Remote, Beautiful and Tranquil—The Westfjords
Serenity, tranquillity and remoteness attract people to the Westfjords. It is a favourite place to enjoy the outdoors – go hiking, horse riding, kayaking, boating, bicycling and fishing. The arctic fox can often be seen there in its natural environment. Hornstrandir area, for example, has been uninhabited except for birds, seals and fox since 1950. It is one of the most remote areas in Europe and a favourite place in which to hike. Visitors can visit by boat for half a day or spend several days hiking.
A Sidetrack to Nature’s Treasures
The Westfjords of Iceland is Europe’s last frontier. It is a geographical area in the north west of Iceland. Its remoteness, beauty and tranquillity is unsurpassed. Unfortunately, some foreign visitors bypass the area, as they are often in a hurry to complete the circular route around Iceland along the so-called Ring road. Travellers who venture off the Ring road and visit the Westfjords are in for a pleasant surprise.
Narrow fjords and valleys, steep and often high mountain slopes and a narrow strip of land along the sea characterise the Westfjords. Mountain tops seem to have been levelled with a knife, as many are remarkably flat. The highest mountain is nearly 1,000 metres high. Some of the highlights on the west side of the Westfjords include Bjargtangar, generally regarded as the westernmost point in Europe; Dynjandi waterfall is 100 metres high with seven cascades; Látrarbjarg is a 14 km long and 441 metre-high sea cliff, home to millions of nesting sea birds in summer including the puffin. Highlights on the east side include the Museum of Sorcery in Hólmavík and Reykjanes peninsula which has a 50 metre geothermal hot water swimming pool supplied with water from a local spring.
The Westfjords has a population of 7,400 and covers 8.700 km². This makes it one of the least populated parts of the world. There is less than one person per square kilometre. Compare that to 300 people per square kilometre in England and 18,534 in Macau. Visitors travelling by road can expect to drive on gravel some parts of the way, something which has become a rare experience in most countries in Europe.
A Cosmopolitan Oasis
in a Vast Area of Natural Beauty
Ísafjörður has 2,600 inhabitants and is, by far, the largest town in the Westfjords. Excellent restaurants capitalise on fresh fish caught every day. The Lonely Planet guide book describes the town as a “cosmopolitan oasis”. It is the perfect place to prepare for a hiking adventure in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve established in 1975, or to enjoy some of the local gourmet cuisine which largely consists of seafood. Ísafjörður is next to the sea by a fjord carved out by ice during the Ice-Age which started some 3 million years ago and ended 10.000 years ago.
Westfjords Marketing Office
Aðalstræti 7 • 400 Ísafjörður
+354 450 4040