One Month in Iceland

A month in Iceland will give you the opportunity to explore not only the Ring Road and parts of the interior, but also the remote and beautiful Westfjords.

Látrabjarg, Iceland
Látrabjarg is home to millions of puffins, but you must have a good day for taking photos and most importantly must be available during the evening. During the day they are on the ocean looking for fish. Our time there was very rainy and extremely windy, the kind of wind that would have blown me away if my husband wouldn’t have anchored me down. I don’t think I have experienced such winds in my entire life. This is why the evening we got to Látrabjarg it was impossible to go see the puffins so went the next morning. We could only spot this one puffin who was nesting on the cliff, very close to the top. It was pure luck. But even if we would have seen no puffins, the cliffs are incredible and the views breathtaking. Plus there are millions of other birds so birdwatchers would not be disappointed.
Arnarfjörður, Iceland
Iceland’s Westfjords have always possessed a character and culture that’s markedly different from the rest of the country. Extending like a lobster claw from the northwest of Iceland, the region combines geographic remoteness with the compelling majesty of the eponymous winding fjords, which are dotted with small villages and farmhouses. Aside from the fjords themselves and the attractive capital, Ísafjörður, most of the area’s main attractions are strung along the west coast, including the Látrabjarg bird cliffs, villages like Flókalundur, and the adjacent Vatnsfjörður National Park. But the eastern Strandir coast offers its own interesting sites, not least the idiosyncratic Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft, in Hólmavík, and the remote Hornstrandir Nature Reserve to the north. All of these sites, and the region in general, are best visited in summer when all the roads, museums, parks, and hotels are open and various tours are running.
Sauðárkrókur, Iceland
This was a gorgeous day and a beautiful site to visit. No other tourists there so we had the entire place to ourselves. They knew how to build a well insulated house back then, well protected from the wind and feeling also soundproof. The Glaumbær Farm first exhibition was opened in 1952, but the farm had served as a dwelling until 1947. The old turf farmhouse forms the backdrop for exhibitions focusing on rural life in 18th- and 19th-century Iceland. On the museum grounds at Glaumbær, there are also two 19th-century timber houses, Áshús and Gilsstofa. These are good examples of the first timber houses built in the region. Áshús contains exhibitions and the Tea Room Áskaffi, which serves traditional light Icelandic fare. Full meals are available if booked in advance. Gilstofa, at present, contains the Museum´s administrative offices. Together these three buildings are a powerful reminder of 18th- and 19th-century life in rural Iceland.
Try something different and experience wildlife on board a traditional Icelandic schooner operated by North Sailing Húsavík.The crew is fun and very knowledgeable. They take you to Lundey, the Puffin Island, as well as the traditional whale watching areas. While on the tour we saw over 10 humpback whales, a few Minkey whales, dolphins, puffins and other arctic birds including Northern gannets which are the largest seabirds in the North Atlantic, with a wingspan of up to 2 meters. It was a gorgeous day too. It was an unforgettable experience and something I would do again and again. At the end of the trip the Captain is offering hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls.
Looking at a volcanic crater is one thing. Seeing how puny a person is next to it, really puts things into perspective. Kerið crater is on the popular touristic route called the Golden Circle in South Iceland, covering about 300 km looping from Reykjavík into central Iceland and back. While we were there we could not see anybody apart from one or two people. Very quiet and beautiful place. The minerals in the bottom of the crater make the water appear in this surreal blue-green color. Unlike other volcano craters that are usually covered in black sand and rocks, this one has the sides covered in gorgeous red rocks and dirt and from place to place you can observe bright green moss. It’s amazing to experience this beautiful palette of colors.
Þórsmerkurvegur, Iceland
The impossible-to-pronounce Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland lies on the Southern Ring Road between the towns of Selfoss and Skogafoss on the way to the coastal town of Vik. The falls plunge about 200 feet into deep pool. Much of the waterfall is frozen during the frigid winter months, adding to its beauty and drama. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is popular with tourists, especially during the summer months when you can hike around the pool and go behind the falls for a one-of-a-kind view through the falling water. If you’re driving to Vik from Selfoss (which I definitely recommend), Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is a worthwhile stop along the way.
Ísafjörður, Iceland
Right before we got to Ísafjörður, in the vicinity of Sudavik, we got to enjoy this amazing view. It was warm and half sunny so we sat there a bit taking in this amazing landscape. The north of Iceland is definitely my favorite part of Iceland from all I have visited. You drive along the fjords and see whales swimming alongside the car. Other times we spotted a bunch of seals basking in the sun on mounds of kelp. The ocean color is absolutely magnificent, a beautiful turquoise blue. I keep saying that I left my heart in Iceland, this is the exact spot. I really hope to see it again someday.
Hofsós, Iceland
There are many places in Iceland that have these type of rock formations. These particular ones are in the town of Hofsós. Hofsós, with a population of about 200 individuals, is located 37 km east from Sauðárkrókur. Their port is one of the oldest trading ports in northern Iceland dating back to the 16th century. I would have spent more time here but it was raining and was very, very windy. On the opposite side of the beach there are 2 wonderful timber houses. It’s a very easy stop, right on the main road, so put it on your must-see list.
Akureyri, Iceland
Although it’s home to only about 20,000 souls, Iceland’s second biggest city is often referred to as the capital of northern Iceland. A functioning port and fishing center, it has a surprisingly lively infrastructure with a slew of chic and traditional cafés and restaurants, art galleries, and even a nightclub, along with a fairly regular calendar of cultural events. Local sights to explore include the Akureyri Botanical Garden and Akureyri Art Museum, and the town is also a great base for day trips to Hrísey Island, Grímsey, Húsavík (where you can go whale-watching), and the otherworldly terrain of Lake Mývatn.
Eyrarbakki, Iceland
On a trip to the amazing Iceland this January, my husband and I ended our first day at the small seaside town of Eyrarbakki. I wasn’t prepared for how beautiful the Icelandic coast would be. The sun started its slow descent right around 4:45 each afternoon, but the sun didn’t fully set until around 6:00 p.m., making for the longest and most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever witnessed. I loved this quaint beach house nestled on an isolated stretch of beach in Eyrarbakki. Now that’s an ocean view! The beach house looked so warm and cozy on an otherwise frigid afternoon, and I could practically picture the family inside relaxing in front of a crackling fire, watching the sun’s slow descent. I wondered if they ever got tired of watching the sun set in Iceland but decided that would be impossible.
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