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Travel

All sorts of information and services are available for people on the go. The tourist
information centers located in all parts of the country provide information on everything
having to do with travel in Iceland. Travel agents can also provide answers and good advice.

Transport

Whether you plan to drive, take a bus, walk, cycle or even fly around the country, there is
plenty from which to choose.

Day Tours

Day trips to the various museums, galleries and nearby natural wonders are quite
enjoyable and relatively inexpensive.

Tourist Information Centres

They can be found all over the country. Their staff provide
information on the weather forecast, interesting places, help book events and much more.
Maps and brochures are also available at these centers.

Dining

For the hungry and thirsty there is no need to despair. There are plenty of
restaurants, cafes, ice-cream parlors and juice bars all over the country.

Accommodation

The Icelandic travel industry has been growing rapidly in the past few years and the diversity
in accommodations has accordingly increased. Many types of accommodation are offered,
some catering to those wanting a bit of pampering and luxury and others to those seeking
more affordable lodgings. Below is a list of options.

Circles in West Iceland

ABOUT THE CIRCLES
These circles are suggestive itineraries only, meant to inspire travellers to do their own exploring and to help the travel agents and tour companies to set up scheduled tours around West Iceland.

INDIVIDUALS
You can rent a car through one of the many car rental agencies in Iceland, depending on where you want to pick up the car and your further travelling plans. We do not recommend any one particular car rental agency over the other but we urge you to choose carefully, putting your safety first. It's imperative that the car has good tires and is in acceptable condition. Once you have the car sorted out, you can follow our suggestions and start your own winter adventure.

TRAVEL AGENTS AND TOUR OPPERATORS
Please use the information on this page to set up your own tours and trips around the area. If any questions arise regarding the companies or the routes you can either contact the companies directly or the West Iceland Marketing Office for more generic assistance.

Please note that the West Iceland Marketing Office cannot negotiate prices for individual companies.

Recreation

What gives you an inspiration? A restless ocean? A raging river? Ephemeral northern lights? A
tasty blood pudding? Let Iceland inspire you. The island and its surrounding waters manifest
an incredibly breathtaking nature and its inhabitants preserve and nurture an unequaled
culture. However, each part of the country is unique.

Winter break

Travelling in winter in Iceland can be one of the greatest experiences you can have. But this beautiful and rugged landscape also contains some difficulties and dangers for the driver. Travellers should prepare well for each trip and know the conditions of the trails and routes. This is the best way to prevent accidents and to ensure a pleasant and a safe journey.

Winter in Iceland is unpredictable. Iceland is located just south of the Arctic Circle, but thanks to the Gulf Stream, temperatures are cool in summer and remarkably mild in winter. (New York’s winter lows are normally lower than in Iceland). You can have all types of weather in one day; sunshine, the heaviest rain and everything in between. The only thing you can really count on is that the daylight will be short.

In this section you will find information about winter driving in Iceland along with information, tips and links so you can make your trip to Iceland as safe as possible. 

Iceland Winter Break, Winter in West Iceland, is a cooperative project in West Iceland, spearheaded by the West Iceland Marketing Office, that aims to show the travellers everything the area has to offer during winter which is a lot. The participants that took part in this project commit them self to be open in winter. 

Top winter activities in West Iceland

4x4 bike tours
What is more fun than driving ATV/Quad in the snow. At Þórisstöðum you can take a trip on ATV/Quad. Drive up to the mountains and enjoy beautiful view over Hvalfjörður.

Bjarnarhöfn
At Bjarnarhöfn is a Shark museum. There you will get to know how the shark is handled and you can taste it. If you bring with you Icelandic Brennivín and Icelandic tobacco you have the Icelandic tequila.

Boat tour

In the beautiful town Stykkishólmur you can take boat trip around the Breiðarfjörður islands.
Breiðarfjörður has around 3,000 islands, islets and skerries one of them is Flatey island witch is really worth visiting. Several geothermal sites can be found like beautiful basalt columns.

History circle in Borgarnes

Borgarnes has a lot of history and is offend called history town. Tree museums are in Borgarnes the Settlement center, the Eddaveröld and the Borgarnes Museum. These museums mark a circle so it is fun to walk between them

Horseback riding in winter

The Icelandic horse is fair particularly in winter because of their coat of hair which grows quite long during the winter months. This long hair makes them look like mammut. Only thing you need to worry about is not get cold yourself when horseback riding in winter in Iceland.

Jeep tours
Many travel companies specialize in different kinds of jeep exhibitions.
A jeep tour on a glacier with breathtaking views is an unforgettable experience.

Knitting Circle
West Iceland is the perfect destination for knitting, because of the long-established knitting tradition in the area. This, in combination with sightseeing in the beautiful nature West Iceland has to offer will make this trip an unforgettable experience

Langjökull
Langjökull is the second largest Ice cap in Iceland many companies offer super jeep tour to the glacier. The view from the glacier is amazing. In the year 2015 the ice cave will be opened for public then you can travel in to the glacier in a man made tunnel.  

Swimming
In West Iceland we have many swimming pools. NO you won’t get cold! They are all heated so it is really nice to take a dive in the winter.

Vatnshellir Cave
Vatnshellir the 8.000 years old cave located in Snæfellsjökull National Park.
Follow the path of the lava flow, about 200 meters into the cave and 35 meters below the surface to see amazing colors and lava formations. Open all year.

Visit a Farm
Couple of farms in the West Iceland open there farm for visitors but it depends when you come what they have to offer. At Háafell you can pet the goats, Bjarteyjasandur you can hug the lambs, at Erpsstaðir you can get ice-cream from the farm and see how the cows are doing.

Whale watching
The winter in Grundafjörður is one of the best times to see whales. Whales are the giants of the ocean but even so, they can be very difficult to find.  However, Orca trips in Grundarfjörður have had a great success rate of seeing these beautiful creatures.

Top 10 attractions for kids

Top 10 attractions for kids

West Iceland is a region for families. With children's menus in restaurants, museums in kids' height and of course reductions at all attractions.

All the swimming pools
There are swimming pools all over the West Iceland, large ones and small ones and they are all heated. Most are outdoor pools but a few them have indoors. Extremely popular with locals and visitors alike, Icelandic pools are open throughout the year. Some of the swimming pools have water slide and kids love them.

Bjarteyjasandur
Bjarteyjasandur is located in Hvalfjörður. There sheep and horses are raised, free running hens are on the farm, along with cats, dogs and special wool rabbits. Bjarteyjasandur offers people to visit the farm, which is a working farm, for the purpose of enjoyment, education, or even active involvement in the activities of the farm. It is our experience that tourists increasingly want to experience rural life and to meet and interact with the local people. In the winter it is necessary to call ahead and to make sure you can visit.

Bjössaróló
The playground was built in 1979 by Björn H Guðmundsson (Bjössi), a carpenter who lived in Borgarnes. Bjössi built the playground completely out of discarded salvaged materials. Bjössa róló is a small theme park for children and is really worth visiting.

Boat tour at Breiðafjörður
Breiðarfjörður has around 3,000 islands, islets and skerries and one of them is Flatey island which is really worth visiting. Several geothermal sites can be found, like the beautiful basalt columns. You can go from Stykkishólmur to explore the Breiðafjörður and from Grundarfjörður to explore the whales. The winter in Grundafjörður is one of the best times to see whales.

Cave tours
It is real adventure for kids to go underground in West Iceland, we have two caves with guidance. Vatnshellir, the 8.000 years old cave, is located in Snæfellsjökull National Park. Open all year around and is only accessible with guide in winter so you need to book ahead. Viðgelmir, the largest lave tube cave in Iceland, is located in Borgarfjörður next to the farm Fljótstunga. Open all summer but in the winter, it is open upon request. Note: you need to be over 8 years old to go to Viðgelmir.

Eiríksstaðir
One of most historical sites of Iceland are Eiríksstaðir. Step back to the Viking Era and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and scents of Eirík the Red's farm which is also the birthplace of Leif the Lucky who is said to have discovered North America. Modern day Vikings demonstrate the lifestyle from 1000 years ago, sharing their crafts and knowledge. Kids can try out Viking clothes and become Vikings themselves. In the winter it is necessary to call ahead and make sure you can visit.

Erpsstaðir
Directly from the farm, Erpstaðir sell some interesting products including homemade ice-cream, cheeses and confectionary. You can also see some of the animals at the farm depending on what time of year you come. In the winter it is necessary to call ahead and make sure you can visit.

Garðarlundur park
In Akranes, there is a beautiful park which is a fun place for the whole family. Garðalundur is the main outdoor area in Akranes where it is popular to have all kinds of gatherings, such as birthday parties and various group get-togethers. There are ponds in Garðalundur which attract increased bird life.

Háafell
Goat Center of Iceland and the home off the Icelandic goat. This is one of the few places on the Iceland which breeds Icelandic goats, and almost certainly your best chance to get up close and personal with them. Most of the goats are really friendly and you can pet them. The farm produces a wide range of goat-related products, such as cheeses and soaps enhanced with assorted, locally-grown Icelandic herbs. Sadly, like the goat itself, Háafell is struggling to stay afloat. If you’re in the area, make sure to stop by. Talk to the owner, taste some cheese, and meet some of the cutest little creatures on the island. 
In the winter it is necessary to call ahead and make sure you can visit.

Horse riding tours
In West Iceland, we have few horse rentals, they cater from beginners to more experienced riders. There is no better way to explore the nature than on the back of the Icelandic Horse. But when going with kids on horse riding, make sure to tell the rental you have kids, and then you get more a safe horse.    

The Settlement Centre
There are two exhibitions in The Settlement Centre that tells the Saga of The Settlement of Iceland and Iceland´s most crazy Viking and first poet, Egill Skallagrimsson. It gives the traveller a good foundation for further knowledge when travelling in West Iceland. You get iPod whites tells you the story and you can pick 12 languages and children or adult guides.

Troll park at Fossatún
In Fossatún you will find troll park, a short walk marked by signs with story’s off the trolls and trolls statues. Ending at the troll games which can be played by people of all ages and sizes games as Troll Golf, Troll kick, Troll grip and many other games. In a grate nature you can have fun with the family.

 

West Iceland

Towns & Villages

The population centres in West Iceland are as varied as they are many. Ten places have over 50 residents and Akranes is the most densely populated with 6,500 inhabitants. 

All of the larger communities put ever-increasing emphasis on dynamic tourism where a wide selection of recreation and services are offered.   

Explore map by categories

Map Hellissandur, Rif Grundarfjörður Stykkishólmur Búðardalur Dalir Arnarstapi Hellnar Snæfellsnes Bifröst Húsafell Reykholt Borgarfjörður Hvanneyri Borgarnes Hvalfjörður Akranes Ólafsvík