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Nature Reserves

Vatnsfjörður
Vatnsfjörður nature reserve is an area of total 20.000 ha. 80% of the area is rocky and barren but the lowlands is mostly covered with birchwood. From Vatnsfjörður it's perfect to visit most of the Westfjords. It takes you about one and a half hour to drive either to Látrabjarg, to Selárdalur or even to Ísafjörður. It takes you half an hour to drive to Dynjandi and it's a one hour sail from Brjánslækur to Flatey island.
 

Fauna in Vatnsfjörður is pretty diverse compared to Iceland, even though the number of animals is not so high. Around twenty types of birds live in the nature reserve area all year round. Mice, foxes, minks can be found in the area. You could see seals in the ocean and both salmon and trout can be found in the rivers. 

The flora is based on low rise rowan and birch wood which stretches from the coastline up to the mountains. The wood and the mudflats are the base for the diverse flora. You can also find a lot of Arctic blueberries in the area if you are travelling during August/September.

The geology of the area is similar to the Westfjords in general. The bedrock is basalt from the tertier time and is thought to be about 10-13 million years old. The Landscape is made from the ice-age glaciers and the mountains are about 700 meters high. The area's pride is also geothermal water springs that you can bathe in and is also used to heat up some houses in the area as well as a swimming pool. The lignite canyon is also worth seeing but to see that you have to hike from Vatnsfjörður up the hill. You better ask the locals about that, but it's definitely worth seeing.

The history of the area is long, and many people say that the history of Iceland begins exactly here. Hrafna-Flóki is said to have been the first person to settle Iceland and he was the first person to name the country Iceland. In the book of settlement you can read the following text about Hrafna-Flóki. He said: "The weather here is rather cold." Then he hiked up the mountain and saw a fjord full of ice and icebergs. That's why he named the country Iceland. In Hörgsnes there is a cave called Gíslahellir (e. Gísli's cave) where it is believed that Gísli Súrsson, the main character from the Icelandic saga Gísla saga Súrssonar hid in. All around the fjord there are many walking routes to neighbouring areas and ancient cairns are indeed the sign of that.

Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

This territory of the Arctic fox has been uninhabited since the 1950s. Completely off the grid it's like going back in time, a hiker’s paradise where nature is the boss and elements fill your senses.

Tours and boat trips depart from Ísafjörður and Norðurfjörður.

Breiðafjörður

Breiðafjörður Nature Reserve is known for all it small islands, thought to be uncountable. But wether you want to sit down and count or just enjoy we highly recommend a visit to Flatey Island, the crown jewel of Breiðafjörður Bay. 

Dynjandi Waterfall

Simply enthralling; The Westfjords' favourite front-page model for decades, and is never short of breathtaking. The biggest and widest part of the waterfall is the one that gets all the attention and the photos, even though there are impressive, albeit smaller, waterfalls further down the river. In fact, one is formed in such a way that the brave can walk behind it, relatively dry. 
To enjoy, follow this simple step-by-step manual. 1. Stop your car at the parking lot. 2. Walk all the way up to the biggest part of the waterfall, it takes about 15 minutes. 3. Take a deep breath and enjoy 4. Whenever ready, go back down to the car. 5. Tick off this article and continue working through the check-list.

Látrabjarg Birdcliff

The cliffs of all cliffs, Látrabjarg, are home to birds in unfathomable numbers. This westernmost point of Iceland (and Europe if Greenland and the Azores are not counted) is really a line of several cliffs, 14 kilometres long and up to 441 m high. And it's as steep as it gets, dizzyingly so. Safe from foxes, the birds are fearless, and provide stunning photographic opportunities from close range. Bird photography for dummies, you might say. The puffins are particularly tame and are the ones frequenting the grassy, higher part of the cliffs. But look out, the edges are fragile and loose and the fall is high.
Látrabjarg is thus deservedly the most visited tourist attraction in the Westfjords. The cliffs are easily accessible by car and when you're there, a walk along the cliffs awaits. The whirling sensation will not fade, and neither will the memories.