Fourth blog post about my Iceland trip: this time the places I liked most and that I think you must see while you are in the Westfjords of Iceland. Check my other post for Reykjavík and Western Iceland. I’ll probably miss some great places so if I missed your favourite place, let me know in the comments!
The Westfjords are one of the most remote parts of Iceland (with the Highlands), and there are fewer tourists than elsewhere. But the scenery and the roads are definitely worth your time!
Must see in the Wesfjords – Eastern Part
The eastern part (route 645 and 643) Hólmavík, Drangsnes, Djúpavík to Norðurfjörður and Krossneslaug is a “one-way” trip as you will need to come back almost to Holmavik to get to the western part of the Westfjords.
Must see – Hólmavík
Starting in Hólmavík, a small town where you should stock up on groceries and fuel is also known for its Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft. Iceland and especially the Westfjords has a long history of witchcraft and witch-hunting and witch-burning. If you want to learn more about witchcraft or creep yourself out, you should go to the museum. It’s quite small but very well done and certainly worth the visit if only to see the Nábrók, the necropants, a pair of pants made from the skin of a dead person that if worn will give the wearer money.
From Hólmavík you should take the coastal road (645) to Drangsnes a tiny village whose main attraction is the hot tubs just beside the road with a view of the ocean and Grimsey island.
From there the road gets more scenic by the minute and houses are fewer and farther. Take road 643 and enjoy the drive!
Must see – Djúpavík
You should certainly stop in Djúpavík, consisting of a couple of houses, a hotel (!) and an old abandoned factory and some rusty boats. The herring transformation plant is now used as a gallery, and the experience of climbing up into it was great.
There are a couple of abandoned factories in the Westfjords, and they were built when the herring fishing was booming, and there was plenty of fish, but many were closed after only a couple of years as overfishing was huge and had made some fish almost extinct, which lead to strict quotas for the whole region.
Must see – Norðurfjörður
After Djúpavík, the next “bigger” settlement is Norðurfjörður which is almost the end of the road. There is a small restaurant, a camp ground and your best place to stay before going back south.
Must see – Krossneslaug
But don’t stop yet as just a couple more kilometres on the road, which is slowly transforming into a track, is one of the remotest hotpots / hot springs there is: Krossneslaug. You’ll have a great view of the ocean while soaking in the warm water. When I arrived I had the pool all alone for myself and as the end of the day approached a couple of locals, and a handful of tourists joined me.
For a list and map of all the hotpots go here.
In the next post, I’ll list the places on the way to and around Ísafjörður.
Don’t hesitate to let me know if I forgot something on my list.
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