Honeymoon in the Westfjords

With a week or two in hand, and a newly minted spouse on your arm, surely it’s time to head to Iceland, and specifically the Westfjords, for the honeymoon of your dreams!

The pristine landscapes, jaw dropping beauty, and happy solitude far away from the thundering crowds are among the region’s biggest draws. What better way to begin married life than to explore the countryside together? By foot, bike, kayak, or car, take a trip that will enjoy pride of place in your photo albums for decades to come.

Here’s the lowdown on what you can do in the Westfjords:

Romantic moments on the beach

The Westfjords region has some spectacular beaches. First up there’s Rauðasandur – named one of the best beaches in the world by Lonely Planet – that gets its name from the unusual colour of its sand. Then there’s Breiðavík, the nearby golden beach by the world famous Látrabjarg bird cliffs (a singular delight by themselves, particularly for those who love birds and photography). Also check out Örlysgshöfn Cove on the southern shore of Patreksfjörður fjord.

Cool off at the hot springs

Despite the fact that the Westfjords, unlike the rest of Iceland, is not very geothermally active, the region is nevertheless rich in warm bathing opportunities. From Heydalur in Ísafjarðardjúp bay to Hellulaug, a small pool located in the heart of Vatnsfjörður on the south coast, or Krosslaug, two geothermal pools in the southern Westfjoirds, and Krossness on the Norðurfjörður harbour, you are spoilt for choice.

If you’re lucky you might even get to experience some of these pools without anybody else around – for one of the region’s greatest gifts to the traveller is solitude. To maximise the romance and the chance of some alone time, why not take a dip under the midnight sun? After all, with no darkness at all from May to August, why would you stick to your normal bed time?

A meal for two

The largest town in the Westfjords, Ísafjörður, has about 3000 residents, which is more than half of the region’s total population. It’s a great place for a flavour of the Nordic way of life, whether by way of the local architecture and housing, the food and drink, or the emphasis on outdoor activities. From the lamb and seafood and diverse bakery items on offer, to toasting one another at one of the town’s four distinct bars, you can do it all. For a hearty meal of seafood check out Tjöruhúsið—one of the quirkiest yet highest rated eateries in Iceland.

While you are at it, visit the chocolate factory in Súðavík, or stop at the Arctic Fox Centre and its café.

Communities across the northern Westfjords have interesting places to eat; including the Fisherman restaurant in Suðureyri, Einarshúsið in Bolungarvík (known for its pizzas), Simbahöllin in Þingeyri (try the Belgian waffles), or the atmospheric Vagninn pub in Flateyri.


From Ísafjörður, Þingeyri or Patreksfjörður, why not try a kayak trip? All are perfect for kayaking by virtue of being located in sheltered fjords and surrounded by great scenery. Enjoy the gorgeous marine life and the seabirds as well.

Hiking and biking

There’s an endless list of trails on offer. Decide whether you want to trek or cycle along the coastline or the valley trails that are decidedly tougher. For instance, the Kubbi trail, a challenging hike a stone’s throw from Ísafjörður town centre, is perfect for a closer look at the mountains and the town.

Mountain bikes can be rented for different durations. A major attraction is the deliciously challenging Svalvogar Circuit. Hike up to Kaldbakur, the highest mountain in the region or check out the Svalvogar Peninsula by jeep or bike.

A special mention to the Hornstrandir nature reserve in the north, as remote a wilderness as can be found. Full of seabirds and dramatic cliffs, Hornstrandir has been accorded the status of a nature reserve since 1975 under the aegis of the Icelandic Environment Agency. Two of the highest bird cliffs of the North Atlantic region may be found here and the Arctic fox is a protected species.
Take your pick from a choice of Hornstrandir trails, that could take you a couple of hours and go up to five or six days. (Popular options: Aðalvík to Hesteyri ( 5 to 6 hours) ; Hesteyri to Kögur (3-5 days) Hesteyri to Hlöðuvík (4-6 Days).
If you’re in the Westfjords between Mid-June and August, be sure to stay at the Doctor’s House Hesteyri, which is family run café-cum-guesthouse inside the Hornstrandir reserve.

A flavour of local life

Why not take a leaf out of the locals’ book and hire a secluded summerhouse in the countryside? An outstanding experience, these popular cabins are usually located in the lap of nature; perfect for some honeymoon relaxation. They are well equipped with the basic amenities—usually including a hot tub.

Whether under the endless daylight of summer or the dancing northern lights of winter, there is no finer place to enjoy the space, peace, and solitude of the Westfjords than at a cabin.


A couple that camps together stays together. Most towns and villages in Iceland have excellent campsites at which to enjoy the endless possibilities of the endless daylight bathing the country for the entire summer. In addition to these municipal facilities, many farm-stay operators also offer camping facilities. Whether backpacking with a tent or driving around in a campervan, there is a definite romance that comes with sleeping out in nature; enjoying a drink together outdoors, or snuggling together under a blanket as the evening cools down (but stays bright).

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