The Westfjords in Iceland are one of the top highlights Iceland has to offer. The fjord region in the far west of Iceland is super pristine and offers a rugged nature. that is unique to Iceland. The West Fjords offer beautiful scenery, spectacular coastlines and yet so few tourists than anywhere else in Iceland
The highlights and attractions of the Westfjords include many fjords, cliffs, hot pots, wonderful animals such as the famous puffins and simply a lot of nature.
Only about 10% of Iceland tourists visit this remote region. Why you should be one of these 10%, we tell you in our travel info with all the highlights and sights of the Westfjords of Iceland.
Westfjords, that sounds more like Norway than Iceland, but what actually awaited us there, we had not seen coming. The Westfjords are as we had imagined or at least wished for all of Iceland. Here everything is very pristine, quiet, untouristy. The Westfjords are totally isolated, you can’t get there easily. And that is also good.
We saw so many wonderful animals in the Westfjords like humpback whales, puffins, arctic foxes and of course many many sheep. Especially to see Puffins many people go especially to the Westfjords, because there is a particularly large colony here in the summer.
In the Westfjords of Iceland there are not many roads. Roughly speaking, there is actually only one road that goes around the numerous fjords (plus some side roads, of course). So it’s quite surprising that you meet super few other cars here. Only about every half hour you drive through a small town, which then also consists of only a handful of houses. Otherwise, there is a lot of nature, a lot of animals and a lot of sea to see.
It feels like Iceland 20 years ago, Iceland as it was everywhere before the tourist numbers exploded and definitely as it should be today. This is one of the main reasons why we took the Westfjords so much to heart, because that’s how we had imagined the other parts of Iceland. But in the end, our dream of Iceland came true in the Westfjords: simply nature and us.
And if you are especially lucky, you will see the most fascinating visitors of the Westfjords…
Whales in the Westfjords
Yes, the Westfjords are also famous for whales. Especially humpback whales come in the summer months to fill their bellies in the fish rich Westfjords. So you should always keep an eye on the water when driving along the roads. Look out for water fountains or flocks of birds that are near the surface of the water. This could be a sign of a whale.
It was similar for us, thanks to a tip from our hostess the previous night, we were watching the otherwise glassy water the whole time.
When we saw something that suspiciously resembled a whale I unpacked my drone and sped off.
When the drone reached its target, the whale was not visible at first, but after a few moments it reappeared and even made the typical whale move: jumping out of the water and landing on the surface with a loud splash. You have to be lucky!
There are a lot of hot pots (or natural hot pools) in Iceland, so it is not easy to find the really nice ones. The hot pot Hellulaug in the Westfjords is one of the most beautiful ones. It is located right next to the road, but is still not visible and offers a wonderful view of the sea.
During our visit, the previous visitors just left the small parking lot in front of the natural pool, and so we could enjoy the soothing warmth of the natural hot spring all to ourselves. While relaxing in the nearly 40 degree water, we watched a duck family maneuver their 5 little ducklings through the waves of the sea just 10 meters away.
Simply a wonderful view and a super nice little hot tub, which is also free of charge.
Shipwreck BA 64
Right at the beginning of road 612 you will find the ship Garðar BA 64, which was decommissioned in 1981. The ship was towed here and has been rusting away ever since, serving as a tourist attraction. There is a free parking lot and a small information board with information about the ship.
You cannot or should not enter it. You don’t have to spend much time here, but since it’s right next to the road, you should make a small photo stop.
This is probably the loneliest beach in Iceland and is secluded in the southwest of the Icelandic Westfjords. At the end of a long gravel road you can discover this seemingly endless beach. The sand shimmers reddish in the sun, which also gave it its name, the Red Sand Beach. The way to the beach is a dead end and so you have to go back the same way.
Puffins at Látrabjarg
One of the biggest sights of the Westfjords are the Puffins or Puffins that can be seen on the cliffs of Látrabjarg. There are several places in Iceland where you can see puffins, but here in the Westfjords it is most likely, especially during the months of May to the end of August.
Látrabjarg is the westernmost point of Iceland, and therefore of all Europe. After many kilometers of heavy gravel road, we parked our Dacia Duster at the large parking lot and walked up towards the cliff. Above us hovered tens of thousands of seagulls, flying in a seemingly endless parade from the sea towards the coast to their breeding grounds.
The corresponding smell was of course also in the air, bird poop! Yuck!
But we were looking for very special animals, namely the puffin. These cute little guys are here in the Somme to heap. And so one of these birds with a reddish beak appeared right next to the path in front of us and was just waiting to be photographed.
Unfortunately, we were not fast enough and so the cute bird could only quickly do his business (in the headwind!) and then quickly disappeared again in a small cave under the trail.
After we had walked a few hundred meters further, however, we were finally able to locate another group of puffins. Only 10 meters below us in the cliff they were to be found. Carefully we lay down on the grass and watched the rather clumsy birds extensively and could also take some great photos.
So it is worth not only to stay at the beginning of the trail, but to go quietly for a few kilometers along the dirt road and always carefully look down the cliff.
But even if you are not lucky with the puffins, the journey to Látrabjarg is worth it. You drive past beautiful beaches and over adventurous gravel roads. Shortly before the destination, the road seems to have been carved into the rock, so you have to watch out for oncoming traffic, because it’s quite steep.
For us, Látrabjarg is the top highlight of the Westfjords and you should definitely drive past here when you visit the Westfjords.
Reykjafjarðarlaug Hot Pot
Reykjafjarðarlaug Hot Pot consists of an almost swimming pool-sized artificial pool along with a changing room and a small natural pool about 100 meters away. All free of charge and with parking
It is a crazy feeling to lie in about 40 degrees warm water while the wind and marble-sized raindrops whip around your head. Unfortunately, that’s how it was during our visit, because it rained heavily the whole day.
And so Sabrina did not last too long in the water. But I relaxed for about 30 minutes in the natural pool and then I dared to go out again. You should definitely try both pools, because both offer a completely different feeling and if you are lucky and not much is going on (which is probably on the Westfjords) then you have a very special experience.
Dynjandi is definitely the most beautiful waterfall in the Westfjords (and in my opinion one of the most impressive in Iceland). You can get quite close to the waterfall and then stand almost directly under the thundering water masses. Dynjandi is really very impressive and also offers a great tourist infrastructure.
There are several WCs on site and a large free parking lot. Also, the access to the waterfall is almost completely barrier-free and therefore also accessible with a wheelchair or stroller.
The area around the waterfall is unfortunately a no-drone zone and therefore you are not allowed to let your drone fly here.
The hike to Valagil Waterfall starts just behind the fishing village of Sudavik and is rather unknown and little visited. The trail leads through a wide valley over green moss and babbling brooks and you have a big waterfall in view all the time.
The hike is very easy to walk and in less than 30 minutes you can be at the waterfall. You probably won’t meet many people on this hike, so you can enjoy the tranquility and beautiful scenery around you alone.
The Drangajökull glacier is probably the smallest glacier in Iceland and certainly the loneliest. It is located quite remotely in the north of the Westfjords. If the conditions are good, you can hike here directly to the glacier tongue. The trail is relatively easy at the beginning, but becomes quite difficult to walk as it progresses. Also, many streams fed by meltwater have to be crossed, which makes it difficult to get to the glacier on dry feet.
If you are lucky and get to the glacier, it will take you about 5 hours to get there and back. But you should be prepared that you might not be able to reach the glacier, because the meltwater streams are not foreseeable. You can find the parking lot here: Drangajökull Glacier on Google Maps
Dragsness Hot Pots
Another beautiful hot pot can be found in the northeast of the Westfjords. The Dragsness hot pots are free of charge and are located right by the road in the small town of Dragsness. You don’t have to pay an entrance fee here, but the pools don’t look very natural, as they consist of blue plastic tubs.
The water in each tub has a slightly different temperature and from the hot pots you can have a wonderful view of the sea.
The Krossness swimming pool is located in the lonely north of the Westfjords and thus virtually at the end of the world. The locals say that if you have made the road there, then you have earned the bath in the pool. The road is really adventurous. You pay 700 ISK (just under 6$) and have a perfect view of the sea, toilets and a shower.
Have you been to the Westfjords? What did you like the most. Write us a comment.