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.