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Top 20 Things to See & Do in West Iceland


Things Do in West Iceland

Welcome to the land of awe-inspiring west Iceland attractions! This region, often referred to as "Iceland in miniature," offers a wide variety of natural wonders, charming towns, and historical sites. In this guide, we will uncover the best things to do in west Iceland and the unique experiences that await you along the picturesque west coast of Iceland. Whether you're an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or a history enthusiast, there's something for everyone in this enchanting region.

Best Things to See & Do in West Iceland

1. Snæfellsnes Peninsula 

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is the perfect starting point for your west Iceland adventure. Home to an array of breathtaking landscapes, it's no wonder this area is often called "Iceland in Miniature." The peninsula boasts lava fields, volcanic peaks, black sand beaches, and dramatic coastal cliffs. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the stunning Kirkjufell Mountain and the iconic Snæfellsjökull glacier while exploring the many west Iceland attractions in this area.

Things to do in west Iceland

2. Snæfellsjökull National Park 

One of the main west Iceland highlights is Snæfellsjökull National Park, home to the famous Snæfellsjökull glacier and volcano. This majestic natural wonder, immortalized in Jules Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," offers fantastic hiking opportunities and mesmerizing views of the surrounding landscapes. Don't miss the chance to explore the park's lava tubes, such as Vatnshellir Lava Cave (which we'll cover in more detail later), and witness the diverse wildlife inhabiting this area.

Snaefellsjokull National Park

3. Kirkjufell Mountain  

As one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland, Kirkjufell is a must-see west Iceland attraction. This symmetrical, 463-meter high mountain is located near the town of Grundarfjörður on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. With its striking appearance and the nearby Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall, it's no wonder Kirkjufell has become a symbol of west Iceland's beauty. The mountain offers a moderate hiking trail, perfect for capturing stunning photographs of the surrounding landscapes.

Kirkufell mountain

4. Stykkishólmur Town  

Stykkishólmur, a charming fishing town on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, is the perfect destination for those seeking to experience authentic Icelandic culture. With its colorful houses, rich history, and picturesque harbor, Stykkishólmur is a great place to visit while exploring west Iceland attractions. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the local museums, such as the Icelandic Settlement Centre, and enjoy fresh seafood at the town's restaurants.


5. Breiðafjörður Bay  

Breiðafjörður Bay, nestled between the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the Westfjords, is a haven for birdwatching and exploring the western islands of Iceland. This vast bay is home to thousands of

small islands and islets, making it a unique and diverse ecosystem. A boat tour of Breiðafjörður Bay offers a fantastic opportunity to spot various bird species, including puffins, eider ducks, and white-tailed eagles. You may also have the chance to see seals, and don't forget to try the local delicacy – freshly caught scallops right from the ocean.

What to see in west Iceland

6. Rauðasandur Beach  

One of the most unique west Iceland attractions is Rauðasandur Beach, a stunning red sand beach stretching for 10 kilometers along the coast of the Westfjords. The beach's vibrant color is a result of pulverized scallop shells, giving it a truly distinctive appearance. Rauðasandur is the perfect place for a leisurely walk, photography, and birdwatching. Keep an eye out for seals basking on the rocks or swimming in the shallows.

Red sand beach Iceland

7. Látrabjarg Cliffs  

Látrabjarg Cliffs, located in the Westfjords, are the westernmost point of Iceland and Europe. These majestic cliffs, towering over the Atlantic Ocean, are home to millions of birds, including puffins, guillemots, and razorbills. The cliffs provide an excellent opportunity for birdwatching and photography, as well as breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Remember to stay at a safe distance from the edge and respect the wildlife while enjoying this unique west Iceland attraction.

Latrabjarg Cliffs, Iceland

8. Dynjandi Waterfall  

Dynjandi Waterfall, the jewel of the Westfjords, is a must-see natural wonder for anyone visiting West Iceland. This magnificent waterfall, also known as Fjallfoss, cascades over 100 meters, resembling a bridal veil. The thundering sound of the water and the lush green surroundings create a truly magical atmosphere. There's a well-marked trail leading to the base of the waterfall, where you can take in its full majesty and snap some unforgettable photos.

Dynjandi waterfall

9. Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls  

Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls, located near the town of Borgarnes, showcase the power and beauty of Iceland's nature. Hraunfossar, or "Lava Falls," is a series of stunning waterfalls that pour out of a lava field and into the Hvítá River. Just a short walk away, you'll find Barnafoss, or "Children's Falls," named after a tragic local legend. Its powerful, churning waters create a striking contrast to the serene beauty of Hraunfossar. Both waterfalls are among the most popular west Iceland attractions and should not be missed.


Hraunfossar, Iceland

10. Glymur Waterfall  

As the second-highest waterfall in Iceland, Glymur is a breathtaking sight that can be reached through a moderately challenging hike. Towering at 198 meters, this magnificent waterfall is situated in the scenic Hvalfjörður area. The hike to Glymur offers spectacular views of the canyon, lush vegetation, and geological formations. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring a camera, as the trail provides countless opportunities for unforgettable photographs.

Glymur waterfall

11. Eiríksstaðir Viking Longhouse  

Step back in time and experience the Viking Age at Eiríksstaðir, a reconstructed Viking longhouse located near Búðardalur. This fascinating historical site is the former home of Erik the Red and the birthplace of his son, Leif Erikson, who is believed to have discovered America. Eiríksstaðir offers

a unique opportunity to learn about Viking history, culture, and daily life through interactive exhibits and knowledgeable guides dressed in period clothing. Don't miss the chance to explore this captivating west Iceland attraction and immerse yourself in the world of the Vikings.

Eriksstadir, Iceland

12. Akranes Lighthouse  

The picturesque Akranes Lighthouse is a landmark that offers panoramic views of the west coast of Iceland and the surrounding areas. Climb to the top of this historic structure for stunning vistas of the sea, nearby mountains, and the town of Akranes. The lighthouse also occasionally hosts photography exhibitions and cultural events, adding to its charm as one of the must-visit places in west Iceland.

Akranes Lighthouse

13. Hellnar and Arnarstapi Cliffs  

Located on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, the dramatic coastal landscapes of Hellnar and Arnarstapi are not to be missed. The rugged cliffs, stunning rock formations, and roaring waves offer an unforgettable visual feast. Explore the area on foot by following the scenic coastal trail that connects the two villages, passing by impressive sea arches, basalt columns, and bird nesting sites. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the striking beauty of these west Iceland highlights.

Arnastapi cliffs

14. Flatey Island  

Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and venture to Flatey Island, a tranquil, car-free oasis located in Breiðafjörður Bay. Rich in history and birdlife, Flatey offers a unique opportunity to experience the peacefulness of rural Iceland. Wander through the village's colorful houses, visit the charming Flatey Church adorned with beautiful murals, and enjoy the abundant birdwatching opportunities. A visit to Flatey is a must for anyone seeking an authentic Icelandic experience and a chance to connect with nature.

Flatey Island

15. Icelandic Settlement Centre  

Located in Borgarnes, the Icelandic Settlement Centre is a fantastic place to dive into the history and culture of Iceland. This engaging museum offers interactive exhibits that explore the Sagas, the arrival of the first settlers, and the establishment of the Icelandic Commonwealth. The Settlement Centre is not only informative but also a delight for the senses, with beautiful artwork, multimedia displays, and soundscapes that bring the past to life. Don't miss this fascinating west Iceland attraction during your visit.

Settlement in Iceland

16. Húsafell  

Húsafell is an outdoor paradise located between the Langjökull glacier and the Hallmundarhraun lava field. This area offers a variety of activities and attractions, including hiking trails, hot springs, golf, and horseback riding. One of the highlights of Húsafell is the man-made ice tunnel in Langjökull, which offers a unique and unforgettable experience inside the glacier. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, Húsafell has something for everyone.

Husafell, Iceland

17. Vatnshellir Lava Cave  

Discover the fascinating underground world of West Iceland at Vatnshellir Lava Cave, located in Snæfellsjökull National Park. Formed over 8,000 years ago, this 200-meter long lava tube offers a unique opportunity to explore Iceland's volcanic history. Guided tours of the cave allow you to witness impressive lava formations, such as stalactites and stalagmites, and learn about the geological processes that shaped the cave. Remember to wear warm clothing and good shoes, as the temperature inside the cave remains cool year-round.

Vatnshellir cave

18. Ólafsvík Town  

Ólafsvík, a scenic coastal town located on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, offers a glimpse into Iceland's fishing heritage and natural beauty. Stroll through the picturesque harbor, visit the local maritime museum, and enjoy the freshest seafood at one of the town's restaurants. The nearby Bæjarfoss waterfall, easily accessible from Ólafsvík, is another must-see west Iceland attraction. Don't forget to check out the modern, pyramid-shaped church that overlooks the town, which is a unique architectural gem.

Olafsvik town, Iceland

19. Borgarnes Town  

The charming town of Borgarnes, located along the scenic Borgarfjörður fjord, is a perfect stop while exploring west coast Iceland. Rich in history and natural beauty, Borgarnes offers several attractions, such as the Icelandic Settlement Centre, the Landnámssetur Íslands museum, and the beautiful Borg á Mýrum church. Wander along the waterfront, enjoy local delicacies at the town's cafes and restaurants, and soak in the stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.

Borgarnes, Iceland

20. Deildartunguhver Thermal Spring  

Discover the power of Iceland's geothermal energy at Deildartunguhver Thermal Spring, the highest-flow hot spring in Europe. Located near the town of Borgarnes, this incredible natural wonder pumps out 180 liters of boiling water per second. The water's vibrant colors, created by the minerals and algae, create a mesmerizing sight. While visiting Deildartunguhver, don't forget to explore the nearby Krauma Geothermal Baths, where you can relax in soothing hot pools and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding area.

West Iceland's hot springs

Uncover the Wonders of West Iceland

From the breathtaking waterfalls and dramatic cliffs to the charming fishing villages and fascinating history, west Iceland attractions offer a diverse array of experiences that cater to every traveler's taste.

Whether you're exploring the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, venturing to the remote Westfjords, or immersing yourself in the Viking history at Eiríksstaðir, there's no shortage of unforgettable adventures in this enchanting region. Rent your car in Iceland today and discover the countless things to see and do in west Iceland.