The Remote West
8 days, 7 nights: June through August
This truly unique journey takes you through some of the most remote parts of Iceland, as you travel north along the west coast of Iceland. Along the way sail across the bay of Breidafjordur, stay overnight on the tiny island of Flatey, visit the largest bird cliffs in Europe and hike in remote, hidden valleys.
Day 1, Welcome to Iceland!
Our car service to pick you up at the airport and drive your to Reykjavik, where you check into your downtown hotel. Spend the day at leisure with recommendations from us.
Days 2, Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Today, we head to the Snæfellsnes peninsula which is sometimes called Iceland in a Nutshell. The enchanting landscape has beautiful mountain ranges, numerous beaches, lava caves, waterfalls and mineral hot springs and at the end of the peninsula is the majestic Snæfellsjokull volcano made famous in Jules Verne´s Journey to the Center of Earth. Today we explore the south side of the peninsula. We walk the scenic trail from Hellnar, the home of Bardur the guardian spirit of Snaefellsnes, to Arnarstapi and see a variety of geological formations. We will also visit Vatnshellir lava cave and explore the varied and beautiful beaches and pebbled coves some favored by seals.
Day 3, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, North Shore
Today, we head to the north side of the peninsula. We will visit small fishing villages and the Bjarnarhofn shark farm – the most famous shark farm in Iceland. Learn how Icelandic fermented shark is prepared and have a taste if you dare! Consider an easy climb to the top of Mt. Helgafell which gives us breathtaking views of the surroundings and three wishes if we think good thoughts and don´t look back on our way up.
Day 4, Flatey Island
After breakfast, we proceed to the picturesque town of Stykkisholmur, where we catch a ferry across Breidafjordur Bay to the tiny and remote island of Flatey (Flat Island, summer population 120). Arriving in Flatey is like stepping back in time. No cars are allowed on the island and most buildings date back to the 19th century and have been beautifully restored. There is an abundance of bird life and a large part of the island is a nature and wildlife reserve. The views are fantastic and the atmosphere is very relaxed. After taking an exploratory walk, we overnight in a wonderful small hotel on the island.
Day 5: Westfjords, Látrabjarg Cliffs.
Today, we leave Flatey and take the ferry to the Westfjords. We will visit Raudisandur (Red Sands), a golden beach on the south coast of the Westfjords. From there we continue to Látrabjarg, Europe´s largest bird cliff, 14km long and up to 440m high. Látrabjarg is host to millions of birds including puffins, northern gannets, guillemots and razorbills. The cliffs are vital for their survival, as it hosts up to 40% of the world-population of some species, e.g., the Razorbill. We´ll spend the afternoon hiking along the cliffs and enjoying close contact with the puffins, who are quite approachable in this area.
Day 6: Isafjordur:
From Patreksfjordur we make our way north to Isafjordur, the largest town in the Westfjords. The drive is spectacular and takes us along some of Iceland´s most beautiful fjords. There are many opportunities for scenic stops and short walks including a visit to Dynjandi waterfall. We will arrive in Isafjordur in the late afternoon. Enjoy a walk in this charming old town before checking into your hotel.
Day 7: Hesteyri Day Tour:
Today we pack a picnic lunch and head to the remote Hesteyri for a day of hiking and exploring. Hesteyri is located in one of the Glacier fjords and can only be reached by boat -- the sailing from Isafjordur takes about one hour. On our voyage, we will experience the glorious views of snow speckled table mountains and secluded coves. In Hesteyri we hike in the valley and along the coast. The bird life is varied and hopefully we will spot the arctic fox which is common in the Westfjords. We will also explore the old village of Hesteyri which was abandoned in the 1950s. Some of the houses still stand and during the Summer months, refreshments are served in the restored old doctor´s house. We return to Isafjordur by dinner time.
Day 7: Kayaking Tour:
Isafjordur has earned its reputation as the sea kayaking center of Iceland. The reason is the endless possibilities for kayaking in the fjords and bays that are close by but still so remote. We start the day with a 3 hour kayaking tour that is perfect for those looking for an exciting introduction to the great sport of sea kayaking. Paddling under the magnificent mountains towering over the town around Isafjordur, we experience the closeness of nature and the beauty of the landscape from an exciting angle and in a safe environment. We begin with a short lesson in paddling and put the boats out behind the Maritime Museum and paddle a circle inside the fjord while keeping a sharp lookout for various bird species and seals. In the afternoon, enjoy some free time in Isafjordur.
Day 8: Return to Reykjavik:
In the morning,fly back to Reykjavik from Isafjordur. The flight takes about 50 min. Enjoy an extra day in Reykjavik or continue on to Keflavik Airport for your afternoon flight.
- Accommodations with breakfast for seven nights.
- Expert guide and vehicle (days 2-7)
- Visit to Bjarnarhofn shark museum
- Visit to Vatnshellir cave
- Ferry ride on day 5
- Boat ride to Hesteyri or sea kayaking on day 7.
- Domestic flight from Isafjordur to Reykjavik
- Airport transfers
- Airfare to Iceland.
- Personal expenses.
- Meals except noted.