#strandir

Natural wonders are by far the most appreciated and the most popular attractions in Iceland.  When you are traveling and taking a vacation, it is priceless to have the option to stop by a beautiful waterfall, a rare sight by a lagoon or to view a hot spring with boiling clay and blasting steam.  But while driving it is also priceless to have a spectacular view of mountains or drive through a beautiful fjord.  Although natural wonders are the main attractions in Iceland, some places and areas can stand alone as a spectacular scenic drive.

Five most interesting scenic drives in Iceland
Iceland Holidays

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 rift called (quite appropriately) Kistan, The Coffin, along the seashore from Trékyllisvík.

Trékyllisvík has a reputation of being the harsh and exposed backbone of the Westfjords. Nevertheless, it has been a thriving fishing community across the centuries. It still has a lovely community with a primary school, a church and an old, remarkable church-yard.

The Cove is of a phenomenal nature and offers spectacular wildlife. On any given day, you will be able to observe seals and numberless species of birds in their natural habitat.

Creativity is a second nature to the locals, quite apparent in Kört, a museum/gallery selling exquisite local artifacts made of driftwood, stones, wool and textiles. It also has paintings and drawing based on the area's tumultuous history.

 

Trékyllisvík in Strandir is a curious place.

In Iceland, Norðurfjörður is as remote as remote will get without being totally lost in the arctic wilderness. It covers an extensive area but is very scarcely populated, with a population within 60. The only public transport linking the area to the rest of the world is one or two weekly flights from Reykjavík to Gjögur during the summer. Still, you will find guesthouses, a camping site, a grocery shop and an excellent café there. 

It is easy to drive to Norðurfjörður during the summer, and it has quite a number of attractions. Number one has to be Krossaneslaug, the most popular geothermal swimming pool in the Westfjords. The pool is located on a black pebble beach by the shoreline. With nothing ahead but the Arctic Ocean, it feels like sitting on the edge of the world, albeit quite comfortably.

With a grocery store, Norðurfjörður is the last place to stock up before heading off on a hiking trip to Hornstrandir, the ultimate hiking challenge in Iceland. Here is as far as you get by car. But, take your time before heading off.  The landscape surrounding the small settlement in Norðurfjörður is very dramatic. Everything is large except us mortals and our constructions.

Norðurfjörður is as remote as remote will get without being totally lost in the arctic wilderness.

Djúpavík used to be one of the busiest villages in Iceland,  but only for a very short period. Located at the Reykjarjförður on the east coast of the Westfjords, it was never an ideal site for a village or a town, but it was worth the try.  The story goes back to 1917 when an entrepreneur named Elís Stefánsson decided to build a herring factory in Djúpavík.

Djúpavík is a tiny deserted village in the West Fjords in Iceland

Hólmavík is a small village located in Steingrímsfjörður on the east coastline of the West Fjords.

Hólmavík is a small village in the West Fjords in Iceland