildlife and nature. It is the ideal place to spend a few days away from the hustle and bustle of city life, to relax, be outdoors, discover and learn. Few parts of Iceland are as rich in history as Dalir where records go back virtually unbroken to the Settlement in the 9th and 10th centuries. In fact, Dalir deserves to be called a stepping-stone into the New World. Ancient Icelandic records tell how Eirík the Red, who in 985-6 AD pioneered the settlement of Greenland, lived in Haukadalur valley at a place called Eiríksstaðir. His son, Leif the Lucky, was born there and a reconstruction of his birthplace has been built there, based on the ruins of Eirík’s own farmhouse. The nature here is beautiful and is great for hiking and horse riding trips. Other activities include bird and seal watching, and swimming in geothermally heated outdoor pools. Visitors are also invited to explore the Dalir Heritage Museum as well as local farms, such as Erpsstaðir, where you can taste and buy local products and get to know the way of life in Dalir. Inexpensive trout fishing is available in Lake Haukadalsvatn and the lakes of Ljárskógar and Sólheimar

Day 9

Eiríksstaðir - Viking home -West

Come and join us by the fire and meet storytellers, telling renowned tales of the 10th century. You can try real Viking tools and get to know the craftsmanship, architecture and Viking clothing, all made by hand with original tools and methods.

Hidden away in West Iceland, the Dalabyggð region was the starting point for one of the most exciting chapters in the history of mankind:
The Viking Age expansion continued westward from Iceland and took explorers first to Greenland and later to the shores of North America.

Borgarfjörður - West

Borgarfjordur is stunning fjord near the town of Borgarnes in West Iceland. Visit the area’s volcanic lava fields and hot springs. Explore the most powerful hot spring in Europe, bath in a geothermal pool, visit the historical sites, and more. A must-see geothermal paradise! When driving through Borgarfjörður valley it is impossible not to be amazed. Borgarfjörður is home to some of the most stunning open landscapes in Iceland. The dynamic geothermal underground in Iceland is very evident. The area is home to stunning waterfalls, the most powerful hot spring in Europe, a lava birch paradise, staggering beaches and unique history. Borgarfjörður is filled with farmland and agriculture is very popular in the region. Here you can find Icelandic sheep, Icelandic horses and geothermal greenhouses where vegetables and fruits are being grown. A fantastic golf course can be found in Borgarfjörður. Borgarfjordur is home to the Silver Circle, composed of four main stops Deildartunguhver, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls, Krauma Geothermal Pool and Spa and the historical Reykholt. 

Hvalfjörður

Hvalfjörður (Whale Fjord), only 50 km from Reykjavik, gives an excellent opportunity to enjoy the unique beauty of Icelandic fjords, with its sloops, shores, canyons, and waterfalls and its somewhat controversial history of whaling. The area is especially quiet and tranquil with few people around. Glymur, the highest waterfall of Iceland (198 m) is in Hvalfjordur. During World War II, a British and American naval base could be found in the fjord. The British base HMS Baldur was located at Hvitanes, and you can still today visit the ruins of the once-great housing. Today Hvalfjordur is a quiet place with farms and beaches. 

Day 10

Rental car drop off at KEF airport

Your adventure has sadly come to an end.

You must return your rental car in good time to check-in for your flight at the same location as you picked it up from. It is recommended that passengers check-in for their flights 2,5 hours prior to departure time.

Rental Car Type Examples

When we design our travel packages we include the most reliable rental cars available, in order to make your trip as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
Below you’ll find examples of the type of rental cars we recommend for this trip.

Compact

KIA Ceed or similar
Passengers: 5
Luggage: 2
Doors: 5
Transmission: Manual

Standard 4x4 SUV

KIA Sportage AWD or similar
Passengers: 5
Luggage: 4
Doors: 5
Transmission: Automatic

Premium 4x4 SUV

ToyotaLand Cruiser or similar
Passengers: 5
Luggage: 5
Doors: 5
Transmission: Automatic

Book with confidence

West Iceland & the Westfjords
10 days
 / 9 nights

Estimated price per person from:

335,000 ISK
Estimated high-season price per person based on bookings for 2 people in a double room

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