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Westfjords itinerary

Hello! We are planning a trip to Iceland this summer where we will do the Golden Circle, the Ring Road and then explore the Westfjords. We plan on doing the Ring Road counterclockwise, so we would be entering the Westfjords from the north end. My questions are:

  • How many nights would you advise in the Westfjords (2 or 3)? We likely would not do more since we will be traveling in other areas.
  • Where do you advise staying?
  • Is it better to take the Baldur ferry from Brjanslaekur to Stykkisholmur or drive the road in the Westfjords to get out?

We plan on renting a 4 wheel drive vehicle since we have heard the road conditions can be variable.

Any advice on this area is much appreciated!!!! Especially if you have suggestions of things to see (we have an idea of some of the major attractions in that area), what the driving times between destinations is, etc.

Thanks in advance!!!

Posted by
1489 posts

Even 3 nights is really limited for the Westfjords. As for which part of it to see depends on what you are interested in. Are there specific places that drew you to it?

We are headed there this summer on our 5th trip, and wee have 10 days for the Westfjords, to give you an idea. We are using the ferry to get there mostly to just sit back and relax, but then we are driving back down.

Since I have not actually been to the Westfjords yet, I can't give concrete advice as that would be deceiving and just plain wrong. The one thing that I have learned in talking to friends who have gone and online research is that drive times up there are much longer than anticipated, much more so than the rest of Iceland which is still slower than what Googlemaps will tell you. That is why we are allowing so much time up there so we don't end up rushed and just having to drive straight through.

With all that said, If you only have 2 or 3 nights, I would head up to Isafjordur and then back down. We are doing a full day hike on Hornstrandir from Isafjordur and another day doing a kayak trip. Seeing sights along the way up to Isafjordur and doing some excursions there would easily fill your time frame. That is of course just one option, with many others out there.

Posted by
1398 posts

I spent 15 days in Iceland (add 2 days for flights) in June, 2021.

Our Westfjord itinerary went like this:

Wake up in Skagastrond after sleeping at Salthus Guesthouse.
Drive to Hvitserkur basalt island.
Stop at KIDKA Wool Factory shop for a wool poncho souvenir
Stop in Holmavik for lunch.
Sleep at Heydalur Farm

Wake up, Go kayaking in the fjjord.
Drive to Sudavik and see the Arctic Fox Center including interacting with a rescued kit.
Drive to Isafjordur for lunch and a look around.
Visit Flateyri
Sleep at Holt Inn

Visit Dynjandi Waterfall
See Bildudal, have lunch.
Sleep in Patreksfjordur

Visit Latrabjarg cliffs and puffins
Bardastrandarsandur beaches
Catch the ferry at Brjanslaekur
Sleep at Stykkisholmur

So, we had 3 full days.

It really depends on what your objectives are. We also went counter clockwise and this was toward the end of our trip.
My knees were done hiking by then. The scenery and views are indescribable and I am very glad we went to all of the places, but I think one day less would have been fine. We didn't really have enough to do to keep us busy for the 3 days, so be sure to have some hiking or other activities planned.

We rented a regular Subaru Outback and it was plenty sturdy for the job.
Be prepared for some minor scary driving on narrow dirt roads with no guardrails and steep drop offs. We met many large campers and semi trucks coming the other way and my nerves couldn't take it anymore. My traveling companion had to do all of the driving until we got back to paved roads.

Also be prepared for having limited food options. We were there during the pandemic and there weren't many tourists in Iceland let alone in the Westfjords. We had one pretty terrible eating experience. Another day we had dinner at a convenience store like place. We had grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and some chips/snack food.

Iceland is beautiful and like no other place on Earth. Have a great trip!

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you both for your input. We were thinking of doing some sightseeing along the lines of what vandrabrud did so his post was very informative.

Mikliz97~ I also like your idea of spending some time in Isafjordur exploring a bit. (Hiking and kayaking).

Thanks for answering!!!

Posted by
70 posts

We spent three weeks in Iceland last summer. Most of it was driving the ring road but then we had four nights in the Westfjords at the end, and that was really just skimming the surface. We had a regular campervan (no 4WD) and it was fine. The only road we felt we could have needed it was along the ring road, driving to Thakgil. My recollection of where we stayed is:
1- Holmavik Campsite. This was just a quick stopover.
2- Isafjordur. We stayed here two nights. This was a really wonderful campsite in a lovely town. If you only have two or three nights, you may want to just consider just stopping here and doing daytrips.
3- Long day of driving to Dynjandi waterfall and then Melanes Campground (absolutely fantastic)
4- Day 4- Drive to the Latrabjarg cliffs (this drive was scary), a few hours there, then ferry out.
We drove the road in from the ring road, and took the ferry out. We spent the next night at Stykkisholmar (cute town, weird campsite).
How much time do you have for the ring road/ rest of Iceland? If you can't add more time to the Westfjords, I would suggest adding it to the ring road or just doing the eastern part- Isafjordur (the drive there is gorgeous) and Dynjandi.

Posted by
1489 posts

Vandabrud--We also did our ring road trip in the summer of 2021, but didn't have time for the Westfjords. I would love to hear more about the wool factory.

December--Glad to help:)

Christine--We will be camping I Stikkisholmur. I would love hear what is weird about it;) I am good with most anything as we backpack here at home, but am just curious.

Posted by
15 posts

Thanks Christine for your reply.
We are planning on (at this point) 15 days in Iceland, including the day we arrive. We can alter that as our flights aren't booked yet. We could add a day or two more and spend that time in the Westfjords. That's what we are trying to figure much time in the Westfjords. I understand some people will spend way longer there!

Thanks everyone for your replies! It is so helpful!

Posted by
1489 posts

December--If you can add time to your trip, do it. You will not be sorry, no matter how you allocate it all:)

Posted by
70 posts

Mikliz- Stykkisholmar was probably our least favorite campsite on the trip (or close). It was huge, spread out right next to a golf course on lawn. 95% of the people there were clearly locals, 60s or older, and clearly there for weeks on end. Lots of huge RVs and campervans. It felt somewhat unfriendly. The showers were obviously added on well after the fact; they were open air (no ceiling) boxes attached to the bathrooms. The town is cute and worth a stop but I would consider the campground only as a quick stop.
December- honestly, with just two weeks I would focus on the ring road. We had about that and there were so many places we could have stayed longer. I'll look through my itinerary later and add some highlights. Hopefully your weather is better!

Posted by
1489 posts

Christine--Thank you. We have been to Stikkisholmur before, in August 2021 when we did the ring road. This time it is merely a quick overnight before catching the ferry in the morning, so the campground should be fine. I actually like those open air showers much better, lol. When we were there in 2021, the guesthouse we stayed at had mostly Reykavik locals staying there, and then our party of 5. That evening, everyone was relaxing and hanging out in the breakfast room drinking wine etc and it was really nice to chat with them. We all learned things about the different cultures. Our kids were in their mid to late 20's and were more chatty with the older couples than we were, lol. I wonder if that area might just be where the locals go for their vacation? Sounds like it might be after our experience and reading about yours.

Posted by
566 posts

December, there are lots and lots of itineraries and trip reports on the TripAdvisor Iceland forum. Also a lot of good information on the Facebook Travel Iceland page.

Posted by
1398 posts


The KIDKA woolfactory has a store in Hvammstangi, which was a quick detour for us that day. I wanted to buy an Icelandic wool garment but did not get a chance to do that in Reykjavick. I also didn't want to buy a traditional sweater because the weather in Ohio doesn't call for that level of warmth anymore, so I decided on a wool poncho. Nobody else was at the store while we were there and the clerk was very helpful and friendly. I don't know if you can visit the factory itself.