Information about West Iceland

West Iceland home to many magical features, such as Hraunfossar waterfalls.

West Iceland is home to the country’s capital city, Reykjavík, and an array of impressive natural sites. These include Europe's most powerful hot spring, Iceland's most significant lava tube, fascinating glaciers, beautiful waterfalls important historical sites and more. It has three main districts outside of the capital area: Borgarfjörður, the Snӕfellsnes Peninsula, and Breiðafjörður.

Though also in the west, the Westfjords and Reykjanes Peninsula are considered to be in separate regions.

The Capital Area

Iceland’s capital city is Reykjavík, a settlement of 120,000 people (over 200,000 in the Greater Reykjavík Area) that was founded in 870 AD by Ingólfur Arnarson; this makes it the country’s oldest inhabited area.

It is a hot spot of culture, with festivals such as Sónar, Airwaves and Secret Solstice, events such as Pride and Culture Nights, and countless museums and galleries. The city is also renowned for its vibrant live music, cabaret and drag scenes, its street art, many sculptures, and its delicious cuisine.

Its architecture is particularly of note, with impressive buildings such as Hallgrímskirkja Church and the Harpa Concert Hall.

Reykjavík is where most visitors base themselves and the point from which most tour leaves. There is a comprehensive guide to Reykjavík on this site.

Borgarfjörður

Borgarfjörður is the fjord north of Reykjavík, within which is a wealth of beautiful historical and natural sites. Reykholt, for example, is a tiny village where medieval historian and poet Snorri Sturluson, author of Snorra-Edda and Heimskringla, once lived. Borgarnes, the main village of Borgarfjörður, is one of Iceland’s earliest towns, and home to the fascinating Settlement Centre.

In terms of nature, Borgarfjörður is home to the second highest waterfall in the country, Glymur. Other beautiful waterfalls include the magical and peaceful Hraunfossar and the raging rapids of Barnafoss which lie only a stone's throw apart. The area is also home to the longest lava cave in the country, Viðgelmir, the highest flowing hot spring in Europe, Deildartunghver, and just inland is Iceland’s second biggest glacier, Langjökull.

Snӕfellsnes

The Snӕfellsnes peninsula is a marvellous stretch of land in west Iceland. It is home to a unique mountain ridge with the majestic Snӕfellsjokull glacier and National Park at its westernmost point.

The region is often called Iceland in miniature due to its diverse sites, which include beautiful mountains such as Kirkjufell, geological wonders such as the Gerðuberg cliffs, and coastal formations such as Lóndrangar rock pinnacles.

Breiðafjörður

Breiðafjörður is the fjord that separates the Westfjords from the Snӕfellsnes Peninsula. It is a natural reserve with countless small islands and home to thousands of birds, including puffins.

The inner part of Breiðafjörður is the old farm site Eiriksstadir, the home of Eric the Red, the first European to land in Greenland, in the year 984 AD. His son was Leif Ericsson, the first European to land in America, in the year 1000.

 

Services near West Iceland

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Attractions nearby West Iceland

Glanni

Glanni is a beautiful waterfall in West Iceland, located close to the Grabrokarhraun lava field and the village Bifrost. Situated nearby, in the mid...

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Grábrók

Photo by Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir Grábrók is a volcanic crater east of Lake Hreðavatn in the fjord of Borgarfj...

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Krauma Spa

  The Krauma Spa is a geothermal bath and spa resort in West Iceland. It is located near Europe's highest flowing hot spring, Deildartunguhv...

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Árhver and Vellir

Árhver (and nearby Vellir) is a geological feature which consists of six to eight vents on small sand flats, some slightly elevated but most ...

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Snorrastofa

Snorrastofa is a cultural- and research center for medeval studies and the history of Borgarfjordur. The museum is situated in Reykholt, where Snorri...

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Fossatún

Fossatún is a country hotel, renowned for being a centre to learn about Iceland’s troll folklore. Nearby are Troll Waterfal...

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Hítardalur

Hitardalur is an ancient manor estate and vicarage in the valley of the same name in West Iceland, close to Borgarnes. History Hitardalur is widel...

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Hvanneyri

Hvanneyri is a small agriculture and church centre in the west of Iceland and can be visited 80 km north of Reykjavik in the municipality of Borgarbyg...

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Erpsstaðir

  Erpsstadir is a dairy farm in Northwest Iceland, run by farmer Thorgrimur Einar Gudbjartsson and his family. Here you can experience a real...

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Barnafoss

  Barnafoss is a rapid waterfall in West Iceland, just a short walk away from the serene Hraunfossar falls. It is best known for its dark histor...

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Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar ('Lava Falls' in English) in Borgarfjörður district is a series of beautiful waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming ou...

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Settlement Center

The Settlement Center is a museum in Borgarnes, a town of west Iceland. Here, you can visit two exhibitions, with one about the Age of Settlement, a...

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Borg á Mýrum

Borg á Mýrum is a farm and church estate just west of the town of Borgarnes in Iceland.  The estate is especially rich in settleme...

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Borgarnes

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Chensiyuan Borgarnes is a town of fewer than 2000 people, located on a peninsula at the shore of Borgarfj&...

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Húsafell

Húsafell is a large farm and church site in the Borgarfjörður district of West Iceland. With incredible natural beauty, it has been ...

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Eiríksstaðir

  Eiriksstadir are ancient ruins in Haukadalur in Dalir county in West Iceland. The sagas mention Eiriksstadir as the abode of Eric the Red and ...

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Víðgelmir

Photo from: The Cave Explorer | Family Friendly Tour of Vidgelmir Lava Cave Viðgelmir is the largest lava tube in Iceland at 1585 metres (52...

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Ljósufjöll

Ljósufjöll is a central volcano and fissure vent system, located on the Snæfellsnes peninsula’s volcanic zone in West Icelan...

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Deildartunguhver

  Deildartunguhver is a hot spring located in Reykholtsdalur, a district of west Iceland. Deildartunguhver is the highest flowing hot spring i...

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Eldborg

  Photo by Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir. Eldborg is a crater on the base of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula that it is possibl...

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