Out of all the places I’ve been, and believe me, I’ve traveled to Iceland EXTENSIVELY – the Westfjörds are in my top 3 favorite!

Located in the northwest part of Iceland, it’s definitely off the beaten path, away from the tourists, in one of the most sparsely populated parts of the country. 

If you consider yourself an explorer, Iceland’s Westfjörds have your name written all over them!

So what makes this region so fabulous? Let’s take a look…

✅ Hot springs? You betcha!
✅ Museums? Yes siree.
✅ How about waterfalls? Yes please, not only that, but you’ll see one of the biggest and best-est ones (in my humble opinion!).

You’ll also find diverse wildlife and some of the best views in the country.

If you’re considering visiting this magical area of Iceland, don’t think twice. 

I’ve done a deep dive into what you can expect with the weather, the best times to visit, and all the fun things you can do in the Westfjörds region.

Let’s get into it!


Best Time of Year to Visit the Westfjörds

Picture of Dynjandi Waterfall From Above in the Westfjörds, Iceland | Iceland with a View

Travel experts have recognized the Westfjörds as one of the top regions to travel to.

But, when’s the best time to visit? Honestly, it’s up for debate. 

I’d go any time of year because it is so incredibly beautiful! 

But, if you want to take full advantage of everything being open and roads not being closed due to snowfall, I recommend mid-summer. Specifically July and August.

Another consideration is that some of the restaurants are only open seasonally.

Pro Tip: One weekend is NOT enough time in the Westfjörds. If you want to make the most of the trip, make it a long weekend at the very least.

One time, we decided to head to the Westfjörds on a Friday afternoon, thinking a weekend would suffice. But with a 6-hour drive to Ísafjörður, we ended up with just Saturday and half of Sunday before we had to drive all the way back home.

Give yourself enough time to thoroughly enjoy this beautiful region! 

Westfjörds Weather

So, let’s talk about the weather, shall we?

In the Westfjörds of Iceland, winters are super snowy, leading to road closures. So, if you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing, timing matters! 

Iceland’s weather is notoriously fickle. Being prepared for all the elements is super important when you visit this region. Packing warm clothes and layers is a must! 

The rainiest month is December, with June being the driest.

Need some packing tips? 

I’ve got a downloadable guide that’s a lifesaver, especially if you tend to overpack or on the flip side, often forget must-have items. In it, you’ll find checklists, weather information, tips on how to layer your clothes, and shopping recommendations for the whole family!

Get your FREE Ultimate Iceland Packing Guide here👇

Average Temperatures

The Westfjörds is one of the coldest regions of Iceland.

The average yearly temperatures are between  30°F/-1°C and 37°F/3°C.

Summer temperatures fluctuate between 45°F/7°C and  52°F/11°C, while winters range from 25°F/-4°C and 34°F/1°C.

How to Get to the Westfjörds from Reykjavík 

The Westfjörds are located in the remote northwestern part of Iceland. The main areas in this region are Ísafjörður, Þingeyri, Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, and Patreksfjörður. 

Depending on your destination, the distance from the Westfjörds to Reykjavík is roughly 124 miles / 200km.

You can get there from the capital by car, bus or plane.  

As another option, you can drive to Stykkishólmur, then take the Westfjörds ferry to Brjánslækur. From there, you can drive to your desired destination.

Taking the bus is the cheapest option, but it’ll take over 8 hours. 

However, once you’re there and plan on going around exploring, you’ll need to rent a car (unless you’re just staying in the main towns).

Personally, I love the freedom that driving in Iceland gives me, especially when traveling through one of the most scenic routes in the country.

You can stop whenever you want to take in the scenery and explore it a little longer. There’s just so much flexibility to stop and explore those charming hidden gems you find along the way! 💎

Check out the post below for more tips on renting a car.

➡️ READ: Renting A Car In Iceland: 10 Quick Tips For A Successful Trip

Driving the Westfjörds

You can technically access the Westfjörds in summer and winter. 

However, because of the remote location, many roads may be closed in winter because of heavy snowfall and lack of maintenance.

If you plan on visiting this region in summer (June-August), where you’ll mostly be visiting the small towns with paved roads, you should be fine with a 2WD. 

I wouldn’t say that a 4WD is necessary, but it was so nice to have. And if you’re visiting from September to May, I would recommend it to be safe. 

If you want to learn more about what kind of vehicle you need for your Iceland trip, I suggest checking out the video below👇

Keep in mind that some mountain passes are incredibly narrow and steep, with some road closures lasting through April due to snowfall. 

Despite this, I was never worried about safety when traveling on these roads and managed to navigate through all kinds of conditions – wind, rain, sleet, and snow. 

I’ve even seen camper vans and small cars tackling the same roads. So, it’s possible, but please drive carefully!

✅ If you plan on renting a car, I suggest going with Blue Car Rental

All insurance is included in their pricing, you’ll be supporting a local business and their vehicles are equipped for Icelandic terrain and weather to make you have a safe journey. 

I even have a special discount for Team Iceland!  👉 5% VIP discount!

Main Attractions In The Westfjörds

If you’re wondering what to see in the Westfjörds, there are SO MANY natural attractions and things to do, despite the remoteness of the area. You can discover it for yourself or take advantage of the many Westfjörd tours available.

Small Towns to Visit

The best way to experience authentic Icelandic local life is by visiting the quaint little towns and villages that Iceland is known for. 


Oh my goodness, this place is adorable! 

Ísafjörður (Isafjordur) in the Westfjörds of Iceland is the largest town in the Westfjörds, with 2600 inhabitants! 

It’s an old fishing village located on a peninsula in the ocean wedged between two huge mountains in a fjord with bright multi-colored houses. I mean seriously, what’s not love?!


It’s here where you’ll find Gardar BA 64 Shipwreck, the oldest steel ship in Iceland.  

Patreksfjörður has under 1000 residents and is roughly a 40-minute drive from the red-sand beach of Rauðasandur and a few other attractions in the area.

With the growth of tourism in Iceland, this quaint little fishing town has also recently grown in popularity.


This village holds historical significance and a sad history of a devastating avalanche that hit the town in 1995. 

Despite that, Flateyri stands out for its beauty… and quirky museums!

If you’re visiting Isafjordur, Flateyri is only a 20-minute drive away.

Dynjandi Waterfall

Picture of Dynjandi Waterfall in Iceland | Westfjörds | Iceland with a View

Let me introduce you to the mac daddy of waterfalls in Iceland: Dynjandi Waterfall.

Psst… It’s also my personal favorite.

Dynjandi is so massive that you can see it from miles away on the drive-in. 

If it seems big in the picture, it’s way bigger in real life. The closer you get to the falls, the more amazing it becomes. 

It truly exceeded all my expectations!

Make sure you see this Westfjörds waterfall! 

Find out more about it in the blog post below.

➡️ READ: Dynjandi Waterfall: How to Explore the Hidden Jewel of the Westfjörds

Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

This nature reserve hasn’t been inhabited since the 1950’s. But there are great hiking opportunities and wildlife to see. 

If you take one of the tours you’ll be treated to lunch at a farmhouse. For a few years, an Arctic fox family has made a home in the backyard, and if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of their adorable cubs! Check out the tour here.👇

Tour: Hornstrandir Panorama

Rauðisandur Beach

This is the red sand beach about 20 miles / 32 km from Patreksfjörður, on the southernmost part of the fjörds.

If you hope to see it in all its glory, come when the tide is low and preferably on a sunny day.

Aside from the beautiful red beach, there’s also a little black church with a red roof called Saurbæjarkirkja.

Don’t you just love the little churches all over Iceland?! 

There’s also a little cafe close by called Franska Kaffihúsið that serves drinks and some snacks. Plus I hear that their waffles are really good! 

Always double-check when they’re open, as many places are closed over the winter.

Bolafjall Lookout

Picture of Jeannie Walking on the Bolungarvík Road in Westfjörds, Iceland | Iceland with a View

Another place to add to your Westfjörds itinerary is Bolafjall lookout in the town of Bolungarvík. 

On a clear day, you can see Greenland from the top! 

We spoke with a local who told us that the road is only open in July and August.

During the off-season, you can hike to the top, but be prepared for several hours of trudging through snow and make sure you have the appropriate cold-weather gear.

Hellulaug Hot Spring

This was one of the best hot springs experiences I’ve ever had in Iceland! 

The naturally heated pool is hidden from the road, tucked away in a secluded little spot by the sea. 

We were the only ones there, the water temperature was perfect, and the scenery was unbelievable. 

I know there are a lot of Westfjörds hot springs, but I can highly recommend this one.

If you need the coordinates here they are: GPS points: N65° 34′ 36.661″ W23° 9′ 48.289″

Other hot springs in the Westfjörds worth checking out are Reykjafjarðarlaug and Hörgshlíðarlaug. 

Find out more about the hot springs in Iceland here.👇

➡️ READ: Top 10 Blue Lagoon Alternatives: Hot Springs, Pools, and Spas That Are Just as Breathtaking


Látrabjarg Cliff is about an hour away from Patreksfjörður and the location of one of the largest puffin colonies on the planet.

If you’d love to see these birds in Iceland, here’s more information for you.👇

➡️ READ: Ultimate Guide to Puffins in Iceland

Westfjörds: Things to Do

I told you, there are a LOT of things to do in the Westfjörds! Make sure you leave enough time in your itinerary to explore this magical place. 


Picture of the Outside of Óvör Museum located in the Westfjörds, Iceland | Iceland with a View

Interestingly enough, you’ll find several museums in the area. 

As I mentioned earlier, Flateyri has a few…well…let’s just say unique museums like the Nonsense and Doll Museums. 😅

The Ósvör Museum, located in Bolungarvík, features an awesome replica of an old fishing outpost. 

There’s also an Arctic Fox Museum in Súðavík and the Westfjörds Heritage Museum, (sometimes called the Maritime Museum) can be found in Ísafjörður.

Hiking Trails

Rugged landscapes lend to great hiking opportunities! Let’s take a look at some of them.

Valgil: For those who love to hike, another beautiful waterfall to see in the area is Valgil. It’s a few miles south of the town of Súðavík on the west coast of Álftafjörðurm fjord. 

Djúpavík Waterfall: This waterfall is located in the village of Djúpavík in one of the remotest parts of the country, Strandir. The hiking trail near Árneshreppur is considered challenging. 

Picture of Djupavík Waterfall in the Westfjörds, Iceland | Iceland with a View

Patreksfjörður to Tálknafjörður: Hike between two fjörds and find out about the history of these two places with a knowledgeable tour guide This is rated as an easy hike covering 4 miles (7km.)👇

Tour: HIKE BETWEEN TWO fjörds – Hiking


If you’re a cyclist looking for an endurance competition, the Arna Westfjörds Way Challenge may be just what you’re looking for!

It takes place over five days and is made up of four stages.  The first stage starts in Ísafjörður and the last stage ends in Patreksfjörður. 

Are you brave enough for the challenge?? 😉

Whale Watching

There are various whale-watching tours that you can take in the Westfjörds. 

You can expect a variety of species by the fjord outside Hólmavík, from humpback to minke whales and white-beaked dolphins. 

These creatures are SO impressive to watch! 

Tour: Whale Watching Hólmavík

Westfjörds Road Trip

If you’re considering a place to go road-tripping, the scenery in this region is out of this world!

Just be prepared for a lot of windshield time. 

If you’ve ever driven around Iceland you’ll notice there are SO many places to stop for a picnic and the Westfjörds are no exception. 

In my opinion, it’s the best scenery for said picnic. Food + friends + laughter + scenery = the perfect day.

On one of our road trips, we were driving back to Ísafjörður after a long day of exploring, the sunset was lighting up the sky and the mountains were big and beautiful. 

I’ve seen some amazing sunsets in Iceland but this one has a special place in my heart. 

When we saw this small beach on the fjord we couldn’t pass it up. I think we all just stood there in awe of the amazing sight.

ALWAYS keep your camera handy because you’ll want to stop for a lot of photo ops!


You have a few options if you’re interested in kayaking the Westfjörds.

Experience the wildlife in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve while kayaking in the area. You’ll get to stay in the small villages close by, which are also a site to behold!

Check out the tour details here👇

Tour: Glacier fjörds Kayaking

Swim in the Arctic Ocean

On a weekend trip with friends to the Westfjörds, my husband kept talking about how he wanted to swim in the ocean and we all kept saying, “Uh-huh, you’re crazy.” 

But, on the drive back to Reykjavík, there was a small sandy beach that was the perfect swimming spot, so the boys jumped in!

 It was so funny to watch, I was cold sitting there wearing my down jacket!

Westfjörds Iceland Accommodation

When looking for where to stay in the Westfjörds Iceland, you’ll find various accommodation options here to suit your budget. 

From Westfjörds hotels to bed and breakfasts or guesthouses. 

Comfortable Bungalow Accommodations: We found the most charming place to stay called The Comfortable Bungalow Accommodations, an ideal spot for traveling with friends.

Situated in the picturesque old town of Ísafjörður, it served as the perfect base for the weekend. With comfortable sleeping arrangements,  a full kitchen to prepare breakfasts and stunning mountain views. I highly recommend this place!

Fosshotel Westfjörds: There are a lot of attractions close to Patreksfjörður and staying in this village is an excellent base. This Westfjörds hotel also received the Tripadvisors Traveller’s Choice award for 2023.

Hótel Látrabjarg: They serve a breakfast buffet and a two or three-course dinner in the evening. WiFi is also available in the rooms for free.

Camping Grounds: You can purchase a Camping Card that’ll give you access to 35 camping sites across Iceland, including the Westfjörds. This can be a great way of saving money on accommodation. Some of the campsites in the Westfjörds include Bíldudalur, Grettislaug á Reykhólum, Drangsnes, and Melanes Rauðasandur, to name a few.

A wonderful way to camp around Iceland is by renting a camper van. I highly recommend Happy Campers, we’ve used them many times and it’s been a wonderful experience, especially when traveling with a toddler! They’re family-owned and the oldest camper van company in Iceland.

👉 Sign up to my email list for an exclusive discount when you book your van!

If you’re curious how these vans look like inside, take the tour👇

Dining Options

Many of the restaurants we heard about are only open seasonally. But here is a list of restaurants to try:

Edinborg Bistro: Since the restaurant that everyone recommended was closed for the season when we went one weekend, we were happy to find this place as an alternative. At Edinborg Bistro, I ordered the catch of the day, served in a cast iron skillet. It turned out to be the most delicious, tender, and flaky fish I’ve ever tasted!

Tjöruhúsið in Ísafjörður:  It’s renowned as the best fish restaurant in Iceland! Just FYI…it’s only open on Easter and from 12-2 pm + 6.30-10 pm from June-September. 

Simbahöllin café in Þingeyri: If Belgian waffles with rhubarb jam are totally your well, JAM, then you must add this to places to eat in the area. Just check for when Simbahöllin is open. We were REALLY sad this was closed when we went in the off-season!

Westfjörds Iceland Map 

If you’ve dreamed of escaping the crowds and exploring the stunning fjörds, mountains, and relaxing hot springs of Iceland, then you need to visit the Westfjörds.

But let’s face it, the area is remote, and getting lost is the last thing you want on your trip!

That’s where my 👉 Westfjörds Digital Map comes in.

It’s filled with major attractions and off-the-beaten-path secret gems you don’t want to miss.

And it’s not just about the sights – you’ll also find essential information on grocery stores, rest areas, toilets, accommodations, hiking trails, and so much more.

Picture of a Mockup of a Phone with the Westfjords Iceland Map | Iceland with a View

Westfjords Digital Map


If stunning fjords, towering mountains, and relaxing hot springs sounds like a dream then you will want to visit the Westfjords. It is fantastic on its own or would be the perfect addition to any Ring Road trip.

Recommended duration: 3-5 days
Recommended seasons: May-October

If you’re visiting Iceland, don’t give it another thought, just go ahead and add this stunning area to the top of your list. 😀

Happy Planning,

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