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Viktoría Rán

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Viktoría Rán

Viktoría Rán is a child of nature, she lives in Hólmavík and grows multiple types of flowers, fruits and vegetables. Viktoría is a consultant at Atvest, a hot pool enthusiast, has a house full of kids and carries big dreams that one day will become reality. 

My favorite five:

Reykjanes in Ísafjarðadjúp is one of my favorite places and the large scenic pool there is one of a kind. It is a huge 50 meter long geothermal pool with naturally flowing hot spring water and a natural steam bath. You can stay in the pool around midnight during winter and enjoy Northern lights dancing over the sky. During the summertime you must experience the spectacular sunny nights in Iceland to understand how amazing the nature is. Then you can watch the sun go behind mountains and come up again few minutes later.

Krossneslaug in Árneshreppur is located where the road ends in Iceland or on the edge of the North Atlantic Sea with the roar of the waves and the mountains towering it. Here, natural springs provide a continuous source of hot water to feed the open-air pool down on the pebble beach, whose walls are barely a couple of meters from the icy waters of the Atlantic; a swim here is one of the most memorable experiences Iceland has to offer.

Gvendarlaug by Hótel Laugarhóll consists of two natural springs that are said to have healing powers and I truly believe they do. One is medieval and a protected archaeological site. It is one of many pools said to have been blessed by bishop Guðmundur the good (1160-1237). These sites are believed to have miraculous powers, as Guðmundur was a popular saint. Right below it is another natural spring and a modern public swimming pool. Next to the pools is the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft.

Heydalur is very special to me as I spent my wedding night there, at the end of January tucked away in this birch-covered valley. Our romantic visit to the tiny little hot spring underneath an amazing dome of northern lights was close to perfection. We also felt so pampered by Stella, the hotel manager, who prepared a superb cuisine using the local ingredients in her cozy restaurant that is a beautifully converted barn. A perfect visit that will stay with me forever.

The Hellulaug pool by Flókalundur is a „must see“ and an unforgettable experience. It is one of the greatest location for a geothermal pool, located right on the beach by Breiðafjörður. I love floating in the hot water and being surrounded with its unspoiled wildlife. It is simply breathtakingly unique and so relaxing. Nearby are also some of Iceland’s most beautiful natural sites, such as Latrabjarg, Raudisandur, the waterfall Dynjandi and Flatey.

Natural pools

Among the hidden gems of the Westfjords are the natural hot pools that can be found even in most remote places. This might sound like a cliché, but the pools are truly a well kept secret, taken for granted, or even forgotten by locals. An explanation could be that the Westfjords are not generally considered a "hot spot" in Icelandic geology, so the geothermal activity is not as visible as it is in the north or the south of the country. Therefore it is surprising to find that nowhere in Iceland are there more natural bathing pools than in the Westfjords, the reason being that the water is of perfect temperature straight from the ground.

Some of the pools are situated right on the shoreline, with amazing views towards the sea, creating a unique experience to be enjoyed all year round.

Wilderness and Wildlife

The Wild West of Iceland 

Every Icelandic region has its own draw for bird watchers and nature lovers, and reasons to visit the Westfjords include the millions of seabirds which use its high cliffs to nest. Places like Vigur island are also home to (alarmingly rare) stocks of breeding puffins. The region is an excellent place to encounter gyrfalcons and sea eagles, as well as snowy owls. There is also no shortage of breeding land birds, like the golden plover, whimbrel, and redshank.
 
Ever seen whales breaching beside the road as you drive along? Thanks to the coastal roads along deep fjords, the Westfjords might be one of the only places this is a regular occurrence. The same goes for seals casually basking on rocks, totally unconcerned by being watched.
 
The Westfjords is the land of the Arctic fox. These cute-but-shy mammals roam wild across Iceland, but your best chance of seeing them is in the Westfjords – especially on the Hornstrandir nature reserve, where they are protected from hunting and relatively tame as a result.
Take a view
Nature is no more evident in the Westfjords than in the landscape itself. The sheltered, crystal clear sea which fills the fjords is full of fish, and is great for diving, kayaking and sailing. In fact, taking a boat trip may actually be quicker than driving to some places. 
 
The mountains are everywhere. Coated in lush green summer grass and myriad wild herbs and meadow flowers, they provide the ultimate viewing platform atop the world. Between the sea and the mountains you’ll find seemingly endless coast, varying from precarious cliffs to beaches of sand or boulders; variety is the keyword. Westfjords beaches are an easy walk and an unbeatable place to relax the mind and invigorate the body. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for interesting shells, stones, glass and pottery.
 
The closest the Westfjords gets to flat land is often the many valleys between mountains. They are worlds of their own, often with a warm microclimate, an abandoned farmhouse or two, and no other sign of human interference.
Watertrail

The Westfjords has many hidden gems with plenty of natural or semi- man made pools in remote natural locations.  The abundance of hot water and rich history of bathing have created a unique outdoor bathing culture in close relation with nature.  Our natural springs are based on geothermal water that flows directly and constantly from the ground. Many visitors stay in the pool around midnight during winter and watch the northern light that are one of a kind, which is an experience people never forget.  During the summers we have 24 hours of daylight and our visitors enjoy the romantic of the midnight sun.

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