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For the Children

Bjartmarssteinn

Vaðalfjöll, the mountains above Bjarkalundur, and Bjartmarssteinn are beautiful and special rock formations that you can't find in many other places. People in Reykhólar believe that Bjartmarssteinn has something to do with elves, also referred to as the hidden people, and stories say that it is their trading post in Breiðafjörður.

Burial ground of Sæunn

Sæunn the wonder-cow is a special cow which saved her own life from getting slaughtered by swimming over the cold Atlantic ocean fjord of Önundarfjörður in october 1987. The cow lived sex years after the big achievement but when it died this wonder-cow was buried near the ocean where it reached shore. Now this area has the name Sæunnarhaugur or Sæunn burial ground. This swim achievement was in Icelandic news as well as world news because of the rareness of cows willing to swim such a long distance in the cold Atlantic ocean.

Drangsnes Hot Pots

The hot natural pools in Drangsnes are right along the shoreline in the middle of the village easily spotted from the road.

The pots are used throughout the year by locals and visitors. Even after a new swimming pool was built in town the attraction of the hot natural pot has yet to decrease.

The best way to meet the local and talk about everything and nothing is in the hot pots in Drangsnes.

Garðar BA

Garðar BA is Iceland's oldest steel ship now placed on the beach near Patreksfjörður. The ship is a popular stop for travellers. The peculiar location of the ship and it's industrial and rustic surface makes it an interesting photography location. Originally the ship came to Iceland during WWII and got the name Siglunes SI 89. In 1963 the ship's engine was recplaced and it's name changed to Garðar BA 64. In 1981 the ship was in bad condition and declared unsafe for service. It now lies in Skápadalur in Patreksfjörður in a shallow shore.

Hellulaug

Hellulaug is a geothermal pool, located just off the highway, close to the beach in Vatnsfjörður. It is quite lovely to chill out in the pool(38°/100,4 F) while looking out over the fjord.
The pool cannot be seen from the road, but there is a parking lot next to the path that leads to Hellulaug. The pool is 60 cm deep.

Heydalur

Heydalur is a paradise for those who like birdlife and to take pictures of birds. Heydalur offers horseback rides in Heydalur valley and many attractions for the family. The hot natural pool in Heydalur is a few minute walk from the country Hotel Heydalur. Sitting in the hot natural pool feeling the fatigue in your body float away is a feeling like no other. Some say that laying the hot pool in Heydalur gives you strength, and for many that is so true.

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.

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.

Lignite mine

Syðridalur in Bolungarvík is known for an old lignite mine which is situated in the valley. Lignite was mined from the mine in the years of 1917 until 1921 or while and after the first World War. The reason why the mining was shut down is because coal from Europe became more accessible after the war. Lignite in Iceland is worse than coal due to the fact that volcanic ash is one of the main contents. Lignite in Iceland only includes 60% carbon but European coal includes 70-80% carbon. The mine in Syðridalur actually consist of two mines, one on either side of the river. Gilsnáma is the one that's more known but Hanhólsnáma is the lesser known mine. Gilsnáma is more than 100 meters long but the other is around 10 meters. Inside Gilsnáma you can see some of the equipment that was used to mine, including a few hammers and a scale. To get into Gilsnáma you almost have to crawl, but once you're in the ceiling gets higher and you can stand upright. The walk up to the mine takes around 20-25 minutes on a marked trail and it's well worth the stop.

Raggagardur

Raggagardur (A garden for Raggi) is a family playground in the village of Sudavik. Created by Vilborg Arnardottir in the memory of her son Ragnar (Raggi) for all families to enjoy and create a place where they could spend time together enjoying each other company.

The aim with the garden was to create a family attraction for both local people as well as an attraction for travelers, thus help in developing the local community though tourism. The Result is an fantastic family recreation park with a playground suited for all children? and adults too!

More information at www.raggagardur.is

Reykjafjörður in Arnarfjörður

In Reykjarfjordur a full-size swimming pool is visible from the main road. The water is warm all year round due to geothermal energy. Just above the pool, a cozy natural pool lies almost hidden. A real gem in Arnarfjordur. Facilities for changing of clothes is next to the swimming pool.

Skalavik

Skálavík is the next creek westwards from Bolungarvík. People lived in Skálavík until around 1960's and since then the creek has been uninhabited. People from the area and people who have relations to Skálavík have restored some of the houses and new summerhouses have been built. In a good summer day the people from the area like to build sandcastles on the beach, take a walk and even swim in the river. Skálavík is a paradise for kids and a perfect place to stop the car and play around. On the way from Skálavík, we recommend driving all the way up to the top of the moutain and take a look at the view from the top.

Skrúður

The garden was officially opened on August 7th 1909. In 1992, a group of people decided on their own to restore the garden, and on August 18th 1996 they formally returned the garden to its owner - the Ministry of Education. In November of the same year the Ministry handed over the garden to the town of Ísafjörður to own and care for. The formal aim of the garden is to be a memorial to itself and to the concept of school gardens where the sustaining of nature's bounty and environmental education are linked to the operations of public schools. The garden is also an example of successful horticulture in such northern climes, and as such, a notable part of the country's horticultural history.

Svuntufoss

In Patreksfjörður fjord there is a small beautiful waterfall.

The Lagoon

If you're all in for the real nature experiance and the family wants to do something magnificent then you should talk to the people at Fisherman, buy a bag of fish and go feed the cod in the lagoon. You could even fish them out of the lagoon using it as bait.

The Swimmingpool in Laugarnes

The swimming pool in Laugarnes is a beautifully placed small pool with stunning views over Breiðafjörður. You can either float around in the small concrete pool or lay down in a smaller pool closer to the shore.

A donations box is placed by the dressing rooms, the local youth club owns and looks after the pool.

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