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Expertos en viajes en Islandia

Guía de Viaje a la Ruta de la Costa Ártica

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5.7 km
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The Arctic Coast Way is a 559-mile (900-kilometer) route traveling through remote North Iceland that opened in June 2019. The trail has since accepted locals and tourists looking to discover some of Iceland’s most remote places.

Though not the most famous route in Iceland, the Arctic Coast Way's scenic views compare to those on the Diamond Circle, the Golden Circle, and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. The Arctic Coast Way can be explored through packages like this seven-day Arctic Coast self-drive tour.

The Arctic Coast Way includes six islands, 13 beaches, and 21 villages. It is recommended to take up to nine days to drive it.

The Beauty of the Arctic Coast Way

When going on a self-drive tour, maximize the scenic views of the Arctic Coast Way by driving slowly. Immerse yourself in the route’s unspoiled natural beauty by stopping whenever you want.

The Arctic Coast Way boasts a rugged coastline showcasing the Greenland Sea and volcanic landscapes. The result is a gathering of six peninsulas reaching far into the ocean. Three of the six peninsulas have a few farms and settlements, while one remains uninhabited.

As you go through the narrow and graveled roads, you’ll pass by tall peaks, winding fjords, and cliffs. One key stop is the  Vatnsnes peninsula, an area famous for seal-watching. Here, you’ll see seal colonies, especially if you stay at the farms Svalbard and Illugarstadir.

The Hvitserkur rock monolith stands underneath a colorful sky.Another attraction is Hvitserkur, a basalt rock stack standing mightily from Hunafloi Bay. Hvitserkur stands 49 feet (15 meters) tall and resembles the shape of a troll, which earned its nickname the “Troll of Northwest Iceland.”

You can also visit another fascinating rock formation called Kalfshamarsvik. It is a cove with rare hexagonal basalt columns found at the tip of the Skagi Peninsula.

These pillars appear hand-made because of their symmetrical appearance. Additionally, the beach around Kalfshamarsvik features pebbles instead of black sand.

Another attraction featuring Icelandic wildlife is Grimsey island. Located around 24.8 miles (40 kilometers) off North Iceland, Grimsey is home to the Atlantic puffin. This is also the northernmost part of Iceland, and the only part of the country over the Arctic Circle.

Meanwhile, the Icelandic Herring Era Museum provides information on the history of the herring industry in Iceland. Located in Siglufjordur, the museum is Iceland’s largest maritime museum. It features five exhibition buildings showcasing artifacts from the fishing industry.

This museum has won international awards.

If you want to relax your mind and body, drop by Grettislaug pool. Located on the shores of Skagifjordur, Grettislaug is a geothermal pool with water at approximately 39 degrees Celcius (102 degrees Fahrenheit). However, note that Grettislaug is inside a private property, so you have to pay a small fee to use it.

Where is the Arctic Coast Way Located?

Puffins can be found in North Iceland on Grimsey.The Arctic Coast Way is located in North Iceland. It covers the whole coastline of North Iceland from Hvammstangi in the West to Bakkafjörður in the East.

Why is the Arctic Coast Way Special?

The Arctic Coast Way was built to provide a coastal route for locals and tourists to enjoy. But unlike other coastal routes, it centered on providing experiences representing the themes of nature, fishing towns, and Icelandic sagas.

Another aspect that makes the route special is the variety of attractions you can enjoy along the way. These attractions cover natural wonders and historical sites often shadowed by more popular spots in the country.

Lastly, the locals you meet along the way add to the Arctic Coast Way experience. The route connects you to farm stays and family-run guesthouses where you can interact with the locals.

How Can I Get to the Arctic Coast Way?

You can reach the Arctic Coast Way from the east and the west. The route is approximately 373 miles (600 kilometers) from Reykjavik. You’ll follow Ring Road 1 to Egilsstadir before taking road 85, heading north to Vopnafjordur.

If you’re coming from the west, the route begins at Hvammstangi, about 122 miles (197 kilometers) from Reykjavik.

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