Guide book - West Iceland

We are very proud to welcome you to West Iceland. We hope you will enjoy your stay in our summer house and your trip will be full of adventures and fun. To make the planning of your trip to West Iceland easier, we have gathered some information about the area, what to see and what to do.

I would like to start with a few tips about alcohol in Iceland. If you plan on drinking cheap alcohol, I’m afraid you’ve booked a ticket to the wrong country. There are really expensive tolls on alcohol in Iceland. However, there are no tolls on the alcohol that is sold in the Duty Free store at the airport. There is a limit to how much you can buy (it’s very clear once you’re there), but you can definitely save some dough on some fancy Chardonnay or a six pack of local ale. While we’re on the subject, I recommend the Pale Ale and White Ale from Einstök if you want to try some local beers. Also most of the beers from Borg and Kaldi are really good. Mmm beer.


 

Borgarnes

Borgarnes is the closest town to the summerhouse. This town is quite unusual because it is perhaps the only coastal town in Iceland that doesn‘t specialize in fishing. Instead, it is a service centre for the inland area and people passing through.  In Borgarnes you can find a tourist information center, shops, ATM, medical center and a pharmacy. There are also restaurants museums, parks and a swimming pool.

 

Shops and Trading


 

Banking

 

Health care

 

Restaurants

 

Visitor attractions in Borgarnes

  • The Settlement Centre – Landnámssetrið –  Two exhibitions, one tells the Saga of The Settlement of Iceland and the other tells the story of Iceland´s most famous viking and first poet Egill Skallagrímsson. It gives the traveler a good foundation for further knowledge when traveling in Iceland. Audio guides in 14 languages, a complete circuit of each exhibition takes about 30 minutes. You can see either one or both. - Brákarbraut 13-15, 310 Borgarnesi. – www.english.landnam.is

  • Museum Borgarfjörður – Among other things in the museum, there are two great exhibitions. One is Children Throughout a Century, which is a narrative of Iceland’s history in the 20th century; photographs play a major role. A unique exhibition centered on the life and surroundings of children in Iceland in the 20th century. The photographs are presented in an unusual way, mounted on walls in which cabinets behind some photographs contain objects and further information. Visitors can move around the walls and discover how children lived, laughed and worked over the past 100 years. The other exhibition is called Oh to be a bird! and shows the birds of Iceland in very special surroundings, a sight to see. -  Bjarnarbraut 4-6, 310 Borgarnes

  • Bjössaróló Park – a children's play park created by carpenter and environmental pioneer Björn Hjörtur Guðmundsson (Bjössi), who built all the play equipment himself from salvaged discarded materials, teaching children the value of recycling, frugality and inventiveness – Skúlagata, 310 Borgarnes

  • Old Cars Transportation Museum – Brákarbraut, 310 Borgarnesi

  • Borgarnes swimming pool and gym- In the sports stadium, you will find both an outside and an inside swimming pool, hot tubs, a steam bath which is fed with steam straight from the Deildartunga hot spring, a children's pool and water slides. All in all, an excellent health spa in gorgeous surroundings. - Þorsteinsgata 1, 310 Borgarnes - sundlaug@borgarbyggd.is


 

Visitor attractions  in West Iceland

Hitardalur 

Hítardalur is an ancient manor estate and vicarage in the valley of the same name in West Iceland, close to Borgarnes. Hitardalur is widely mentioned in old records. One of the the most destructive fires in Icelandic history occurred in Hitardalur in 1148, claiming the lives of the bishop of Skalholt and 70-80 people who had gathered there for a feast. Eighteen years later a monastery is said to have been founded there, lasting until  1201, though any further records of it are scant, save for two abbots being consecrated there. It is believed to have been a Benedictine monastery.  

The mountain above the valley is called Bæjarfell. It is said that the she-troll Hít lived there, as described in the Saga of Bárður Snæfellssáss. Bárður himself was a half-troll. The two pillars below the Hítardalur farm are said to be Hít and Bardur, turned to stone.

Many outlaws are said to have resided in Hítardalur, and this should not come as a surprise when one considers the fascinating caves that are located in Bæjarfell. These are Sönghellir (The singing Cave), Fjarhellir (Sheep Cave), Paradís (Paradise) and Víti (Hell). 

The river Hítará runs through the valley. Plenty of good salmon fishing can be made there. The bottom of the valley is largely covered by lava fields and soil erosion is strong. The beautiful Hítarvatn lake be reached easily by jeep from the farm by a 4wd track. 

 

Hvalfjörður

In Hvaljörður or "Whale Fjord” you will find spectacular nature and historic sites. The main attraction is in the end of the fjord the highest waterfall in Iceland Glymur. It takes about 4 hours to get to Glymur and back down. Hallgrímskirkja church at Saurbær іs dedicated to Hallgrímur Pétursson most famous poet of Iceland which lived in Hvalfjörður. During World War II, a naval base of the British and American navies could be found in this fjord. One of the piers built by the United States Navy is used today by Hvalur whaling company.

 

Bifröst 

Around 30km northeast of Borgarnes, the minuscule settlement of Bifröst University, a small private campus university . A couple of kilometres to the south and spread either side of the Ringroad, you’ll find the heather-encrusted Grábrókarhraun lavafield, formed three thousand years ago when lava spewed from three craters on the north side of the main road: Grábrók, Grábrókafell and a third cone that has now been dug up to provide gravel for road building. Otherwise, the forested shores of Hreðavatn, 1km southwest of Bifröst, make for a pleasant stroll and a picnic if the weather’s playing along; there’s also trout fishing here. Look out for plant fossils in the rocks around the lake.

Northeast of the village, the Grábrók crater can be ascended by means of a marked trail, as can the Baula rhyolite mountain (934m), 11km from Bifröst and reached along Route 60. Although the sides of this cone-shaped mountain are steep and scree-covered there are no particular obstacles to the ascent and once at the summit there’s a small shelter made of rocks.

Glanni waterfall is hidden away from the main road in the middle of Grábrókarhraun and is said by the locals to be the dwelling place of elves and trolls. The trail is marked and well defined passing through some low lying shrubs. The waterfall is small but beautiful with at least three side-by-side drops, that each has multiple tiers. The river itself, Norðurá River, is one of Iceland’s most generous salmon fishing rivers, and therefore, it’s not uncommon to see salmon jumping up Glanni Waterfall. While you are there, look for Paradísarlaut, a beautiful depression or a hollow with a nice little pond. a few minutes walk from the waterfall. This is an ideal place for a picnic.

 

Reykholt

This small hamlet to the west of Borgarnes is one of Icelands‘s most important historical sites. It was the home of Snorri Sturluson, the famous 13th century Saga writer and statesman. Snorri lived at Reykholt from 1206-1241 and wrote many of his best works here. Today, we can see the thermal pool where Snorri bathed and the nearby tunnel which is connected with the farm where he lived. The tunnel probably led to the cellar where he was murdered at the age of 62. The modern church has a cultural centre where some of his work is on display and in front of the school is a statue of the writer.

Deildartunguhver, in the Reykholts valley, is the country‘s most powerful hot spring. It spurts out water at 200 litres (352 pints) per second at a temperature of 100°C (212°F).  The hot water is piped some 60 km (37 miles) to supply both Borgarnes and Akranes. A greenhouse industry has developed here and fresh produce is often on sale at the roadside.

North of Deildartunguhver you can find Krauma where you can take a bath in the hot water from Deildatunguhver with natural cool water from Rauðsgil in various types of warm nature pools. No chemicals are added to the water, it´s constant and rapid flow will ensure its purity.

 

Húsafell

West of the Langjökull icecap is an area, full of geological interest which is known as Húsafell. Húsafell is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Iceland. This is understandable since it is a unique natural gem in a magnificent landscape. The mild weather, the forest, hot springs and the facilities and services, which have been offered there to tourists in the recent years attract many visitors every year. - www.husafell.is/english/

To the east of Húsafell are extensive lava sheets which include the Hallmundarhraun Caves. These feature a series of tubes within the lava, Víðgelmir is one of the biggest lava caves in the world. It is 148.000m3 and 1.585 km long. The cave holds beautiful formations, stalactites and lava strewn. Víðgelmir has been preserved since 1193 and travelers can only access it accompanied by guides. Guided tours are available from the farm Fljótstunga. Surtshellir is some 1.990 km in length. According to popular legend outlaws and robbers would reside in the cave.Bodily remains later found in the cave support the stories and reveal that the cave was once inhabited by humans. The bottom of Surtshellir is covered with big rocks, making the cave difficult to navigate. The caves have the usual stalactites and stalagmites, and occasional large caverns. Visitors should bring a torch, as there is no artificial lighting.

West of Húsafell are the Hraunfossar Falls, where the glacial River Hvítá has created a gorge a long string of springs which emerge from the junction of porous rock and basalt. A track leads upstream to Barnafoss (Childrens Waterfall), named after children who drowned after they fell from a natural rock arch that used to be over the falls. The mother had the arch broken down afterwards.

In Langjökull, Europe‘s second largest glacier, you can enjoy one of Iceland's most significant new attraction, a man-made ice cave. Guests are invited to enjoy a stroll in the 500 m long ice tunnel, 30m under the glacier. The LED lighted ice walls offer a unique glimpse into the past, for the different colored layers show the changing weather in Iceland, not unlike age rings in trees, providing the guests information on global warming. Guests are transported to the glacier in trucks where they get geared up, put on their crampons and head into the glacier.

 

Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Running east-west and jutting out into the ocean, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula receives the full force of Atlantic gales. The population, not surprisingly, is sparse here. The south coast of the peninsula has a broad coastal plain, but lacks good harbours. Consequently there are no townships of any considerable size, just a scattering of farmsteads. A mountain chain runs along the centre of the peninsula, rising to approximately 930m (3050 fr) at Tröllatindar.  The highest mountain, however, is Snæfellsjökull, at 1446m (4745 ft), at the western end of the peninsula. It is a conically shaped dormant volcano with a distinct peak, covered by a small ice cap which can frequently be seen from Reykjavík, some 100 km (60 miles) to the south. Hiking up Snæfellsjökill is a unique experience for the summit offers a spectacular view in all directions. Organized trips on Snæfellsjökull on snow mobiles are available from Arnarstapi.

In 2001 The Snæfellsjökull National Park was established around the glacier. It covers an area of 170 m2   and is the only coastal park in Iceland. It consists of varied landscape including moss-covered lava fields, pebbled beaches and impressive rugged cliffs. The Park‘s main feature is the magnificent Snæfellsjökull glacier which dominates the area, but there are several smaller volcanoes dotted around the lowlands of the Park as well. There are marked walking trails all over the Park and guests are invited to explore them. The Park has a strong conservation policy to protect  the ecology and remarkable geological features of the area.  

When travelling in Snæfellsnes, everyone should visit Arnarstapi and Hellnar, two extremely beautiful villages located by the seaside. Arnarstapi lies south of Snæfellsjökull glacier. The coastline boast unusual rock formations and diverse birdlife. The pier at Arnarstapi is used by fishermen who fish on the bountiful fishing grounds nearby. Not far from Arnarstapi lies Hellnar. Located there is Snæfellsjökull National Park Visitos‘s Center. The coastline of Hellnar is spectacular, with cliffs such as Valasnös, which protrudes into the surf, and the cave Baðstofa. Many trails lead from the pier, one to a big stone sculpture of Bárður Snæfellsáss the protagonist from his Saga. A Beautiful trail lies between Arnarstapi and Hellnar.

Djúpalónssandur is a spectacular sandy beach surrounded by magnificent rock formations and covered with infinite black stones believed by some to have healing powers. The beach was once a prosperous fishing village where fishermen tested their strength by lifting four rock that still lie there on the beach today, offering guests an opportunity to prove their strength. The stones are Fullsterkur (full strength) weighing 154 kg, Hálfsterkur (half strength) at 100 kg, Hálfdrættingur (weakling) at 54 kg and Amlóði (useless) at 23 kg. In the  year 1948 the British trawler Epine GY7 from Grimsby was wrecked on the beach with 14 dead and only five survivors. Iron from the trawler is still scattered around the beach being haunted. From Djúpalónssandur there is a 1 km trail leading to the cove Dritvík. From the mid 17th  century to the 19th century , Dritvík had one of the biggest fishing villages in the country, with as much as 60-70 ships operating during high season.

The area all around Snæfellsjökull Glacier contains hundreds of lava tubes. One of those caves is Vatnshellir, an 8000 year old lava tube created by volcanic eruption from a nearby crater. As the lava rushed down the hill in lava river it began to cool on the surface, creating a crust on top of the lava river. As the eruption stopped, all the lava from underneath this crust continued to drain out, leaving behind empty tube with roof on top that gradually cooled down. The National Park has closed Vatnshellir for protection reasons and it is only opened with guidance from Summit Adventure Guides.

At the farm Ölkelda you can find „ölkelda“ water, which is an Icelandic term used to describe a place where naturally carbonated water can be found. Carbon dioxide is naturally dissolved into the groundwater, resulting in tasty, sparkling water which can be drunk straight from the well. At Lísuhóll there is an old swimming pool with warm (24-35°C), naturally carbonated, geothermal water. Rich in minerals and considered healthy and healing.

Sönghellir (Singing cave), known for its echoes. Many names are carved in the rock, including those of Eggert Ólafsson and Bjarni Pálsson who travelled the country in the 18th century and wrote a book about it.

Rauðfeldsgjá is a ravine or natural wonder in Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The ravine is interesting from a geological point of view and also as a place mentioned in the Icelandic saga, Bárðar saga Snæfellsáss. In that saga, written around 600 years ago about events that occurred about 12 centuries ago, the tragic story that gave the ravine its name is told. And also about the name of the cliff. It is a story where Bárður, in anger over the loss of his daughter, threw the two brothers Rauðfeldur and Sölvi into the ravine and of the cliff. Today Rauðfeldsgjá is a tourist attraction and natural wonder at the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

Located on the Eastern side of the mountain known as Botnsfjall, this massive natural crack doesn't immediately seem to be accessible from the ground. However, as visitors get closer to the base of the mount it becomes clear that the nearby stream is actually issuing from the fissure, and there is ample room for a human to get into the crack.  The gorge extends inside the Rauðfeldsgjá fissure for a ways until it narrows near to where the stream is issuing from. Within the split, the walls are covered with vibrant green moss and the imposing cliff walls looming on either side provide a truly unique sense of the sprawl and majesty of Iceland's natural terrain. The hike to Rauðfeldsgjá can take about a half an hour from the road, but the trek is worth it to experience something people only usually see in fantasy movies.

Búðir on the southwestern shores of Snæfellsnes, is very popular place to visit because of the beauty of the region and its nearness to Glacier Snaefellsjokull. There is a small church and a graveyard worth visiting. There is a walking path from Hotel Búðir, through the lava up to Búðarklettur. A very nice walk.

Eldborg is beautifully-formed crater rising 60m above the surrounding lava Elborgarhraun. The spatter cone is the largest crater along a short volcanic rift, 200 m in diameter and 50 m deep. Its last eruption was about 5000-6000 years ago. According to medieval chronicles there was also one around the time of the colonisation of Iceland about 1000 years ago, but today it is known that it came from another of the many craters of the valley Hnappadalur. It is easiest to approach Eldborg from Snorrastadir on its southern side, walking 2,5 km through the shrub-covered lava field. It is possible to walk all the way around the crater as well as up it.

 

Stykkishólmur

The town of Stykkishólmur has about 1.100 inhabitants but during the summers the population grows when tourists flock to the town to enjoy its spectacular town image due to numerous well preserved old houses and the view over hundreds of small nearby islands in the bay Breiðarfjörður, which is the town‘s main attraction. Two companies now provide boat trips into the bay. Diversions in Stykkisholmur are plentiful, including golf, swimming, sailing and visits to museums such as the regional museum in the Norwegian House, the Volcano Museum and the Library of Water and art galleries. The town is rich in culture and hosts many events all year round. 

Bjarnarhöfn is a farmstead on the north side of the Snaefellsnes peninsula, near Stykkishólmur. The church and the shark museum are listed as the nr. 1 Snaefellsnes attractions by Lonely Planet travellers. At the shark museum you can learn about the habits and biology of the Greenland shark and the seafarers who risked their lives hunting it. Try a bit of shark, best washed down with a nice portion of Brennivin. 

 

Above Bjarnarhofn lies Bjarnarhafnarfjall, where seagulls are particularly common and nearby is the rugged Berserkjahraun lava field. It has all kinds of strange shapes, with beautiful colours, and stark contrasts in the rock and mosses. 


 

Recreation in West Iceland

 

Swimming Pools

There are swimming pools all over the country, large ones and small ones, and all are heated. Most are outdoor pools but a few are indoors. Extremely popular with locals and visitors alike, Icelandic pools are open throughout the year.

 

  • Grundarfjörður swimming pool - Borgarbraut 19, Grundarfjörður

  • Ólafsvík swimming pool - The indoor swimming pool is 12.5 metres long and has a hot tub. A new outdoor area with hot tubs and slides has been opened. - Ennisbraut 11, Ólafsvík

  • Kleppjárnsreykir swimming pool - A pleasant swimming pool, in close proximity to one of the most powerful hot springs in Europe, Deildartunga Spring. An outside pool, hot tub and a gym. – Kleppjárnsreykir

  • Jaðarsbakkar pool in Akranes has especially good facilities for swimming. There is an old tradition of swimming at Skagi and many of Iceland's most famous swimmers hail from there. Water from Deildartunguhver hotspring is used to warm up Akranes Swimming Pool. - v/Innnesveg, Jaðarsbökkum, Akranes

  • Borgarnes swimming pool - In the sports stadium, you will find both an outside and an inside swimming pool, hot tubs, a steam bath which is fed with steam straight from the Deildartunga hot spring, a children's pool and water slides. All in all, an excellent health spa. - Þorsteinsgata 1

  • Stykkishólmur swimming pool - Outdoor and indoor swimming pool with Frasenius certified water, claimed to have regenerative powers. Thermal tubs, water slide and a wading pool for the children. – Borgarbraut 1, Stykkishólmur

  • Grundarfjörður swimming pool - A comfortable little pool in a prime location next to the campsite. Two hot tubs. - Borgarbraut 19, Grundarfjörður.

  • Húsafell swimming pool - It was originally built in 1965 but has been renovated and grown since then. There are two pools, two hot tubs and a waterslide.- Húsafell

  • Sælingsdalur swimming pool - Pool, hot tub, steam bath and wading pool in beautiful surroundings. – Laugar í Sælingsdal.

  • Varmaland swimming pool - Outdoor swimming pool with hot tubs. – Varmaland Stafholtstungum.

 

Geothermal Baths

Few things are cozier than relaxing in a hot pool in the middle of nature. Iceland has an abundance of easily accessible natural pools.

  • Landbrotalaug - Closest to the cabin. More info on http://hotpoticeland.com/landbrotalaug/

  • Guðrúnarlaug - According to Laxdaela saga, Gudrun Osvifursdóttir used to dwell by a geothermal pool in Laugar in Saelingsdalur. The pool is mentioned in Sturlunga saga and it seems to have been used a great deal. – Hótel Edda Laugar í Sælingsdal.

  • Krosslaug - is in the area of Reykir in Lundareikjadalur and is about 50 meters above the road. The pool is small but the heat of the water is about 42°C

  • Hreppslaug Swimming Pool, built in 1928 is run by the non-profit youth organisation "Íslendingur". Hreppslaug is preserved as a cultural heritage. Water from hot springs close by, is led directly into the hot tubs and swimming pool. – Skorradalur.

  • Lýsuhóll Swimming pool, with warm (temperature from 24-35°C), naturally carbonated, geothermal water. Rich in minerals and considered healthy and healing.

  • Krauma - warm nature pools where you can take a bath in the hot water from Deildatunguhver. – Kleppjárnsreykir, - www.krauma.is

 

Golf

  • Glanni Golf Course - a 9-hole course along the Glanni waterfall in Norðurárdal valley. Situated in the middle of the Grábrók lava field - Bifröst

  • Húsafell Golf Club - 9-hole golf course in Húsafell, one of the most frequented tourist attractions in Iceland. – Húsafell

  • Staðarsveit Golf Club - The fields of Garðar consist of a 9-hole "Links" golf course in beautiful surroundings. The course is built on windswept sand dunes from the nearby shore so the experience is very "Scottish". It is situated on the south coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.  - Ytri-Garðar, Staðarsveit

  • Leynir Golf Club - Garðavöllur, the Akranes Golf Course, is an 18-hole course in West Iceland. Renowned for its beautiful surroundings, good upkeep and excellent putting greens, the course is quite challenging. It has many bunkers in play, a fair amount of water and some trees. – Grímsholt, Akranes

  • Skrifla Golf Club - the course is rather flat with shelter belts, and at the riverside there are small hills and hollows. There is also a spacious driving range and an 18-hole putting green course - Nes, Reykholtsdal - www.nesreykholt.is

  • Borgarnes Golf Club – 18 holes and is the only golf course in Iceland that has both Hotel and Guesthouse facilities on the premises. - Hamar, 310 Borgarnes

  • Nes Reykholtsdalur Golf Course – a 9-hole course which lies on the farm Nes in Reykholtsdalur, a short distance from Reykholt itself. The course has range area, special 18 hole putting course and it is easy to walk. – 


 

Hiking

The opportunities for hiking in Iceland are virtually endless, from leisurely half day walks to multi day wilderness treks. However, the unpredictable weather is always a consideration and rain, fog and mist can turn an uplifting hike into a miserable trudge. Come prepared with good raingear and strong boots and if your are planning anything other than a short hike, carry good maps, as many trails are unmarked. You will also need to ford rivers on many trails and look out for fissures, which can be hundreds of metres deep.

For more information on hiking and mountaineering, contact the Iceland Touring Association (Ferðafélag Íslands) – www.fi.is



 

Boat Tours - Bird and Whale Watching

  • Láki tours - offer tours from Grundarfjörður - Nesvegur 5, 350 Grundarfjörður – www.lakitours.com

  • Sæferðir – offer tours from Stykkishólmur - Smiðjustígur 3 – 340 Stykkishólmur – www.seatours.is

 

Horse Activities

The Icelandic horse is a favorite of many and known around the world as an excellent steed. There are many horse rentals throughout the country offering short or longer rides.

 

  • Lýsuhóll-Snæhestar - Horse riding tours offered on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, mostly along the wide beaches of Iceland's most beautiful horse riding area "Löngufjörur". Longer and shorter guided horse riding tours available upon request. - http://www.lysuholl.is/

  • Stóri Kambur - The horse Rental is a family run business, located on the southern part of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, offering short riding tours. – www.storikambur.is/en

  • Hömluholt - located on the southern part of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, offer from 1 to 3 hour guided horseback riding tours along the golden sandy beaches located in this area. A variety of bird species can be seen on the way and possibly seals during the trip. – www.homluholt.is/en/

  • Áning ferðaþjónusta ehf. - Fengur horse rental is open May to September. With two locations, the farm Traður and in Lýsudalur we offer riding tours of various length and riding skills as well as creating a tour especially for you. Fengur horse rental offers riding tours from 1 hour long to day trips. – www.tradiruk.weebly.com/

  • Oddsstaðir is located in Borgarfjörður. It is an adventure to ride Icelandic horses here and enjoy the nature at the same time. They offer short and long guided day tours. - www.oddsstadir.is/

  • Guðrún Fjeldsted – Ölvaldsstaðir IV - 1-2 hour riding tours in beautiful surroundings on the banks of the Hvitá River, which is a glacial river flowing from Eiriksjökull Glacier. There are excellent facilities in a brand new riding arena which is specially designed for wheelchair users and the disabled. Horses of all capabilities. The riding school offers a 5-day course for children and teenagers during summer - e-mail: fjeldsted@emax.is

  • Staðarhús Horsback Riding – offer riding lessons and trail rides. – Staðarhús, 311 Borgarnes. - www.stadarhus.is



 

Jeep- & Glacier Tours in West Iceland

Many travel agencies specialize in different kinds of jeep exhibitions. A jeep tour on a glacier with breathtaking views is an unforgettable experience. These companies specialize in glacier tours in West Iceland. 

 

  • Into the Glacier offers various tours to the Iceland's most significant new attraction, the man-made ice cave. The ice tunnel and the caves are located high on one of Europe's largest glaciers, Langjökull. You will get an amazing opportunity to explore the glacier and see it from the inside. This is once in a lifetime experience where you will be taken to the hidden beautiful ice. Daily departures from Reykjavík and Húsafell. A visit to the Ice Cave will be a glacier experience like no other. The journey starts at the roots of Langjökull, Europe's second-largest glacier, where monster trucks await to take travellers on a guided tour to the entrance of the IceCave, which is 1,260 meters above sea level. – www.intotheglacier.is

  • Snjófell sells trips on the Snæfellsjökull glacier, by snowcat and snowmobile.- www.snjofell.is – e-mail: snjofell@snjofell.is

  • Snæfellsjökull Glacier Tours -. offers tours on the glacier by either snowcat or snowmobile. Several tours a day, depending on local weather conditions. Small café offering light refreshments, soups, salad and sandwiches. The café is open the whole year round. – Litla Kambi - www.theglacier.is/ - e-mail: info@theglacier.is

  • Brilliant ATV Tours – offer 8 two-seated Polaris Touring Quad bikes and also a guided tour to experience the magnificent Icelandic landscape from another perspective. – Þórisstaðir, Svínadalur, 301 Akranes – www.brillianttours.is

  • Go west - We founded our company specifically to offer eco-friendly outdoor experiences and travel opportunities. This means travelling without compromising nature, local culture, environment or safety. The mission is to minimize impact on the environment and to maximize the guest’s experience of Icelandic nature and culture. GO WEST offers a variety of day tours; glacier hikes, bikes, boat... and tailor made tours just for you - http://gowest.is/

  • Summit Adventure Guides - We operate diverse tours all around Snæfellsjökull glacier, from the deepest caves to the highest glacier summits. As well as guiding collective groups all year around, we also offer tailor made private tours. - http://www.summitguides.is

 

Adventures in Iceland

Many agencies offer all kinds og adventures in Iceland while on vacation. Some of them offer tours in West Iceland. You can check out these agencies and see if they have anything that interests you.

 

 

Museums and Exhibitions

Iceland has all kinds of museums. Most of them are pretty standard but others are dedicated to more abstract things,

 

  • Akranes Folk Museum - The museum preserves a comprehensive collection of exhibits from former times, bearing witness to farming, housekeeping and social conditions in and around Akranes. Among the exhibits on display are boats and ships, as well as a selection of other items connected with seafaring and fishing, such as trawl-wire cutters from the so-called Cod Wars with the British, instruments used by doctors and midwives, old cars and a smithy. The museum also hosts Iceland's Sport Museum exhibition, various temporary exhibitions and a café. – Görðum, Akranes

  • The Maritime Museum In The Fishermen´S Garden - In the Fishermen's Garden you will find a collection of items reminding one of the local community's connection to the ocean and how its inhabitants dealt with a life that revolved around fishing in days gone by. – Sandahraun, 360 Hellissandur 

  • Shark museum Bjarnarhöfn - At the museum you can learn about the Greenland shark, its habits, biology and of course taste the shark which is produced on the farm – Bjarnarhöfn – Helgafellssveit - Stykkishólmur

  • The Agricultural Museum of Iceland - The Agricultural Museum of Iceland presents the agricultural heritage and seeks to explain the history of Icelandic agriculture. The museum has an extensive collection of farm artifacts. For example, the first horse-driven equipments and the first tractors imported to Iceland, as well as the more modern artifacts of current times. The museum has Iceland's largest collection of farm machinery which goes back to 1880. – Hvanneyri, 311 Borgarnes

  • Eiríksstaðir - Living Museum - One of most historic sides of Iceland. Step back to the Viking Era and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and scents of Eriks the Red's farm which is also the birthplace of Leif the Lucky who is said to have discovered America. Modern day vikings demonstrate the lifestyle of 1000 years ago, sharing their crafts and knowledge. – Haukadalur- Búðardalur

  • Local Museum, Norwegian House - The regional museum of Snæfellsnes. The Norwegian house, built in 1832, was the first wood-frame residence with two full-sized storeys in Iceland. The wood was imported from Norway hence the name. - Hafnargata 5, Stykkishólmur

  • Borgarnes Museum - Among other things in the museum, there are two great exhibitions. One is Children Throughout a Century, which is a narrative of Iceland's history in the 20th century; photographs play a major role. The other exhibition is called Oh to be a bird! and shows the birds of Iceland in very special surroundings. - Bjarnarbraut 4-6, Borgarnes

  • Library Of Water - Library of water is a long-term project conceived by Roni Horn. for a former library in the coastal town of Stykkishólmur in Iceland. The building stands on a promontory overlooking the ocean and the town, and houses three related collections - of water, words and weather reports - which reflect Roni Horn's intimate involvement with the singular geography, geology, climate and culture of Iceland. - Bókhlöðustígur 17, Stykkishólmur

  • The Volcano Museum - The museum includes works of art, old and new, showing volcanic eruptions, as well as objects, artifacts, volcanic rocks from the unique collection of professor Haraldur Sigurðsson who has carried out research on volcanoes worldwide for forty years. - Aðalgata 8, Stykkishólmur

  • War And Peace Museum - The unique and remarkable history of the occupation period in Iceland 1940-45 unfolds at the War and Peace Museum. Our exhibition tells the story of how a peaceful countryside was transformed, in the context of world events and its importance to the victory of the Allies in World War 2. Here you can explore our high-quality collection of artifacts and feel the memories from this fateful time of upheaval. - Hvalfjörður

  • Laxness Museum – Gljúfrasteinn - the home of writer Halldór Laxness (Nobel Prize in Literature 1955) and his family. The house has now been converted into a museum, where the author´s home is preserved just as it was when he lived and worked there. – Gljúfrasteinn, Mosfellsdalur

  • Pakkhús Museum - The Pakkhús in Olafsvik is an old trading store, built in 1844. It is a national monument and the Regional Museum of Snæfellsbær town is located on the second and third floors of the building. A general store and a shop selling handicrafts are on the ground floor. - Ólafsbraut 12, Ólafsvík

  • Snorrastofa - Reykholt is one of Iceland's most renowned historical sites where some of the finest works of Old Icelandic literature were written. Snorrastofa, a cultural - and medieval centre, founded in memory of Snorri Sturluson,and situated in his ancient homestead at Reykholt. Snorrastofa manages various research projects and provides reception and information for travelers, historical exhibitions, guided tours and lectures. Books on history and culture, Icelandic handicraft and souvenirs are available in the shop. – Reykholt

  • Dalir Heritage Museum - Dalir Heritage Museum is an old-fashioned museum, displaying various items related to the daily life, culture and the history of Dalir region. Every item has its own history and a bit of wisdom to share. This is a museum where you make your own discovery rather than have everything spoonfed to you. Questions and discussions with the museum curator are encouraged and very welcome. - Laugar Sælingsdal

 

Winter 

Travelling in winter in Iceland can be a mindblowing experience. Iceland‘s nature, dressed in frost and snow, is a different sight from the endless summer nights. Of course the nature is an attraction in it‘s own, with it‘s northern lights and still winter nights but travelling in West Iceland in the winter time is a rich experience. A lot of activities are open for the winter and you can enjoy everything from a horseback ride on the Icelandic horse which grows a long hair for the winter, to visits to the everlasting winter kingdoms of the glaciers. But Iceland is after all called Iceland for a reason so you should drive safely and check conditions beforehand. Also bear in mind that some activities close for the winter so make sure to plan your trip carefully. 

  • For road and weather information call 1777 were English speaking operators will be glad to assist you 

  • Or check www.road.is


 

Northern Lights in West Iceland

The beautiful northern lights shimmer all over the night sky over west Iceland during the winter. November – February is the best time to spot the Northern lights especially when the sky is clear and the weather is calm. In West Iceland, the chances of seeing the northern lights are very good, due to very little light pollution.

Here is a link to the Northern lights forecasts in Iceland

Here is a link to a private company that specializes in catering to tourists who are here to see the norther lights. They have some neat info but some of their services you have to pay for. 

There are also several other companies that specialize in Northern Lights tours that you should be able to find with a quick internet search

 

Here are also some more ideas on what to do on your travel through Iceland

https://travelade.com/birgir/


 

Hope you enjoy your stay and have an adventurous journey.

B.rg. Biggi, Jón Ragnar and Snæbjörn