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What to see and do

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What to see and do

Discover West Iceland

In West Iceland, the beauty and the variety of Icelandic nature is everywhere to be seen. Magnificent views overlooking mountains and glaciers, fertile regions, colorful birdlife, abundant rivers and lakes, fjords and bays, along with gushing geothermal activity. Natural resources are all around.

But West Iceland has more than magnificent nature. Land and history form an unbroken whole as the scene of sagas like Sturlunga, Egils Saga, Eyrbyggja and Laxdaela, as well as being rich in folklore and tales of adventure. Tourist operators go out of their way to make history available to travellers, each in their own fashion. At the same time, new tales of people, trolls and beings of adventure are created.
 
More than magnificent nature

A selection of museums is available far and wide in West Iceland. Local museums are to be found in Akranes, Hvalfjörður, Borgarnes, Hvanneyri, Grundarfjörður, Stykkishólmur, Ólafsvik and in Dalir.  Many specialised museums are available, such as the Agricultural Museum of Iceland in Hvanneyri, the Library of Water and the Volcano Museum in Stykkishólmur, Eiríksstaðir in Haukadalur, Gljúfrasteinn in Kjós, the maritime museum, Sjómannagarðurinn in Hellissandur, the Heritage Centre in Grundarfjordur, Snorrastofa in Reykholt and the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes.

Over 70 accommodation options exist in West Iceland, ranging from traditional camping sites to quality guesthouses and hotels. Travellers are faced with several possibilities in food and drink, in numerous restaurants and cafés available in this part of the country.  

West Iceland offers various leisure services and possibilities. Marked hiking paths are available, as well as guided horse riding, golf, game angling, whale watching, nature and bird watching tours, gourmet tours and glacier tours.  
Having spent an enjoyable day in West Iceland, rinsing off in one of the 13 swimming pools in the region is the appropriate conclusion.

Not to mention the Snaefellsjokull National Park which was established in 2001. The purpose of the national park is to protect and conserve its landscape and important historical relics, and facilitate travelling in the area. Park rangers operate on site during the summer months. They provide visitors with instruction and information and monitor and tend the area as well. Maps of the region are available, both hikers‘ maps and maps of the park itself and nature protection areas near by.

 

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.

INTERESTING PLACES IN WEST ICELAND

In this list we will show you part of what West Iceland has to offer, but of course West Iceland has many other highlights to be explored.

 

Into the glacier
The Ice Tunnel and the Caves are located high on Europe‘s second largest Glacier, Langjökull. You will get an amazing opportunity to explore the glacier and see it from the inside. This is once in a Lifetime Experience where you will be taken to the hidden beautiful Ice.

Glymur, Iceland's highest waterfall 
Glymur is Iceland’s tallest Waterfall. The Waterfall is located in Botnsdalur Valley, Hvalfjörður. Leading up to it is a fabulous hiking Path that should only be attempted by those not daunted by heights or challenging Hikes. Expect to spend some 3-4 hours of hiking. Note it can be really difficult to hike in the winter.

Hallmundarhraun, includes the longest and the largest Caves in Iceland.
Hallmundarhraun, a Lava Field, was formed in a giant Eruption close to the Langjökull Glacier around the year 930 and is 8-9 cubic kilometres. Hallmundarhraun includes three Caves; Surtshellir/Stefánshellir, combined they are 3500 meters and the longest Lava Cave in Iceland. Víðgelmir is a Lava tube Cave and is the largest of all Lava Caves in Iceland. The tubes Volume is well over 150,000 cubic meters.

Akranes Lighthouses; one of the most picturesque lighthouses in the world!
If you are into Photography or just interested in exploring new Things in Iceland, you need to visit the Lighthouses in Akranes. Down by the Harbour you will notice the two Lighthouses. The bigger one is currently in use and is open to the public. So, when it´s open, you can go up and enjoy the View from there. There is even a Photography Exhibition to enjoy in there.

Breiðafjörður with its amazing Nature and uncountable Islands
Breiðafjörður has around 3,000 Islands, Islets and Skerries. One of them is Flatey, an Island which is really worth visiting. Several geothermal Sites can be found there and beautiful basalt Columns.
Breiðafjörður contains about half of Iceland's intertidal Area and the Tides can be up to six Meters. There are around 50 breeding Bird Species including Common Shag, Glaucous Gull, White-tailed Eagle, Common Eider, Black Guillemot and Grey Phalarope. The area is important staging area for the Brent Goose and the Red Knot. The Common Seal and the Grey Seal have their main haul-out on the Islands and the Skerries. 

Deildartunguhver is the highest flow hot spring in Europe!
Deildartunguhver is Europe's most powerful Hotspring. It provides 180 l/sec of 100°C hot Water.
Most of the Water is used for central heating in the Towns of Borgarnes and Akranes and it is taken from Deildartunguhver. The hot Water Pipeline to Akranes is 64 km long, the longest in Iceland and the Water is about 78 - 80 degrees when it reaches Akranes. If you take a Shower anywhere within a 65 km Radius of the Spring, you have already bathed in the hot Water from this powerful Spring!

Reykholt; Home of The Prose Edda, the Bible of Norse Mythology. 
The Prose Edda is the most renowned of all works of Scandinavian Literature and our most extensive Source for Norse Mythology. Prose Edda is written by Snorri Sturluson, a 13th-century Author and Politician who lived on a Farm in Reykholt. The Prose Edda is proved to be among the most influential of all Myths and Legends, inspiring diverse modern works, from Wagner's Ring Cycle to Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
In Reykholt you will find the Museum Snorrastofa which is founded in the Memory of Snorri Sturluson.

Eiríksstaðir; Birthplace of Leifur the Lucky!
Eiríksstaðir is one of most historic Sides of Iceland. Step back to the Viking Era and immerse yourself in the Sights, Sounds and Scents of Eiríkur the Red's Farm which is also the Birthplace of Leifur the Lucky who is said to have discovered North America. Modern day Vikings demonstrate the Lifestyle of 1000 years ago, sharing their Crafts and Knowledge.

The Lava Field Waterfalls is a must see.
Hraunfossar are a Series of Waterfalls formed by a rivulets streaming over a distance of about 900 meters out of the Hallmundarhraun. The Waterfalls come from an underground Freshwater River and goes down the Hraunfossar and into the Whiteriver Hvítá.


Kirkjufell is the most photographed Mountain in Iceland!
Kirkjufell (463m) is a beautifully shaped and a symmetric, free standing mountain.  Its name, which means 'Church Mountain', it probably got because of its shape, reminding of a church tower. Standing next to the Kirkjufellsfoss, you get a great view off the mountain and a perfect shot for your photo.

Snæfellsjökull, the Center of the Earth!
The Snæfellsjökull glacier is 1446m above sea level. The glacier is an active volcano, having been built up through numerous eruptions during the last 800,000 years. Many believe the glacier to be one of the seven main energy centres of the earth and its mystique is noticed by many. The glacier plays big role as the Center of the Earth in the novel Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) by Jules Verne. Snæfellsjökull is a part of the Snæfellsjökull National Park which was established on June 28, 2001. The Park's purpose is to protect and conserve the areas; the unique landscape, indigenous plants and the animal life as well as important historical relics. At the same time, the Park is meant to allow visitors easier access as well as improved opportunities to get to know the area. 

 

 

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 Bjarteyjarsandur