The Strandir coast, along the Westfjords’ eastern edge, is renowned for its rugged beauty. It seems as likely place as any for such a cliché to originate!
Beaches strewn with driftwood, seals lazing about offshore and birds aplenty. A road that, if you follow it all the way north, simply ends at the edge of a vast, desolate wilderness. The home to the arctic fox and the wildest wild blueberries in the country.
Much of this area is only accessible during summer and early autumn; even transport by sea can be impossible, with the fjords this far north choked with pack-ice sometimes well into spring.
Holmavik would be considered the begin of Strandir area, and then the winding, bumpy road leads through Djupavik to Nordurfjordur, about 100 km (65 miles) which is as far as the road goes.
What to do in Strandir?
When visitors wish to leave the modern society behind, Strandir is the place to go. No wifi, no cell phones, just being lost in nature. Strandir is a popular hiking attraction and many Icelanders visit this area every year. For a good reason, this area is almost magical, both pure and unspoiled.
Visitors can make a short de-tour, about half an hour drive, to the small village of Drangsnes. There hot tubs have been placed by the sea-shore, free for everyone to enjoy with magnificent views overlooking the sea and fjord.
Djupavik is a tiny village with about 70 inhabitants, and an excellent stop when travelling around Strandir. The ruins of the old herring factory is the main attraction and guests can take an hour long guided tour learning about the history of this biggest concrete structure in Iceland, when it was opened in 1935. Its prosperous days lasted only for about 10 years, when the herring was all but gone from the bay. But much of the infrastructure of the village was built during that time, as many came to work in the factory. Nowadays the gigantic building features art work and various installations.
Krossaneslaug is a geothermal hot pool at the tip of Nordurfjordur fjord. This is were the road ends. The pool is located by the beach, with the mountains towering on the other side. It’s a magnificent setting in a remote, desolated place.
Check out our complete guide to the Westfjords.