West Region

The West Region in Iceland has seven towns and villages including the towns on the Snæfellsnes peninsula.  Most of them trace their origin to rich fishing grounds nearby and early trading posts in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Consequently, all of the towns are located by the shoreline.  Today all of the towns and villages in the West Region have developed their service towards tourism and offer excellent service in all areas of tourism and thus enhance the tourism infrastructure in Iceland.  It is a great part of Iceland to visit with many interesting sights, historical places, and natural wonders; both by driving along the coastline and also by driving inland in Borgarfjörður. Together all of the towns and villages have convenient accommodation, a camping site, a gas station, a convenience store, a restaurant or a café, a swimming pool and some form of recreational activity, museums, and tours. Driving a "circle" around the Snæfellsnes peninsula and inland to Reykholt in Borgarfjörður is a perfect day tour from Reykjavík for people traveling in Iceland. 

  • Akranes is a town in the Western Region in Iceland
    Although the Book of Settlements, in the Icelandic Sagas, mentions the name Akranes, understandably the town didn’t exist until centuries later.  Like most towns and villages by the seashore of Iceland, Akranes traces its origin to rich fishing grounds right out by the shore. For centuries, the bay of Faxi, or Faxaflói, was a primary source of provision for inhabitants in Iceland. Akranes is an old fishing town On the other hand, Akranes is probably one of the oldest towns in Iceland. Even at the end of the middle ages, a cluster of fishing farms formed a tiny fishing village. However, it wasn’t until the late sixteenth century and into the seventeenth century that Akranes started to...
  • Borganes is a town in the Western Region in Iceland
    The town of Borgarnes, population slightly less than 2000 people, is probably one of the busiest tourist towns in Iceland, at least when Icelanders are traveling in their country.  The reason is likely to be a bridge that was built over Borgarfjörður in the early eighties.  At that point, the main highway, the ring road, was moved from outside the town, through the middle of the town.  Somehow someone figured out soon after, that people coming from Reykjavik became terribly hungry after passing the new bridge.  This is still true, and time has reviled the same fact about people coming into the town of Borgarnes from the north, before crossing the bridge.  The answer to this urge for food...
  • Búðardalur is a small village in the Western Region in Iceland
    Although the area around Búðardalur is rich in historical terms, the village is fairly new and very small. It is part of the Westfjords drive Road Trip and located at the enterance of the Westfjord Peninsula. The whole area is more like an agricultural and farming land. The whole region Dalir is bursting with places where dramatic events took place many centuries ago, and one can read about in the Icelandic Sagas. Laxdæla and Eiríkssaga are among the best known Sagas from this area. Búðardalur is a small service village The tiny village Búðardalur, with a population of less than 300, is located by one of the two main roads leading to the West Fjords.  The first house was built here at the...
  • Grundarfjörður is a town in the Snæfellsnes peninsula the Western Region in Iceland
    The mountain Kirkjufell is probably more famous than the town itself. This famous mountain stands on the west side of the town, and it is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful mountains in Iceland, second only to Herðurbreið, the queen of Icelandic mountains. Consequently, the mountain is like an icon for this beautiful small town on the north shore of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Grundarfjörður is a beautiful old fishing town Historically Grundarfjörður is a fishing town like most of the towns around the coast of Iceland.  The harbor is one of the best in Snæfellsnes.  From early on Grundarfjörður was a trading post, as well as a group of fishing farms scattered over a...
  • The Church at Ingjaldshóll stands between the two villages.
    Rif and Hellissandur are two small villages that are only three kilometers apart.  By any definition, they are the same village and the same municipality although they have to kinds of different identities, at least in the minds of the residents. Both trace their origins to rich fishing grounds in Breiðafjörður and good natural landing spots for small boats in the past.  In the first years of the seventeenth century, there were more than 60 fisherman huts in Hellissandur.  Hellissandur is thus considered to be one of the first fishing villages in Iceland.  At that time, most of the people in Iceland lived on farms, and agriculture was the primary source of food and income.  After a smallpox...
  • Ólafsvík is a town in the Snæfellsnes peninsula the Western Region in Iceland
    Ólafsvík is first mentioned in the Book of Settlement, in the Icelandic Sagas, when Ólafur Belgur, or Belly, as he was apparently nicknamed, settled there around 900.  Early on, the area became compact with fishing huts, as the fishing grounds right out from the shore were plentiful. At one point in the 17th and 18th centuries, commercial vessels sailed between Ólafsvík and Denmark, and the village was one of the larger trading ports in Iceland.  Ólafsvík became a certified trading place, authorized by the Danish King and Danish authorities, in 1687.  So, this beautiful town has been around for many centuries, playing an important role in the history of Iceland. Ólafsvík is an old fishing...
  • Stykkishólmur is a town in the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the Western Region in Iceland
    It might surprise many people that visit Iceland and travel around the country, how many towns and villages have a kind of short history.  Although the settlement in Iceland started around 870, most of the towns and villages began to develop around the middle of the 19th century, and some even at the beginning of the 20th century. One of the more interesting towns with a much longer history is Stykkishólmur. A town with a natural harbor and rich fishing grounds We can probably trace the Origin of Stykkishólmur to one important thing, a natural harbor.  Because of these excellent conditions Stykkishólmur became an important trading post early in Iceland’s history. Contrary to many other...