Hvalfjörður | The less traveled fjord close to Reykjavik


Basic Information

Iceland is a world of green lands and blue skies. Wondrous scenes that holistically include nature can be spotted from special spots in the country. One such place is Hvalfjörður. Situated in Southwest Iceland, Hvalfjörður is a fjord. The vast and lush green lands of Hvalfjörður in summer are breathtaking. The fjord seems like nature’s blessing with its majestic mountains and amazing ambiance. Before the Hvalfjardargong tunnel were set, people had to drive along the fjord if they wanted to travel north of Reykjavik. However, after the tunnels were built in 1998, people have stopped driving along Hvalfjordur and therefor you can often find yourself all alone driving this beautiful fjord. The fjord has now become calm and peaceful which makes it even more beautiful. 

Hvalfjörður fjord in west Iceland

Explore around Hvalfjörður Fjord

Enriched with the treasure of fauna, Hvalfjörður is a haven for those who like to engage in bird watching. Varied species of birds add to the beauty of Hvalfjörður. You can also spot the seals and other rejuvenating sea life. You can explore plenty of hiking trails around the area such as Síldarmannagotur, leading towards the north, and Leggjabrjótur, leading towards the east. The old whaling station and a war museum are also located in the fjord. To explore the adventurous side of Iceland, Hvalfjörður is a must to visit. Iceland’s second-tallest waterfall, Glymur is situated in the vicinity. It flows from a height of 198 meters. The waterfall will capture your heart with its serene charm. It takes about forty-five minutes if driving from Reykjavík to reach Glymur. As you head north on route 1, the Hvalfjörður tunnel is situated just before the right turn of route 47. You would have to make a turn before the Hvalfjörður tunnel and keep on driving along the roads through Hvalfjordur to reach the car park of Glymur. From here you can start the trek to the top, where you will enjoy some unforgettable views. Do not forget to carry your camera. There are scenes from Hvalfjörður Fjord that you would want to capture on your lens. If you are tired of daily hustle and bustle of life and want to experience calm and composure, spending some time here will surely provide you with that.

Þingvellir National Park is another nearby stop that you can explore. Iceland’s largest natural lake, Þingvallavatn is situated to the south of the park. Tourists and explorers want to visit the national park for its sheer aesthetic beauty. Fascinating formations and unique birds are some of the added perks that you can experience at Þingvellir National Park.

Hvalfjörður fjord in west Iceland

When to Visit Hvalfjörður Fjord

You can plan a tour to Hvalfjörður throughout the year, the fjord is magical in both summer and winter. You can experience snowfall in winters amidst which Iceland looks stunning. It is very easy to find Hvalfjordur since it is located close to Reykjavik. However, the roads in Hvalfjordur are not traveled by many people and therefor they might be slippery during the high winter season. So make sure that your car rental has winter tires and always drive carefully. Snacks that are high on vitamin D come handy in winters as sunlight is low. Packing a sturdy jacket and boots with an excellent grip is mandatory. They would keep you warm and help in covering long stretches on uneven grounds. Following weather forecasts consistently is compulsory. Winters in Iceland can be harsh as some frequent snowstorms and tides can take you by surprise. During the long summer days the views over the fjord is magical. You can stay up all night watching the midnight sun above the fjord and relax in this calm and peaceful place of Iceland. 

Places to Stay near Hvalfjörður Fjord

Camping grounds, guest houses, cabins and hotels are easily available near Hvalfjörður. Hotel Glymur is the best hotel in Hvalfjordur with a good restaurant, rooms, hot tubs and saunas. If you are low on budget and looking to save some costs, you can opt for Moar Guesthouse. Situated at the foot of majestic mountains, Moar Guesthouse has various corners around the guest house from where you can sit, relax, and absorb the natural beauty. Rooms are available on a shared basis. You can also often find cabins for rent in Hvalfjörður. Hvalfjörður Fjord is less than an hour’s drive from Reykjavik. Camping grounds are not recommended in winters as they can be excessively cold during nights, but they are a great option if you are traveling during the summer time. 

Hvalfjörður fjord in west Iceland

Map of Hvalfjörður

Interesting locations in the area


More Nearby Locations

Langjokull glacier - West Iceland - Golden Circle

Langjökull Glacier

Barnafossar waterfalls

Barnafossar: The Children’s Falls in West Iceland

Glymur waterfall and hike in west Iceland

Glymur Waterfall – Your Complete Guide

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