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Nature

The nature in Strandabyggð municipality is beautiful, diverse and fun to look at. Strandabyggð stretches from Kaldalón in the north, down to Steingrímsfjörður and then all the way down to Bitrufjörður. A lot of birds live in the area, both in the beaches, meadows and marshes. The landscape in the area is known for low mountains and more low lands then the Westfjords in general. The geology of the area is known for both geothermal hot sprigs in some places and cliffs and rock pillars stand out from the mountains and into the ocean. In the area near Hólmavík, there are three rock pillars which are said to be trolls. The story says that those three pillars were there trolls that wanted to make the Westfjords an island. They started digging through the land and the islands in Breiðafjörður bay and Grímsey in Steingrímsfjörður were made from the land they dug up from the landstrip between the Westfjords and the mainland. When the sun started to rise again, the trolls started running away to find a place to hide but turned all of a sudden to stone. You can see one of those trolls in Drangsnes (Drangur in Icelandic means a rock-pillar) and the other two in Kollafjarðarnes, Kollafjörður. 

Kálfanesborgir

the hike to Kálfanesborgir above Hólmavík is quite short and easy. The hike starts at the camping ground and there is a trail that leads you to a small cairn on top of the hill. This cairn is called Háborgarvarða. From this spot you can enjoy the view over Steingrímsfjörður and Grímsey island. This spot is also perfect to take pictures or to rest a bit for the journey home. When you walk again into Hólmavík you can either go the same route, or you can make it a loop by walking towards the ocean on the other side until you reach the old mainroad. This road will then lead you towards the town again and you'll find your way.

Arctic Fox

The Arctic fox is the only truly native land mammal in Iceland. It got stranded on the island after the last Ice Age and lived on birds, bird eggs, berries, seaweed and all sorts of other stuff. Over the millennia the Icelandic Arctic fox has become genetically unique: the Vulpes lagopus fuliginosus subspecies. They are white in winter and grey in summer. The Hornstrandir nature reserve in the Westfjords is the only place in Iceland where the Arctic fox is completely protected from hunting; which means they are a common sight and unusually tame.

Bird Watching

Do you want to go bird watching in Iceland? The Westfjords offer some of the best bird watching sites there are. The unique Látrabjarg cliff is one of the best places in Iceland to photograph puffins. Other popular bird watching sites include Reykhólar, Vigur, Grímsey island in Steingrímsfjörður and Hornstrandir nature reserve. 

Þiðriksvallavatn Lake

When you drive southwards from Hólmavík, the first right turn after you leave the town leads you to the Þiðriksvallavatn lake. Þiðriksvallavatn lake is a reservois for the hydro power plant Þverárvirkjun, which you can see on the way. The hike is around the lake and back to the power plant. When you leave the power plant you follow a truck-track until it ends, and there you will have to wade over a small river. After that you follow the unclear sheep trails towards the Hydro power station again. The hike is about 11.5 kilometers long and takes around 4 hours. We ask you to be well equipped and be safe.

Kaldalón

Kaldalón is a 5 kilometer long fjord that stretches in from northern Ísafjarðardjúp into Drangajökull glacier. From underneath the glacier comes the glacier-river Mórilla which then spreads around the plains on it's way to the ocean. Two towns were supposed to have been in Kaldalón, but the river has washed them both away. Natural beauty is magnificent in Kaldalón, and even the famous writer Sigvaldi Kaldalón took up the name because of the beauty of the area.

One the way to Unaðsdalur or Bæir it's perfect to stop in Kaldalón. If you have enough time, We would reccommend hiking towards the glacier beside the river, just to be able to enjoy this beauty. he hike to the glacier is about 2-3 hours, but it gets longer every year do to the fact that the glacier is melting.

Hiking trails lead you from Kaldalón to Jökulfirðir and then also over to Hornstrandir if you cross the glacier.

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Westfjords of Iceland

Towns & Villages

The sparsely populated Westfjords region is home to more towns and villages than you might imagine – and each has its own unique atmosphere and attractions.
Get to know more about them here. 

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Map Bolungarvík Hnífsdalur Suðureyri Flateyri Ísafjörður Súðavík Þingeyri Bíldudalur Tálknafjörður Patreksfjörður Hólmavík Drangsnes Reykhólar Borðeyri Djúpavík Norðurfjörður Norðurfjörður