West Fjords

  •   Rauðisandur (Red Beach) is a 10 kilometer stretch of a beach on the south coast of the West Fjords (Vestfirðir) in Iceland. And, yes, the sand is red, at least in certain conditions. On sunny days, it is quite a sight to see as it scintillates like a shoreline covered in diamonds.  Sunny days are by no means a constant in Iceland. But, don't let that stop you from going to Rauðisandur. This amazing beach is like an instrument being played by high and low tides as well as lights and shadows....
  •   Selárdalur is very dear to Icelanders. It is one of the Ketildalir valleys on the southern shore of Arnarfjörður and the only one widely known. Formerly, the community in Selárdalur was thriving. It had positive land quality and easy access to the ocean. The farmers and their families would work their land, and then the men would gather in their boats to go fishing. Everyone prospered. Then on 20th September in the year 1900 everything changed. Four boats were lost at sea. Seventeen men...
  •   The road from Gilsfjörður to Kleifaheiði on the south coast of Wes Fjord peninsula is often referred to as Barðaströnd or the Barðaströnd drive.   It is part of the main highway system in Iceland if you are driving around the country, but not part of the Rig Road since it is on the West Fjord peninsula.  The Barðaströnd drive has been considered by Icelanders for a long time to be one of the worst and most boring highways in Iceland.  It is one of the few roads in the main highways that are...
  • Iceland's best-known crime story took place at the Sjöundá farm by Rauðisandur in 1802. Half the farm was allocated to the farmer Bjarni, who lived there with his wife Guðrún and their three children.  That left half the farm uninhabited until the arrival of farmer Jón, his wife Steinunn and their five children. Sjöundá was an extremely isolated spot and hardly the place for unquiet souls. With not much diversion on offer, Bjarni and Steinunn commenced on an illicit affair. With not many places...
  •   Iceland has so many waterfalls that it could be labeled the country of the thousand waterfalls, just as Finland is often labeled the land of thousands of lakes. In some fjords, like the beautiful Mjóifjörður in the East Region water seems to float down the mountains every 50 meters in the 18 kilometers fjord, on both sides.  In the Highland, you can hardly walk a few kilometers without running into some a creek or a river that has a fall at some point.  But it is not only the water, be it...
  •   Trékyllisvík in Strandir is a curious place. This remote cove, surrounded by spectacular mountains, looks benign enough. Still, it is the site that marked the start of a witch craze era in Iceland, when the local sheriff had three sorcerers burned at the stakes in 1654. They were responsible (and consequently found guilty) for the scandalous behavior of some women at mass in the Árnes church. Farfetched? Well, when was witch hunting ever logical? Anyroads, the burnings took place in a rocky...
  •   When in Iceland, it is impossible not to notice the wind. The weather very rarely stays still.  Except in Vatnsfjörður, a nature reserve on the south coast of Vestfirðir. It is believed to have been the settlement of the very first Norseman who deliberately sailed to the west in search of Iceland. His name was Flóki, but always named Hrafna-Flóki (Raven-Flóki) and arrived before the 9nth century, a few decades before Iceland was proper settlement started in Iceland.  No wonder Flóki chose the...

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