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Winter Break

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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. 

Winter Break circles
Snæfellsnes Circle

ITINERARY
DAY 1 

Drive from Reykjavík on Highway 1 through Borgarnes and when your reach the roundabout, take the last exit, the left one. Follow Highway 54 to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. After about 45 minutes you can see the crater, Eldborg, on the

left hand. If the weather is fine and you want to stretch out your legs, turn left to the farm Snorrastaðir – from there you will have a nice view of Eldborg. If there is not too much snow you can walk up to it, which will take about 2 hours. After this stop you should get back on Highway 54 and drive on. After around 30 minutes you’ll arrive at Vegamót/Hotel Rjúkandi. Are you hungry – now is the time to eat something at the small restaurant. When you get back into your car and drive on, you can see the majestic glacier Snæfellsjökull in front of you. A few kilometres from there, you will see on the right side the sign Ölkelda – at this farm you have the possibility to taste the mineral water directly from the earth. Don't be shy - come and try it. Your next stop on the peninsula could be at the farm Ytri – Tunga, which is near the beach. Just walk a few steps on the red sand and feel the fresh sea air and if you are lucky you can feel some eyes following you from the ocean side – seals are often in this area. On you way to your next accommodation you have the chance to experience the wonderful area by horse riding or by quadbike at the farm Lýsuhóll, also for those who just want to get a little bit closer to the Icelandic horse are always welcome to the farm. There is a restaurant too where you can get something to drink or eat. Leaving this wonderful experience, you can get back to your trip.

For the night you have a nice choice between these accommodations on the south side of the peninsula

Alll these accommodations are offering also dinner & lunch.

DAY 2

Today we will send you to the center of the Earth but before you do that, there are some worthwhile places to visit on the way. Take a short drive to the cliffs from the small villages Arnastapi and Hellnar. The birdcliffs are fantastic natural formations and you can really feel how rough the sea can be here in the North. After that you just follow the road west and see you are coming more closer to the glacier. After about 20 min you can see on the right side a small sign for „Vatnshellir Cave“ – this is your next adventure. A guide will show you the way down to the middle of the earth. The entrance to the cave is at the foot of the glacier. The cave is about 200 meters long and 35 meters under the surface. Just bring good shoes and a jacket with you. Your lunchpack was prepared before from Hotel Búdir, just remember to ask for it. After this activity ist is short to the next point. Just a few meters drive, then turn to the left towards the sea. There is Djupalónsandur, a wonderful beach with black stones. Here you will see old parts of a shipwreck and also have an amazing view to the glacier itself. The Highway 54 goes around the glacier along the coast through the villages Hellissandur (if you want to stay more than 4 days the Hotel Hellissandur is a nice oppurtiunity for the night). The next towns are Ríf, Ólafsvík and Grundarfjordur on foot of the beautiful mountain Kirkjufell. Hotel Framnes is your next stay for the night. If there is still time left you can go with Láki Tours on a whale watching trip to see the killer whales. Enjoy your dinner at the hotel restaurant or after a short walk aorund the fishing village at the Restaurant Rúben in the middle of the town.

 DAY 3

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel, and drive on for about 30 minutes then you will arrive at the next town, Stykkishólmur. On the way is a must-see destination for everyone, so take be sure to sneak a peak at the Shark Museum at Bjarnarhöfn – the farmers will show you around and you can taste the traditional Icelandic shark. Stykkishólmur is a nice fishing village with all the services you should need. It is famous for its old houses, that have been newly renovated at the heart of the town. If you are here at Tuesday or Sunday you will get the chance to join a boattour with Seatours („VikingSushi tour“) to sail around the thousand of the small islands of the Breidafjordur Bay and taste the freshest scallops and sea urchin roe. (please check for other departures directly in our office). Other must-see destinations in Stykkishólmur are the nice museums - the Library of Water, The Norwegian house or the Volcano Museum.

 A few possiblities of accommodation in Stykkisholmur

Accommodation in double rooms with bathroom or at the Harbour Hostel without private bathroom.

 

DAY 4

After having breakfast at your accommodation,or at the bakery Nesbrauð on the main road, you can drive back to Reykjavík or Keflavík airport.

Participants

Activities (All year) Restaurants and cafés (All year) Accommodation (All year)
Go West  Fosshótel Patreksfjörður  Ferðaþjónustan Hænuvík
Vatnshellir Cave  Hotel Búðir Fosshótel Patreksfjörður 
Láki Tours Hótel Framnes The Old Post Office
Snæfellsnes Excursions Hótel Stykkishólmur Hotel Búðir
Seatours Vogur Country Lodge Hótel Egilsen
Westfjords Adventures   Hótel Framnes
    Hótel Látrabjarg
    Hótel Stykkishólmur
    Vogur Country Lodge

 

THE WATERFALL CIRCLE

One of Iceland’s most popular attractions are waterfalls. The Waterfall Circle leads you to waterfalls of all shapes and sizes, and some of them are among the best known in the country. Here you can see Iceland’s tallest waterfall Glymur, the unique Hraunfossar (Lava Waterfalls), the legendary Barnafoss (Children´s Waterfall) and many more. The Waterfall Circle also leads you to many of the most beautiful sites of West Iceland, like The Hvalfjörður (Whale Bay), Skorradalur Valley and The Borgarfjörður district.

Hvalfjörður-Borgarfjörður-Borgarnes-Akranes

Waterfalls on this route

The Itinerary

You can follow the itinerary below to visit the most significant waterfalls in the area.

Þingvellir national park

Drive from Reykjavík on road nr.36 to Þingvellir national park. The ,,Althing“ at Þingvellir was Iceland’s supreme legislative and judicial authority from its establishment in 930 until 1262. Major events in the history of Iceland have taken place at Þingvellir and therefore the place is held in high esteem by all Icelanders. At Þingvellir you will find the waterfall Öxarárfoss.

Hvalfjörður

If you have nice weather then you can take road nr. 48 to Hvalfjörður. If you have snow and ice it is better to go back to road.nr 1 and then take road nr. 47 in to Hvalfjörður. During World War II, a naval base of the British and American navies could be found in this fjord. One of the piers built by the United States Navy was later used by the Hvalur, a whaling company. In the end of the fjord you have the highest waterfall in Iceland Glymur. It takes about 4 hours to get to Glymur and back to the car.

Borgarfjörður

When going to Borgarfjörður take road nr. 50 it is gravel road in the beginning so be careful. Some of Iceland´s most beautiful nature wonders can be found in Borgarfjörður. Hraunfossar waterfalls “lava falls”, are unique and picturesque waterfalls that come from underneath the edge of a lava field and spill into the glacial river Hvítá. Deildartunguhver is Europe’s most powerful hot spring. It provides at the moment 200 l/sec of 100°C hot water. There are two famous caves in Borgarfjörður, Víðgelmir and Surtshellir. Much has been written about Surtshellir and it is told that in earlier centuries a group of outlaws lived in the lava tube. Viðgelmir lava tube is the largest of all lava tubes in Iceland. If you are looking for hikes, it is nice to take a short hike to the Glanni waterfall and explore the Grábrók Volcanic Crater. Hafnarfjall Mountain is 804 meters and it takes 4 hours to hike up and down. From Hafnarfjall Mountain you have great view over Borgarnes and Borgarfjörð.

Borgarnes

Borgarnes is the centre for trade and services in the Borgarfjörður area and has been so since the late 19th century when the town began to be built. In Borgarnes, there are three museums; Edduveröld, Settlement Center and Borgarfjörður museum.
Borgarnes thermal pool is nice place to visit all year. In Borgarnes is an old style playground, “Bjössaróló”, built by man that lived in Borgarnes. Bjössaróló is a great place to visit for kids. Borgarnes has good accommodations and great places to grab a bite.

Akranes

Akranes is the largest town in the west of Iceland. Grate outdoor area is the small forest at Garðalundur and facilities improved for outdoor activities. There is a playground for kids, a beach volleyball court and a grill area. Thermal Pool, Golf Course and the two kinds of beaches, black sand beach and white. Langisandur is white sand beaches which is rear in Iceland. Langisandur is a nice place to take a walk and if you are brave, you can go for a swim. The Lighthouse in Akranes is open for people in summer and you can go up to the top and enjoy the view. Akranes Museum area exhibits from former times, bearing witness to farming, housekeeping and social conditions in and around Akranes. Akranes offers good resturants and accommodation.

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 travellers everything the area has to offer during winter. 

Activities
Restaurants and cafés Accommodation
Bjarteyjarsandur Bjarteyjarsandur Akranes Hostel
Brilliant tours Ensku Húsin Borgarnes Bed & Breakfast
Culture and craft Galito Ensku Húsin 
Grenigerði Gamla kaupfélagið Fosshótel Reykholt 
Háafell goat farm Hótel Húsafell Hótel Bifröst 
Hespa Hraunsnef  Hotel Glymur 
Into the glacier Iceland guesthouse Hvítá Hotel Hafnarfjall
Ljómalind The settlement centre Hotel Húsafell
Snorrastofa Hotel Glymur  Hraunsnef country hotel
The Settlement centre Icelandair hotel Hamar  Iceland guesthouse Hvítá
Wild West Tours Hótel Bifröst  Icelandair hotel Hamar 
Wool centre Hvanneyri Fosshótel Reykholt   
KNITTING CIRCLE

West Iceland is the perfect destination for knitting, because of the long-established knitting tradition in the area. This and along with sightseeing in the beautiful nature of West Iceland, is a perfect combination and shows what West Iceland has to offer which will make this trip an unforgettable experience. On a clear winter evening you might also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the magnificent northern lights.

 

Itinerary

Day one: Arrival to Iceland – Transfer to Borgarnes

Pick up at Keflavík Airport in the afternoon and transfer to your guesthouse,Borgarnes B&B. Dinner at the guesthouse upon arrival followed by an introduction meeting with our knitting instructor, Ragga.

Day two: Dyeing Workshop

After breakfast we have our first knitting workshop with Ragga. We have lunch at the guesthouse, before we take off to Hvanneyri village, where we visit botanist and dyer Guðrún Bjarnadóttir at her shop Hespuhúsið. We learn about the coloring of yarn with dye made of Icelandic plants and lichens during a workshop that takes the whole afternoon. Dinner at the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes, where we learn about the Icelandic Sagas and settlement of Iceland. 

Day three:  Wool Centre – Goats – Farmer’s Market

We continue knitting with Ragga. After lunch we’ll take a sightseeing tour in the Borgarfjörður fjord area, visiting Ullarselið Wool Centre and the Icelandic Goat Centre at the farm Háafell, where we will enjoy coffee and Icelandic pancakes, made of goat milk. Before returning to our guesthouse we visit the Ljómalind farmers market, where local handicrafts are offered and we have the opportunity to taste some products from local farmers. Dinner at the Borgarnes B&B. 

Day four: Spinning Workshop

Today we have a whole day of knitting at the guesthouse. A good guest, Rita from the farm Grenigerði, will be with us today for a spinning workshop, for those who are interested. On our last evening together we have dinner at The Settlement Centre.

Day five: Departure

Transfer to Keflavík airport for departure OR prolong your stay in Reykjavík - Information upon request.

Book now !

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 travelers everything the area has to offer during winter. 

THE CLASSIC CIRCLE - ICE AND LAVA
THE CLASSIC CIRCLE - ICE AND LAVA

The Classical Circle has all of the best Icelandic nature has to offer; lava fields, glaciers, hot springs, volcanoes, waterfalls, rivers and much more. In a single trip you can enjoy the beauty of Þingvellir National Park, have a taste of the barren expanses of the Icelandic interior on Kaldidalur road, get up close and personal with a glacier on Langjökull Glacier and see some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country like Glymur in Hvalfjörður an Hraunfossar in Borgarfjörður. Two of the biggest lava caves in Iceland, Surtshellir and Víðgelmir are in the area and so is the most powerful hot spring in Europe, Deildartunguhver. The area is also the setting of many of the best known Icelandic Sagas, like Egils Saga, and the great poet and scholar Snorri Sturluson wrote his most famous work in Reykholt.

The Classical Circle can be travelled all year round except for Kaldidalur road which is closed during winter. An alternative to Kaldidalur is the Uxarhryggir road.

Nature Highlights

Borgarfjörður

Borgarnes

Akranes

Hvalfjörður

The itinerary

Þingvellir national park

Drive from Reykjavík on road nr.36 to Þingvellir national park. The ,,Althing“ at Þingvellir was Iceland's supreme legislative and judicial authority from its establishment in 930 until 1262. Major events in the history of Iceland have taken place at Þingvellir and therefore the place is held in high esteem by all Icelanders. At Þingvellir you will find the waterfall Öxarárfoss. After you stop at Þingvellir you take rode 52 to road Uxahryggir if open.

Borgarfjörður

Some of Iceland´s most beautiful nature wonders can be found in Borgarfjörður, Hraunfossar waterfalls “lava falls”, are unique and picturesque waterfalls that come from underneath the edge of a lava field and spill into the glacial river Hvítá. Deildartunguhver is Europe's most powerful hot spring. It provides at the moment 200 l/sec of 100°C hot water. There are two famous caves in Borgarfjörður Víðgelmir and Surtshellir. Much has been written about Surtshellir and it is told that in earlier centuries a group of outlaws lived in the lava tube. Viðgelmir lava tube is the largest of all lava tubes in Iceland. If you are looking for hikes It is nice to take a short hike to the Glanni waterfall and explore the Grábrók Volcanic Crater. Hafnarfjall Mountain is 804 meters and it takes 4 hours to hike up and down. From Hafnarfjall Mountain you have great view over Borgarnes and Borgarfjörð.

Borgarnes

Borgarnes is the centre for trade and services in the Borgarfjörður area and has been so since the late 19th century when the town began to be built. In Borgarnes are tree museums EdduveröldSettlement center and Borgarfjörður museum. Borgarnes thermal pool is nice place to visit all year. In Borgarnes is an old style playground “Bjössaróló” bult by man that lived in Borgarnes. Bjössaróló is great place to visit for kids. Borgarnes has good accommodation and great places to grab a bite.

Hvalfjörður

In Hvaljörður or ,,whale fjord” you will find spectacular nature and history sites. The main attraction is in the end of the fjord the highest waterfall in Iceland Glymur. It takes about 4 hours to get to Glymur and back down.  Hallgrímskirkja church at Saurbær іs dedicated to Hallgrímur Pétursson most famous poet of Iceland which lived in Hvalfjörður. He is even on the 10.000 krona bill. During World War II, a naval base of the British and American navies could be found in this fjord. One of the piers built by the United States Navy was later used by the Hvalur whaling company.

Akranes

Akranes is the largest town in the west of Iceland. Grate outdoor area is the small forest at Garðalundur and facilities improved for outdoor activities. There is a playground for kids, a beach volleyball court and a grill area. Thermal Pool, Golf Course and the two kinds of beaches, black sand beach and white. Langisandur is white sand beaches which is rear in Iceland. Langisandur is a nice place to take a walk and if you are brave you can go for a swim. Akranes Lighthouse is open for people in summer and you can go up to the top and enjoy the view. Akranes Museum area exhibits from former times, bearing witness to farming, housekeeping and social conditions in and around Akranes. Akranes offers good resturants and accommodation.

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 travelers everything the area has to offer during winter.

Activities
Restaurants and cafés Accommodation
Bjarteyjarsandur Bjarteyjarsandur Akranes Hostel
Brilliant tours Ensku Húsin Borgarnes Bed & Breakfast
Culture and craft Galito Ensku Húsin 
Grenigerði Gamla kaupfélagið Fosshótel Reykholt 
Háafell goat farm Hótel Húsafell Hótel Bifröst 
Hespa Hraunsnef  Hotel Glymur 
Into the glacier Iceland guesthouse Hvítá Hotel Hafnarfjall
Ljómalind The settlement centre Hotel Húsafell
Snorrastofa Hotel Glymur  Hraunsnef country hotel
The Settlement centre Icelandair hotel Hamar  Iceland guesthouse Hvítá
Wild West Tours Hótel Bifröst  Icelandair hotel Hamar 
Wool centre Hvanneyri Fosshótel Reykholt   

 

AKRANES - HVALFJÖRÐUR CIRCLE

 Hvalfjörður tunnel was built 1998 and now it is really short drive to Akranes. With the tunnel you can drive circle and go Hvalfjörð on good road and enjoy the beautiful landscape. The fishing town of Akranes offers a beach, a beautiful Park and a nice  museum, as well as being home to the nation´s famous football team ÍA. Settled by the Celtic in the year 880, it is now a blossoming industrial town with a focus on fishing and fish production. In Hvalfjörður the visitor will have the opportunity to enjoy Iceland’s highest waterfall, Glymur. The  mountains in Hvalfjörður for example Þyrill, Botnssúlur, Vatnaleið,  Síldarmannagötur and more are trails particularly challenging to hikers.

Akranes

Akranes is the largest town in the west of Iceland. Grate outdoor area is the small forest at Garðalundur and facilities improved for outdoor activities. There is a playground for kids, a beach volleyball court and a grill area. Thermal Pool, Golf Course and the two kinds of beaches, black sand beach and white. Langisandur is white sand beaches which is rare in Iceland. Langisandur is a nice place to take a walk and if you are brave you can go for a swim. Akranes Lighthouse is open for people in summer and you can go up to the top and enjoy the view. Akranes museum area exhibits from former times, bearing witness to farming, housekeeping and social conditions in and around Akranes. Akranes offers good restaurants and accommodation.

Hvalfjörður

In Hvaljörður or "Whale Fjord” you will find spectacular nature and historic sites. The main attraction is in the end of the fjord the highest waterfall in Iceland Glymur. It takes about 4 hours to get to Glymur and back down. Hallgrímskirkja church at Saurbær іs dedicated to Hallgrímur Pétursson most famous poet of Iceland which lived in Hvalfjörður. During World War II, a naval base of the British and American navies could be found in this fjord. One of the piers built by the United States Navy is used today by Hvalur whaling company.

 

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 travelers everything the area has to offer during winter.

Activities
Restaurants and cafés Accommodation
Bjarteyjarsandur Bjarteyjarsandur Akranes Hostel
Brilliant tours Ensku Húsin Borgarnes Bed & Breakfast
Culture and craft Galito Ensku Húsin 
Grenigerði Gamla kaupfélagið Fosshótel Reykholt 
Háafell goat farm Hótel Húsafell Hótel Bifröst 
Hespa Hraunsnef  Hotel Glymur 
Into the glacier Iceland guesthouse Hvítá Hotel Hafnarfjall
Ljómalind The settlement centre Hotel Húsafell
Snorrastofa Hotel Glymur  Hraunsnef country hotel
The Settlement centre Icelandair hotel Hamar  Iceland guesthouse Hvítá
Wild West Tours Hótel Bifröst  Icelandair hotel Hamar 
Wool centre Hvanneyri Fosshótel Reykholt   
NATURAL HOT POTS CIRCLE

HOT WATER SPA 

The natural pools are a great place to visit at any time of the day, or night! Hot spring pools are with no doubt the best places to wait for the Northern lights to show and to enjoy them while they last. The experience of thermal bathing is enriched with the experience of nature, health, culture and outdoor activities. While travelling between different hot spirng pools travellers get to enjoy the top three tourists attractions of the whole Westfjords; Dynjandi waterfall, Látrabjarg cliff and Rauðasandur beach. 

 

ITINERARY

 DAY 1

After a arrival with the ferry Baldur across Breiðafjörður bay drive to Hotel Flókalundur and approximately 100 meters further. Take a right turn towards the sea to a small parking lot. Walk down the steps and soon you will see one of the nicest hot spring pools in the Westfjords. Relax and enjoy the hot water and the beautiful landscape. Drive through Vatnsfjordur nature reserve, across Dynjandisheiði and to the impressive waterfall Dynjandi. Dynjandi is the largest waterfall in the Westfjords, about 100 meters high and up to 60 meters wide. Next stop is in Reykjarfjordur where there is both a big hot spring pool as well as sitting pot few meters away, both furnished with water from a nearby hot spring. After an exciting day it is ideal to accommodate in the vivid village of Bíldudalur. In Bíldudalur we recommend you to visit the Monster Museum and listen to tales of sea monsters which have played a colorful role in Icelandic folk culture for centuries. In half an hour drive from Bíldudalur is the beautiful valley of Selárdalur where you can visit the extraordinary museum of outdoor works, the Art Museum of Samúel Jónsson. 

DAY 2

After enjoying the exciting activities Bíldudalur has to offer drive to Tálknafjörður village. The hot spring pool, Pollurinn is located in the hillside just outside the village of Tálknafjörður. While bathing you can admire the extraordinary view over the fjord. The next stop is Patreksfjörður village, the biggest village of the three villages in Southern Westfjords. In Patreksfjörður we recommend you to try fish and dine with Westfjords Adventures. After a successful sea angling tour the captain will prepare your catch for dinner at the Fosshotel restaurant, Fjall og Fjara. The chefs prepare delicious courses based on the catch of the day. It doesn’t get any fresher than that. You can also try one of Westfjords Adventures bicycle tours, jeep tours or hiking tours. We recommend you to stay at least one night in Patreksfjörður because there is a lot to do.

 DAY 3

It is aproximately an hour drive from Patreksfjörður to Hnjótur in Örlygshöfn. In the Heritage Museum at Hnjótur you will learn how local people lived in the old days, utilized the bird cliff and even rescued seamen from stranding ships under the steep cliffs. In Örlygshöfn you will also find a beautiful white sand beach with turkish blue water. The next stop is the amazing Látrabjarg, Europe’s largest bird cliff and the western most point of Europe. Látrabjarg is claimed to be the best place in the world to photograph puffins. After the visit we recommend you to accommodate at Hótel Bredavík, Hótel Látrabjarg or Hnjótur Guesthouse.

DAY 4

On the last day you should not miss the stillness and the pristine beauty of Raudasandur (the Red Sand Beach). It is one of Iceland’s best kept secret. The red coloured beach in a beautiful settings of black cliffs and blue ocean won’t leave you untouched. Seals are often seen on the beach sunning with there offspring. In the summer the French Café at Raudasandur serves waffles and hot chocolate with the beautiful view over the beach. On the way from Raudasandur to Brjánslaekur it is ideal to stop and bath in the hot spring pool by the sea, Krossholtslaug. You can choose between the concrete swimming pool or the loaded sitting pot, or simply try them both. From Krossholtslaug you can drive a short distance to Brjánslaekur and take the ferry across Breidafjordur bay to Stykkishólmur or drive route 62 through Bardaströnd.


Participants

Activities (All year) Restaurants and cafés (All year) Accommodation (All year)
Go West  Fosshótel Patreksfjörður  Ferðaþjónustan Hænuvík
Vatnshellir Cave  Hotel Búðir Fosshótel Patreksfjörður 
Láki Tours Hótel Framnes The Old Post Office
Snæfellsnes Excursions Hótel Stykkishólmur Hotel Búðir
Seatours Vogur Country Lodge Hótel Egilsen
Westfjords Adventures   Hótel Framnes
    Hótel Látrabjarg
    Hótel Stykkishólmur
    Vogur Country Lodge

 

SNAEFELLSNES - WESTFJORDS CIRCLE

TWO IN ONE

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Drive from  Reykjavík on road nr. 1 through Borgarnes and then left, follow the road 54 to the Snæfellsnes peninsula. After about 45 min you can see a crater on left hand and if the weather is fine and you want to strech out your legs - turn left to the farm Snorrastaðir – from there you will have a nice view to the crater. If there is not to much snow you can walk up to the crater it will take about 2 hours. After this stopp you will back to the 54 and go on.... after around 30 min will be Vegamót/Hotel Rjúkandi. Are you hungry – now it is time to eat something at the small Restaurant. Back into your car you can see the majestic glacier Snæfellsnjökull in front of you. A few km from there you will see on the right side the sign Ölkelda – at this farm you have the possibility to taste the mineral water directly from the earth. Don t´be shy - come and try J Your next stopp on the peninsula could be at the farm Ýtri – Tunga which is near the beach. Just walk a few steps on the red sand and feel the fresh sea air if you are lucky you can feel some eyes following you from the ocean side – seals are often in this area. On you way to your next accomodation you have the chance to experience the wonderful area by horse or 4x4 bike at the farm Lýsuhóll – but also those who just wants to come a little bit closer to the Icelandic horse are welcome at the farm. There is a  restaurant too where you get always something to drink or eat. Filled up with this new experience will get back to your trip.

For the night you have a nice choice between these accomodations on the south side of the peninsula

Alll these accomodations are offering also dinner & lunch.

 DAY 2

Today we will send you to the center of the earth but before it is worth to stopp at to places on the way  - take a short walk to the cliffs from the small villages Arnastapi and Hellnar. The birdcliffs are fantastic nature buildings and you can really feel how ruff the sea can be here at the North. After that you just follow the road west and can see you are coming more closer to the glacier. After about 20 min you can see on the right side a small sign „Vatnhellir cave“ – this is your next adventure. A guide will show you the way down to the middle of the earth – the entrance to the cave is directly on food of the glacier. The cave is about 200 meters long and 35 meters under the surface. Just bring good shoes and jacket with you. Your lunchpaklet was prepered before from Hótel Búðir.

After this activity ist is short to the next point. Just a few meters drive turn to the left in the direction to the sea.... there is Djupalónsandur a wonderful beach with black stones. Here you will see the old parts of a shipwrack and also have a amazing view to the glacier himself.

The 54 goes now around the glacier along the coast through the villages Hellissandir Hotel Hellissandur (if you want stay longer at the pensinsula)

Next towns are Ríf, Ólafsvík and Grundarfjordur on foot of the beautiful mountain Kirkjufell. There are few options of accomodations at Grundarfjordur or neighbourhood:

  •  Hotel & Restaurant Framnes (www.hotelframnes.is) 
  •  Guesthouse The old Post office (www.topo.tsc.is )

And if there is still time left you can go with Láki Tours on a whale watching trip to see the killer whales. Enjoy your dinner at the restaurant of the hotel or after a short walk aorund the fishervillage at the Restaurant Rúben in the middle of the town. 

 

 

 DAY 3 

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel and drive about 30 minutes then to the next town Stykkishólmur.On the way it is interesting for everyone to make a short stopp at the Shark Museum at Bjarnarhöfn – the farmers will show you around and you can taste the traditionell Icelandic sharkmeat. Stykkishólmur is a nice fishervillage with a lot of services and a old renovated houses are decorating the heart of the town.If you here at Tuesday or Sunday you will get the chance to join a boattour with Seatours („Viking Sushi tour“) to sail around the thousand of the small islands of the Breidafjordur Bay and taste the freshest  – scallops and sea urchin roe.Also it is very relaxing and nice to visit some of the muesum  of Stykkishólmur too: Libary of water, The norwegian house or the Vulcanomuseum.At 14:30 you have to go to the Seatours office to get your tickets for the ferry across the Breidafjordur Bay to the Westfjords. After 2,5 hour sailing you will arrive at the harbour at Brjánslækur – from there ist will be only 1 hour drive to Patreksfjordur, where your next hotel is waiting for you. Dinner at the Fosshotel Patreksfjordur.  There are a few options of accomodation:.

 

DAY 4

After a arrival with the ferry Baldur across Breiðafjordur bay drive the direction of Hotel Flókalundur and approximately 100 meters further. Take a right turn towards the sea to a small parking lot. Walk down the steps and soon you will see one of the nicest hot spring pools in the Westfjords. Relax and enjoy the hot water and the beautiful landscape. Drive through Vatnsfjörður nature reserve, across Dynjandisheiði and to the impressive waterfall Dynjandi. Dynjandi is the largest waterfall in the Westfjords, about 100 meters high and up to 60 meters wide. Next stop is in Reykjarfjörður where there is both a big hot spring pool as well as sitting pot few meters away, both furnished with water from a nearby hot spring. In Bíldudalur we recommend you to visit the Monster Museum and listen to tales of sea monsters which have played a colorful role in Icelandic folk culture for centuries. In half an hour drive from Bíldudalur is the beautiful valley of Selárdalur where you can visit the extraordinary museum of outdoor works, the Art Museum of Samúel Jónsson.

After enjoying the exciting activities Bíldudalur has to offer drive to Tálknafjordur village. The hot spring pool, Pollurinn is located in the hillside just outside the village of Tálknafjordur. While bathing you can admire the extraordinary view over the fjord. The next stop is Patreksfjörður village, the biggest village of the three villages in Southern Westfjords. In Patreksfjörður we recommend you to try fish and dine with Westfjords Adventures. After a successful sea angling tour the captain will prepare your catch for dinner at the Fosshotel restaurant, Fjall og Fjara. The chefs prepare delicious courses based on the catch of the day. It doesn’t get any fresher than that. You can also try one of Westfjords Adventures bicycle tours, jeep tours or hiking tours. We recommend you to stay at least one night in Patreksfjordur because there is a lot to do. 

 

DAY 5

It is aproximately an hour drive from Patreksfjörður to Hnjótur in Örlygshöfn. In the Heritage Museum at Hnjótur you will learn how local people lived in the old days, utilized the bird cliff and even rescued seamen from stranding ships under the steep cliffs. In Örlygshöfn you will also find a beautiful white sand beach with turkish blue water. The next stop is the amazing Látrabjarg, Europe’s largest bird cliff and the western most point of Europe. Látrabjarg is claimed to be the best place in the world to photograph puffins.

You should not miss the stillness and the pristine beauty of Raudasandur (the Red Sand Beach). It is one of Iceland’s best kept secret. The red coloured beach in a beautiful settings of black cliffs and blue ocean won’t leave you untouched. Seals are often seen on the beach sunning with there offspring. In the summer the French Café at Raudasandur serves waffles and hot chocolate with the beautiful view over the beach. On the way from Rauðasandur to Brjánslækur it is ideal to stop and bath in the hot spring pool by the sea, Krossholtslaug. You can choose between the concrete swimming pool or the loaded sitting pot, or simply try them both. From Krossholtslaug you can drive a short distance to Brjánslækur and take the ferry across Bredafjordur bay to Stykkishólmur at 18:00 (please notice no ferrytrip at Saturdays during the wintertime)  or drive route 62 through Bardaströnd. Dinner on the ferry

  • Hotel Egilsen (www.egilsen.is)                                                                          
  • Hotel Stykkishólmur (www.hringhotels.is)

20:30 Stay the night at Hotel Egilsen,  Hotel Stykkishólmur

Accommodation in double rooms with bathroom or at the Harbour Hostel without pirvat bathroom.

 

DAY 6

After breakfast

Drive back to Reykjavík or Keflavík airport 

 

Participants

Activities (All year) Restaurants and cafés (All year) Accommodation (All year)
Go West  Fosshótel Patreksfjörður  Ferðaþjónustan Hænuvík
Vatnshellir Cave  Hotel Búðir Fosshótel Patreksfjörður 
Láki Tours Hótel Framnes The Old Post Office
Snæfellsnes Excursions Hótel Stykkishólmur Hotel Búðir
Seatours Vogur Country Lodge Hótel Egilsen
Westfjords Adventures   Hótel Framnes
    Hótel Látrabjarg
    Hótel Stykkishólmur
    Vogur Country Lodge
Practical information

Driving in Iceland

When driving between regions you will often have to drive through mountain passages or heaths. These are usually the most dangerous part of your way since the weather in the mountains can be much worse than down by the seaside. Read more about driving in Iceland.

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