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West Iceland Travel Guide

West Iceland home to many magical features, such as Hraunfossar waterfalls.

West Iceland is home to the country’s capital city, Reykjavík, and an array of impressive natural sites. These include Europe's most powerful hot spring, Iceland's most significant lava tube, fascinating glaciers, beautiful waterfalls important historical sites and more. It has three main districts outside of the capital area: Borgarfjörður, the Snӕfellsnes Peninsula, and Breiðafjörður.

This is a beautiful region of the country and worth it to explore. The Snaefellsnes peninsula, which extends west, is definitely worth a visit and can be explored on a wide range of Snaefellsnes tours . If you're planning to take your time and travel around this region and discover its many great natural wonders, it's a good idea to book accommodation in West Iceland .

Though also in the west, the Westfjords and Reykjanes Peninsula are usually considered to be in separate regions.

The Capital Area

Iceland’s capital city is Reykjavík , a settlement of 120,000 people (over 200,000 in the Greater Reykjavík Area) that was founded in 870 AD by Ingólfur Arnarson; this makes it the country’s oldest inhabited area.

It is a hot spot of culture, with festivals such as Sónar, Airwaves and Secret Solstice, events such as Pride and Culture Nights, and countless museums and galleries. The city is also renowned for its vibrant live music, cabaret and drag scenes, its street art, many sculptures, and its delicious cuisine.

Its architecture is particularly of note, with impressive buildings such as Hallgrímskirkja Church and the Harpa Concert Hall .

Reykjavík is where most visitors base themselves and the point from which most tour leaves. There is a comprehensive guide to Reykjavík on this site.

Borgarfjörður

Borgarfjörður is the fjord north of Reykjavík, within which is a wealth of beautiful historical and natural sites. Reykholt , for example, is a tiny village where medieval historian and poet Snorri Sturluson, author of  Snorra-Edda  and  Heimskringla, once lived. Borgarnes , the main village of Borgarfjörður, is one of Iceland’s earliest towns, and home to the fascinating Settlement Centre.

In terms of nature, Borgarfjörður is home to the second highest waterfall in the country, Glymur . Other beautiful waterfalls include the magical and peaceful  Hraunfossar and the raging rapids of Barnafoss  which lie only a stone's throw apart. The area is also home to the longest lava cave in the country, Viðgelmir , the highest flowing hot spring in Europe, Deildartunghver , and just inland is Iceland’s second biggest glacier, Langjökull .

Snӕfellsnes

The  Snӕfellsnes peninsula is a marvellous stretch of land in west Iceland. It is home to a unique mountain ridge with the majestic  Snӕfellsjokull  glacier and National Park at its westernmost point.

The region is often called Iceland in miniature due to its diverse sites, which include beautiful mountains such as Kirkjufell , geological wonders such as the Gerðuberg cliffs , and coastal formations such as Lóndrangar  rock pinnacles.

Breiðafjörður

Breiðafjörður  is the fjord that separates the Westfjords from the Snӕfellsnes Peninsula. It is a natural reserve with countless small islands and home to  thousands of birds, including puffins.

The inner part of Breiðafjörður is the old farm site  Eiriksstadir , the home of Eric the Red, the first European to land in Greenland, in the year 984 AD. His son was Leif Ericsson, the first European to land in America, in the year 1000.

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10 Must See Places in West Iceland

I have been lucky enough to visit West Iceland twice – the first time was on our honeymoon trip  last September, and the second time was with my sister last month. These were very different trips – the first trip was gray and raining, the second trip we had near perfect weather (for Iceland, that is). What a difference sunshine and a blue sky can make! It was like seeing everything for the first time, it looked completely different.  While you can’t predict the weather in Iceland, having good weather is ideal because there is SO much to look at. However, if you end up in Snaefellsness on a cloudy day, don’t fear, you will still see beautiful things! (obviously, we fell in love and moved here even though it was raining the whole time.)

So while West Iceland definitely lives up to the hype,  it’s hard to narrow down a list. However, these are my favorites, including the usual and a couple of hidden gems.

1. Gerðuberg Basalt Columns

west iceland tourism

This would be the first stop when driving to Snaefellsnes from Reykjavik. The Gerðuberg basalt columns are huge hexagonal rock structures that fun to climb around on and a unique sight to see! When traveling on Route 54, you will pass road 571. Drive about 7km/4mi and you will see a turn for Ytri-Tunga Farm (almost directly opposite Route 567 to Hótel Eldborg.) Turn onto the farm road and you will see the basalt columns on the left.

  A post shared by Jeannie | Iceland Travel Blog (@lifewithaview15) on Jan 10, 2018 at 12:20pm PST

Don’t miss:

  • A walk up Súgandisey cliff for unbeatable views of the harbor and the North Atlantic (and the West Fjords if its a clear day!)
  • Dinner at  Narfeyrarstofa for a delicious meal prepared with fresh and local food (closed after October)
  • Nesbrauð Bakari for coffee and a kleina, the famous Icelandic donut.

west iceland tourism

Both Hellnar and Arnarstapi are small little towns on the south coast of the peninsula. There is a walking trail that runs through a lava field between the glacier and jagged cliffs into the ocean. (No, I’m not kidding. I know, it sounds too good to be true. Yes, it is wonderful.)

I suggest parking in Arnastapi and walking towards Hellnar and fueling up at the Fjöruhúsið café (it’s so small and adorable that it doesn’t even have a website!) I recommend the chicken quiche, Bobby always gets the homemade waffle. You can’t go wrong.

west iceland tourism

There are many places in Snaefellness to do horseback riding, but both times I have gone with Lysuhóll and both times have been wonderful. You can choose the duration of the ride – one trip goes down for a ride along the beach, one trip goes walking through a lava field at the base of the mountains. Either way, the scenery is unbelievable!

Note: It is advised to book in advance, especially during peak tourist season.

west iceland tourism

Iceland is definitely known for it’s unique and stunning black sand beaches, thanks to years of volcanic activity. Skardsvik is a white sand beach at the tip of the peninsula. We caught the sunset here last month and it was amazingly beautiful.

west iceland tourism

Djupalonssandur is a classic Iceland black sand beach.  On the walk to the beach are four lifting stones of various weights. These were used many years ago by fishermen to test their strength to qualify men to work on the fishing boats. Years ago the beach was a harbor for many fishing ships, but now only ruins of an old fishing vessel remain.

Bonus : Great views of my favorite glacier!

west iceland tourism

This place literally looks like the Land Before Time was filmed here! This huge lava field is one of the best in Iceland and with those red mountains in the background?! Don’t just drive by, pull off for a proper look!

west iceland tourism

The infamous Mount Kirkjufell. Kirkjufell means “pyramid mountain” which is obviously fitting considering its perfectly pyramid-y shaped. On the south side of the mountain is Kirkjufellsfoss – two perfectly placed and amazingly picturesque waterfalls. Kirkjufell is the most photographed mountain in all of Iceland, and it’s easy to see why! Funny story: our first trip through Snaefellsness we actually missed the waterfalls because it was so cloudy and raining that we just wanted to keep driving. So we just stopped at the side of the road to take a few photos of the mountain. That tells you how different it can be when its raining!

Don’t forget: Drive through Seljafjordur and Kolgrafafjordur for some incredible views. There is a bridge that runs through the fjord with mountains surrounding you that is so beautiful it might make you cry with happiness.

west iceland tourism

Londrangar is another iconic landmark in West Iceland. These uniquely shaped structures sticking out of the sea are actually the remains of a volcanic crater, which has been eroded by the sea. Even though you can see this from the road, its worth the time to walk down by the sea to get a better look!

Tip : You can also drive down to Malarrif and take a short hike from there to the rock formations and back. Takes about an hour.

west iceland tourism

Another iconic part of West Iceland is the black church in Budir. When we were here last month I got to see a wedding set up in the Hotel and it looked so pretty. Wedding photos would be incredible here!

Tip : this area also offers beautiful opportunities for photos of Snæfellsjökull.

Happy planning,

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The Traveler’s Guide to West Iceland – Weather, Geology, and Things to do

  • Last Updated: January 6, 2023
  • Viktória Komjáti

West Iceland, locally referred to as Vesturland, is an extremely diverse region. Its natural environment is stunning; think volcanoes, some dormant but others active, and a dramatic coastline where fishing villages developed to exploit the riches of the sea, vast lava fields, and giant waterfalls. Visit Vesturland, and you will see all of this!

The capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, is on Iceland’s west coast. Its greater metropolitan area is home to over 60% of Iceland’s population. As a result, you can expect a well-established infrastructure and a wide range of tours available to explore the West. Below you can read about the region’s history, geology and characteristics. You can then learn about the best things to see and do to allow you to start planning.

Public Transport

Guided tours, self-drive tours, the infrastructure, west iceland weather, the geology of west iceland, history and sagas, what to see in west iceland, take a road trip, explore a lava cave, wrap up for an ice cave, go whale watching, soak in geothermal water, hike a glacier , take a hike.

west iceland tourism

How to Get Around West Iceland

We have already alluded to the fact that Reykjavik is a great starting point for exploring West Iceland. Its roads are modern, and driving is straightforward, even for someone unfamiliar with the streets. If you are not keen to drive, you can join organized tours with experienced guides. The choice is yours.

Suppose you want to stop regularly to enjoy all the region’s natural attractions. In that case, there are better options than public transport. Buses going through the countryside are infrequent. Just a single bus a day, so you can only expect passing views if you catch a bus. Buses cater to the locals and their everyday lives, so they stop in villages and small towns, not at the major attractions, as most are located outside residential areas.

west iceland tourism

Guided group tours are the first to consider when planning to enjoy what West Iceland offers. In terms of price, there is minimal difference between such tours and public transport anyway. Add to that the advantage of an experienced guide who can speak English, and there is no real debate.

Most tours are just day trips, but some cover two days. In all cases, the departure will be Reykjavik, and you will return there at the end of the journey. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula Tour and the Silver Circle Tour around Borgarfjordur are the first two to consider, especially if your time is limited.

Use our i ntelligent search engine to find guided tours in the region. Remember to select “West” in the filters to narrow your search.

We have already mentioned that you can hire a vehicle and tour independently if you wish. You will need 3 or 4 days to explore Vesturland properly. You will need to research to get the most out of independent travel because there is no local guide to help you.

Tailor-made Vacations

Between guided tours and independent travel, there is another option: tailor-made self-drive packages. These are self-drive tours created by a local travel advisor. You get a full itinerary carefully designed based on your preferences and includes all the bookings, including rental cars, accommodation, and guided activities. This is the ultimate choice if you’d like to travel independently but don’t have much time for planning. Find tailor-made vacation package samples here , or contact us for your personal itinerary.

west iceland tourism

The West is sparsely populated once you leave Reykjavík. The small villages will have limited shopping and eating alternatives. Two larger settlements north of Reykjavik, Akranes and Borgarnes, have more choices in terms of cafés, restaurants, and supermarkets. In addition, you will find big gas stations with shopping and fast food on site.

There are two smaller towns on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula , Olafsvik and Stykkisholmur, while the villages of Grundarfjordur and Budardalur have both gained recognition from tourists. Each has restaurants and cafés, as well as little stores selling groceries. With accommodation limited, you will need to book in advance if you are driving a car and want to stay out of Reykjavik.

west iceland tourism

The offshore warm Irminger Current, part of the Gulf Stream flowing along the western coast of Iceland, results in West Iceland being warmer than other parts of the island. As a result, average temperatures are a degree or two higher than in the North and East . However, there tend to be more clouds in the West than in the colder, dryer regions. 

Metropolitan Reykjavik is as mild as any part of Iceland. Snow tends to arrive later and melt earlier than anywhere else. It means the roads are better around the capital than in some places you are likely to visit. Snaefellsnes Peninsula is windier and wetter than in Reykjavík and the fjords, so drivers face a challenge during the winter months on the peninsula.

In this article , we explained when is the best time to travel to Iceland.

West Iceland was one of the oldest parts of the island. That is because the North Atlantic Ocean began to open around 60 million years ago, with tectonic plates starting to part in opposite directions.

Iceland is a result of a major hot spot in the Earth’s mantle, the “Iceland plume,” gushing forth to form an island, pushing the tectonic plates apart. As a result, the plates drifted east and west rather than north and south. West and East are, therefore, the oldest parts of Iceland, with the West seemingly being rock dating back some 15 million years.

west iceland tourism

Glacial activity later fashioned the landscape, with glaciers covering the terrain for thousands of years. Snaefellsjokull, the famous volcano in West Iceland, erupted in the very early centuries AD, and estimates suggest that there has not been an eruption in this region for 1,000 years. Exploring the impressive craters is, therefore, perfectly safe.

The terrain is just one element of West Iceland. Its history dates back to the first settlers, Vikings, who arrived during the 9th and 10th Centuries. “The Book of Settlements” (Landnámabók in Icelandic) states that present-day Reykjavík was the first permanent settlement in Iceland, established in 874 AD by Ingólfr Arnarson.

Over the centuries, there was minimal development, with Reykjavík officially founded as a trading town in 1785. From then onwards, the capital has developed into what it is today, the center of government and commerce. Urban development began in the 19th century, with Reykjavik now regarded as Reykjavík as not only the safest city in the world but also one of the greenest and cleanest.

west iceland tourism

Icelandic Sagas talk of the time between the initial settlement and the early 11th Century. Plenty of these sagas and tales refer to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the Breidafjordur Region , hence Western Iceland, also known as “Sagaland.”

The Laxdaela Saga says the peninsula was where Bolli Bollason was born. He was the first West Norse member of the Varangian Guard and a man popular with the Scandinavian rulers of that period and the Eastern Roman Empire. He returned to Iceland from the Eastern Roman army, having attained the rank of Manglabites. That earned him the nickname “Bolli the Elegant.” 

Snorri Sturluson was also born in West Iceland. Back in the 13th Century, he lived on a farm in what is now Reykholt. A politician and an author, Sturluson wrote a famous piece of Scandinavian literature: the  Prose Edda . It talked of Norse mythology and arguably has impacted the extent that Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings would not have been as recognized as they are today.

Close to the village of Budardalur is the home of the famous Viking Erik the Red. He was the man who discovered Greenland, or at least he was the first European to do so. Leif Erikson, his son, continued the explorations and is said to have reached North America long before Christopher Columbus.

The route Erik and then his son Leif took was retraced in July 2000 by a replica Viking ship, Islendingur, “Icelander” in English. It set sail from Budardalur Harbor, reaching Greenland and then to America. 

When thinking about West Iceland, you should break the region down into five highlights, and we have articles covering each:

  • Reykjavik and its immediate hinterland,
  • the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Breidafjordur,
  • The Silver Circle in Borgarfjordur, and
  • the Reykjanes peninsula.

The Golden Circle , the most popular tourist route in the country, is often referred to as a West Iceland region, but it is officially South Iceland .

west iceland tourism

What to Do in West Iceland

Many of the highlights of West Ireland are visible from the road. How much time you spend at each depends on the time available and how much walking you want to do. You can drive independently or join a guided tour . Exploring the natural landscape, even the remote places, with a vehicle is easy. Beautiful mountains, beaches, and waterfalls are all accessible every month of the year. Parking is usually close to the attractions, so you will not have to walk too much to enjoy your trip.

west iceland tourism

There are more than 500 lava caves in Iceland . West Iceland is the place to see the most important ones; Raufarhólshellir and Thrihnukagigur in the Greater Metropolitan Region, Vatnshellir on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and Vidgelmir in Borgarfjordur. Each is unique and deserving of a visit. The largest is Vidgelmir, the deepest Vatnshellir. The closest to Reykjavik is Raufarhólshellir.

You can only visit a lava cave on a guided tour . You know, that makes sense from a safety point of view. Tours from Reykjavik vary depending on how much you want to see. The shortest will only be around an hour, with others up to 3 hours. These caves are spacious and easy to walk as long as you have comfortable shoes – because the terrain is uneven.

This is a rare opportunity that Iceland can offer that few other countries can, so put a visit on your itinerary.

The lava cave

Langjokull Glacier has the world’s first man-made ice tunnel. Iceland’s second-biggest glacier offers wonderful scenery, an all-year-round winter wonderland. The cave lies below the surface, carved by locals.

You will marvel at the glistening blues and silvers and have photo opportunities aplenty. This cave is a popular location for special events, including weddings. You can get a tour from both Husafell and Reykjavik . The cave is regularly included on a day tour covering the Silver Circle/Borgarfjordur area .

west iceland tourism

Reykjavík is an excellent base for whale-watching tours . However, the North has slightly better success rates. If you’re planning to travel around the island, go for a whale-watching tour in the north , but if you plan to stay in the west, don’t hesitate to book a tour from Reykjavík .

Breidafjordur Bay is also a good place to see whales, specifically orcas (killer whales). Weather permitting, tours go out to sea throughout the year from Grundarfjordur and Olafsvik. As well as whales, you have an excellent chance to see pods of dolphins which often play around your boat. 

west iceland tourism

Some of Europe’s most powerful hot springs are in Iceland. For example, take Deildartunguhver, an open-air geothermal spa known as Krauma . This spa offers several hot tubs, steam cabins, a lovely relaxation room with large windows, and a real fireplace. You will get views over a small valley with steam rising from the ground. Incidentally, vegetables are grown in the small greenhouses you will see. 

Reykjavík’s newest luxury Geothermal spa also awaits you. Nestled on a stunning coastline only a stone’s throw from downtown Reykjavík, Sky Lagoon offers its visitors breathtaking views and genuinely luxurious experiences.

west iceland tourism

Another unique spa in the west is Hvammsvík Natural Hot Springs Resort which provides an experience closest to how locals have enjoyed wilderness hot springs. The resort is located in the middle of nowhere, in a remote fjord called the Whaled fjord, yet easily accessible, being only 45 minutes drive from the capital.

The world-famous Blue Lagoon is the crown jewel of the West. It is a major attraction, even for people who do not want to enter its waters. National Geographic magazine included the Blue Lagoon as one of 25 Natural Wonders of the World in a special edition. There are few better recommendations than that. Read more about Iceland’s best geothermal spas in this article .

west iceland tourism

The only glacier in West Iceland is Snaefellsjokull, but it is also Iceland’s most famous. You can get to the peak on a guided tour as long as you are fit enough and have hiking experience. Hiking on a glacier involves more than the essential skill of walking. You will need to be appropriately dressed and equipped to tackle a glacier. The views from the summit are spectacular. If the weather is clear, you will see Reykjavik in the far distance.

west iceland tourism

If you enjoy hiking, Western Iceland is the place for you. There is a wide range of alternatives, including short and easy trails, especially around Reykjavik. Experienced hikers will also find plenty to enjoy. Some trails are only accessible in the better months of the year (in summer), but those around Reykjavik should be all year round. Plan before you head out because crampons/snow spikes and winter equipment are usually significant on these trails in winter.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula has the most scenic trails. Between Hellnar and Arnarstapi, there are some stunning coastal views if you take the 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) path. Longer, challenging hiking trails offer experienced hikers a great deal in the summer season. You will not find much in the way of crowds, a great way to enjoy the peace and Iceland’s natural environment.

Just north of Reykjavik, you will find a small fjord and a great trail known as the Glymur Trail. It is popular, partly because of its accessibility and the fact it leads to the second-highest waterfall in Iceland. There are lovely panoramas over the fjord. It is a trail purely for the summer months because you need to cross a river during the hike. A new log is placed over this river each spring to allow hikers to cross.

Glymur hiking & Krauma bathing tour

Our article has covered the most interesting facts and exciting activities regarding West Iceland. Its wonderfully varied landscape offers so many attractions that each region deserves your attention! Read our articles on

  • The Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Breiðafjörður  ,
  • Borgafjörður and the Silver Circle ,
  • The Golden Circle ,
  • and the Reykjanes Peninsula

. Contact us for your tailor-made vacation package , and a local professional will personally help you to plan your perfect West Iceland holiday.

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White house in hamlet of Arnastapi on Snaefellsness Peninsula.

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West Iceland

Geographically close to Reykjavík, yet far, far away in sentiment, West Iceland (known as Vesturland) is a splendid microcosm of what Iceland has to offer. Yet many tourists have missed the memo, and you’re likely to have remote parts of this wonderful region to yourself.

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Attractions

Must-see attractions for your itinerary.

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Snæfellsjökull National Park

Snæfellsnes Peninsula

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Carving depicting Thorolf Skallagrímsson, a character.from Egil’s Saga at the Settlement Centre.

Settlement Centre

Borgarbyggð

Housed in an imaginatively restored warehouse by the harbour, the must-see Settlement Centre offers fascinating insights into the history of Icelandic…

Kirkjufell mountain, Western Iceland, as the aurora really starts to pump out, illuminating the frozen landscape. ....From a superb trip with David Clapp and Antony Spencer

Breiðafjörður

Stykkishólmur’s jagged peninsula pushes north into stunning Breiðafjörður, a broad waterway separating the Snæfellsnes from the looming cliffs of the…

Djúpalón Beach

Djúpalón Beach

On the southwest coast, Rte 572 leads off Rte 574 to wild black-sand beach Djúpalónssandur. It’s a dramatic place to walk, with rock formations (an elf…

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Snæfellsjökull

It’s easy to see why Jules Verne selected Snæfell for his adventure Journey to the Centre of the Earth: the peak was torn apart when the volcano beneath…

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When the peanut gallery starts moaning, ‘Are we there yet?’, you know it’s time to head to Erpsstaðir, the perfect place to stretch your legs. Like a…

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This enormous (300m-long) human-made tunnel and series of caves head into Langjökull glacier at 1260m above sea level. The glistening, LED-lit tunnel and…

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Inlet created by lava flow on Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Finding Alexx

◦ Solo female travel blog

Europe , Iceland · November 3, 2022

West Iceland itinerary: 3 days in Iceland’s West Coast

Are you looking for a West Iceland itinerary to show you how to spend three days in western Iceland? I recently did a three day West Iceland road trip and it was pure magic, here’s my detailed itinerary with places to visit, where to stop on the way, accommodation suggestions and helpful travel tips.

While the South Coast of Iceland certainly gets the most attention in terms of tourism, West Iceland has its own hot spots and hidden gems too. It also benefits from less visitors, particularly during the shoulder season, so if you prefer to avoid the crowds and get away from tour buses then West Iceland is perfect for you.

west iceland tourism

On my most recent trip to Iceland I spent three days in West Iceland before zipping down to South Iceland for a night (to spend at the magical Afternoon Cottages , so worth it!) and then wrapping up the trip with a couple of nights in Reykjavik.

Western Iceland has waterfalls, canyons, iconic churches, coastal viewpoints and some gorgeous accommodation thrown in for good measure, and I found that travelling in early October there were very few tourists around and I had many of the key destinations all to myself. Win!

This West Iceland itinerary lists all my recommended overnight stays (with accommodation suggestions), where to stop on the way from A to B, some worthwhile food stops, tips for driving in West Iceland and more. Read on to hear all about my three day West Iceland itinerary.

This blog post includes affiliate links that give me a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. These links allow me to continue creating detailed blog posts like this one, thank you for supporting me!

west iceland tourism

Who is this itinerary for?

If you’re visiting Iceland for the first time and want to visit the most famous waterfalls like Gullfoss and Skogafoss, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and the Insta-famous plane wreck, this itinerary isn’t for you. Instead, head over to my South Iceland 4 day itinerary and you’ll find all you need to know about ticking off southern Iceland’s bucket list spots.

But if you’ve already seen the South Coast and want to see somewhere different, of if you’re not fussed on the main attractions and prefer to get off the beaten track, or if you simply can’t think of anything worse than being one of 200 people standing below a waterfall, then this West Iceland itinerary will be ideal for your next Iceland trip.

West Iceland (particularly the Snæfellsnes Peninsula) is also home to a number of major photography locations, like Kirkjufell mountain and its waterfall Kirkjufellfoss, Lóndrangar cliffs and the black church Búðakirkja, so if you’re a photographer with any of these spots on your photography bucket list then this 3 day Iceland itinerary is a great way to see them.

west iceland tourism

Is three days in West Iceland enough?

This three day West Iceland itinerary is enough time to explore the Silver Circle and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, as long as you don’t mind travelling at a medium-to-fast pace. You won’t be rushed off your feet but you also won’t have enough time to spend 3-4 hours at each location hiking different trails and exploring beyond the main sight.

If you prefer to take your time then you could enjoy a much slower pace while ticking everything off with five days for this itinerary.

Please note that this itinerary doesn’t include the Westfjords of northwest Iceland, these would require at least a few more days as the roads are super windy and can be prone to road closures and detours, particularly during the colder months.

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How to get around West Iceland

Public transport is extremely limited in Iceland outside of the main cities, so your best two options for exploring West Iceland are getting a rental car or taking organised tours.

Driving in Iceland

Getting a rental car is hands down the best way to explore West Iceland, you get the freedom to travel at your own pace and change your plans depending on weather conditions and travel preferences.

While the main tourist route in southern Iceland is generally fine for both 2WD and 4WD cars year-round, with this West Iceland itinerary I recommend getting a 4WD if there is one available and it fits into your budget.

The reason for this is that some of the main public roads (not just the F-roads which are 4WD-only by law and closed for winter) are dirt/gravel roads for miles and miles! A 2WD will be able to handle them, my Toyota Corolla did fine aside from the fact it was meant to be white and ended up brown 🙃 but these roads will be much more comfortable if you’re in a 4WD.

Also make sure you have the highest possible level of insurance. West Iceland is extremely exposed to the elements, so you want to make sure you have cover for any potential sand, dirt, wind damage.

Search your travel dates here to find a rental car in Iceland

west iceland tourism

Without a car

If you aren’t able to rent a car for whatever reason, don’t stress, there are still ways for you to see most of the spots on this West Iceland itinerary with organised trips from Reykjavik.

This two-day tour from Reykjavik ticks off the major attractions from this itinerary, with your accommodation included. Meals are extra but they have some suggestions food stops, and the tour price also includes entry to either Vidgelmir Lava Cave or Húsafell Canyon Baths.

If you’d prefer day trips then this Silver Circle day tour takes you to most of the stops on day one of my West Iceland itinerary, and this highly-rated Snæfellsnes Peninsula day tour includes most of the day two stops I’ve listed below.

Or for something a bit more rugged, this Langjökull Ice Cave + Northern Lights tour takes you out to Iceland’s second largest glacier with pick up and drop off in Reykjavik, and offers a unique chance to see the aurora from an actual glacier.

west iceland tourism

When is the best time to visit West Iceland?

Summer is Iceland’s high season, so although West Iceland is guaranteed to be quieter than the South Coast, visiting in summer will certainly have more tourists on the road and bigger crowds at the must-sees.

If you’re visiting in summer I’d suggest booking your accommodation as early as possible (my suggestions below) and trying to plan your trip so that you see the most popular must-dos first thing in the morning to try to avoid bus groups.

As with almost every destination I visit, I’m a huge fan of shoulder season travel in Iceland. Shoulder season benefits from milder weather with lush green pastures in spring and orange/yellow tones in autumn, fewer crowds, lower prices and more availability for things like rental cars and accommodation.

I visited in early October and it was (mostly) divine. The autumn colours are super vibrant in some places, particularly at Hraunfossar waterfall which was beyond stunning. The sun was out for me until the final day, it was chilly in the wind but not overwhelmingly Arctic like you’ll get from November to February/March.

west iceland tourism

If you’re hoping to see the Northern Lights during your three days in Iceland then your best bet is to come from mid-September to mid-March, although November to February offer the best conditions for optimal viewing as there’s more hours of darkness. You can check the KP index forecast here .

If you’re travelling during this time be aware that short days leave not much time for sightseeing so you’ll need to plan your trip accordingly.

I actually saw the Northern Lights during my visit in early October, it’s the start of the season but still possible if you get clear skies and high solar activity! But to get the best chance of seeing the lights I always recommend going on an organised tour from Reykjavik , the professionals know how to read the forecasts, where to go to escape light pollution and have vehicles that can handle icy off-road conditions.

west iceland tourism

3 day West Iceland itinerary summary

Day one: reykjavik to borgarnes via the silver circle, day two: borgarnes to grundarfjörður.

Day three: Back to Reykjavik (or continue north to the Westfjords)

The perfect 3 day West Iceland itinerary

West iceland itinerary map.

Total distance: 620km, 8h 37m of driving

I’m sure you’ve heard of Iceland’s famed Golden Circle, the easy tourist trail from Reykjavik that encompasses Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Falls and Geysir (plus other worthy stops). But you’ve probably never heard of its northwest counterpart, the Silver Circle.

This route includes stops at geothermal springs, historical towns, waterfalls and more, the perfect start to your three days in Iceland.

Drive time from Reykjavik

About 2h 40m, 197km

Where to stop along the Silver Circle

If you need to stock up on food, fuel or anything else for this trip, Borgarnes is the best place to do it.

Deildartunguhver

Deildartunguhver is Europe’s most powerful hot spring, with 180 litres of nearly boiling water flowing out every second , providing hot water and energy to homes within a 65km radius of the spring. It’s free to visit.

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Krauma Natural Geothermal Baths

Is there any better way to start an Iceland road trip than with a relaxing soak in geothermal waters? I don’t think so.

Krauma Geothermal Baths are located at Deildartunguhver, with five warm (37-40°C) pools and a cold plunge pool, plus a relaxation room, steam rooms and on-site restaurant serving up local cuisine. The water comes straight from the hot spring, and is cooled with glacier water from Ok, Iceland’s smallest glacier.

Entry is 5400ISK and if you’re visiting on weekends, holidays or in the summer period I recommend booking in advance .

One for the history buffs! Reykholt is one of the most culturally and historically significant towns in all of Iceland, and in the 13th century it was the home of one of Iceland’s most famous writers, Snorri Sturluson.

Sturluson was a historian who wrote about Norse mythology, immortalising stories that had previously only been passed down orally, as well as putting pen to paper about medieval relations across northern European countries, which to this day is used as a trusted account of 9th-13th century history. If you want to learn more about Sturluson you can visit the Snorrastofa cultural centre .

Another worthwhile reason to visit Reykholt is to see the Snorralaug geothermal pool, thought to be Iceland’s oldest geothermal pool used for bathing, with records of human use dating back to 1178.

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Hraunfossar

Also known as the Lava Falls, I think Hraunfossar gives the South Coast waterfalls a run for their money for most photogenic waterfall in Iceland. Particularly if you visit in October like I did, when the water pours out from between bright orange and yellow autumn foliage. Stunning.

Hraunfossar is super unique in that cold springs of water actually flow beneath the lava field, emerging as a terrace of waterfalls falling into the glacial turquoise river Hvítá í Borgarfirði. Very cool to see!

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Just one minute away from Hraunfossar there’s another waterfall for you to see. Barnafoss or “Children’s Waterfall” is named after a legend of two local children who were said to have fallen off a natural stone bridge over the rapids, which then collapsed due to an earthquake. Or perhaps, due to a curse put on it by the children’s mother… Who knows?

Hraunfossar and Barnafoss are at totally opposite ends of the waterfall spectrum from each other; Hraunfossar as a tranquil, calming natural wonder, compared to the chaotic rapids or rushing water at Barnafoss. It’s a great example of Iceland’s extreme variety of landscapes!

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Húsafell & the Canyon Baths

Húsafell is a charming little town at the furthermost point along the Silver Circle route, with some traditional turf houses and a few fantastic hiking trails if you’re visiting in summer.

But the main drawcard (and the ideal way to end your first day in West Iceland) are the Canyon Baths , a stunning duo of geothermal pools tucked away in a canyon, only reached by a guided nature walk that includes another waterfall, two-tiered Langifoss.

The tour and geothermal bath entry isn’t cheap, 9900ISK for adults, but it’s one of the most exclusive and intimate hot pool experiences you’ll find in Iceland with a maximum of 16 guests per tour group. It’s worlds apart from the busy waters of the Blue Lagoon or similar!

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Where to stay on day one

Where I stayed: Basalt Hotel (mid-range)

Basalt Hotel is a top-rated hotel (9.4/10 on booking.com) with an onsite restaurant in the middle of rural farmland just a short drive from the Silver Circle route. If you’re driving from Húsafell back towards Borgarnes you’ll turn off about 10 minutes after Deildartunguhver and drive 15 minutes seemingly through the middle of nowhere to reach the hotel. It’s about 30 minutes to get to Borgarnes from Basalt.

The rooms are warm and comfortable with plenty of space, and the restaurant offers panoramic views across the countryside. If you’re visiting in winter you’ve got a great chance for Northern Light spotting here as there’s no light pollution anywhere near the hotel, so be sure to pop your head outside every now and then when it’s dark.

The hotel serves a classic Icelandic breakfast with eggs, meats, fruit, yoghurt, cereal, rye bread and toast, and it also serves lunch and dinner from 12-9pm each day including dishes like grilled cheese, burgers, lamb with veggies and cod in creamy sauce.

I genuinely can’t fault a single thing about this hotel, I wish I had stayed longer than just one night. I’ll have to go back!

west iceland tourism

Other accommodation options near Borgarnes

Budget | Blómasetrið Homestay (9.1/10) and Helgugata Guesthouse (9.3/10)

Mid-range | Basalt Hotel is by far the best value option near Borgarnes, but if they are full then some other options are Lundar Farm (8.6/10), B59 Hotel (8.3/10) and Egils Apartment for something self-contained (8.5/10)

Check out all accommodation options near Borgarnes on booking.com

Time to explore the best of the west! Today you’ll visit waterfalls, wander through canyons, see some of Iceland’s famous churches, witness the wild coastal weather and finish up with a visit to one of the most famous mountains in the country.

This is another busy drive day with a bunch of cool places to tick off the list, so you’ll want to get started early if possible.

2h 30m, 188km

Where to stop between Borgarnes and Grundarfjörður

Gerðuberg Cliffs

An easy first stop for day two of your three days in West Iceland, the Gerðuberg Cliffs are symmetrical, hexagonal basalt rocks easily accessed with a short drive off the main road.

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Bjarnarfoss

Standing at 80m tall, this two-tier waterfall is easily seen from the main road but is still worth a stop if you’re a keen waterfall chaser. There’s easy parking and picnic tables, but it can get muddy as you get closer to the waterfall so waterproof shoes are best.

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While driving around to see different coloured churches might be someone’s idea of boring, I really love Iceland’s variety of colourful churches that stand out against the evergreen landscape. This little church in Budir is a bit different because it’s painted black with white doors and windows, perfect for moody photography.

When I visited Búðakirkja there was actually a couple getting married in the church grounds! It was just them, the celebrant, a photographer and a couple of witnesses so they had obviously eloped. Imagine how amazing their wedding photos would be!

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Snæfellsjökull Viewpoint

If you’re lucky enough to have clear weather today then the views from this lookout can stretch all the way to Snæfellsjökull, a glacier-capped volcano. It can get super windy here with ice cold chills coming off the glacier so just be careful opening car doors and make sure you’re rugged up to stay warm.

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Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge

It doesn’t look like much from the road but you’ve probably actually seen this gorge on Instagram without even realising it.

It’s a short walk up to the gorge entrance but note that it’s gravel and can be very unstable, particularly after rain, so watch where you’re walking and be careful of slipping. I visited early October and it was open but I’ve heard that the gorge path can be closed in winter due to ice, so just be prepared to have to veto this from your itinerary if you’re visiting in the colder months.

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At the gorge opening you’ve got to step on some rocks in the stream to get around the corner back onto dry land. I did this with non-waterproof shoes which was possible (only got a tiny bit wet) but a bit stupid and not recommended! Wear hiking boots or other waterproof shoes for a less stressful and more stable way of getting into the gorge.

Once you’re inside you’ve got a fab photo opportunity to capture the light streaming in from above, and if you’re prepped with proper waterproof gear you can climb further into the gorge to get close to a waterfall.

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Originally a fishing village but now a main tourist hub of the peninsula, Arnarstapi is a great half-way point to relax and refuel after a few hours of sightseeing.

If you’re visiting between April and October there’s a fantastic food truck open in the warmer months, it was the best meal I had in Iceland! Fresh fish and chips for 2500ISK which is reasonable for Iceland, and it was a huge portion too, I couldn’t finish it all. They also have wraps and quesadillas available with chicken or veggies if this is more your thing.

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The town also has some sit-down restaurants if you want a hearty meal, and there are souvenir shops with local crafts if you want to get something to remember your West Iceland road trip.

Arnarstapi is also the gateway for organised tours onto Snæfellsjökull Glacier if you’re keen for a bit of an adventure. This full day glacier & volcano hike includes a guided walk to the summit of the glacier at 1446m, which sounds intense but according to the company is “not challenging and is suitable for most people”.

Or if you prefer to get to the glacier with minimal physical exertion, this Snowcat tour from Arnarstapi might be more up your alley!

west iceland tourism

If you do choose to spend extra time in Arnarstapi then there are some decent accommodation options, but none are cuter than the Arnarstapi Cottages . These are on my accommodation bucket list for sure!

Hellnar View Point

Another good stopping point for a picnic if you skip past Arnarstapi, Hellnar viewpoint has amazing coastal views plus a cafe that’s open during the summer months.

This one was my favourite coastal viewpoint in western Iceland, with panoramic views along the wild and rugged coast down to the Lóndrangar sea stacks. There’s a short loop walk from the carpark with a few viewing platforms that all offer a slightly different angle for photos.

If you’re visiting in summer then this is a great place for spotting seabirds nesting in the rocks.

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Vatnshellir Cave

Only accessible by guided tour, Vatnshellir is an 8,000-year-old lava tube with stairs descending into the hollow tube for you to see volcanic minerals of all colours. You can book a caving tour year-round here .

Saxhóll Crater

While I personally think the Kerið in South Iceland is more striking in colour, this crater is easily accessed with steel stairs and a platform up the top so it’s a quick, simple stop to see an extinct volcano as well as views right across the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

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Svörtuloft Lighthouse

Found at the end of a very rocky detour off the main road (2WDs will be fine, it’s just bumpy!), this bright orange lighthouse is definitely a unique building along Iceland’s crazy coastline. Another brilliant spot for bird-watching during summer.

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Skarðsvík Beach

While black sand beaches are the norm in Iceland, this is one of the few beaches on the island that actually has golden sand. The contrast is what makes this place interesting, with light coloured sand bordered by dark, jagged, volcanic rocks.

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Ingjaldshóll church

Perhaps one of Iceland’s most photographed buildings, this white-walled, red-roof church set atop a hill in front of mountains looks like it’s straight off a postcard.

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One of West Iceland’s best waterfalls, Svöðufoss is only 10m tall but is still impressive thanks to its scenic location, with Snaefellsjokull Glacier sitting directly behind it. The waterfall itself is framed by the iconic basalt columns too, so with the waterfall, the glacier and the columns all together it’s basically Iceland summed up in a single photo.

There’s a new path from the carpark and viewing platform at the bottom of the waterfall that’s almost completed as of October 2022, and you can also do a short walk up the top for a higher view.

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Kerlingarfoss

If you continue past the carpark at Svöðufoss onto the gravel road, in a few hundred metres you’ll reach Kerlingarfoss, a cascading multi-tiered waterfall.

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Located just behind the small fishing town of Ólafsvík, Bæjarfoss is definitely a bit of a hidden gem. You can walk up to the base on a rocky path or head up to the top for views over the town.

Kirkjufell & Kirkjufellsfoss

Supposedly Iceland’s most photographed mountain (although I’m not sure how they fact-check that?), Kirkjufell and its neighbouring waterfall Kirkjufellfoss are a highlight of this West Iceland itinerary. You might also recognise the uniquely-shaped mountain from Game of Thrones, where it was featured in Season 7 as “Arrowhead Mountain”.

If you’re fortunate enough to have clear skies during your visit from September to April, this is one of the most popular Northern Lights photography locations, and being able to capture the aurora dancing behind the iconic mountain is on the bucket list of many photographers.

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Where to stay on day two

Budget | Grund í Grundarfirdi (9/10 on booking.com), Kirkjufell Guesthouse (9.1/10) and Eiði Farmhouse (9.2/10)

Mid-range | Dis Cottages (9/10) and the Writer’s Nest (8.9/10)

Luxury | Hellnafell Apartment (9.4/10) is a four-bedroom apartment with some of the best views West Iceland has to offer

If you’re exploring further north or have an extra night | If your road trip extends into the Westfjords, I highly recommend the gorgeous Saudafell Guesthouse (9.4/10) which is about 1.5 hours east from Kirkjufell. It’s located on a working farm with the fluffiest sheep I’ve ever seen, and the rooms are cosy, with shared kitchen facilities and a comfy lounge for meeting fellow travellers.

You could also make Saudafell your day three accommodation if you have a bit more time and wanted to break up day two’s adventures into two full days, with one overnight stop in Arnarstapi after exploring the southern locations and another at Saudafell after driving along the northern part of the peninsula. Saudafell to Keflavik Airport is just 2h 20m, plenty of time to get there for a flight out the following day.

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Day three: Grundarfjörður to Reykjavik

The final day of your West Iceland itinerary is just a return to Reykjavik with a few different options on the way.

Kirkjufell to Reykjavik is 2h 20m (174km) or Kirkjufell to Keflavik Airport is 2h 45m (216km)

Where to stop between Grundarfjörður and Reykjavik

Berserkjahraun Lava Fields

Another hidden gem that is left off many West Iceland itineraries, the Berserkjahraun lava fields are an incredible example of Iceland’s out-of-this-world ecosystem. The fields were created around 4000 years ago, and these days there’s lush, thick moss covering the sharp, unforgiving volcanic rocks. Pretty amazing.

The road is a public road open to all vehicles but it is gravel/dirt, so drive carefully especially if you’re in a low-clearance vehicle and/or a 2WD.

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Selvallafoss

I didn’t actually make it here as I was running short on time but this waterfall is super underrated according to Google reviews!

And just like that, you’re back in Iceland’s capital city! If you aren’t flying out immediately, some of the best things to do in/near Reykjavik are:

  • Head to the Blue Lagoon for the quintessential Iceland experience
  • Or try out the new Sky Lagoon , it’s closer to the city and has incredible reviews
  • Detour a little to hit the top half of the Golden Circle if you haven’t seen it before, you could squeeze Thingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir into a half day road trip
  • Get amongst the local culinary scene with a top-rated food tour , or taste test local craft brews with this beer tour
  • See the famous Hallgrimskirkja church in central Reykjavik

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Where to stay in Reykjavik

Budget | I’ve previously stayed at both  Kex Hostel  (8.2/10 on booking.com) and  Loft Hostel  (8.1/10) and they were both great options that won’t break the bank, or  Freyja Guesthouse  (9.2/10) is a bit of a more upmarket stay that’s still cheap.

Mid-range  | I stayed at Center Hotels Laugavegur  (8.7/10) and it was fantastic, well-located on one of the main shopping/food streets, with spacious and rooms, a brilliant breakfast and warm, friendly service. Other mid-range options are  Grandi  (8.5/10),  Thingholt  (8.4/10) and  Center Hotels Plaza  (8.2/10).

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Luxury  | For a fancy stay you could consider  Black Pearl Apartment Hotel  (9.3/10),  Reykjavik Residence Apartment Hotel  (9.2/10) or the  Reykjavik Konsulat Hotel  (9.1/10).

Check out all accommodation options in Reykjavik on booking.com

I hope this West Iceland itinerary has helped you plan out your three days in Iceland! If you’re sticking around for longer, consider adding on my South Iceland four day itinerary to create a brilliant 7/8 day South + West Iceland itinerary.

If you have any questions about West Iceland or this itinerary please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP, or head on over to my Instagram and find my Iceland highlight for more details on what I got up to on the trip.

Safe travels!

Other blogs you might like:

  • 4 days in Iceland: The perfect South Iceland itinerary
  • 2 days in Milan: A weekend trip to Milan
  • 2 days in Porto: The ultimate two day Porto itinerary
  • 2 days in Budapest: How to explore Budapest in two days

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Top 10 Things to Do in West Iceland

West Iceland has become a dream destination for travelers around the world. Prominently, it has received the title of ‘ Little Iceland’ as it has the best of everything Iceland has to offer. Picturesque landscapes, pristine glaciers, lava rock textures, astounding craters, massive mountains, breathtaking cliffs, and even the black sand beaches. There is just too much to put into words.

From natural to man-made brilliance, it is a hotspot for anyone seeking to exhilarate themselves into an adventurous trip of discovery and Viking culture. However, it could be equally daunting to determine the perfect trip. After all, we all have limited time to explore, and if you genuinely want to enjoy Iceland in its glory, this is the list of must-do things in West Iceland.

To make the most of your time exploring West Iceland, you can either rent a car and drive around on your own, your you can do this Silver Circle tour that also includes a visit to Krauma. 

  • See more locations in West Iceland
  • Tours in Iceland

Tours in West Iceland

  • Best of Iceland
  • Activities in Iceland
  • Find tours by attraction
  • Packing Lists for your trip to Iceland

Hvammsvík Hot Springs

Hvammsvik Hot Spring

Hvammsvik Hot Springs, nestled in a pristine natural setting, offers a compelling destination for those seeking a tranquil and rejuvenating experience in Iceland. Here’s why you should make Hvammsvik Hot Springs a must-visit on your itinerary:

Secluded Oasis: Hvammsvik Hot Springs provides a secluded and peaceful retreat, allowing visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Tucked away in a scenic location, the hot springs offer a serene environment surrounded by untouched Icelandic nature.

Geothermal Bliss: Immerse yourself in the therapeutic waters of Hvammsvik’s geothermal springs. The naturally heated pools offer a soothing and rejuvenating experience, providing a perfect blend of relaxation and natural beauty.

Scenic Views: The hot springs are strategically located to offer breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Whether you soak during the day or under the starlit sky, the picturesque surroundings enhance the overall experience, creating a tranquil atmosphere that invites a sense of calm and awe.

Unspoiled Nature: Hvammsvik is situated in an area known for its unspoiled and untouched natural beauty. The hot springs allow you to connect with Iceland’s pristine wilderness, providing an opportunity to appreciate the raw and untamed landscapes.

Authentic Icelandic Experience: Unlike more commercialized attractions, Hvammsvik Hot Springs offers an authentic Icelandic experience. Here, you can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of geothermal waters in a setting that reflects the true essence of the country’s natural wonders.

Off-the-Beaten-Path: For those seeking a more off-the-beaten-path adventure, Hvammsvik Hot Springs is an ideal choice. The journey to reach this hidden gem adds to the sense of adventure, making your visit a memorable and unique experience.

Local Hospitality: Experience genuine Icelandic hospitality when you visit Hvammsvik. The local community often takes pride in sharing their natural wonders with visitors, creating a welcoming atmosphere that adds to the overall charm of the hot springs.

In summary, Hvammsvik Hot Springs is a haven for those who appreciate the beauty of unspoiled nature and seek a tranquil escape. Whether you’re in pursuit of geothermal relaxation, stunning views, or an authentic Icelandic experience, Hvammsvik Hot Springs promises a rejuvenating and memorable adventure.

Book your tickets to Hvammsvik Hot Springs: 

  • Tour to Hvammsvík hot springs with transfer from Reykjavik
  • Tickets to Hvammsvík

Hraunfossar & Barnafossar Waterfalls

Hraunfossar waterfalls in west Iceland, waterfall in the silver circle in Iceland

West Iceland has a fine selection of waterfalls to explore. Hraunfossar & Barnafoss fall top on the list, with Glanni Waterfall coming right next to you if you got the time.

Hraunfossar is popularly known as the Lava Waterfall. It is a collection of minor waterfalls that expands over Hallmundarhraun’s fields and moss cliffs. The water from under the lava fields makes it exciting to witness the flow. The irregular yet intriguing trails of these waterfalls symphonize to be an enchanting tune and a visual feast to the visitors. Hence, it has become one of the most charming waterfalls.

Barnafoss is known as Children’s waterfall, and you can hike there to enjoy the milky waterfall. It is almost the opposite. This has a glacier river and brings you a much louder and robust flow to witness. Of course, there is popular folklore associated with the Barnafoss and the ‘stone arched bridge.’ But that’s for you to explore when you visit the destination.

  • Read more about Hraunfossar & Barnafossar waterfalls. 
  • Find tours that will take you to Hraunfossar & Barnafossar waterfalls
  • Find itineraries that include Hraunfossar & Barnafossar waterfalls. 

Borgarnes village in west Iceland

Borgarnes is the ‘activity hub of West Iceland where you would go to freshen up your spirit and rest into an enchanting layover. Just 75 KM from Reykjavik City center , it is a perfect spot for a ‘vacation-specific’ visit. Borgarnes offers a wide array of activities. You can witness the spellbinding Geirabakari or have a rejuvenating picnic at Skallagrímsgarður public park. The local Museum is perfect to live through the history and treat yourself to some exotic bird sightings. Einkunnir Country Park offers hiking, while Hafnarfjall mountain is known for an excellent climb.

There are exhibitions at Settlement Center, several shops, and local stores to explore. All of these are enchanted with an abundance of restaurants, cafes, hotels, and other sanctuaries for your relaxation. Finally, the delight of the Borgarnes beauty further enhances the experience. Overall, Borgarnes is a complete package for those who want to do many ‘local’ things without exploring too much.

  • Read more about Borgarnes . 

Deildartunguhver

Deildartunguhver Hot Spring in Iceland

Deildartunguhver is popularly known as the most powerful hot spring of the entire European region. It has the remarkable capacity to pump 180 liters of water per second. The water reflects the natural forces and blends perfectly with the ‘beauty in destructive force’ theory of the Icelandic lores. Almost every locality settled around this massive spring uses the water for food, washing, and other necessary tasks. Hence, everything will be a delight around this hot spring. It is also the source for Borgarnes and Akranes . The natural qualities also bless the land with an abundance of greenery. The enchanting hot spring is equally picture-worthy for you, but the steamy sights might fog up your camera. You can indeed take a dip in the local hot springs like Krauma baths for a calming sauna experience. Overall, it is a perfect place for you to rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul. You will find utter peace and relaxation in this region.

  • Read more about Deildartunguhver geothermal hot spring. 
  • Find tours that will take you to Deildartunguhver

Krauma

Nestled in the captivating landscapes of West Iceland, Krauma Spa beckons with its allure, offering a unique and rejuvenating experience that makes it a must-visit destination. Here’s why you should consider immersing yourself in the serenity of Krauma:

Geothermal Wonders

Modern Comforts and Design

Five Relaxing Baths

Cold Plunge Pool

Natural Ingredients

Picturesque Surroundings

In summary, Krauma Spa in West Iceland is an oasis of relaxation, seamlessly blending modern comforts with the unparalleled beauty of the Icelandic landscape. Whether you seek the therapeutic benefits of geothermal waters or simply wish to unwind in a serene environment, Krauma Spa offers a compelling reason to include it in your Icelandic itinerary.

Book your tickets to Krauma here. 

Glymur highest waterfall in Iceland

Glymur was once known as the highest or tallest waterfall in entire Iceland until discovering another one, Morsafoss. Still, it is incredibly mesmeric with the canyon’s expansive view and a hiking trip that would pose challenges to avid hikers and nature lovers. Glymur is in Hvalfjordur Fjord , an hour drive from Reykjavik . Almost every hiker dreams of visiting this destination for varying reasons. While it is not the most challenging, it mixes difficulties with the pleasures of sight that make it worth the trip. Once you reach the top, you will witness panoramic scenery like none other. The water comes from Botnsa, which flows from Hvalvatn, known for storing molten lava underwater (160 meters deep). The entire trip will take around four to five hours but the epic canyons and immersive view of green moss, along with one of the highest waterfalls, makes it all worth exploring.

  • Read more about Glymur waterfall. 
  • Find tours that will take you to Glymur waterfall

inside Víðgelmir lava cave in west Iceland

Víðgelmir is known as one of the most extensive caves in the world, formed in the last 1,000 years. For over four decades, almost five, it was not accessible for the people. But now, you can have access to the fascinating lava formations. The cave is quite deep, sitting at least 700 meters. Despite the heart-pounding depth, the entire tour with hiking is quite effortless. Both winter and summer have something unique to offer. It is one of the well-preserved caves. This is the only place you will get various colorful lava formations, not seen in many other caves anymore. Located in Hallmundur, there are many folklores and Icelandic sagas for you to explore throughout the cave’s exploration. Much to anyone’s surprise, it is a family-owned and operated territory. Yet, the seclusion is a perfect treat for anyone intrigued by the caves.

  • Read more about Víðgelmir lava cave.
  • Find tours that will take you to Víðgelmir lava cave
  • Find itineraries that include Víðgelmir lava cave

Glanni waterfall in west Iceland

The mystical waterfall, Glanni , is quite famous in the local folklore as the dwelling place for elves and trolls from Viking Mythology. If you visit it, there is a golf course nearby for those who would love to enjoy the sport in West Iceland. There is also an old Grabrokarhraun lava field. It is one of the ‘rarer’ sights in Iceland, as the wide waterfall with segmented falls. Of course, if you visit the lava fields, you will come across an oasis right in the center. The destination is perfect for self-drive tours to explore without any need for a guide. There are multi-layered tiers in which the waterfall drops. Glanni means ‘brightness’ and has received the name for the elegant white water waves produced from the fall and flow. It is also prevalent for fishing, and you might get to catch salmon or other fishes.

  • Read more about Glanni waterfall. 
  • Find tours that will take you to Glanni waterfall
  • Find itineraries that take you to Glanni waterfall.

Reykholt & Snorralaug

Snorralaug hot spring in west Iceland, Reykholt

Since you’re visiting Iceland, you’d love to bask in its culture, history, folktales, and mythologies. The perfect place for all of this is none other than Reykholt , known as Iceland’s cultural and historical hub. Snorralaug is in Reykholt as the oldest spring used by people in Iceland as a geothermal pool. The village holds a lot of architectural brilliance in churches and even was home to Snorri Sturluson, a highly celebrated author in the 1200s. It is a friendly village with high hospitality. However, it is perfect for people who love to attend historical exhibitions and lectures. You can get guided tours and come across handicrafts of the Icelandic artisans. There are enough books on history and culture if you love these things. In short, Reykholt & Snorralaug is a unique addition on the list as the place you can visit if you want to get accustomed to everything related to Iceland and Vikings . Culture, history, arts, crafts, customs, and much more are there for you to explore.

  • Read more about Snorralaug .
  • Find tours that will take you to Snorralaug
  • Find itineraries that take you to Snorralaug. 

Grábrók Crater

Grábrók volcano in west Iceland

Since you’re in Iceland, the volcanic capital of the world, you might want to explore volcanoes and creators. Here is one of the best options available for you to explore in the heart of West Iceland. Grabrok is one of the three highest craters in Iceland, rising to 170 meters and expanding vastly. Accessible through the foot, it is yet another popular hiking spot for you that offers something unique compared to other selections on the list. It belongs to Ljosufjoll and expands up to Berserkjahraun Laval Field in Snaefellsnes. The crater has been dominant for thousands of years. Grabrok is another self-exploring location on the list, perfect for another unique scenery only Iceland can offer due to volcanic nature. You can reach it conveniently through self-drive and then take the 40 minutes hike. The height is apt to give you a panoramic view of the surrounding. Ergo is one of the lesser-known natural wonders worth exploring in West Iceland.

  • Read more about Grábrók Crater
  • Find tours that will take you to Grábrók

Iceland hot spring, Giljaböð hot springs in the highlands of Iceland from Húsafell

If you’re in Reykjavik and plan to explore Langjokull glacier , Husafell might be another great ‘hub’ to explore for you. The river-crossed valley, Kalda river, lava fields, and abundance of greenery make the place quite charming. It is one of the destinations known for the most pleasant weather year-round. Husafell is one of those locations that combine pleasure with adventure. You can access Ice Caving , Lava Caving , Canyon Baths , and Open-Air Float therapies. These are some of the most prominent selections of activities available. If you want to ride a horse or go fishing, there are several recreational activities for you. Let’s not forget about the iconic Northern lights . That’s right! Husafell might offer you the perfect leisure to admire the brilliance of northern lights at night. You can go camping, hiking, or indulge in almost anything while you’re in Husafell, and that’s what holds the place’s charm.

  • Read more about Húsafell. 
  • Find tours that will take you to Húsafell
  • Find itineraries that take you to Húsafell

Akranes village in west Iceland

Akranes is another popular location that works as a hub or the city with an apt settlement. There is the Museum Area at Gardar, working as the cultural hub for the place. You have a golf course and a playground available for people of all ages. Jadarsbakki is another excellent place for a swim. Overall, there are many activities similar to Husafell. However, there are also many visually stimulating destinations and picturesque locations spreading throughout Iceland. You have Akranes lighthouses, and if you admire the scenery from this astonishing architecture, you will love the lighthouses. There is also a beach nearby. Langisandur is great for all the exotic activities you’d associate with the beach. In the rock garden Langisandur, you will find Gudlaug, a perfect place for a hot bath. If you don’t want to spend too much time in Reykjavik, Husafell, or Borgarnes, Akranes is an ideal scenery change.

  • Read more about Akranes.
  • Find itineraries that take you to Akranes.

The swimming pool in Húsafell in west Iceland

Enchant Your Vacations - Visit West Iceland

You’ll come across an array of enthralling activities when visiting West Iceland. As you explore these locations, you will get an opportunity to try the local brews, authentic Viking sushi, hike into the lava field and travel on the whites of Icelandic snow. That’s not all! If you want to learn about the Viking culture and explore the natural beauty and ancient tales, it has much to offer. The immersive world of West Iceland is genuinely a rare destination. So, pack your bags and don’t forget your warm overalls because this is once in a lifetime trip that will redefine the way you will perceive journeys.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of the year to visit west iceland.

Every season and any month is perfect for visiting West Iceland. Each time you visit, you will find yourself exploring something new, an entirely different West Iceland experience. However:

  • Spring is perfect for hiking , visiting waterfalls, and witnessing the snow melts.
  • Summer is perfect for bird and whale watching , and you can indulge in almost every activity.
  • Autumn is the festive season and a colorful time of the year with unique hues and appearances.
  • Winter is the best time for Northern lights and explores the authentic Viking culture , hike glaciers , and much more.

You can read about the different seasons in Iceland here. 

When Will Iceland Be Cheapest to Visit?

There is no off-season in Iceland, especially Western region. However, April is known as the perfect month to get discounts and appealing bargains. It is somewhat of the off-season and a transition between different weather. So, if you’re on a budget, it is a perfect season to explore.

What Are Some of The Activities You Must Do In West Iceland?

West Iceland is full of almost every activity you could dream of in Iceland. However, you can do many things somewhere else, so don’t forget these:

  • Krauma geothermal baths
  • Víðgelmir lava cave
  • Visit lakes and waterfalls.
  • Canyon hot springs in the highland
  • Snowmobile into the glacier
  • Witness the northern lights if you are visiting during the winter. 

What Are Some Things to Wear and Carry For A West Iceland Tour?

Make sure that you’re carrying sunglasses and other appropriate gear. You will undoubtedly need warm clothes, even in summer. Iceland is full of several ‘wet’ destinations and activities. Thus, you need to be prepared to get wet, and some waterproof or water-resistant materials, clothes, and storage would be the right choice. You might also want to carry enough snacks and munchies to enjoy the trip. But most importantly, try to get some outlets that would work with Icelandic sockets and plugs as they are different from conventional choices available.

See packing lists for your trip to Iceland here. 

Should You Get A Camera or Is A Smartphone Fine?

Smartphones have undergone a considerable upgrade that you can capture a lot of stunning pictures. However, nothing can match the quality and experience of the high-grade camera. West Iceland is full of breathtaking sites. Therefore, a camera would be the only picture-capturing equipment that would do justice to the scenery.

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The Best West Iceland Itinerary & Top Things to do [2024]

The Best West Iceland Itinerary & Top Things to do [2024]

By Gemma Tedaldi | Published: 17th June 2023 | Updated: 7th January 2024

west iceland tourism

When planning a trip to Iceland often visitors stick to Reykjavík and the Golden Circle Route, but why not venture a bit further and include West Iceland in your itinerary?

Only a couple of hours from Reykjavík you can escape the city and get back to nature along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and National Park. With historic fishing villages, dramatic seabird-filled coastlines, and a famous snow-topped mountain or two, West Iceland is the place to go if you want to see a completely different side of Iceland.

📍 West Iceland Itinerary: Borganes, Snæfellsjökull National Park, Arnarstapi, Saxhóll, Ólafsvík & Grundarfjörður 

West Iceland Itinerary Map

  • The Best West Iceland Itinerary
  • Top Things to do in West Iceland Itinerary

West Iceland Itinerary FAQs

Conclusion: the best west iceland itinerary & top things to do.

west iceland tourism

Planning Your Trip? Use our favourite travel resources below:

Accommodation: We recommend Booking.com

Rental Car: We recommend Rentalcars.com

Flights: We recommend Kiwi.com

Tours: We recommend Get Your Guide

West Iceland Itinerary: Day 1

Starting in Reykjavík you want to hit the ring road, Route 1, north to Borganes before bearing west and following Route 54. This road leads you directly into the heart of the West Iceland region along the stunning coastline.

Upon reaching Búðir, bear left through the lava fields following Route 574 all the way into Snæfellsjökull National Park . Be sure to stop at Arnarstapi just before entering the National Park, it is one of the most beautiful places to see nesting seabirds in Iceland.

From Arnarstapi, continue into the Snæfellsjökull National Park and lace up those hiking boots to get exploring! Two walks you must do are the coastal cliffside walk and the walk up to Saxhóll crater through the lava fields.

west iceland tourism

From Snæfellsjökull National Park, continue on Route 574 around the coast before joining back up with Route 54 heading towards Ólafsvík . This small fishing town, with its own waterfall and stunning fish-shaped modern church, is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat, all fresh from the morning’s catch.

From Ólafsvík continue on Route 54 to the final destination in West Iceland, Grundarfjörður. With its famous mountain and wonderful pebble beach, Grundarfjörður is the perfect place to relax and rest your West Iceland filled head, before hitting the road to explore more of what Iceland has to offer.

Rather than ending in Grundarfjörður, you can also head a little further along the coast to stop in Stykkishólmur , another wonderful little town on the north coast of the west Iceland region.

From here you can continue with our North Iceland Itinerary .

Top Things to do in West Iceland

There are many major attractions and less well-known things to see in the West of Iceland, but here are our top places you must visit, see and stay at on a road trip in West Iceland:

There are 3 major towns in the area, Akranes, Borganes and Stykkishólmur each with their own unique setting. However, it’s the small villages and fishing towns that you just can’t miss in the west of Iceland…

1. Explore Arnarstapi

At the base of Mount Stapfell sits the quaint fishing village of Arnarstapi. With a natural harbour brimming with seabirds and incredible cliff formations made from columns of basalt, this tiny village is one you can fully immerse in nature at. If you’re lucky you can even see the rivers and streams running off of the cliffs and straight into the sea! Arnarstapi is also a great place to stop for a refuel on coffee and cake before heading into the Snæfellsnes National Park.

arnastapi sea cliffs in West Iceland

2. Visit Ólafsvík

Further along, the coast on the northern side of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula lies the small, but wonderfully colourful, fishing town of Ólafsvík. As well as the beautiful natural world that surrounds the town, in particular, Snæfellsjökull and the towns very own waterfall Bæjarfoss, Ólafsvík has a wonderful modern church Ólafsvíkurkirkja that brings charm to the town. Made entirely from triangles, from north to south it resembles a fishing boat, from above a salted cod!

olafsvik town in West Iceland

3. Stay in Grundarfjörður

Grundarfjörður is a small town situated between the mountains of Snæfellsnes and the sea. It may not be well known itself but with the famous Kirkjufell overlooking the town, you will more than likely have seen it on a postcard or two! From Grundarfjörður beach you can sit and marvel at Kirkjufell watching the sun go down surrounded by the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, what better way to watch a sunset? With a quaint church, (something you see a lot of in Iceland!), harbour and of course the beach, Grundarfjörður is well worth a visit.

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West Iceland isn’t just towns and villages however, there are some pretty impressive attractions to see too. The west is one of the most geologically diverse areas in the country from the glacier-topped mountains to the waterfalls falling into the sea,

4. Explore Snæfellsnes National Park

Just a couple of hours out of Reykjavík, off Route 1 and on to Route 54, you can escape to the countryside and get back to nature along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and National Park. From the mountain tops to the seashore, Snæfellsnes National Park is full of surprises. One moment you are driving through vast flat landscape intertwined with streams of glacier runoff, before turning a corner where expansive mountains burst out of the land.

snaefellsjokulll national park in West Iceland

5. Climb to Saxhóll crater

Once in the National Park, there is nothing better than sitting back and enjoying the views. Snæfellsjökull, the glacier and active volcano at the heart of the park, can be seen from every angle possible and is made more breathtaking with each step you take. To get a great viewpoint over the most western edges of the park, (and Iceland!), you can climb up the side of Saxhóll, a 100-meter high volcanic crater that seems to have risen through the moss-covered lava fields just to show its guests what Iceland is all about.

saxholl crater walk in West Iceland

6. Visit Kirkjufell & Kirkjufellsfoss

On the drive into the next town along the peninsula, Grundarfjörður, the famous Kirkjufell rises out of the ocean. Well known for appearing in films and TV shows, Kirkjufell or ‘Church Mountain’, is a sight to behold, and often called the most beautiful mountain in Iceland. There is a parking area near the bottom of Kirkjufell which gives you access to look upon the mountain in awe as well as walk around Kirkjufellfoss, a tiered waterfall overlooking Kirkjufell.

kirkjufell from grundarfjordur in West Iceland

Iceland Ring Road Tour – How to spend 7 days exploring Iceland’s ring road and beyond

Where to stay for your west iceland itinerary.

With 6 HI Hostels in West Iceland, there are many places for you to stay. We stayed at Grundarfjörður HI Hostel, located just a short walk into the main town, and with 2 buildings to pick from, a bright red one and a green one.

If you want to book any of these hostels head to Hostelworld   for the best rates.

Grundarfjörður HI Hostel – The hostel in legendary landscapes

Situated on Route 54

Open 15th January – 15th December

81 beds in dorms and private rooms

Parking just up the road

Multiple buildings to stay in – we stayed in the green one!

Washing machine access

Fancy extending your trip to East Iceland and visiting some of the other regions to see what they have to offer? Check out our posts on North Iceland , South Iceland , and East Iceland .

Is West Iceland worth visiting?

At only 2.5 hour’s drive from Reykjavík to the Snæfellsnes National Park, west Iceland is not only very much worth visiting but actually really accessible too. With beautiful sea cliffs, famous volcanoes, and a sea bird or two this region of Iceland is one of the prettiest and yet most overlooked by tourists.

When is the best time to visit West Iceland?

We visited in the spring and it was perfect. Lovely and quiet, no tourists around and still the chance to peak a glimpse at the Northern Lights. That being said West Iceland is a great place to visit throughout the year depending on what you want from your trip.

west iceland tourism

What is West Iceland known for?

West Iceland, like most of Iceland, is known for its dramatic landscapes , endless fjords and incredible waterfalls. More recently it has become more well-known thanks to locations such as Grundarfjörður being used in filming well-known TV shows.

How to get to West Iceland

The main bulk of the region of West Iceland is very easy to get to from Reykjavik following the Route 1 Iceland Ring Road north out of the city. From there when you reach Borganes head west following Route 54.

How to get around West Iceland

We cover this much more in our 7 days exploring Iceland’s Ring Road post, but the best way by far to get around, especially if you are not planning on staying in Reykjavík, is by renting a car and driving. It allows you the freedom to stop where you like and literally take the road less travelled! In West Iceland, the roads are well maintained and equally well signposted so driving is a dream compared to some roads in the north…

Renting a car in West Iceland

Assuming, as per the above, you are driving to West Iceland then be sure to check out Rentalcars.com for the best vehicle rental deals for your trip.

Where to eat in West Iceland

When in Iceland, there is no shortage of fresh seafood to try, in particular, the catch of the day, but in the west of Iceland, we had the most stunning lamb too! Be sure to stop by these places and try what they have to offer:

📍 Snofells Restaurant and Bar in Arnastapi for a cuppa and delicious cookie for the road.

📍 Hrauvn in Ólafsvík for fresh locally caught fish & chips and a hot chocolate to die for.

📍 Bjargarsteinn in Grundarfjörður for the most amazing smoked award-winning lamb, (it comes out in a jar filled with smoke!).

📍 Cafe Nú in Stykkishólmur for coffee and wonderful slices of homemade cake.

What is the capital of West Iceland?

The capital of the West Iceland region is the town of Akranes roughly 50km north of Reykjavik.

What is the biggest city in West Iceland?

There aren’t any cities in West Iceland, other than Reykjavik . The largest town in West Iceland is Akranes.

West Iceland Tours

You can easily do day trips from Reykjavik to West Iceland, check out some of the best on Get Your Guide here:

Hopefully, that’s given you a bit of a taste for the places you must visit when in West Iceland, from the famous mountains to the lava field hikes and a bit of wildlife watching in between. Be sure to check out our other Iceland posts for even more tips and suggestions.

Planning your own trip to West Iceland? Make sure you check out our Travelling Tedaldi Amazon Store Travel Guides for all your guidebooks and maps. (We’ve done the hard work for you and linked all the things we used to plan our trip!)

ICELAND W

Gemma is the owner and author of The Travelling Tedaldi, a travel blog helping travellers to discover the best road trips and travel itineraries throughout the UK and Europe. When she isn’t writing about her favourite travel destinations, she can often be found out exploring local hikes or planning future trips.

Nichole the Nomad

14 West Iceland Attractions: The Best Things to Do in West Iceland

If you want to visit Iceland, you have to visit the beautiful attractions in west Iceland. The west coast of Iceland has some of the most beautiful things to do that should be on every bucket list. West Iceland has waterfalls, mountains, lakes, hot springs, and beaches, so it has something for everyone.

It is also easy to visit because it is near the airport and Reykjavik. You can either stay in Reykjavik the entire trip or find multiple accommodations as you travel throughout west Iceland. The west Iceland attractions will not disappoint, I promise! This guide has everything you need to know about the best west Iceland attractions!

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, my blog may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

The Best West Iceland Attractions

**Always remember to leave no trace . It’s crucial to pack out what you pack in and leave no trash. Some of these spots have trash bins, so you can easily throw your trash away. If they don’t have trash bins, you can throw your trash away at a nearby gas station or convenience store.

Kleifarvatn Lake

Kleifarvatn Lake is the largest lake on the Reykjanes Peninsula in West Iceland and is 318 feet deep. An earthquake in 2000 created a fissure in the middle of the lake and drained most of the water, but over the years it refilled back to its original state.

Kleifarvatn Lake is often overlooked, but I promise you will fall in love with this west Iceland attraction! The stunning lake is easy to get to and surrounded by beautiful mountains. You can spend your time enjoying the lake, hiking, or seeing the Northern Lights. Because there is not much light pollution near Kleifarvatn Lake, it’s the perfect place to see the Northern Lights!

Kleifarvatn Lake in west iceland

Þórsmörk (Thorsmork)

Þórsmörk is a valley and mountain range between three glaciers, Tindfjallajokull, Myrdalsjokull, and Eyjafjallajokull. There is so much to do in Þórsmörk, and you could spend anywhere from a day to a week exploring this beautiful west Iceland attraction.

Do you want to hike? There are many trails. Do you want to go on a glacier tour? You can book one. Do you want to walk around and take pictures of Iceland’s beautiful lands? You are in the right place! Oh, and you want to see some beautiful waterfalls on your way there? There are plenty!

The easiest way to get into Þórsmörk is by mountain bus. The F road leading to Thorsmork is incredibly bumpy and difficult to drive with deep river crossings. I highly recommend booking a ticket on a special mountain bus that can easily take you into and out of Þórsmörk.

Hiking is one of the best ways to explore everything Þórsmörk offers, and you have many hikes to choose from for all levels. Wether you want to hike a short trail or one of the longest trails in Iceland, Þórsmörk has a trail for you! Below are a few of the best hikes in these highlands.

Valahnukur  -  1.5 miles round trip

Langidalur - Valahukur Loop  -  2.7 miles round trip

Thorsmork Loop  -  6.2 miles round trip

Básar - Móði Loop  -  9.5 miles round trip

If you want long or multi-day hikes, do not worry! Þórsmörk has those for you, too! Laugavegur is a 34-mile trek that brings you to Landmannalaugar (I talk about Landmannalaugar later in this post). Fimmvörðuháls is a beautiful, but strenuous, 16-mile hike , bringing you past Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull as well as 26 waterfalls. Both are not for the faint of hearts but well worth the journey if you are up to it!

No matter how you decide to explore Þórsmörk, it will quickly become one of your favorite places in West Iceland!

Þórsmörk (Thorsmork) in west iceland

Háifoss is the fourth tallest waterfall in Iceland, measuring 400 feet tall, and is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in west Iceland . The drive to Háifoss is on an F road, and it can be relentless, with parts of it having some large rocks.

My advice: take it slow. The 4.6 miles on this road may seem like it will never end, but I promise it will! And your reward: a breathtaking waterfall. In my opinion, Háifoss is the most beautiful attraction in west Iceland.

The best part about this spot is your position to Háifoss. The viewpoint is on the cliff opposite Háifoss, so the view is incredible. You also have the chance to hike to the bottom of the waterfall ! Surprisingly, there aren’t many people who drive here, so you are likely to enjoy it without the crowds.

If you want to avoid driving on the F road, you can still hike to the bottom of the waterfalls! The hike begins in Stong and is about 6 miles , following the river upstream until you get to the waterfall.

Háifoss in west iceland

Landmannalaugar

Landmannalaugar, also known as the People’s Pool, is a beautiful place in west Iceland with multi-colored mountains, lava fields, and volcanoes! It is a popular area for a day-hike or multi-day hiking and offers beautiful, natural hot springs (hence the name “People’s Pool”).

Landmannalaugar, however, is difficult to get to because many of the F roads leading to it require river crossings. If you are too nervous to cross any rivers like we were, you are in luck! Taking F208 from the north will lead you in without any river crossings. And it will lead you to a camping site with a beautiful hot spring. However, the road is very long and bumpy, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get into this magical place.

If you want to do a multi-day hike, I suggest the Laugavegur trek, which is 34 miles and brings you to Þórsmörk. The entire hike is breathtaking! If you don’t want to do a multi-day hike, have no fear, there are plenty of hikes for you! Mt Bláhnjúkur, also known as Blue Peak, is a 4-mile, relatively easy loop and gives you amazing views of the Laugahraun Lava field and multi-colored mountains. Another fun hike is the Sulphur Wave Trail, which loops through the Laugahraun Lava field.

Although the drive is long and difficult, you will not regret visiting this beautiful west Iceland attraction!

Landmannalaugar in west iceland

Fjaðrárgljúfur

Fjaðrárgljúfur is by far one of the most beautiful attractions in west Iceland. It is a gorgeous canyon about 330 feet deep and over a mile long. The area was created many moons ago by the erosion of glacier water. Fjaðrárgljúfur is easy to find because it is about 2 miles off of the Ring Road.

This is a popular place, so you will know you made it once you see the influx of cars. The area has a few hiking paths that take you around Fjaðrárgljúfur, offering views of the canyon and nearby waterfalls. You will fall in love with Fjaðrárgljúfur as soon as you lay your eyes on it!

Fjaðrárgljúfur in west iceland

Reynisfjara

Reynisfjara is the infamous black sand beach near Vík and should be on every west Iceland itinerary. The sand on Reynisfjara is from eroded volcanic rock, which gives it a black color, and it is beautiful!

There is a lot to see here, so get your cameras ready! You have the Reynisdrangar sea stacks, the Hálsanefshellir sea cave, and the Gardar cliff. BUT before you begin exploring, take note of the ocean. The waves can be unpredictable on the beach. People have been taken out to sea for not paying attention.

There is also a cliff nearby where Dyrhólaey Lighthouse is located. It is a short drive to the top of the cliff, where you can see the beach for miles. You can also see Dyrholaey Arch from here! Once you take in the beautiful views of the black sand beach, turn around, and take in the view of the multi-colored mountains and glaciers! You can see Myrdalsjokull and Eyjafjallajokull from here. The entire area near Reynisfjara is stunning!

Reynisfjara in west iceland

Glymur is the second tallest waterfall in Iceland, standing at 643 feet, and is one of the best waterfalls in west Iceland. You have to work to get to this waterfall, but the 5 miles round trip hike is really fun!

The trail travels through a cave, up steep inclines, and crosses two rivers. Once you get to the Glymur viewpoint, you can experience the beauty of the waterfall and the views overlooking the valley. The hike to Glymur will quickly become one of your favorite things to do in West Iceland!

glymur in west iceland

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss is a beautiful 200-foot waterfall you probably have seen because it is the iconic waterfall you can walk behind! The trail to walk behind Seljalandsfoss is easy, but make sure to bring a raincoat because you will get soaked! If you cannot hike behind the waterfall, you can enjoy the stunning views from the parking lot. 

One of the best parts about Seljalandsfoss is it doesn’t require driving on any F roads. It is easy to get to, which makes it a popular area. I recommend visiting Seljalandsfoss early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid most crowds!

west iceland tourism

Not too far past Seljalandsfoss on the Ring Road is another famous waterfall in west Iceland, Skógafoss. It is just as tall as Seljalandsfoss but is 82 feet wide, so it is a powerful waterfall. Similar to Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss is right off the Ring Road, so it usually has crowds.

You can enjoy the views of Skógafoss from the bottom of the falls or on the side of it. There are about 530 steep steps to get to the top, but it is worth it for the views! You will fall in love with Skógafoss, no matter how you decide to experience it! 

skogafoss in west iceland

Gullfoss is an iconic waterfall in west Iceland located on the Hvítá River, fed by the second-largest glacier in Iceland, Langjökull. Gullfoss is easily accessible off of the Ring Road near the Great Geysir, so the area is usually busy. The waterfall cascades down in two sections, one 36 feet high and the other 69 feet high, into a 1.6-mile long canyon. It is the largest volume falls in Europe, so it is incredibly powerful!

Gullfoss in Icelandic means “Golden Waterfall”. Because the water is glacier-fed, it carries sediments, giving the water a golden color on a sunny day. You can also see thousands of rainbows on a sunny day! You can get up close and personal to this beautiful waterfall by following a path from the parking lot that brings you alongside it.

gullfoss in west iceland

Kerid Crater Lake

Kerid Crater Lake is a volcanic crater with a lake in the middle, and it is beautiful! It is one of the few things you have to pay for (not including tours) in this 7-day Iceland itinerary. The small entrance fee goes to help them keep the place beautiful and preserved, so in my opinion, it is worth it. You can hike around the lake or the rim of Kerid Crater.

kerid crate in west iceland

Sólheimajökull

Sólheimajökull is one of the smaller glaciers in Iceland but doesn’t lack beauty. The road to the glacier is relatively easy compared to other roads to attractions in West Iceland, and once you are parked, it is a small hike to the glacier viewpoint. There is also a glacier walk that takes 3 hours , and the guide brings you all over the glacier. It’s an incredible way to explore the glacier and get an up-close and personal experience with it!

Sólheimajökull in west iceland

Not all of the waterfalls in Iceland have to be big to be beautiful, and Bruarfoss is a perfect example of that. Because it is glacier-fed and multiple streams are converging into a deep crevice in one place, the water takes on a bright blue color. And yes, the water is that blue!

The path to Bruarfoss is difficult to follow at first but becomes easier as you travel on it longer. Once you get to the end of the trail, there is a bridge overlooking Bruarfoss, where you can enjoy the beautiful views. 

Because Bruarfoss is difficult to find, and the parking lot is small, it can be very peaceful here. It’s a nice change of pace being away from the crowds that gather at most of the other waterfalls in West Iceland!

bruarfoss in west iceland

If you have ever seen an advertisement for Iceland, you have seen Kirkjufell. It is an iconic mountain in west Iceland and is also one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland because of its isolated position by the sea. It has a small and beautiful waterfall named Kirkjufellafoss, and both are on the Snæfellsness peninsular in the northwestern part of Iceland.

There is a small parking lot near Kirkjufellafoss that is always crowded. Many people want the iconic picture of the waterfall and Kurkjufell, especially during sunset, so be prepared. I highly recommend visiting during sunset, though, because the area is stunning in golden light. You won’t be the only person there, but it’s worth it, I promise!

kirkjufell in west iceland

What to Pack for West Iceland

Hiking Gear

Hiking Boots : If you want comfort and durability on your trip, hiking boots are the go-to. I love the Merrell Moabs because they are comfortable and lightweight!

Hiking Socks : Socks are just as important for comfort while exploring. My favorite hiking socks are the Darn Tough Hiking Socks .

Hiking Backpack : I always pack a hiking backpack for getaways, so I can pack food, clothes, and anything else I need while adventuring. My go-to is the Deuter 28L Backpack .

Hydration Reservoir/Water Bottles : While hiking or just exploring, it is important to have enough water! I always pack a hydration reservoir .

Jackets : The weather is unpredictable, so I always pack a rain jacket and insulated jacket. My favorite puffy is the Patagonia Down Sweater .

Camping Gear

Tent : If you are camping, it is important to have gear that will be reliable and comfortable. My favorite tent is the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 .

Sleeping Bag : A good sleeping bag will be everything you need and more! My favorite sleeping set is the NEMO Disco 15 Sleeping Bag , NEMO Tensor Sleeping Pad , and Sea To Summit Aeros Premium Pillow . The combination provides the best night’s sleep.

Cooking System : When a campsite does not provide a grill, it is important to bring your own cooking system. My go-to is the Jetboil Zip Cooking System because it is efficient, small, and lightweight. I also never camp without my Snow Peak Titanium Spork .

Camping Food : You want to make sure your food is filling and has the nutrients to fuel your adventures. My go-to food is from Good To-Go .

Other Items

  • Sandals : After a long hike, it is great to take off your hiking boots and slip on comfy sandals. My go-to sandals for comfort and durability are the Birkenstock Mayari Sandal .

If you are looking for the best things to do in West Iceland, this guide is perfect for you! It has everything you need to know about the best West Iceland attractions that you should add to your itinerary.

nichole the nomad - travel guides - hiking guides

Hey, I’m Nichole!

I am the creator behind Nichole the Nomad , the home of my explorations around the world, mountain hikes, and beautiful pictures taken along the way. I have a deep passion for capturing the world in a beautiful light and sharing my experiences.

I created this blog to share my travels, show how beautiful the world is, provide tips and tricks for traveling, and encourage you to explore. Whether you want to travel across the world or explore what’s in your backyard, I hope this blog inspires you to get outside and find your adventure!

More Iceland Travel Inspiration!

Reykjavik to Vik: The Best South Iceland Itinerary

The Ultimate 7-Day Road Trip Through Iceland

Beautiful Waterfalls in South Iceland

Things to Know Before You Go to Iceland

Tips and Tricks for Your Trip to Iceland

Overrated and Underrated Sights in Iceland

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20 places to see in West Iceland

Grábrók is one of the best known mountain in West Iceland, even though it's very small. Photo: Mats Vibe Lund - mats.is

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There are so many different things to see and do in West Iceland. With interesting historical places, diverse nature with beautiful waterfalls, lava fields, glaciers and high mountains, you could easily stay there for your whole vacation and never get bored.

Here's a list of our top 20 places to visit in West Iceland:

1. Erpsstaðir dairy farm

Erpsstaðir is a farm that produces a variety of goods from their own product. There you can stop by and buy ice cream, cheese, skyr and even skyr candy.

The farmers at Erpsstaðir produce a number of dairy products. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Golli / Kjartan Þorbjörnsson

2. Eiríksstaðir living museum

Step back into the Viking era in the birthplace of the first Viking to sail to America over 1000 years ago.

3. Hike up Grábrók

Grábrók is a 170 m high crater, mostly covered in moss. It erupted around 3400 years ago. There is a nice walking path up the crater and around it, not to steep or long which makes it a nice break when driving through the area.

Grábrók is an old crater surrounded by lava that flowed from it 3400 years ago. Photo: Mats Vibe Lund - mats.is

4. Glanni waterfall

In the middle of an old lava field up in Borgarfjörður there’s a sign that says “Glanni”, which leads to a parking lot. This is close to Bifröst University, what seems like a small village 31 km north of Borgarnes. After a few minute hike on a path from the parking lot you get to a beautiful waterfall, surrounded by small, crooked birch trees. If you look closely you might see salmon jumping up the waterfall in summer, as the river is one of the most prestigious salmon rivers in West Iceland. A few minute walk in the other direction will get you to the peaceful Paradísarlaut (Paradise Hollow) .

Glanni is only a few minute hike from the parking lot. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Sigurður Bogi Sævarsson

5. Visit Icelandic goats at Háafell

Háafell is one of the homes of the Icelandic goat. As the goat is not a popular farm animal there are very few left of it. Visitors can meet the goats and other animals in the farm, there is also a store which sells produce and products from the farm.

The Icelandic goat was for a while on the brink of extinction. Farmers at Háafell have done wonders to increase the population. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Sigríður Kristinsdóttir

6. Húsafell

Húsafell is known for great weather and has been a popular destination for Icelanders on summer holidays for decades. In summer, the highest temperatures are often recorded at Húsafell, sheltered from winds by mountains and Langjökull glacier looming over.

There is a pool, a small shop, and a beautiful four star hotel with a great restaurant called Hótel Húsafell, and there are a number of hiking paths of different difficulties to explore the area.

Hótel Húsafell Photo: Iceland Monitor/Þórður Kristleifsson

7. Víðgelmir lava cave

The lava cave was formed just over 1000 years ago. It was closed off for a long time, which means all the beautiful lava formations are untouched and unspoilt. In the tour you hike just under 700 m inside the cave, on a platform to protect it. The hike is easy and the tour is family friendly. Surrounding you are a stunning area of colours, different lava formations (some of which look like melting chocolate), and if you come in winter, ice formations. It’s truly an amazing experience, Víðgelmir is a cave like no other.

8. Visit an ice cave

9. reykholt.

Reykholt is a small village, or almost that. There is a church, a hotel and a geothermal pool named after Snorri Sturluson, Iceland most famous poet and writer in the 13 th century. He wrote both Heimskringla and Snorra Edda. There you can find Snorrastofa a cultural - and medieval centre, founded in his memory. Snorrastofa manages various research projects and provides reception and information for travelers, historical exhibitions, guided tours and lectures. Books on history and culture, Icelandic handicraft and souvenirs are available in the shop.

Reykholt was the home of Snorri Sturluson. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Árni Sæberg

10. Deildartunguhver

The most powerful hot spring in Europe is located just by the road. The water of Deildartunguhver hot spring pumps up 180 litres per second of literally boiling hot water. It has been used by locals for centuries to cook their food and clean, and recently to warm up the houses in the area and surrounding towns. Even though the water is harvested so much, you can stop by and see much of it bubbling and streaming out. The only problem is that if you want to take pictures of it, there is quite a lot of steam!

Deildartunguhver is the most powerful hot spring in Iceland. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Eggert Jóhannesson

11. Natural geothermal baths

Not all the geothermal water in West Iceland is scolding hot when it reaches the surface. Some are the perfect temperature for bathing , summer or winter. The facilities differ, some are spa like while others are more natural. If you want a more family friendly soak, there are plenty of swimming pools in the area.

The water in Krosslaug is a steady 40°C Photo: Iceland Monitor/Sigríður Kristinsdóttir

12. Selfie with a horse at Sturlu Reykir

For a quick stop for Icelandic horses, stop by at Sturlu Reykir, which will open this summer. The local horse farmers have opened the farm for visits, where you can meet some of their horses, pet them and take pictures.

Icelandic horses are rather small, and very fluffy in winter. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Eggert Jóhannesson

13. Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls

In this local’s humble opinion, Hraunfossar is one of the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland. It’s not great or powerful, but it’s unique and absolutely beautiful. It doesn’t come from a visible stream or a river, it comes from under the lava field and falls down into Hvítá river. It’s surrounded by green vegetation that turns into a spectacular yellow-red-green painting in autumn.

Hraunfossar spring out from underneath a lava field. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Arnaldur Halldórsson

A two minutes hike or so North of Hraunfossar there’s Barnafoss. A very different sort of waterfall. Barnafoss is in Hvítá itself, which is a milky white and relatively big glacier river. The waterfall is loud and powerful, and hammers on the rocks of the canyon it runs through. The name, Barnafoss (English: children’s waterfall), refers to a folktale. Two children were walking over a stone arch over the waterfall, which serviced as a bridge in those days. They fell into the river and drowned. Their mother was so furious that she had the arch broken down.

Barnafoss is only a two minute walk or so from Hraunfossar Photo: Iceland Monitor/Arnaldur Halldórsson

13. Snæfellsnes peninsula

Snæfellsnes Peninsula is offers so many things to see and to, long stretches of black beaches, tall glacier and volcano, amazing rock formations, charming small fishing towns and beautiful mountains and mountain passes. You can easily spend days there, or check out the highlights in a self-drive day tour from Reykjavik.

Snæfellsnes is known for many things, like beautiful rock formations. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Rax / Ragnar Axelsson

Self drive winter day tour to Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Article on Iceland Monitor

Self drive winter day tour to snæfellsnes peninsula, 14. go sailing.

There are many islands, skerries and stacks on the coast of West Iceland. Together they form a beautiful scenery and sailing around them is a lovely experience. You can take the ferry to Flatey Island, where there’s a guesthouse and a small village during the summer, or go sailing and even fishing or catching scallops with local tour operators.

Breiðafjörður is a great fjord dotted with number of islands Photo: Iceland Monitor/Guðmundur Rúnar Guðmundsson

15. Ljómalind Farmers Market

Borgarfjörður is an agricultural area, there are plenty of farms with diverse animals and crops. There are even those who specialize in working with Icelandic wool. At Ljómalind Farmers Market you can discover all these things in one place, and buy a snack for the road or a souvenir to take back home.

At Ljómalind you can buy local produce and handcraft. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Guðrún Vala

16. A taste and tour of the local brew

Steðji is a family owned brewery in the heart of Borgarfjörður, west Iceland. It’s a brewery not afraid to test the limits, and are perhaps most famous for their beer brewed with whale testicles. They offer tours around their brewery and tastings.

Steðji is a young brewery, but has produced a great variety of beers in only few years. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Guðrún Vala Elísdóttir

17. Hvanneyri

Hvanneyri is best known for being the home of The Agricultural University of Iceland. That’s not all though. There you can visit the Agricultural Museum of Iceland and Ullarselið Wool Centre. It’s a store set up by locals interested in new and old ways to use and process wool, with varied hand-made items for sale.

Hvanneyri Photo: Iceland Monitor/Árni Sæberg

18. Visit a museum

There are a number of museums in the area, with different focus on different things. You can explore everything from the Icelandic sagas, to volcanoes, art, war and more recent heritage. Here you can see a list of the museums in the area .

Akranes Photo: Iceland Monitor/Árni Sæberg

19. Akranes

Dip your toes into the sea at Langisandur beach by Akranes on warm summer day. There are two lighthouses not far off, and the larger one is open for a visits. The lighthouses and the scenery is amazing and has inspired many photographers. If you have time, a visit to Akranes Folk Museum is definitely worth the trip.

Kids like getting their feet wet in Langisandur on a warm summer day. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Golli / Kjartan Þorbjörnsson

20. Hvalfjörður

Hvalfjörður is a fjord just north of Reykjavík. There is very little traffic there as the nr.1 ring road lies through a tunnel under it. Technically half of it belongs to South Iceland and half of it to West Iceland, but let’s not focus on the small things! The nature in Hvalfjörður is nothing short of beautiful, with streams, rivers, and Glymur waterfall, considered by many one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, falling down a narrow ravine from a great height. The USA army settled in Hvalfjörður and much of the buildings and remains are still there, scattered about. There is also an old whaling station there, the only one in use after whaling was allowed again in 2009.

The hike up to Glymur is easy. Photo: Iceland Monitor/Brynjar Gauti

  • West Iceland

west iceland tourism

Live footage: The lava going over the hot water pipe

The lava is mostly flowing in one channel.

Video: Lava flowing at a scary speed

west iceland tourism

The Njarðvík pipe has burst

The eruption seen from the Keflavík International Airport.

Keflavík Airport without hot water

Removing the artificial turf was in process yesteray to get an idea of the magnamity of the fissure underneath.

Pictures: Discovered a deep fissure beneath the artificial turf

Travelers at Keflavík Airport got a good view of the eruption yesterday morning.

International flights on schedule

west iceland tourism

Live feed from the eruption

West Iceland

image

The west of Iceland is an enormous area characterized by fjords, valleys, volcanoes and craters. The most famous attraction in the west is undoubtedly the Snaefellsnes peninsula that is home to the mighty Snaefellsjokull glacier as well as mt. Kirkjufell, also known as the arrowhead mountain from Game of Thrones. The western part of Iceland is also where many of the most famous Icelandic Viking sagas took place.

west iceland tourism

How to get to West Iceland?

The western part of Iceland is easily accessible from Reykjavik through a six-kilometer (4 mi) tunnel under Hvalfjordur fjord. Moreover, the west of  Iceland is a showcase of lava formations, geothermal activity, and history. Woodlands and waterfalls are frequent sights, and there are pristine lakes and rivers for fishing.

However, if you are looking to go exploring or simply to take the longer yet scenic route you can skip the tunnel and drive for an extra hour into hvalfjörður bay. There you will find the mesmerizing Glymur waterfall and a surprisingly big birch forest. 

After the Hvalfjord tunnel, you have Akranes, the biggest town in the West on the left but if you continue to follow Ring Road one you will see Borgarnes, the second largest town.  There you have the option of a right turn into Borgarfjörður bay or continuing through Borgarnes and onwards left onto Snæfellsnes peninsula. Both options are truly amazing! 

West Iceland attractions

  • Deildartunguhver Hot Spring
  • Krauma Geothermal Bath
  • Reykholt and Snorrastofa
  • Vatnshellir Cave
  • Gerðuberg Basalt Columns 
  • Budir Black Church
  • Arnarstapi and Hellnar
  • Kirkjufell mountain
  • Djúpalónssandur pebble beach
  • Snæfellsjökull Volcano and Glacier 

Husafell stands in the middle of a lava field and its birch trees blossom in summer and show the most fantastic fall colors in September and October. There you can be picked up for the into the glacier ice cave tour or stay at the luxurious Hotel Husafell.

Into the Glacier

Deildartunguhver is the most powerful hot spring in Europe and its water is harvested for the neighboring Krauma geothermal baths . Where incredible Scandinavian architecture meets natural energy. 

Reykholt and Snorrastofa is the place to visit for the history buffs but the Gerðuberg basalt cliffs for those interested in the geology of Iceland. However, if you are looking for something more adventurous a trip to Vatnshellir lava cave could be just your thing! 

Snaefellsnes Peninsula Attractions

On the Snaefellsnes peninsula, you have amazing works of nature adorn the landscape, culminating in the glittering glacial cap of Snaefellsjokull, atop a crater which provided Jules Verne with the setting for his novel ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth.’

Snaefellsnes peninsula

The shore abounds in bizarre rock formations and birdlife, and a number of towns snuggle in bays along the north coast. From the largest town, Stykkisholmur, travelers can take cruises or a ferry across Breidafjordur bay with its countless islands. The ferry calls at Flatey island with period piece houses that testify to its old status as a major cultural center.

arnarstapi

The cliffs between the tiny villages of Hellnar and Arnarstapi are a must-see. Likewise the black sandy pebble beach of Djupalonssandur. Here in Snaefellsnes, more particularly in Grundarfjordur village, also stands the most photographed mountain in the country, Kirkjufell.

Kirkjufell

Find out more about the best attractions at the bottom of the page.

The Waterfalls of West Iceland

  • Hraunfossar 
  • Kirkjufellsfoss
  • Grundarfoss

The Lava Falls

Hraunfoss Falls

Saga and heritage

Lovers of Iceland’s rich literary heritage will find plenty to their liking in this area where some of the most dramatic events of the Sagas took place. Names of farms, villages and towns conjure up the presence of historical characters such as the warrior-poet Egill Skallagrimsson and renowned scholar Snorri Sturluson. Moreover, Icelanders are extremely proud of this heritage and have made sure to keep these places intact.  

For more detailed information about attractions, villages and activities in west Iceland be sure to go through our destination guide.

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West Iceland Tours & Trips 2024/2025

Experience being truly remote at the top of the world in Western Iceland. Don your hiking boots for a getaway in Kirkjufell, reach the snow-capped summit of the Snæfellsjökull stratovolcano, or play hide-and-seek with  arctic foxes  in Hornstrandir. Whether you're stopping by the Westfjords on a Ring Road adventure or creating your very own Iceland vacation, a package would not be complete without the wonders of the west.

44 West Iceland tour packages with 7 reviews

Three Days in Iceland: Reykjavik & Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour

  • Hiking & Trekking

Three Days in Iceland: Reykjavik & Snæfellsnes Peninsula

12 Days Self-drive | Everything your must see in Iceland Ring Road Tour Tour

  • Christmas & New Year

12 Days Self-drive | Everything your must see in Iceland Ring Road Tour

"I was extremely happy with the responsiveness of the tour company and Lyn in particular. Essentially, the company was available to assist literally late into the eve. Provided you take the 12-day itinerary as suggestions of places to see vice a checklist to accomplish, you will not be disappointed. Several of the overnight accommodations were not up to my standards but none were bad. I would happily recommend this tour and give it my stamp of approval by saying I wish it was two days longer!4"

Hornstrandir Traverse Tour

Hornstrandir Traverse

"The views were amazing, right from the dock in Isafjordur to the dropoff in Horn, and then the hikes. We were not able to do the hike on the second day because of bad weather but took a stroll instead. We were happy that we booked with Borea because the tents were excellent and we had a dry place to get together for meals."

Iceland including the Blue Lagoon (6 Days) Tour

  • In-depth Cultural
  • Coach / Bus
  • Sightseeing

Iceland including the Blue Lagoon (6 Days)

Customized Private Iceland Tour with Golden Circle Tour

Customized Private Iceland Tour with Golden Circle

  • Book With Flexibility This operator allows you to rebook your dates or tours with them for free, waiving change fees.

Westfjords of Iceland - 8 days Tour

Westfjords of Iceland - 8 days

Iceland in 6 Days Tour

Iceland in 6 Days

Iceland in 4 Days Tour

Iceland in 4 Days

8 Days Westfjords of Iceland Tour

8 Days Westfjords of Iceland

The Heart of Greenland | Disko Bay Tour

The Heart of Greenland | Disko Bay

The Land of Elves, Sagas & Volcanoes | Circumnavigating Iceland: Itinerary 2 Tour

The Land of Elves, Sagas & Volcanoes | Circumnavigating Iceland: Itinerary 2

Wild Camp Discovery Tour

  • Active Adventure

Wild Camp Discovery

Iceland New Years Festival - 5 days Tour

  • Festival & Events
  • Northern Lights

Iceland New Years Festival - 5 days

East Greenland and Iceland Northern Lights Tour

East Greenland and Iceland Northern Lights

7 Days Northern Lights Secrets - Westfjords Tour

7 Days Northern Lights Secrets - Westfjords

Reviews of west iceland tours.

Our time with Arctic Adventures was great. We learned a lot and saw such beautiful landscapes. There was some stress related to not knowing where we were going to stay prior to our departure… it wasn’t until we had landed in Reykjavik that we knew which hotel to go to. I wish airport transfers were included as it would have been less to worry about. All in all, it was a memorable trip.
Excellent itinerary, great hotels, easy to read maps with lots of good information. Iceland is unique and beautiful, full of contrasts, wildlife and natural beauty.

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woman sitting in remote hot spring in the Westfjords Iceland

5 Things To Know Before Visiting The Westfjords Iceland

July 5, 2021 //  by  Iceland Trippers //   19 Comments

If you are planning on visiting Westfjords Iceland , you have come to the right place! Iceland’s Westfjords are a stunning and remote part of Iceland and should certainly be on your bucket list.

While the rest of Iceland is crawling with millions of tourists a year, the Westfjords in Iceland is much less visited. This is part of the charm and you can drive for hours and barely see another car or person! There are even parts of the Westfjords that you cannot even drive to and some that are inaccessible unless you trek or take a boat!

Iceland’s Westfjords are charming and rural and make a wonderful break from the fast-paced nature and crowds in other parts of the country. If you choose to visit, we strongly urge you to treat them with respect so that they are not trashed like other parts of Iceland. Together, we can keep the beauty of Iceland’s Westfjords pristine for many years to come!

Even if you have visited the country before or driven through the Eastfjords in Iceland on the Ring Road , traveling Iceland’s Westfjords is a completely different experience. We had been to Iceland many times before and the Westfjords shocked and surprised us in many different ways! We strongly urge you to read this post so you come prepared when visiting! You will not be disappointed and as an Icelandic local from the south coast told us, it really is akin to visiting Norway!

Get a FREE printable “Hidden Gems In Iceland” E-book by joining our private  Iceland Facebook Group  and share your photos and ask for tips and tricks.

drone image of the westfjords in iceland on a moody day

#1. The Road Conditions In Iceland’s Westfjords Are Pretty Terrible In Areas

Driving in the Westfjords Iceland is an experience in and of itself [more on that later!] There are hundreds of miles of road in Iceland’s Westfjords and some road is great and some road is super terrible! If you are traveling to the Northern Westfjords, the road conditions will be wonderful and pristine! We were shocked and surprised at how great the road conditions in parts really were! Brand new blacktop road that was in beautiful condition.

That being said, there are many areas of Iceland’s Westfjords that are a pure dirt road. Not any dirt road, dirt road with thousands and thousands of potholes. There aren’t just one or two potholes, these are entire cities, no countries, of potholes for miles and miles!

Sometimes you will be driving on one of the pristine and perfect asphalt roads and then the driving in the Westfjords will turn to all dirt and pothole central!

We actually talked to a local guy that lived in the Westfjords and also worked for the Westfjords Iceland tourism board and he said that over the next few years [2-5] some of these terrible roads will be getting fixed and paved!

This is great news because driving on these roads was inconvenient for us tourists, but would be even more annoying for the Icelandic locals! We are glad that eventually, the government plans to pave the roads, but until then, make sure to rent a 4×4 vehicle if you plan to drive on any dirt roads in the Westfjords Iceland!

road with pot holes on a moody day in iceland in the WestFjords

#2. The Westfjords Are Home To Dynjandi, One Of The Most Epic Waterfalls In Iceland

If you have visited all of the other waterfalls in Iceland , you are in for a real treat when visiting the Westfjords. Dynjandi is the most impressive waterfall you will ever see! Pictures really do not do this waterfall justice so you will just have to drive out to the Westfjords and see it yourself!

Dynjandi is located after a treacherous mountain pass that is full of potholes as mentioned above and no guardrails so you  must rent a 4×4 vehicle if you want to visit this waterfall in Iceland’s Westfjords.

Dynjandi is a series of waterfalls that cascade from the top of the Fjord all the way down to the bottom. The top and most impressive falls are 330 feet or 100 meters in height. The entire height from the bottom where the parking lot is to the top is over 1000 feet!

Dynjandi also made our list of best easy hikes in Iceland because it is so incredible and the views as you walk up to the main waterfall are so stunning! If you love photography, this is one of the Westfjords Iceland locations you simply cannot miss! Dynjandi is a haven for long exposure photography and you can spend hours photographing the lower waterfalls as well as the main attraction!

If you are driving in Iceland , you are going to want to make this one of your stops around the Ring Road!

Once you get through the dirt mountain road, you will arrive at Dynajndi and there will be a perfectly paved parking lot at the base of the waterfall. There are bathrooms, a handwashing area, and picnic tables in case the weather is nice enough to dine outside.

The hike up to Dynjandi starts right from the parking lot and is easily marked! You really can’t miss it as you can see Dynjandi for at least 20 minutes in the distance as you drive through the Westfjords and approach it!

woman sitting in front of Dynjandi Waterfall in Iceland Westfjords

#3. Summer, Spring, And Fall Are The Best Times To Visit The Westfjords

Don’t bother visiting the Westfjords in winter! Winter here is very extreme and road conditions are even worse and even more dangerous. Unless you are on a tour or with an Icelandic local, we recommend skipping the Westfjords during your winter trip to Iceland!

That mountain pass you have to drive to get to Dynjandi? It is closed during the winter! This means that locals that live in the northern part of the Westfjords have to drive 11 hours around the entire Westfjords instead of simply the 1 hour it normally takes because it is so dangerous!

That being said, any other time of year is a wonderful time to visit Iceland’s Westfjords! Summer is a great time to see the midnight sun if that is what you are after and there are hundreds of puffings in the Westfjords during this time too!

We visited the Westfjords Iceland during the fall in September and it was a great experience! During the fall, you will have the chance to possibly see the Northern Lights as it gets darker a bit earlier.

Finally, late spring, once all of the snow melts, is a great time to visit the Westfjords if you just can’t wait for summer! Again, unless you are on a tour or with an experienced local guide, we do not recommend visiting the Westfjords Iceland during the winter as the conditions are quite extreme!

Cute little red church in iceland on a sunny day with blue skies

#4. It Takes A Long Time To Go Anywhere When Driving In The Westfjords

When you look at a map of the Westfjords, you really cannot accurately tell how huge this area really is! That being said, it takes forever and a day to go pretty much everywhere, especially in the northern area. That’s okay though, the views are incredibly breathtaking so the drives are scenic at every turn!

It takes so long to drive in the Westfjords because you must go all the way up one end of the Fjord and then all the way back down the other side. If you have driven in the Eastfjords, you already know that this can be time-consuming.

Take driving in the Eastfjords and triple the length of each fjord to understand what it is like driving in Iceland’s Westfjords. Driving in the southern area is a tiny bit easier as there are a few bridges to cut off the bottom part of the fjords. Although the bridges are small, they still help a ton to cut down on driving.

When driving in the Northern Westfjords, there is only one bridge to cut off the fjord driving so you will have to go up and down each and every fjord. Iceland’s Westfjords are stunning and deeply carved and quite massive so you will be awestruck as you drive in and out!

The road is in good condition in the north, but it is so tiny that you can’t even see it on the other side of the fjord! The Westfjords are so impressive that although it takes a while to get anywhere, you really won’t mind because you will be looking at the view the whole time. We do encourage you to try and get all of your driving done in the daytime as it can get tedious driving when it is dark simply because you have to drive long distances without any views!

dirt road in the westfjords of Iceland on a sunny day with a rainbow above

#5. There Are Many Hot Springs And Swimming Pools In The Westfjords Iceland

If you just love visiting hot springs in Iceland, you are in for a real treat when visiting the Westfjords. Pretty much every single town is home to a heated swimming pool and hot tub. Swimming pools and hot springs are part of Icelandic culture and this is no different when visiting the Westfjords Iceland. The swimming pools usually have a small entry fee, but it is just for upkeep and doesn’t cost much!

Check out our article on the best hot springs in Iceland for a recommendation in the Westfjords. We recommend asking a local for some great hot springs locations as there are many hidden and secret spots you can visit!

Many hot springs in other parts of Iceland have become overrun with disrespectful tourists so you must treat the hot springs in the Westfjords with respect. Pick up your trash, ask landowners if you can walk on their private land, and don’t make a ruckus or bathe nude as it isn’t allowed in Iceland. Swimming pools are located in many towns in the Westfjords and are a great way to relax after a long day exploring the beautiful countryside!

Whether you are staying at a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb you should be able to find a local to ask for recommendations. If you are camping in the Westfjords, you can ask for suggestions at a local restaurant or gas station too! Locals are happy to share their suggestions for places that none of us have ever heard about, so long as you are respectful and treat the places better than you would your own home!

woman sitting in hotspring on a moody day in the westfjords

Getting To Iceland’s Westfjords

Getting to the Westfjords is pretty time-consuming [but beautiful] no matter how you end up getting there! You have three options! You can take the ferry from the Snaefellsnes Peninsula to the southern Westfjords. The ferry from Snaefellsnes Peninsula takes around 2.5 hours and costs around $45 per person, not including your car.

Locals love taking the Snaefellsnes Peninsula ferry to the Westfjords, but we found that driving took the same amount of time and cost way less which is important if you are visiting Iceland on a budget.

Second, you can head to the Westfjords from the southern part which takes you past the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and down through the southern Westfjords past the town of Búðardalur.

If you are looking to visit Dynjandi, this is a popular way to go from Reykjavik but be warned, you will be driving through multiple sketchy mountain passes and on many dirt roads in order to get there. If you are doing this drive at the end of the day, we recommend taking the third route.

The third route takes you through the north/top of the Westfjords Iceland and you begin through the town of Hólmavík. Depending on where you are heading in Iceland’s Westfjords, this may be a better option for you! We took this way as we had a 7-hour drive and the roads in the northern portion of the Westfjords are all smooth, paved, and safe.

We didn’t feel like dealing with sketchy dirt mountain passes at the end of a long driving day and are so glad we tacked on the northern drive as the Westfjords are stunning in this area! This route also takes you through Ísafjörður which is the largest town in the Westfjords and home to a few good grocery stores in the Westfjords.

Your GPS will probably show you route 1 or route 2, but we recommend choosing route 3 and taking a bit longer of a drive if you are looking for something scenic and with minimal dirt road driving. It also depends on where in the Westfjords you aim to go! If you want to visit Ísafjörður first, take option 3. If you are heading to Bíldudalur on the southern portion of Iceland’s Westfjords, then option 1 or 2 may be better suited for you!

drone image of the westfjords on a cloudy day

How Much Time To Spend In The Westfjords Iceland

We highly recommend spending at least 3 days exploring the Westfjords in Iceland and longer if you have the option. If you only have one day, we suggest skipping the Westfjords and saving them for a future trip. The Westfjords are truly a remote and spectacular part of Iceland that deserves a trip all their own.

If you can spend more than 3 days, we say go for it! It does take quite a long time to get out to the Westfjords, at least 5 hours one day, so spending a few nights makes the drive worthwhile and allows you to immerse yourself in what the Westfjords Iceland has to offer.

We stayed in Þingeyri because we wanted to be close to Dynjandi and it was a wonderfully situated location! It took about 40 minutes to reach Dynjandi and 30 minutes to reach the nearest large grocery store. If we wanted to visit the southern Westfjords it was about 1-1.5 hours each way depending on what we were looking to see. If you don’t want a “home base” we recommend spending 1-2 days in each part of the Westfjords.

The easiest would be to start in the south and spend a day or two exploring that area, then spend the night in Thingeyri where we stayed, and finally cap it off with a night or two in the northern Westfjords.

This will allow you to keep driving around without much backtracking and will allow you enough time to get to know this beautifully remote destination. If you can spend 4-5 days we say go for it! If not, 3 days is enough to get a good introduction, but understand you will be doing a lot of driving if you want to see some good stuff!

houses in the westfjords iceland after a rain storm

Safety Tips For Visiting The Westfjords

The Westfjords aren’t dangerous at all when it comes to things like crime and stealing. The potential danger lies in tourists not heeding local warnings and posted signs and doing things that are dangerous and illegal.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but first off, obey all posted signs when traveling in the Westfjords. More and more people travel to Iceland and disrespect the country by not following the posted signs and get seriously hurt or even killed as a result.

When driving in the Westfjords, you will be on some pretty narrow dirt roads and mountain passes with no guard rails. Follow the posted speed limits. Although the speed limit may seem slow, we can promise you it is there for a good reason! You don’t want to be rounding a corner with a cliff on the other side going faster than recommended and then flying off the edge because you can’t stop well on slippery gravel!

We also recommend checking local weather when exploring the Westfjords Iceland to ensure that all roads and places that you want to travel are open. Some places in the Westfjords may be closed depending on what time of year you choose to visit.

As a result, it is a good idea to always keep an eye on the weather because you don’t want to drive through a mountain pass and then be stranded on the other side because there is now snow and ice which means you can’t pass back through! The Westfjords in Iceland is wild, rugged, and beautiful and you will have a wonderful trip if you follow these simple safety tips and tricks!

dynjandi waterfall in iceland on a cloudy day with a man in a red jacket

Reader Interactions

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August 4, 2021 at 8:47 pm

I would like to visit the west fjords in for a week driving tour in June 2022, party of 6. would you recommend ONE home base accomodation, or staying at several for a couple nights each?

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August 4, 2021 at 8:55 pm

I would recommend staying at several a couple nights! We tried to do a home base and it was a LOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT of driving!!!! I would suggest one home base in the southern Westfjords and for longer [there is more to do] and then one home base in the northern Westfjords for a day or two to avoid the crazy driving!!!!

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October 19, 2021 at 5:08 pm

I am using a 4×4 camper van June 2022, this will be my second trip, first to westjords. loved being able to go or stay in places with no need for airbnb/hotels

August 18, 2021 at 2:33 pm

I am planning a trip to Westfjords in June 2022 will have 4×4 camper – i will be in Iceland for 12 days and want to fully experience Westfjords; recommendations?

August 18, 2021 at 7:33 pm

Yes!!! I recommend the southern Westfjords for the best possible experience! There are lots of things to see and do there from hot springs, Dynjandi, puffins and more!

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August 20, 2021 at 10:03 pm

My husband and I are looking to go to Iceland in September (?) 2022 and want to explore the Westfjords as well as the entire island. Ideally, we would like to “wing it” and not plan out every day beforehand and book rooms at farmhouses in advance. Would September be off season enough to be able to travel this way?

August 21, 2021 at 3:28 am

Yes! This is when we did Westfjords in this very way, in September. Just know, you may not get your ideal guesthouse and may have to settle for something further. But Westfjords aren’t that crazy popular compared to other regions so you should be okay! Have fun!

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October 2, 2021 at 12:18 pm

I’m wondering when this was posted–if the road conditions have changed since you posted it. I am planning to be there September 2022. Thanks so much for all your wonderful articles. They are very helpful.

October 2, 2021 at 8:30 pm

Hello Diana! The road conditions have only gotten better in some parts, not worse. and they do construction on it. But it is still a more “wild” area of Iceland than others 🙂 Enjoy!!

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October 28, 2021 at 3:56 pm

We visited this summer. We stayed in Sudureyri. Life is laid back in the West Fjords. Take a week and enjoy yourself. Long drive from Reykjavik but worth it. never got above 58 or below 54. Most roads were pretty good but there were some white knuckle drives. Definitely be prepared for cliff level driving with no guardrails and heavy fog in the mountain passes.

November 6, 2021 at 7:54 pm

Agree! It is so epic there! And you gotta be safe driving, yes!

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November 14, 2021 at 6:58 pm

Planning to visit Iceland in April, will the roads to west fjords be open at that time? If no will it be completely non accessible or partially accessible?

November 15, 2021 at 3:49 am

I think most parts should be accessible! If there is late snow, some higher elevations may be covered, but it varies year by year!

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July 15, 2022 at 2:17 pm

Great article of Westfjords. We will spend 3 days in Westfjords in the first week of September 2022 with overnights at Brjanslaekur (coming from Stykkisholmur by ferry), Dynjandi area and Holmavik, driving clockwise. Between Brajanslaekur, Dynjandi and Holmavik, we’ll be driving about 280 km each day making long stops at Dynjandi and Isafjordur. The rest will be short layovers (of 15-30 minutes at each sight at the most). Do you think that’s too much driving for each day, unfortunately, that’s the time we can afford for Westfjords ?

July 16, 2022 at 9:11 pm

It is a lot of driving, but I think it is doable. I have also done 3 days in Westfjords and it is a TON of driving. You can cut it down and only do the lower half which is tons of things to see and do. But I just think there is always a lot of driving in Westfjords unless you stay for a really long time!

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August 6, 2022 at 10:04 pm

Thank you so much for this information. Except that now I think we have “bitten off more than we can chew.” We were planning to drive from Reykjavik to Isafjordur in one day and perhaps then to Patreksfjordur the next day, then back to Reykjavik. That started sounding like too much, so we were thinking maybe to Isafjordur and back in two days, as I had understood that there were good roads to Isafjordur. Now I wonder if even that is too much? Comments? Suggestions?

August 7, 2022 at 6:39 pm

Hello Mary!! It is quite far from Reykjavik! Have you been to Iceland before? The roads up that way should be pretty good, but it is a LOT of driving. Most of your time will be spend driving. Let me know what else you are doing on your trip and I can offer further advice! Thanks!

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October 23, 2022 at 9:23 pm

Hi, thanks for sharing all this info. We’re considering a trip in August with 3 young children. Right now I’m considering centering the trip in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and avoiding the Golden Triangle area. I’d love to see the West Fjords but a lot of it feels too wild to tackle until the kids are older. I’m considering taking the Baldur ferry across to the West Fjords, then taking 62 to 60 to head back toward 1– so basically just doing a small part of the southern coast before we return to Rejkavik. How does this sound to you? And are there any towns or guesthouses along that route that you’d recommend for a stop for 2-3 nights? Thanks!

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April 15, 2023 at 3:00 am

We will be in Isafjorfur on a cruise in early June. We have 13 hours in port. I booked a four hour tour to Dynjandi. I also wanted to go to to Vigur island to see the birds, especially the puffins, but it is closed the day we are there as it is nesting season. Do you have any recommendations on where I might see puffins while there?

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TOURS IN WEST ICELAND

Iceland’s quiet western region is like a land before time, with its ancient lava formations and remnants from early Norse settlers. From the folklore-laden Snæfellsjökull glacier to the Saga sites around the Borgarfjörður valley, an adventure in West Iceland awaits you with a tour tailor-made by the local experts at Nordic Visitor.

TRAVEL TO WEST ICELAND

West Iceland is home to many picture-perfect landscapes, the most popular of which can be found on the mountainous Snæfellsnes peninsula. Here you can visit the ice-capped Snæfellsjökull stratovolcano, believed by some to be supernatural, as well as the secluded Dritvík cove, the dramatic Arnarstapi cliffs, the photogenic Kirkjufell mountain and charming fishing villages like Stykkishólmur.

Around the Borgarfjörður valley in western Iceland you can experience other unique attractions such as the Hrausfossar waterfall, the Deildartunguhver hot springs as well as the Víðgelmir lava cave, the largest of its kind found in Iceland, and the popular “Into the Glacier” tour at Langjökull glacier.

Nordic history buffs won't want to miss the Icelandic Settlement Centre at Borgarnes, the medieval research centre at Reykholt, and Eiríksstaður, a replica Viking farmstead.

To explore Iceland’s west coast at your own pace, a road trip is recommended. In fact, a side trip around the Snæfellsnes peninsula is a great addition to a Ring Road itinerary. Don’t want to drive? Join a guided small group tour or visit the region’s top sights on a day tour from Reykjavik.

Our local Icelandic travel experts always goes the extra mile for you. You’ll have your own dedicated travel consultant at your service before, during and even after your tour. All itineraries are designed to be well-structured so you can make the most of your Icelandic adventure and can be tailored to your preferences.

You'll also take advantage of all our signature benefits, including our very own Nordic Visitor Iceland Travel Guide, hand-marked map with your route, accommodations and highlights, and access to our 24/7 helpline while travelling in Iceland. 

Though summer is the most popular time to visit the area, West Iceland is also a wonderful place to stay in winter (October – March) for possible nighttime sightings of the northern lights.

Each region of Iceland is unique — why not see them all? To drive around the entire Ring Road, we recommend a tour of 10 days or longer. Don‘t hesitate to  get in touch , we are here to help plan your perfect holiday to Iceland.

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Why book with nordic visitor.

  • Hassle-free & seamless travel experience
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EXPLORE WEST ICELAND WITH THESE POPULAR TOURS

For an incredible travel experience in West Iceland, we recommend these customisable tours below.

8 days / 7 nights

South & west iceland classic, 6 days / 5 nights, south iceland & into the glacier, south & west iceland classic - winter.

Countries Visited Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark

21 days / 20 nights

The nordic countries classic, train, cruise & self-drive.

Countries Visited Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Estonia

28 days / 27 nights

The nordic countries complete, 10 days / 9 nights, south & west iceland at leisure, 9 days / 8 nights, highlights of north & west iceland, 7 days / 6 nights, highlights of westfjords & west iceland, 12 days / 11 nights, highlights of westfjords, north & west iceland, south & west iceland at leisure - winter, 11 days / 10 nights, christmas & new year's in iceland, northern lights & new years eve fun, northern lights adventure in the westfjords, reykjavik, northern lights, 5 days / 4 nights, active iceland, snowmobiling, ice tunnel & golden circle, active iceland - winter, the natural wonders of iceland - private.

1599766 ISK

Northern Lights Circle Tour - Private

1217702 ISK

Highlights of the Ring Road - Private

1043480 ISK

South & West Iceland Classic - Private

1208962 ISK

South Iceland & Into the Glacier - Winter

Iceland full circle classic - winter - private.

1598386 ISK

The Best of South & West Iceland

Level 2 (Classic)

Iceland Luxury Escape at Leisure - Winter

2328410 ISK

Iceland Luxury Escape at Leisure - Summer

2348578 ISK

Iceland Ring Road in Luxury - Summer

2626480 ISK

Iceland Ring Road in Luxury - Winter

2602922 ISK

Iceland Luxury Adventure at Leisure - Summer

1629317 ISK

Iceland Luxury Adventure at Leisure - Winter

1639689 ISK

South & West Iceland Classic Winter - Private

1220182 ISK

Wonders of the Westfjords

Travel around all of iceland.

Discover what makes each region of Iceland unique with a journey around the entire Ring Road. We recommend these tours.

Romance Around Iceland

Iceland full circle classic, 14 days / 13 nights, iceland complete classic, 17 days / 16 nights, iceland grand tour, iceland road trip, iceland full circle at leisure, natural wonders of iceland, iceland ultimate adventure, iceland full circle classic - winter, northern lights circle tour, iceland complete express, complete iceland, iceland full circle & the westfjords.

1166521 ISK

1049869 ISK

Iceland Full Circle at Leisure - Winter

Local travel agency.

As a travel agency with offices in Reykjavík, Edinburgh, Stockholm and Lucerne, Nordic Visitor knows how to make the most of your time in Europe. Choose from a variety of carefully curated tours that include must-see attractions as well as lesser-known highlights.

You can also make customisations to your itinerary by adding extra nights, optional activities, or upgrades to your tour. Or ask your personal travel consultant for advice and they will tailor your itinerary. This way you get a travel experience that is perfectly suited to you. 

Your dedicated travel consultant will arrange all the local details for you. You get accommodation, activities, transport, and other services included in your package. If you need to rework your itinerary, we’ll handle it for you so you can relax and look forward to your getaway.

Different ways you can experience Iceland

We have tours for all varieties of travel styles and interests. See our options for exploring Iceland below.

Guided Small Groups

Partially guided, privately guided, midnight sun, northern lights packages, best seller, what do our customers say.

The reviews speak for themselves. See what Nordic Visitor travellers said about their experience with us.

James, Germany

Classic south coast, august 2021, amazing and seamless experience.

This was an excellent trip and we highly recommend Nordic Visitor for booking. We didn't have to do anything, they had everything arranged and it was a seamless, amazing experience! Thank you so much!

Janet, United States

Iceland grand tour, july 2021, we loved every minute of our trip.

Nordic Visitor were a pleasure to work with! You were so responsive, listened to our requests, planned everything perfectly and ensured that we had a fantastic vacation. We loved every minute of our 17 day Grand Tour of Iceland - you did all of the work for us so all we had to do was enjoy it. Our tour gave us enough time to explore so many areas of your beautiful country. We want to return someday - and when we do, we will be calling Nordic Visitor again!

Belynda, United States

Best of south & north iceland, june 2021, organization was fantastic.

Nordic Visitor's organization of the tour was fantastic and our agent, Kristin, did a wonderful job answering all our questions before the tour. Due to tourism still being low, we enjoyed having less people at all our stops. We didn't see any whales on our whale watching tour, but they gave us a coupon to try again sometime and we were actually able to try again the very next day in Akureyri. We appreciated very much that Hotel Fron was willing to check people into their rooms very early at no extra cost to wait out our quarantine waiting on Covid results. We also loved that Hotel Fron was right on the main street so everything was easily walkable. All guides and transportation were on time and did a great job.

Iceland Complete Classic, August 2021

Nordic visitor made it easy.

Iceland is a magical place which combines relentless epic grandeur alongside endless miniature wonders and Nordic Visitor really makes it easy for a first timer to discover it. The true stars of the show for us though were the genuine, friendly, super kind and quirky (the all-women punk poetry band 'Gertrude and the Flowers' was amazing!) Icelanders at every stop. Every single experience (bar one, the Arctic Fox Centre where the new owners really didn't seem to care about us or know anything about the centre) was absolutely wonderful, especially the Hestasport experience but also the Whale Watching and Vok Baths. Huge appreciation for the writing on the map (especially as some of the instructions, particularly on the North West fjords was a little hard to follow) and the many little touches and caring approach.

Desiree, United States

Iceland ring road express, july 2021, nice to have a local contact.

We were very happy to have been referred to Nordic Visitor by a friend based on their good experience. It was nice to have a contact that was familiar with the local area providing input on our itineraries. It was great to have a contact when we were there also as a couple of items needed to be rescheduled due to the weather and also when we had questions we had a person to call. This made our experience very comfortable in another country.

Michael, United States

Iceland full circle classic, june 2021, we had a great time.

We had a great time. Good mixture of relaxation time, adventure, enjoying meeting new people and seeing new sites.

Vincent, United States

Iceland full circle classic, july 2021, tour was well done.

The tour was really well done. I got a ton of information before the trip and even more upon landing so I really felt like I knew all of my options and what I could do on the trip. The accommodations were also quite nice.

Highlights of Westfjords & West Iceland, July 2021

Everything ran smoothly.

The trip to Iceland was a late substitute for a Norway trip cancelled due to COVID restrictions, so the timescale was tight but all was done well. Once we were on the way, everything ran smoothly and the accommodation was varied and interesting. The Western Fjords are a truly special experience even if you have been to Iceland before.

Janis, United States

South & west iceland classic, july 2021, i will treasure the itinerary booklet provided.

I felt we were able to see all the best of Iceland with the South and West Iceland Classic. It was wonderful having everything arranged for us and the itinerary book was so full of information that I will treasure it as I do my photos. Anita was wonderful to work with. She always answered all my questions promptly and relieved any anxiety I was feeling. I only wish I had gotten to meet her. But, due to covid, the office was not accessible.

Amy, United States

A fantastic trip.

This was the first time I used a company to plan a trip for me. It was so nice to know the legwork was done and I had people I could reach out to with questions. My sister and I had a fantastic trip.

Iosif, United States

High-quality service.

High quality service, a very good value for money, in my opinion.

Leslie, United States

Appreciated the detailed itinerary.

We had a wonderful time and very much appreciated the detail itinerary provided. It provided helpful information for each day. The additional tours were also great additions. Our tour advisor was very responsive and helpful. We'd book through this company again.

Travel Guide

Be prepared for just about anything on your Icelandic adventure.

Arnarstapi is a small fishing community with a beautiful and striking shoreline. You can see...

Snæfellsjökull National Park

Snæfellsjökull National Park encompasses a large area of Snæfellsnes Peninsula’s western tip....

Hraunfossar & Barnafossar

A must-see attraction in Reykholt area is the beautiful Hraunfossar waterfall, a fascinating...

What to pack

Layers, layers, layers! Come prepared for all type..

Driving in Iceland

Are you prepared for your road trip? Learn the rul..

Climate & weather conditions

How icy is Iceland? You might be surprised

Time & Daylight

When to expect sunrises, sunsets, northern lights ..

Our services

Whether you choose a guided tour or a self-drive vacation, all customers receive personalised service with a designated travel consultant , tailor-made quality travel documents, and our self-drive clients receive a hand-marked map that outlines their route, overnight stays and highlights along the way. Furthermore, Nordic Visitor has long-standing professional relationships with local tour operators , which are carefully selected by our staff and are recognized for consistent, quality service.

Book with confidence

  • Protect your money & plans with our  flexible booking terms    .
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  • Enjoy personal service from Iceland-based travel experts.
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Whether you have queries about our tours or want to add activities to existing bookings, we’re here to help. Get in touch with our friendly team for any of your travel questions.

Our main phone number is +354 578 20 80

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What you need to know about volcano tourism in Iceland

As seen in recent eruptions, seismic activity in the country is hotting up. From travel advice to ‘volcano tourism’, here’s what you need to know about visiting Iceland.

Volcanic activity in Iceland has been rumbling on for months, centred around the Reykjanes Peninsula near Reykjavík, in the southwest of the country. After multiple earthquakes, the most recent series of eruptions kicked off at the end of 2023, when an explosion along a 2.5-mile fissure sent lava into the air a couple of miles northeast of the fishing village of Grindavík; another followed shortly afterwards.

Now, a new fissure near Sýlingarfell, northeast of Grindavík, has begun spewing lava and smoke.

What’s the background?

In 2021, after 6,000 years lying dormant, the Fagradalsfjall volcanic system on the Reykjanes Peninsula sprang back into life with the appearance of a 600ft-long fissure. Until that moment, the region hadn’t seen an eruption for over 800 years. Three small blasts followed (in 2021, 2022 and the summer of 2023), each producing fountains of fire.

A nine-mile dike (an underground pathway that allows magma to travel towards the surface) on the Reykjanes Peninsula was discovered to be the underlying cause, and since then there have been further eruptions that have reached the town of Grindavík. If additional volcanic activity occurs, it’s likely to take place in this region.

What does it mean for travellers?

So far, the greatest disruption has been to the residents of Grindavík, who were evacuated prior to the December eruption. Following recent blasts, some homes here have been destroyed by lava. The nearby Blue Lagoon, the country’s most popular attraction, has briefly closed, on and off, as a precautionary response to the eruptions, but has not been otherwise impacted. Reykjavík and the international airport, meanwhile, were unaffected. 

Some passengers on flights that have flown over eruption sites have been treated to spectacular scenes from their window seats. 

‘Volcano tourists’ have since converged on the area, hoping for a glimpse of the lava. However, Icelandic police warned people to “think four times” before attempting to get close to the sites, after an exhausted hiker had to be rescued by helicopter.

What happens next?

As volcanoes can be unpredictable, it’s hard to say with 100% certainty. “Most volcanologists seem to agree that this period of volcanic activity is going to go on for many years, if not decades,” says Dr Robin Andrews, a volcanologist. But, “it’s difficult to study the systems where there’s no central volcano.” 

Is there likely to be a repeat of the 2010 ash cloud?

Experts in the fields of volcanology and aviation agree that a repeat of the events that followed the Eyjafjallajökull eruption likely won’t happen again. Back then, a six-day shutdown of European airspace, due to the presence of ash in quantities sufficient to cause engine failure in planes, caused the cancellation of some 100,000 flights. 

The fact that the volcanoes involved in the most recent eruptions don't open onto a large ice sheet, as Eyjafjallajökull does, minimises the amount of ash likely to be ejected — when ice melts into a volcano, the magma cools rapidly and forms fine ash particles. Additionally, the world of aviation has seen advancements in technology since 2010, and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency has confirmed it’s better prepared for a volcanic ash event.

Is it safe to go to Iceland?

Volcanic activity is currently largely isolated to the Reykjanes Peninsula. Beyond this region, Iceland is safe and its main tourist sites remain open.  

Dr Andrews recommends that anyone planning to travel to the country monitors the advice of the Icelandic Meteorological Office , which shares comprehensive data on the latest activity. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office travel pages are also updated as conditions change. While in Iceland, monitor local news and heed local authority guidance. 

“There’s a lot of uncertainty,” says Snorri Valsson, of the Icelandic Tourist Board. “It’s a localised seismic event limited to the area around Grindavík — in the rest of the island, it’s business as usual. But it’s understandable that some people might be disturbed by the news.”

What about insurance?

Always make sure you take out comprehensive insurance when booking a trip to ensure you’re covered before departure. At least £2,500 is a good level of protection for short-haul trips. Ensure the policy covers repatriation in the event you need to head home early.

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Experience true Nordic winter with these Iceland and Canada tours!

west iceland tourism

West Iceland | Tours and Activities

Day tours, multi-day and activities - from reykjavik and on location.

West Iceland

  • Multi-day tours
  • Accommodation
  • Top attractions

West Iceland is home to Borgarfjordur fjord and Snaefellsnes peninsula. At the famous Snaefellsjokull glacier, located on the Snaefellsnes peninsula, you can find the passage to the center of the Earth, as depicted in the famous novel: Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864) by Jules Verne.

Guided day tours to West Iceland

Snaefellsnes Peninsula & Kirkjufell Small Group Day Tour

Snaefellsnes Peninsula & Kirkjufell Small Group Day Tour

Into the glacier - World's Largest Ice Man-made Tunnel

"Into the glacier" - World's Largest Ice Man-made Tunnel

Ice Cave & Northern Lights Tour

Ice Cave & Northern Lights Tour

Kayaking Under Mt. Kirkjufell

Kayaking Under Mt. Kirkjufell

Vatnshellir Cave Snaefellsnes

Vatnshellir Cave Snaefellsnes

Silver Circle Super Jeep Tour

Silver Circle Super Jeep Tour

Hvalfjörður Kayaking Tour & Hvammsvík Hot Springs

Hvalfjörður Kayaking Tour & Hvammsvík Hot Springs

Krauma Geothermal Baths & Spa - Admission Tickets

Krauma Geothermal Baths & Spa - Admission Tickets

Vidgelmir Lava Caving Tour

Vidgelmir Lava Caving Tour

Húsafell Canyon Baths

Húsafell Canyon Baths

Snowcat Tour on Snaefellsjokull Glacier

Snowcat Tour on Snaefellsjokull Glacier

Olafsvik Whale Watching Tour

Olafsvik Whale Watching Tour

Viking Sushi Boat Tour in Stykkisholmur

Viking Sushi Boat Tour in Stykkisholmur

Guided multi-day tours that visit west iceland.

2-Day Tour to Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Borgarfjörður Fjord

2-Day Tour to Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Borgarfjörður Fjord

7 Days Around Iceland Adventure

7 Days Around Iceland Adventure

5 Day South Coast and Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour

5 Day South Coast and Snæfellsnes Peninsula Tour

6-Day Ring Road Tour Around Iceland

6-Day Ring Road Tour Around Iceland

8 Days in Iceland & Northern Lights Tour

8 Days in Iceland & Northern Lights Tour

4 Day South Coast, Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Auroras

4 Day South Coast, Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Auroras

8 Day Ring Road Tour - First & last night in Reykjavík

8 Day Ring Road Tour - First & last night in Reykjavík

8 Day Ultimate Iceland | Ring Road, Snaefellsnes & Highlands

8 Day Ultimate Iceland | Ring Road, Snaefellsnes & Highlands

9 Days - Around Iceland, Highlands and Volcano Adventure

9 Days - Around Iceland, Highlands and Volcano Adventure

Accommodation in west iceland.

Adventure Hotel Hellissandur

Adventure Hotel Hellissandur

Comfortable hotel in western iceland.

Adventure Hotel Hellissandur is located in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Western Iceland, just a few minutes' drive from National Park Center Hellissandur.

Price from:

Top attractions in West Iceland

Snaefellsnes peninsula.

Fishing Village Of Arnarstapi in Iceland

Mesmerizing seashore and mountain range in Arnarstapi fishing village, Iceland

Snaefellsnes peninsula is often referred to as "Iceland in a Nutshell." Located only a two-hour drive from Reykjavik, it has a spectacularly diverse landscape. From glistening Snæfellsjökull ice cap to lava fields, waterfalls, caves, and charming fishing villages - Snaefellsnes has it all.

Kirkjufell mountain

Kirkjufell Mountain during Summer in Iceland

Kirkjufell mountain and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, Iceland

Kirkjufell is probably the most famous mountain in Iceland. Its image can be seen in almost every souvenir shop. Standing at 463 m (1519 ft) high, Kirkjufell is a truly impressive landmark. Kirkjufell obtained even more fame after it appeared in the renowned HBO series Game of Thrones. This mountain was featured in season 6 and season 7 as n "arrowhead mountain".

Vatnshellir Lava Cave

Rock Formations at Vatnshellir Lava Cave

Rock formations at the inside of Vatnshellir Lava Cave, Iceland

Vatnshellir Lava Cave is situated in the heart of Snæfellsjökull National Park , around a 10-minute drive from Hellnar village. This lava cave was created by a volcanic eruption in the Purkholar crater nearby. When the surface lava came into contact with the air, it turned into rock, with the lava underneath continuing to flow. That's how the magnificent lava tubes are created, and, while visiting Vatnshellir, you'll get a chance to explore it!

Langjökull Glacier

Man at Langjokull Glacier in Iceland

Giant ice formations at Langjökull glacier in Iceland

Langjokull , or the "Long Glacier," is the second-largest glacier in Iceland. It extends to vast 935 sq km (361 sq mi). It is located in the Icelandic Highlands, next to the two main highlands tracks. The glacier sits next to the two country's active volcanic areas, one in the north-east and the other in the south-west. One of these volcanic systems heats the geothermal area of Hveravellir. In the east, there's a Kjalhraun lava field, which was formed approximately 7800 years ago.

Snæfellsjökull Glacier

Scenic View of Snaefellsjokull Glacier in Iceland

Panoramic view of Snaefellsjokull glacier ice cap, Iceland

Snæfellsjökull is a 7,000-year-old volcano covered by ice. Located on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in the west of Iceland, it attracts visitors from all over the world. This glacier became extremely famous after it appeared in Jules Verne's novel  Journey to the Center of the Earth . In this novel, Snaefellsjokull was chosen as an entrance to the Earth's center.

Víðgelmir lava cave

Vidgelmir Lava Cave in Iceland

Víðgelmir lava cave in Iceland

The Víðgelmir cave is located close to Husafell, making it a perfect destination if you're traveling within the area. This 1585-meter (5200-feet) lava tube is one of the most popular destinations for lava caving. Víðgelmir cave has a paved walkway and installed lights, making it super easy to traverse even for beginners.

Attractions in West Iceland

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About Iceland

Visa information, geography of iceland, general information, the northern lights, volcanic eruptions, sustainable travel, iceland academy, plan your trip, how to get there, accommodation, things to do, map your journey, getting around, visitor numbers, carbon footprint, destinations, the regions, scenic routes, national parks, trip suggestions, towns & villages, inspiration, food and beverages, escape the ordinary.

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Planning a trip to Iceland

How many days are enough for a trip around Iceland? Depending on how many days you‘re planning, what travel type you are, whom you are traveling with as well as the season you are traveling in, you might need some ideas.  

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Volcanic eruption is underway on the Reykjanes Peninsula

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With our new interactive map feature, you can easily plan every step of your adventure. From cozy accommodations to unforgettable activities, the possibilities are endless. Dream big, plan smart, and chart your path with our personalized itinerary feature. Make the most of every moment in Iceland!

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Iceland is a popular travel destination. Sometimes, certain places can be busier than others. Skip the hectic tourist traffic at the most popular destinations and plan your trip to make the most of your time in Iceland. Use our tourist counter to see peak visitor times and plan accordingly. 

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Did you know that there are over 100 towns and villages to explore throughout Iceland? We encourage you to stop and look into these charming, beautiful, and often quirky places. History, art, nature, local cuisine, and year-round swimming pools abound. You might be surprised at what you find!

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NEWS... BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT

Iceland volcano erupts for a third time – is it still safe to travel?

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Iceland is experiencing its third volcanic eruption since December, shutting down major tourist sites.

Stunning photos have shown glowing orange lava flowing from newly-formed fissures in the ground, as Iceland’s Meteorological Office issued new guidance in light of this mornings eruption.

How safe is it to travel to the nation?

Where are the volcanic eruptions happening?

ANKARA, TURKIYE - FEBRUARY 8: An infographic titled 'Iceland volcano erupts spewing lava near Grindavik' created in Ankara, Turkiye on February 8, 2024. Sylingarfell volcano erupted about 3km north of the town of Grindavik. (Photo by Elif Acar/Anadolu via Getty Images)

The Sylingarfell Volcano , just less than two miles north of the town of Grindavik, began erupting around 6am this morning after increased seismic activity.

The Iceland Met Office said lava was flowing to the west and there is no immediate threat to the town of Grindavik, which was evacuated as lava flowed near the towns edges during previous eruptions.

Grindavik sits near the epicentre of the Fagradalsfjall volcano and  almost 4,000 people in the town had to be evacuated  when it erupted in December.

The threat remains low for now, but tourist sites are taking precautions.

The famous Blue Lagoon thermal spa, one of Iceland‘s biggest tourist attractions, has been closed and guests have been moved to hotels, local media said.

Is it safe to travel to Iceland?

People look at the volcano erupting, north of Grindav??k, Iceland, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. Iceland???s Meteorological Office says a volcano is erupting in the southwestern part of the country, north of a nearby settlement. The eruption of the Sylingarfell volcano began at 6 a.m. local time on Thursday, soon after an intense burst of seismic activity. (AP Photo/Marco Di Marco)

The UK Foreign Office posted guidance on its website: ‘Iceland is volcanic and seismically active. Recently there have been a series of volcanic eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula in south-west Iceland…

‘These have affected the town of Grindavik and area to the north of it. All roads to Grindavik and surrounding area are closed and you should stay away from this area. Keflavik International Airport has been unaffected and is operating as normal.

‘The capital city, Reykjavik, and the rest of Iceland has not been impacted by these eruptions. It is likely there will be further eruptions in this location.’

Those travelling are urged to check local guidance, such as the ‘Safe Travel Iceland’ website.

Visitors have been urged to not stop on road 41 between Reykjavik and Keflavik to take photos or view the ongoing eruption.

Are flights still going to Iceland?

The fissures are estimated to be 3km long (Picture: AFP)

Currently, flights to Iceland have not been impacted.

Airlines such as British Airways, Icelandair, Norwegian Air, WOW and EasyJet all operate flights to cities in Iceland.

The capitol city, Reykjavik, is currently not affected by the ongoing eruptions.

Last month, a road worker went missing after falling into a huge crevasse formed by a volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Hundreds joined a mission to find him, but the search had to be stopped because of rock fall, reports  Sky News .

Ulfar Ludviksson, the police chief in South Iceland, told local media that the rockfall meant they could no longer guarantee the safety of those working down in the crevasse.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] .

For more stories like this, check our news page .

MORE : ‘Stunning’ destination with £77 flights is best place to watch the Northern Lights

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Volcano spews lava and smoke in new Iceland eruption

Fountains of lava have spewed from a fissure in south-west Iceland, in the third volcanic eruption since December.

Spectacular footage from the Reykjanes peninsula showed molten rock oozing along a fissure estimated at 3km (1.86 miles) in length near Sylingarfell.

Plumes of lava shot more than 50m (160ft) into the air, witnessed by a Coast Guard helicopter flying over the peninsula early on Thursday morning.

The nearby town of Grindavik was already evacuated during the last eruption on 14 January, and on Thursday guests were told to leave the popular Blue Lagoon geothermal spa because of the latest eruption.

Watch live: Iceland volcano sends fountains of molten rock skyward

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Iceland Volcano Erupts for the Third Time Since December

Posted: February 8, 2024 | Last updated: February 8, 2024

Iceland Volcano Erupts , for the Third Time Since December. The volcano, located in southwestern Ireland, began erupting at 1 a.m. ET on Feb. 8, NBC News reports. . The Blue Lagoon spa, a major tourist attraction, has been evacuated. . The volcano is two and a half miles from the coastal town of Grindavik, which is home to 3,800 people. The town was already evacuated due to another eruption that began on Dec. 18. According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, lava is currently flowing west, leaving Grindavik and an area power plant safe for the time being. According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, lava is currently flowing west, leaving Grindavik and an area power plant safe for the time being. Officials warned of a possible eruption earlier this week after detecting a magma buildup below ground over the past few weeks. Since Feb.2, hundreds of small earthquakes have been observed. A burst of seismic activity occurred about a half hour before the most recent eruption began. Video footage from the country's coast guard depicts lava shooting over 165 feet into the air, NBC News reports. . Volcanologist Dave McGarvie said it's "a bit of a shock that" the volcano "has come back to life," and it's not clear whether Grindavik residents will be able to permanently return home. I think at the moment there is the resignation, the stoical resignation, that, for the foreseeable future, the town is basically uninhabitable, Volcanologist Dave McGarvie, via NBC News. Evidence that we gathered only quite recently is that eruptions could go on for decades, if not centuries, sporadically in this particular peninsula, Volcanologist Dave McGarvie, via NBC News

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  • Explore the regions of Iceland:
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Adventure Hotel Hellissandur

Adventure Hotel Hellissandur

Akrafjall Mountain

Akrafjall Mountain

Akranes

Akranes Camping Site

Akranes District Information Office

Akranes District Information Office

Akranes Folk Museum

Akranes Folk Museum

Akranes forestry

Akranes forestry

Akranes Library

Akranes Library

Akranes Lighthouses

Akranes Lighthouses

Akranes Swimming Pool

Akranes Swimming Pool

Akranes walking trails

Akranes walking trails

Akranesviti, Light house  in Akranes

Akranesviti, Light house in Akranes

Arnarstapi

Arnarstapi Center

Á Camping Ground

Á Camping Ground

Á Skarðsströnd to Vogur Fellsströnd

Á Skarðsströnd to Vogur Fellsströnd

Álfholtsskógur foresty

Álfholtsskógur foresty

Barnaborgir hiking trail

Barnaborgir hiking trail

Barnafoss, Children's Falls

Barnafoss, Children's Falls

Basalt Hotel

Basalt Hotel

Baula

Bárður Snæfellsás walking trail

Berserkjahraun lava

Berserkjahraun lava

Beruvík hiking trail

Beruvík hiking trail

Bifrost Borgarfjord

Bifrost Borgarfjord

Bjarg Borgarnes

Bjarg Borgarnes

Bjargarsteinn House of Food

Bjargarsteinn House of Food

Bjarnarfoss Waterfall

Bjarnarfoss Waterfall

Bjarnarfoss waterfall

Bjarnarfoss waterfall

Bjarnarhöfn

Bjarnarhöfn

Bjarteyjarsandur Farm

Bjarteyjarsandur Farm

Bjossarolo - playground

Bjossarolo - playground

Blautós

Blómalindin Café

Blómasetrið Guesthouse

Blómasetrið Guesthouse

Borg

Borg á Mýrum-Einkunnir hiking trail

Borgarfjardarbrú bridge

Borgarfjardarbrú bridge

Borgarnes

Borgarnes Museum

Borgarnes Swimming pool

Borgarnes Swimming pool

Borgarnes swimming pool

Borgarnes swimming pool

Borgarnes walking trail

Borgarnes walking trail

Botnsdalur

Brákarey Island Borgarnes

Breidafjordur

Breidafjordur

Breið

Brynjudalsskógur forestry

Budakirkja Church

Budakirkja Church

Budardalur

Búðardalur Camping Ground

Búðardalur-Laxarós

Búðardalur-Laxarós

Búðir-Búðaklettur-Frambúðir

Búðir-Búðaklettur-Frambúðir

Country Hotel Fossatún

Country Hotel Fossatún

Crisscross Food Tours and Farm Visits

Crisscross Food Tours and Farm Visits

Dagverdarnes

Dagverdarnes

Dalahestar

Danielslundur Forestry

Deildartunguhver hot spring

Deildartunguhver hot spring

Djupalonssandur & Dritvik Snaefellsnes peninsula

Djupalonssandur & Dritvik Snaefellsnes peninsula

Drangar Country Guesthouse

Drangar Country Guesthouse

Drapuhlidarfjall Mountain. Snaefellsnes peninsula

Drapuhlidarfjall Mountain. Snaefellsnes peninsula

EfraNes

Einkunnir a country park

Einkunnir hiking trail

Einkunnir hiking trail

Eirik the Red´s homestead in Dalir

Eirik the Red´s homestead in Dalir

Eiríksjökull í Borgarfirdi

Eiríksjökull í Borgarfirdi

Eiríksstadir - Living Museum

Eiríksstadir - Living Museum

Eldborg Crater hiking trail

Eldborg Crater hiking trail

Eldborg Crater Snaefellsnes peninsula

Eldborg Crater Snaefellsnes peninsula

England/Peter's fortress trail

England/Peter's fortress trail

Englendingavik

Englendingavik

Erpsstaðir Travel service

Erpsstaðir Travel service

Eyrarhringur hiking trail

Eyrarhringur hiking trail

Fellsstrond in Dalir

Fellsstrond in Dalir

Fiskibyrgi Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Fiskibyrgi Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Fjeldstedhestar.is

Fjeldstedhestar.is

Flatey Island Breidafjord

Flatey Island Breidafjord

Fossatún hiking trail

Fossatún hiking trail

Fossatún Pod Village

Fossatún Pod Village

Fossá forestry

Fossá forestry

Fossá waterfall

Fossá waterfall

Fosshotel Hellnar

Fosshotel Hellnar

Fosshotel Reykholt

Fosshotel Reykholt

Fosshotel Stykkishólmur

Fosshotel Stykkishólmur

Frístundastígur; Ólafsvík-Rif-Hellissandur

Frístundastígur; Ólafsvík-Rif-Hellissandur

Galito

Gallerí Jökull

Garðalundur park Akranesi

Garðalundur park Akranesi

Gatklettur - Arch Rock

Gatklettur - Arch Rock

Geirabakarí Café Konditori

Geirabakarí Café Konditori

Geirshólmi in Hvalfjorð

Geirshólmi in Hvalfjorð

Gilbakki Kaffihús

Gilbakki Kaffihús

Glacier Paradise

Glacier Paradise

Glymur, waterfall in Hvalfjord

Glymur, waterfall in Hvalfjord

Grabrok Crater in Borgarfjord

Grabrok Crater in Borgarfjord

Grund Guesthouse

Grund Guesthouse

Grundarfjordur

Grundarfjordur

Grundarfjörður Camping Ground

Grundarfjörður Camping Ground

Grundarfjörður Guesthouse & Harbour Cafe

Grundarfjörður Guesthouse & Harbour Cafe

Grundarfjörður Information Center

Grundarfjörður Information Center

Grundarfjörður Swimming pool

Grundarfjörður Swimming pool

Gudrunarlaug, geothermal pool, in Dalir

Gudrunarlaug, geothermal pool, in Dalir

Guðlaug Baths

Guðlaug Baths

Guesthouse Gamli Bær

Guesthouse Gamli Bær

Guesthouse Hvítá

Guesthouse Hvítá

Guesthouse Milli Vina

Guesthouse Milli Vina

Gufuá

Guide to Iceland

Hafnarfjall mountain in Borgarjord

Hafnarfjall mountain in Borgarjord

Hafnarfjall the Seven peaks

Hafnarfjall the Seven peaks

Hafratindur Mountain in Dalir

Hafratindur Mountain in Dalir

Hallgrim's Church in Hvalfjord

Hallgrim's Church in Hvalfjord

hallmundarhraun lava field in Borgarfjord

hallmundarhraun lava field in Borgarfjord

Handverkshópurinn Bolli - Icelandic Craft

Handverkshópurinn Bolli - Icelandic Craft

Háafell - Goatfarm

Háafell - Goatfarm

Háafell Lodge

Háafell Lodge

Helgafell hiking trail

Helgafell hiking trail

Helgafell Holy Mountain in Snaefellsnes peninsula

Helgafell Holy Mountain in Snaefellsnes peninsula

Hellissandur

Hellissandur

Hellissandur Camping Ground

Hellissandur Camping Ground

Hellnar in Snaefellsnes peninsula

Hellnar in Snaefellsnes peninsula

Hestaland

Hjalli Travel Service

Hjá Góðu Fólki

Hjá Góðu Fólki

Hlaðir Swimming Pool

Hlaðir Swimming Pool

Hoppland

Horse Centre Borgartún

Hotel Á

Hotel Bifröst

Hotel Borgarnes

Hotel Borgarnes

Hotel Búðir

Hotel Búðir

Hotel Flatey

Hotel Flatey

Hotel Fransiskus

Hotel Fransiskus

Hotel Hafnarfjall

Hotel Hafnarfjall

Hotel Hamar

Hotel Hamar

Hotel Langaholt

Hotel Langaholt

Hotel Laxárbakki

Hotel Laxárbakki

Hotel Snæfellsnes

Hotel Snæfellsnes

Hotel Varmaland

Hotel Varmaland

Hólahólar Crater in Snaefellsnes

Hólahólar Crater in Snaefellsnes

Hólar Petting Farm

Hólar Petting Farm

Hótel Egilsen

Hótel Egilsen

Hótel Húsafell

Hótel Húsafell

Hraunfossar Restaurant

Hraunfossar Restaurant

Hraunfossar, lava waterfalls in Borgarfjord

Hraunfossar, lava waterfalls in Borgarfjord

Hraunsnef country hotel

Hraunsnef country hotel

Hredavatn, lake in Borgarfjord

Hredavatn, lake in Borgarfjord

Hreppslaug Swimming pool

Hreppslaug Swimming pool

Husafell Canyon Baths

Husafell Canyon Baths

Husafell Golf Club

Husafell Golf Club

Húsafell Bistró

Húsafell Bistró

Húsafell Camping

Húsafell Camping

Húsafell hiking trails

Húsafell hiking trails

Húsafell in Borgarfjordur

Húsafell in Borgarfjordur

Hvalfjörður

Hvalfjörður

Hvammsvík Hot Springs

Hvammsvík Hot Springs

Hvammur in Dalir

Hvammur in Dalir

Hvanneyri in Borgarfjordur

Hvanneyri in Borgarfjordur

Hvanneyri walking trail

Hvanneyri walking trail

Hverinn

Höfrungur AK 91

Iceland / Promote Iceland / Visit Iceland

Iceland / Promote Iceland / Visit Iceland

Iceland Exclusive Travels

Iceland Exclusive Travels

Ingjaldshóll in Snaefellsnes

Ingjaldshóll in Snaefellsnes

Into the glacier / Ice Cave Iceland

Into the glacier / Ice Cave Iceland

Jafnaskarðsskógur forestry hiking trail

Jafnaskarðsskógur forestry hiking trail

Kast Guesthouse

Kast Guesthouse

Kirkjufell Guesthouse

Kirkjufell Guesthouse

Kirkjufell Hotel

Kirkjufell Hotel

Kirkjufell mountain

Kirkjufell mountain

Kirkjufellsfoss, waterfall, in Snaefellsnes

Kirkjufellsfoss, waterfall, in Snaefellsnes

Kleppjárnsreykir Swimming pool

Kleppjárnsreykir Swimming pool

Klofningur mountain in Dalir

Klofningur mountain in Dalir

Klukkufoss waterfall hiking trail

Klukkufoss waterfall hiking trail

Kontiki

Kópareykir-Cottages

Krauma

Krosshólaborg in Dalir

Lambalækur

Langisandur, sandy beach in Akranes

Langjokull Glacier in Borgarfjord

Langjokull Glacier in Borgarfjord

Laugar in Saelingsdalur in Dalir

Laugar in Saelingsdalur in Dalir

Láki Tours

Leynir Golf Club

Library of Water

Library of Water

Light house  - Svortuloftarviti at Snaefellsnes

Light house - Svortuloftarviti at Snaefellsnes

Lindin - Geothermal bath

Lindin - Geothermal bath

Liston

Ljómalind - farmers market

Londrangar basalt cliffs in Snaefellsnes

Londrangar basalt cliffs in Snaefellsnes

Longufjorur Beach in Snaefellsnes

Longufjorur Beach in Snaefellsnes

Lýsuhóll-Snæhestar

Lýsuhóll-Snæhestar

Lýsulaugar - geothermal bath

Lýsulaugar - geothermal bath

Lækjarkot Rooms and Cottages with Kitchen

Lækjarkot Rooms and Cottages with Kitchen

Malarrif in Snaefellsnes

Malarrif in Snaefellsnes

Malarrifsviti, Light house in Snaefellsnes

Malarrifsviti, Light house in Snaefellsnes

María Apartment

María Apartment

Meðalfellsvatn lake in Kjós

Meðalfellsvatn lake in Kjós

Miðhraun - Lava Resort

Miðhraun - Lava Resort

Mostri Golf Club

Mostri Golf Club

Narfeyrarstofa

Narfeyrarstofa

Nesbrauð

Norwegian House - Regional Muesum

Nýp at Skarðsströnd

Nýp at Skarðsströnd

Olafsdalur in Dalir

Olafsdalur in Dalir

Olafsvik in Snaefellsnes peninsula

Olafsvik in Snaefellsnes peninsula

Olkelda mineral spring in Snaefellsnes

Olkelda mineral spring in Snaefellsnes

Ondverdarnes in Snaefellsnes

Ondverdarnes in Snaefellsnes

Ondverdarnes, Lighthouse, in Snaefellsnes.

Ondverdarnes, Lighthouse, in Snaefellsnes.

Ólafsvík Camping Ground

Ólafsvík Camping Ground

Ólafsvík Swimming pool

Ólafsvík Swimming pool

Ólafsvík walking trail

Ólafsvík walking trail

Rauðhóll hiking trail

Rauðhóll hiking trail

Rauðsgil hiking trail

Rauðsgil hiking trail

Reykholt in Borgarfjord

Reykholt in Borgarfjord

Reykholt í Borgarfjord

Reykholt í Borgarfjord

Rif at Snaefellsnes peninsula.

Rif at Snaefellsnes peninsula.

Rock´n´ Troll Café

Rock´n´ Troll Café

Saelingsdalslaug

Saelingsdalslaug

Saudafell Guesthouse

Saudafell Guesthouse

Saxholl crater in Snaefellsnes

Saxholl crater in Snaefellsnes

Seals at Ytri-Tunga

Seals at Ytri-Tunga

Seatours

Selsskógur, Skorradalur Camping ground

Signýjarstaðir Cottages

Signýjarstaðir Cottages

Simply the West

Simply the West

Síldarmannagötur

Síldarmannagötur

Sjávarborg

Sjávarpakkhúsið

Skallagrimsgardur, public park in Borgarnes

Skallagrimsgardur, public park in Borgarnes

Skard in Skardsstrond, Dalir

Skard in Skardsstrond, Dalir

Skardsstrond coast

Skardsstrond coast

Skardsvik in Snaefellsnes

Skardsvik in Snaefellsnes

Skálasnagaviti lighthouse, at Snaefellsnes

Skálasnagaviti lighthouse, at Snaefellsnes

Sker Restaurant

Sker Restaurant

Skessuhorn, mountain in Borgarfjord

Skessuhorn, mountain in Borgarfjord

Skorradalur Valley in Borgarfjord

Skorradalur Valley in Borgarfjord

Snaefellsbaer District Information Office

Snaefellsbaer District Information Office

Snaefellsjokull glacier at Snaefellsnes peninsula

Snaefellsjokull glacier at Snaefellsnes peninsula

Snaefellsjokull National Park - Visitor Centre

Snaefellsjokull National Park - Visitor Centre

Snaefellsjökull National Park in Snaefellsnes

Snaefellsjökull National Park in Snaefellsnes

Snorralaug (Snorri's pool)

Snorralaug (Snorri's pool)

Snorrastadir

Snorrastadir

Snorrastofa Reykholt

Snorrastofa Reykholt

Snæfellsnes Visitor Center

Snæfellsnes Visitor Center

Soffia´s Toy Museum

Soffia´s Toy Museum

Staðarsveit Golf Club

Staðarsveit Golf Club

Stapafell, volcanic mountain in Snaefellsnes

Stapafell, volcanic mountain in Snaefellsnes

Staupasteinn in Hvalfjörð

Staupasteinn in Hvalfjörð

Stálpastaða  woods, Skorradalur in Borgarfjord

Stálpastaða woods, Skorradalur in Borgarfjord

Stálpastaðir forestry

Stálpastaðir forestry

Steindórsstaðir Guesthouse

Steindórsstaðir Guesthouse

Stóri Kambur

Stóri Kambur

Sturlureykir Horse Farm

Sturlureykir Horse Farm

Stykkisholmur

Stykkisholmur

Stykkishólmur Camping ground

Stykkishólmur Camping ground

Stykkishólmur Swimming pool

Stykkishólmur Swimming pool

Stöð Guesthouse and apartments

Stöð Guesthouse and apartments

Suður-Bár Guesthouse

Suður-Bár Guesthouse

Summit Adventure Guides

Summit Adventure Guides

Súgandisey Island at Stykkisholmur, Snaefellsnes

Súgandisey Island at Stykkisholmur, Snaefellsnes

Svalthufa and Thufubjarg in Snaefellsnes

Svalthufa and Thufubjarg in Snaefellsnes

Svarfhóll

Svodufoss, waterfall in Snaefellsnes

Svöðufoss waterfall walking path

Svöðufoss waterfall walking path

Sýsló Guesthouse

Sýsló Guesthouse

Söðulsholt

The Agricultural Museum of Iceland

The Castle Guesthouse

The Castle Guesthouse

The Cave

The Ferry Baldur

The Freezer Hostel & Culture Centre

The Freezer Hostel & Culture Centre

The Leif Eiriksson Center

The Leif Eiriksson Center

The Maritime Museum in the Fishermen´s Park

The Maritime Museum in the Fishermen´s Park

The National Park Center Hellissandur

The National Park Center Hellissandur

The Old Post Office

The Old Post Office

The Settlement Center in Borgarnes

The Settlement Center in Borgarnes

Thor Photography

Thor Photography

Troll Waterfalls in Borgarfjord

Troll Waterfalls in Borgarfjord

Trollpark in Fossatún

Trollpark in Fossatún

Tröð forestry

Tröð forestry

Ullarselið - Wool Centre

Ullarselið - Wool Centre

Varmaland

Varmaland hiking trail

Vatnshellir Cave in Snaefellsnes peninsula

Vatnshellir Cave in Snaefellsnes peninsula

Vedurhorfur - 112 Words for Wind

Vedurhorfur - 112 Words for Wind

Vestur Adventures

Vestur Adventures

Vidgelmir Cave in Borgarfjord

Vidgelmir Cave in Borgarfjord

Visit West Iceland

Visit West Iceland

Vogur Country Lodge

Vogur Country Lodge

War and Peace Museum

War and Peace Museum

Þórufoss Waterfall in Kjós

Þórufoss Waterfall in Kjós

Þurranes

Æðarsetur Íslands

IMAGES

  1. Highlights of West Iceland

    west iceland tourism

  2. Best Things to See and Do in West Iceland

    west iceland tourism

  3. Visit West Iceland

    west iceland tourism

  4. Must-Visit Places and Natural Attractions in West Iceland

    west iceland tourism

  5. Touring Snæfellsnes Peninsula And West Iceland

    west iceland tourism

  6. West Iceland Sightseeing Day Tour

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COMMENTS

  1. @Visit West Iceland

    Outdoors activities Walking trails in West Iceland Experience Iceland Experience West Iceland Highlights in West Iceland Hraunfossar Hraunfossar - Lava Falls - is a beautiful and unusual natural phenomena. Clear, cold springs of subterranean water seep through the lava and run as tiny waterfalls and rapids into the Hvita River.

  2. 15 Best Places To See in West Iceland

    Steeped in culture and with limitless adventure, West Iceland offers a variety of different opportunities to see unforgettable landscapes, national parks, villages, and more. West Iceland is only one of the eight traditional regions of Iceland, so you don't want to miss this!

  3. West Iceland

    1501 West Iceland is home to the country's capital city, Reykjavík, and an array of impressive natural sites. These include Europe's most powerful hot spring, Iceland's most significant lava tube, fascinating glaciers, beautiful waterfalls important historical sites and more.

  4. 10 Must See Places in West Iceland

    West Iceland is sometimes referred to as "little Iceland" because it combines the most diverse landscapes that Iceland has to offer: stunning glaciers, lava rock with the famous pillowy green moss, towering mountains, adorable fishing harbors, iconic lighthouses, volcanic craters, jagged cliffs, a black sand and a white sand beach…all on a tiny ...

  5. The Traveler's Guide to West Iceland

    West Iceland, locally referred to as Vesturland, is an extremely diverse region. Its natural environment is stunning; think volcanoes, some dormant but others active, and a dramatic coastline where fishing villages developed to exploit the riches of the sea, vast lava fields, and giant waterfalls. Visit Vesturland, and you will see all of this!

  6. West Iceland travel

    Must-see attractions for your itinerary Snæfellsjökull National Park Snæfellsnes Peninsula Snæfellsjökull National Park encompasses much of the western tip of Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and wraps around the rugged slopes of the glacier… Settlement Centre Borgarbyggð

  7. The Regions

    Reykjanes Peninsula The West The South West Iceland is one of Iceland's most geologically diverse regions. Its natural wonders are a nearly exhaustive sampling of all that Iceland offers, ranging from slumbering volcanoes and majestic waterfalls to various flora and wildlife. west.is

  8. West Iceland itinerary: 3 days in Iceland's West Coast

    Day two: Borgarnes to Grundarfjörður. Time to explore the best of the west! Today you'll visit waterfalls, wander through canyons, see some of Iceland's famous churches, witness the wild coastal weather and finish up with a visit to one of the most famous mountains in the country.

  9. Top 10 Things to Do in West Iceland

    Borgarnes is the 'activity hub of West Iceland where you would go to freshen up your spirit and rest into an enchanting layover. Just 75 KM from Reykjavik City center, it is a perfect spot for a 'vacation-specific' visit.Borgarnes offers a wide array of activities. You can witness the spellbinding Geirabakari or have a rejuvenating picnic at Skallagrímsgarður public park.

  10. The Best West Iceland Itinerary & Top Things to do [2024]

    West Iceland Itinerary: Day 1. Starting in Reykjavík you want to hit the ring road, Route 1, north to Borganes before bearing west and following Route 54. This road leads you directly into the heart of the West Iceland region along the stunning coastline. Upon reaching Búðir, bear left through the lava fields following Route 574 all the way ...

  11. 14 West Iceland Attractions: The Best Things to Do in West Iceland

    West Iceland has waterfalls, mountains, lakes, hot springs, and beaches, so it has something for everyone. It's also easy to visit because it is near the airport and Reykjavik. This guide has everything you need to know about the best west Iceland attractions!

  12. 20 places to see in West Iceland

    Here's a list of our top 20 places to visit in West Iceland: 1. Erpsstaðir dairy farm. Erpsstaðir is a farm that produces a variety of goods from their own product. There you can stop by and buy ...

  13. Visit West Iceland

    Simply the West is a progressive travel agency that offers a vide range of day tours and is constantly adding more. We can also organize day tours in Geirabakarí Café Konditori Geirabakarí is a bakery located in Borgarnes, only an hour's drive from Reykjavík. The bakery offers a variety of cakes and pastries as well as club s

  14. West Iceland Tours

    The west of Iceland is an enormous area characterized by fjords, valleys, volcanoes and craters. The most famous attraction in the west is undoubtedly the Snaefellsnes peninsula that is home to the mighty Snaefellsjokull glacier as well as mt. Kirkjufell, also known as the arrowhead mountain from Game of Thrones.

  15. 10 Best West Iceland Tours & Trips 2024/2025

    44 West Iceland tour packages with 7 reviews Explorer Hiking & Trekking Three Days in Iceland: Reykjavik & Snæfellsnes Peninsula 4.0 (2 reviews) Destinations Reykjavik +1 more Age Range 12 to 99 year olds Country Region West Iceland +1 more Operated in English Operator G Adventures 15% Off Duration 3 days Price per day $269 From $949 US$807

  16. 5 Things To Know Before Visiting The Westfjords Iceland

    5 Things To Know Before Visiting The Westfjords Iceland. #1. The Road Conditions In Iceland's Westfjords Are Pretty Terrible In Areas. Driving in the Westfjords Iceland is an experience in and of itself [more on that later!] There are hundreds of miles of road in Iceland's Westfjords and some road is great and some road is super terrible!

  17. Western Iceland Tours : Iceland West Coast Tour : Nordic Visitor

    Though summer is the most popular time to visit the area, West Iceland is also a wonderful place to stay in winter (October - March) for possible nighttime sightings of the northern lights. Each region of Iceland is unique — why not see them all? To drive around the entire Ring Road, we recommend a tour of 10 days or longer.

  18. Day Tours

    Simply the West is a progressive travel agency that offers a vide range of day tours and is constantly adding more. We can also organize day tours in West Iceland for you and offer you tailor made private tours. View The Cave Hailed as the mightiest of Iceland's caves, its diversity and grandeur is unrivalled.

  19. What you need to know about volcano tourism in Iceland

    In 2021, after 6,000 years lying dormant, the Fagradalsfjall volcanic system on the Reykjanes Peninsula sprang back into life with the appearance of a 600ft-long fissure. Until that moment, the ...

  20. West Iceland

    Day Tours, multi-day and activities - From Reykjavik and On Location. West Iceland is home to Borgarfjordur fjord and Snaefellsnes peninsula. At the famous Snaefellsjokull glacier, located on the Snaefellsnes peninsula, you can find the passage to the center of the Earth, as depicted in the famous novel: Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864 ...

  21. Visit Iceland

    Iceland is a popular travel destination. Sometimes, certain places can be busier than others. Skip the hectic tourist traffic at the most popular destinations and plan your trip to make the most of your time in Iceland. Use our tourist counter to see peak visitor times and plan accordingly. Find the best time to visit!

  22. Tourist Information Centres

    The Tourist Information Center in Grundarfjörður helps you with information regarding Grundarfjörður, the Snæfellsnes peninsula and other inquiries.Opening hours:All year: Mondays to Thursdays 13:00-17:00.Opening hours may change during the summer, see webpage: https://www.grundarfjordur.is/is/eng/tourism/tourist-information-center-grundarfjordur

  23. Is it safe to travel to Iceland amid volcanic eruptions? Latest advice

    The Iceland Met Office said lava was flowing to the west and there is no immediate threat to the town of Grindavik, which was evacuated as lava flowed near the towns edges during previous ...

  24. Volcano spews lava and smoke in new Iceland eruption

    Fountains of lava have spewed from a fissure in south-west Iceland, in the third volcanic eruption since December. Spectacular footage from the Reykjanes peninsula showed molten rock oozing along ...

  25. Iceland Volcano Erupts for the Third Time Since December

    Iceland Volcano Erupts , for the Third Time Since December. The volcano, located in southwestern Ireland, began erupting at 1 a.m. ET on Feb. 8, NBC News reports. . The Blue Lagoon spa, a major ...

  26. Map

    Láki Tours offers responsible whale watching tours in West Iceland. We also operate puffin tours and sea angling trips from Grundarfjörður in Snæfells Leynir Golf Club. Garðavöllur, the Akranes Golf Course, is an 18-hole course in West Iceland. Renowned for its beautiful surroundings, good upkeep and excellent putting