A historical marvel, Ísafjörður, is the largest town in the Westfjords peninsula in Iceland. A land of fire and ice, Iceland, in a nutshell, is a country that has collected treasures like Ísafjörður. It is locally believed that the town is ancient since there is a trading post standing from the 16th century at least. Although the town started to develop from the 19th century onwards. So this place is like a threshold between past and present. So if you are a culture enthusiast Ísafjörður will surely intrigue you. There are old and established institutions such as schools and hospitals that add to the ambiance of this place. A variety of events from soccer championships to art festivals are held in Ísafjörður. The spirit of the town is celebratory.
Explore around Ísafjörður
The Westfjords region is a magical place and unlike any other location in Iceland. The deep fjords and stunning views everywhere you look. You can find unexplored locations everywhere and the Westfjords will definitely leave wanting to come back for more. Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is one of the most unique locations in Iceland, and located north of Ísafjörður. It is a miracle to witness. Flora and fauna lovers devour this beauty in Iceland. The reserve attracts hikers and adventure pursuers who explore Hornstrandir with their family and friends. If you seek tranquility and rejuvenation or just want that snooze break, you can opt for a hiking trail here. During the summers, ferries depart with tourists from Ísafjörður to Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Tours mostly depart from Ísafjörður. Hikers who like to plan a personal trip and go on their own can also take boats from Norðurfjörður. The best part about Ísafjörður is that you would easily find inquiry counters like there is a regional tourist information office for the Westfjords. The Westfjord Heritage Museum in Ísafjörður is located in one of four 18th century houses that have been restored and redecorated over the years and is a huge contributor in the archival history of Ísafjörður. You can also check out the Old Hospital which after renovation in 2002 and 2003 is called The Museum House. There is an archive museum and a photography museum built inside. Here you and your group of friends can buff for some information on Icelandic photography. Post your tour of museums, you can sit for snacks at the Tar House.
Where to stay in Ísafjörður
A grown and culturally rich town of Ísafjörður offers you many options to stay and traverse. Tungudalur camping ground has fine access to electricity and smooth surface. Services like showers, bathrooms with showers deemed disabled and washing machines and dryers are also available. Free wifi is icing on the cake. You can also choose to stay at Hotel Ísafjörður from where there will be an ease to travel. Modern and equipped with all facilities, the hotel has a restaurant with a fabulous view over the harbour, where you can indulge your taste buds in some seafood . Other options include Gamla guesthouse which offers rooms on a sharing basis. There is also a sitting lounge and a reading corner with internet connection.
Don’t forget to visit Tjöruhúsið. Locals say it is the best restaurant in Iceland, serving fresh fish from the day.
When to visit in Ísafjörður
Ísafjörður seems like a box of gifts, where each one gets something. Both summer and winter are good seasons to hit Ísafjörður. Summers have hiking trails and long walks and winters have skiing, kayaking, swimming in the warm pool. You can pick any of your favourite activities and plan a tour with your friends or family to uncover some adventures. Just do not forget to have your snacks rich in vitamin D because from late November until late January the people have light that only stays for a couple of hours, and there is no direct sunlight. Most people think that winter is not an appropriate season to travel to Iceland. That also holds true when there are incidents of heavy and dangerous snow storming or wind storming but if you hire professionals and tour guides who truly know a particular site inside out then the chances of any sort of lapse are less.
During the winter time, the roads to the Westfjords can become inaccessible, so we always recommend that you keep an eye on the weather forecast and road conditions.