Ísafjörður – the Westfjords

July 23-24

Driving to the Westfjords from Reykjavik exceeded expectations in terms of both beauty and “eek” factor, as we crossed single-lane bridges, drove through single-lane tunnels, and clung to the side of cliffs on narrow switchbacks with no guard rails.

The first stop was the village of Hólmavík, the largest town in the Strandir region in the southeast corner of the Westfjords, with a population of 506.


It is the home of the Museum of Sorcery & Witchcraft, open year round, which documents the “exciting and tragic history of witchcraft, witch-hunting and sorcery” and the 17th-century history of witch hunting in the region. Check out necropants, if you dare…


The drive took us in and out of fjords, past isolated farms, sheep, and the occasional hot pool.

Sheep pop up by the road and then dart away
Traditional boats
Amazing scenery
Isolated farms
Hot pools

Then Ísafjörður, the largest town in the Westfjords, with 2600 inhabitants. It is a vibrant town, and I would love to visit in winter to see the northern lights (difficult, almost impossible). Lots of festivals, sporting events, and the jumping-off spot for various hiking adventures. The cruise ships have found Ísafjörður, but the industry doesn’t really help the town, as the docks, apparently, are privately owned, and the cruise ship passengers don’t spend money here. If you take a cruise to Ísafjörður, go shopping! Eat the food! Don’t be a spectator tourist.

The museum
Culture House
Culture House

and there are many more pictures here.

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