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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.

Geothermal spring path

The hiking path to the geothermal hot spring Einreykur is really fun and educatonal to walk. The hiking trail starts at the swimming pool and you head towards east. the inhabitants of Reykhólar have put boardwalks over the wetlands so that you can walk through the area with dry shoes. The wetlands and the ocean, at low tide, is a paradise for bird watchers. Many species gather around in the area in search for food. You could even find bird watching sheds along the hiking trail.

Hellulaug

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.

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.

Pollurinn

The hot natural pools close to the town of Talknafjordur are called ?Pollurinn? by locals. It is in good use throughout the year by the local people who love to visit the pools to admire the extraordinary view over the fjord.

The Pools are situated few minute drive from town just above the road number 617. A small cabin is besides the pools for undressing and storing your clothes.

Admittance is free!

Raggagardur

Raggagardur (A garden for Raggi) is a family garden 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

The swimming pool in Reykjarfjodur, a fjord that is part of the Arnarfjörður fjord system, is a full size swimming pool heated by natural water that runs through the pool all year around.

A small shed beside the pool where guests can get changed into their bathing gear.

Just above the swimming pool there is a smaller natural 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.

Swimming Pools

Swimming pools provide service that most Icelanders take for granted in almost every town. They want to have as many of them in close distance as they can. In Ísafjarðarbær there are four swimming pools.

Ísafjörður pool
Weekdays 10.00 - 21.00
Weekends 10.00 - 17.00
Flateyri pool
Weekdays 10.00 - 20.00
Weekends 11.00 - 17.00
Suðureyri pool
Weekdays 11.00 - 19.00
Weekends 11.00 - 19.00
Þingeyri pool
Weekdays 08.00 - 21.00
Weekends 10.00 - 18.00
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.

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.

Vatnsfjörður lake

Vatnsdalsvatn (e. Vatnsdalur lake) is situated in Vatnsfjörður, Barðaströnd. The lake is 2,2 square kilometers and 8 meters above seaa level. You can fis in the lake unless where the little river that connects the lake to the ocean. The places that you can't fish in have been specially marked. The lake is mostly inhabited by Trout but Salmon checks it out quite often and the size of the fish is mostly 1-3 pounds but you can get up to 10 pund fishes.The allowed fishing time starts at 7 and the lake closes at 22. The lake opens the first of june and closes when september ends. If you plan to fish, you are advised to get yourself a Veiðikortið (e. fishing card) and let Hótel Flókalundur know that you plan to go fishing. Vatnsfjörður is a nature reserve so fishermen are asked to leave no tracks of themselves, for example trash. Kids that are under 14 years old fish for free if you have Veiðikortið.

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