The pretty, ancient church site of Ísafjörður, perched on the peninsular of the Westfjords, has been one of Iceland’s busiest and most important fishing and trading centres for over 250 years. With its fine natural harbour, Ísafjörður is set against a backdrop of steep mountains and an arcing spit that extends out into the deep Skutulsfjörður.
The town centre’s preserved timber and tin-clad buildings are a joy to explore. Easily navigable streets offer warm cafes, bakeries and welcoming family-run restaurants that serve the finest locally caught seafood all year round. The Westfjords Heritage Museum has exhibits on the town’s maritime history, while the Old Hospital contains archives and photography. The occasional music festival in town provides the chance to experience modern Icelandic culture.
Ísafjörður is also the port from which to discover the beautiful landscape of Vigur, The Paradise Island. Only a short 30-minute boat trip away, the island is home to thousands of puffins, arctic terns, eider ducks, black guillemots and more. It’s also home to Europe’s smallest post office, which is a great place to send a postcard home.
Often referred to as the Paradise Island, Vigur is a beautiful island situated approximately 30 minutes from Ísafjörður. The island is renowned for its bird watching opportunities, and is home to puffins, Arctic terns, eider ducks, black guillemots
and other species. Vigur also boasts the only windmill in Iceland and the smallest post office in Europe.
Dynjandi is considered one of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls. Located in the remote Westfjords, Dynjandi is actually a series of seven waterfalls, with a cumulative height of 100 metres (328 feet). A walk of approximately 30 minutes is worth it to reach the base of the main waterfall – Dynjandi, meaning ‘thunderous’.
Located in the Westfjords, the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is one of the remotest places in this area of Iceland. Established in 1975, the reserve is home to imposing sea cliffs, mountains and waterfalls. Within the nature, reserve lies Hesteyri, an old fishing village, which was abandoned in the late 1940's. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, Hesteyri is home to traditional wooden houses and an old doctor’s house, which was built in 1901.