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For avid explorers, Iceland is littered with hidden gems, and possibly the best-kept secret of all is the Westfjords. Lying in the most north-westerly area of the island, this sprawling area of natural beauty is truly a hiker’s paradise. Rocky peaks, deep crevices, and charming Icelandic towns all add to the appeal of the Westfjords, not to mention the various hiking trails snaking across the unusual countryside.
One of the best things about hiking in Iceland is the sheer variety in types of trails, and this is no different in the Westfjords. You can tailor your hike to suit your every need, whether it's your ability, stamina or that burning urge to see something truly spectacular. From a couple of kilometers, easy on small legs, to serious treks lasting several miles, you’ll find the right trail for you here in the Westfjords.
Snow-spotted colorful landscapes of the Westfjords in Iceland
Hard - 6h - 16 km
Hornbjarg is the northernmost point of the Westfjords and one of the northernmost points on the whole island. The iconic shape of Hornbjarg might be familiar, with green sloping plains and a sharp drop to the cliffs and sea below. The peak is well worth summiting for views across the North Atlantic to the North Pole, as well as the chance to spot adorable puffins and other seabirds nesting in the cliffs. Starting and finishing at Hornvik, this looping trail is around 16km and is often found quite challenging. However, if you have 6 hours to spend for a stunning view, Hornbjarg is a great hike in the Westfjords.
Small house on the edges of the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the Westfjords
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
Easy - Depends
The northern tip of the Westfjords is taken up by the gorgeous untouched landscape of the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. The trails through the reserve are a great way to see Iceland as never before, completely off the beaten track and away from the bustle of tourists in other areas. There are a variety of treks you can take, ranging from Hornstrandir day hikes to 6-day treks.
Easy - 4h - 7km
For hikers that love to birdwatch, the trail to Látrabjarg is an absolute must if you find yourself near the Westfjords. This cliff is one of the biggest birdlife hotspots in the area, so if you time your hike right, you could be in with a good chance of spotting puffins, razorbills and other seabirds. Be aware that your positioning at the edge of the island might position you facing the full force of a cold wind, so dress accordingly.
A puffin standing among daisies on the Látrabjarg cliffs in the Westfjords
Easy - 2h - 4km
Another peak worth climbing is Mount Sandafell, a small hill offering gorgeous views over the town and the water below. The hill itself won’t make you break a sweat, but the hike from Þingeyri makes for a great trail. This is a shorter trail, and can actually be summited via 4X4, so families with children won’t struggle at all with Mount Sandafell.
Easy - Depends
Arguably one of the most famous hiking spots in the Westfjords area, Dynjandi Waterfall is even called the “Jewel of the Westfjords”. The small trek from the car park to the falls is a short and worthwhile journey to experience the power of Dynjandi and the wonder of the surrounding areas. The path was actually created by volunteers several decades ago, but it's best to be careful on the trail in case of loose rocks. Explore the nearby ruins, the other smaller falls, and the natural hot spring too!
The main waterfall at Dynjandi falls in the Westfjords of Iceland