Bunny’s 5-Day Westfjords Road Trip

Westfjords highlight
Church on Rauðasandur beach

Last summer, Bunny went on a 5-day road trip in Iceland. This was Bunny’s third trip to the country, having already explored the Ring Road, Reykjavik and the Southern coast on her previous trips. This time, she wanted to try something a little different and headed to the remote Westfjords.

Beautiful Iceland

Westfjords

Westfjords is a large peninsula in the northwest of Iceland, known for its rugged coastline, beautiful fjords (glacial cliffs) and high mountains. It is very sparsely populated, mainly comprised of small fishing villages that are far and few between. Not many visitors make their way to Westfjords despite Iceland’s growing popularity as a tourist destination.

Road tripping

For adventurous travellers who are looking for true wilderness and experiences off the beaten path, Westfjords is the perfect destination. It may lack some modern comforts, such as luxury hotels or gourmet meals, but it offers otherworldly beauty and abundant wildlife (seals, seabirds, whales, arctic foxes) for those willing to explore it patiently.

Intense discussion

What to See

Bunny thinks that the main attraction in Westfjords is the scenery itself. The windswept, empty beaches, gorgeous fjords, long and winding roads with no other vehicles in sight, raging rivers that turn into beautiful waterfalls, stunning coastlines, snow-capped mountains, vast fields of nothingness, snowy highlands, untouched nature everywhere at your fingertips.

Epic scenery

Westfjords is one of those places where the journey is the point rather than the destination.

Bunny’s Day-by-Day Itinerary

Technically speaking, Bunny’s 5-day Westfjords itinerary includes only 3 nights in Westfjords itself, and 1 night elsewhere in Iceland on arrival and departure. This is required because of the long distances involved.

Great pit stop
Stykkisholmur harbor

And Bunny’s itinerary was heavy on the driving! Bunny loved the ever-changing scenery from the car but other people might prefer a slower pace.

Bunny loves old boats

Check out Bunny’s day-to-day itinerary for Westfjords below, including the major stops each day.

Day 1: Arrival at Keflavik - pick up rental car - Gerðuberg Cliffs - Berserkjahraun lava fields - night in Stykkisholmur.

Cute little town
Bunny on her way to Westfjords

Day 2: Baldur ferry to Brjánslækur - Birkelur hot spring - hike at Rauðasandur beach - Gardar BA 64 shipwreck - night at hotel Latrabjarg.

Lovely hot pot
Bunny the explorer

Day 3: Látrabjarg cliffs - Hnjótur plane graveyard - Reykjafjardarlaug hot spring - Dynjandi waterfall - Þingeyri - night in Flateyri.

Thousands of birds
Famous bird cliffs

Day 4: Isafjordur - Litlibaer turf house - seal and whale spotting - Krossneslaug hot spring - night in Djupavik.

Krossneslaug
Pool at the end of the road

Day 5: Slow drive back - Geysir - night at an airport hotel in Keflavik.

Geysir
The old Strokkur

Where to Stay

There are not a lot of hotels or guest houses in Westfjords, so it is a good idea to reserve your accommodation well in advance. Months in advance. If you leave it until the last minute, you’ll just have to stay wherever there is availability on your given days.

Biggest town in Westfjords

Bunny was rather pleased with her choices for the trip:

Syslo Guesthouse - The Bunnies’ first night in Iceland was spent in Stykkisholmur in Snæfellsnes peninsula. It was a colorful, little fishing village, easily walked and super handy for the Baldur ferry. The Syslo Guesthouse was clean and comfortable, just what the Bunnies needed after their Trans-Atlantic flight.

Stykkisholmur guest house
Syslo Guesthouse

Hotel Latrabjarg - Hotel Latrabjarg was the closest available accommodation to the Latrabjarg bird cliffs that Bunny could find at the time she was putting together her itinerary. It turned out to be a solid, good choice, in a beautiful location.

Hotel close to the bird cliffs
Hotel Latrabjarg

Old Bookstore in Flateyri - Bunny had originally planned to stay her third night in Isafjordur, as most people do, but luckily she stumbled upon the Old Bookstore in Flateyri. Bunny’s love for books is well-documented so she was instantly attracted to this quirky, new Airbnb. And she much preferred the small town vibe of Flateyri to that of the “big city” of Isafjordur which she visited the next day.

Bunny's room
The Old Bookstore

Hotel Djupavik - Hotel Djupavik was remote and beautiful. Bunny could hear and see a waterfall from her room window. The room was small but comfortable and the staff was very friendly and helpful. Bunny would have gladly stayed another night to explore her surroundings even more.

Remote hotel Djupavik
Strandir coast

Hotel Konvin - This hotel was rather good value and close to the airport, so it worked out for the Bunnies who had an early flight to Helsinki the next morning. Don’t expect to find anything interesting around the hotel though - it’s surrounded by former military barracks.

Hotel Konvin
Comfortable airport hotel

Please Note

Bunny had to share a bathroom with strangers in two of these five hotels. She is generally not too keen on shared bathrooms, but her experience was not bad at all. So if you find yourself in a similar situation in Iceland, fear not, it is survivable.

Enjoying the scenery

Highlights

There were quite a few highlights on Bunny’s trip. Here’s a collection of them:

  • Having the Latrabjarg bird cliffs to herself. The beautifully rugged scenery, the screeching birds, the crashing waves, the icy wind (ok, perhaps not that one), the whole atmosphere and remoteness of this place were simply amazing. And then there were the puffins themselves, possibly Bunny’s favourite birds. They are impossibly cute and entertaining.
Adorable encounters
  •  The hot springs. Icelanders love their hot springs, just like Finns love their saunas. Living on a cold, volcanic island must have something to do with the fact that there seems to be a hot pool around every corner in Iceland. Bunny loves that! And the hot springs in Westfjords were particularly attractive because of their breathtaking surroundings. And, as an added bonus, many times the Bunnies found themselves completely alone in these spots.
Bunny loves hot pots
Beautiful hot pot
  • Delicious celery soup, banana cake and steaming hot coffee at the French Cafe on Rauðasandur beach, after a rather miserable hike in the drizzling rain and all-encompassing fog. Before her trip, Bunny had seen some gorgeous photos of Rauðasandur beach but she was greeted by bad weather on the day so the beach itself was a bit underwhelming.
Bunny on a rainy beach
Celery soup
  • Exploring every nook and cranny of the Old Bookstore building in Flateyri. It is the oldest original store in Iceland and full of charm and character. Bunny loved her stay in the building and applauds the friendly owner for preserving the atmosphere of his old family home in such a meticulous and delightful way. For lovers of quirky and cute Airbnb places, this hotel is a must!
The oldest store in Iceland
Inside the store
  • Admiring seals sunbathing on the rocks near the cute turf farm Litlibær and spotting whale spouts further out to the sea at Skotufjordur. Wildlife encounters are always a highlight for Bunny!
On the road
Wildlife encounter
  • Visiting Dynjandi waterfalls which literally mean “a thundering noise”. Dynjandi consists of several separate cascading waterfalls that all have their own name and that tumble down to the basalt layers in gorgeous surroundings. Dynjandi is the biggest - at 100 metres high - and the most spectacular one.
Dynjandi waterfalls
  • Driving the dirt roads of the dramatic and remote Strandir coast along the Eastern edge of Westfjords, all the way down to the end of the road. Literally to the end of the road. It felt like arriving on the edge of a flat Earth. And then there was the Krossnelaug hot pool to soak in whilst admiring the Atlantic Ocean just meters away.
Pool at the end of the world
  • Solitude. In Bunny’s books, the lure of solitude simply cannot be overestimated. If you travel to Westfjords, you can be sure you’ll be getting a healthy dose of soul-healing and mind-refreshing solitude.
Snow in the highlands
  • And the nicest surprise: delicious vegetarian and vegan food was available almost everywhere along the route! Bravo, Iceland!
Cute cafe in Thingeyri
Famous waffles

Car Rental

Reserve your rental car as early as possible, Bunny says. Car rental in Iceland is expensive and the prices only go up the closer to the dates you make the reservation.

As for car rental companies, Bunny was super happy with Blue Car Rental. Their office is right at the airport, an easy shuttle ride away from the arrivals hall, and their service was very good. The Bunnies received and returned their rental car without any hassles whatsoever.

Great rental company
Bunny's wheels

That said, it is always a good idea to take photos and/or videos of the car and its condition before you start driving in Iceland. This is the best way to avoid any disputes when returning your rental car. The secondary roads in Iceland can be particularly tough on your car so do be careful.

Icelandic traffic

The Roads

Bunny spent a considerable time estimating the driving distances in advance. She was prepared for the long drives. Mr. Bunny, aka the Main Driver, was duly warned.

Strandir coast
Bunny's rental car

And how were the famous back roads in Iceland? Well, that depends. If you live in a big city somewhere in the Western world, maybe you’ll find some of them a bit challenging. If you’re like Bunny and live at the end of a long, potholed dirt road, you will find them perfectly fine. It’s all about perspective.

None of the roads the Bunnies drove in Westfjords were impossible by any standard. As long as you go in summer time, have a decent car and are prepared to go slowly, you will be fine, Bunny says. She herself had the smallest possible rental car and had no trouble accessing any of the places on her itinerary.

Endless roads
And gorgeous scenery

Lessons Learned

What would Bunny have done differently? Well, for starters, she would have been happy to have twice the amount of time she had for this route. Before her trip, she was given advice that Westfjords should not be rushed and that five days would not really give it justice. Did Bunny listen to the advice? Of course not, she knows best!

Part of Dynjandi waterfalls

Well, with hindsight, she can now agree that it would have been better to have more time on the trip. She would have gladly stayed an extra night or two somewhere between Dynjandi waterfall and Flateyri. The scenery on that coast was beyond beautiful.

Sea view from the waterfalls

She would also have loved to stay in Djupavik longer and do a tour at the abandoned herring factory adjacent to the hotel, take the waterfall hike and maybe even visit Krossneslaug pool again.

Herring factory

Another thing to change in her itinerary would be skipping Geysir on the last day. It was a lot of extra driving in miserable weather. Plus, she had already been years earlier. A much better plan would have been to head to the fabulous Sky Lagoon just outside of Reykjavik and end the visit in style.

But life is short and time is the commodity we never have enough of. So instead of lamenting about the places she didn’t get to experience, Bunny is grateful that she ventured out to Westfjords in the first place! She loves road trips and this was definitely an epic one.

An old steel ship

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