3 Days in West Iceland: A Guide to the Perfect Mini-Vacation
West Iceland is an enchanting destination boasting nature's finest, with glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes and the iconic mountains of Kirkjufell and Snæfellsjökull waiting to explored. The region also represents a rich history and cultural heritage, making it ideal for a 3-day mini-break. Whether you visit in summer or winter, the area offers diverse activities and attractions to suit all interests. So, pack your bags and prepare to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture that West Iceland has to offer.
Day 1: Borgarfjörður area - History, hot springs and waterfalls
- Start by exploring the town of Borgarnes, located about an hour's drive from Reykjavik. The town is home to The Settlement Center, an exhibition that tells the story of the first Vikings to settle in Iceland.
- Next, visit Europe's largest hot spring Deildartunguhver, Reykholt cultural and medieval center and the unique Hraunfossar waterfalls, all within close proximity.
We also recommend picking an additional adventure or wellness experience from one of the local tour companies, including these popular options:
- A cave tour in The Cave Víðgelmir lava tube.
- A trip onto and Into The Glacier - an ice tunnel in Langjökull glacier
- A guided hike to the remote Húsafell Canyon Baths in the mountains
- A relaxing soak in Krauma geothermal baths and spa at Europe's largest hot spring.
- A visit to the goat farm Háafell for a warm welcome by TV celebs from the rare Icelandic goat breed.
Check out the Borgarfjordur official tourist website for more ideas for things to explore in the area.
Day 2-3: Snæfellsnes Peninsula - Clockwise around miniature Iceland
On the second day of your trip, explore Snæfellsnes, a narrow peninsula often referred to as "Iceland in a nutshell" for its diverse natural and cultural offerings. The area is home to Snæfellsjökull National Park, which boasts unique landscapes, including coastal areas, mountaintops, and the infamous Snæfellsjökull volcano. To fully experience the peninsula, we recommend dedicating two days to the journey and leaving room for additional activities and adventures.
- Start by visiting Gerðuberg, a stunning cliff made up of tall, impressive basalt columns.
- Next, head to Ytri-Tunga beach to see seals basking on the shore.
- In Snæfellsjökull National Park, be sure to check out the Búðir black church, Arnarstapi coastal cliffs, Malarrif visitor center, Þúfubjarg and Lóndrangar cliffs and Djúpalónssandur black beach.
- Climb the stairs of Saxhóll crater and head out to Öndverðarnes, the westernmost part of the peninsula, for beautiful scenery, including golden beaches, craters, bird cliffs, lighthouses, and historical relics.
- On the north side of the peninsula, explore the small fishing villages of Hellissandur, Rif, and Grundarfjörður, and take in the stunning Kirkjufell mountain, one of Iceland's most iconic and photogenic landmarks.
- Don't forget to visit the picturesque town of Stykkishólmur on the peninsula's north side.
To add to the experience of visiting Snæfellsnes, we recommend these extra activities and adventures:
- A soak in the healing waters of Lýsulaugar natural pools.
- Horseback riding tours offered at Lýsuhóll, Stóri-Kambur or Gröf farms.
- A hike on top of Snæfellsjökull glacier with Go West or catching a ride with Glacier Paradise’s snowcat.
- Explore the vibrant lava tube The Vatnshellir Cave with a guided tour.
- Attend concerts and cultural events at The Freezer.
- Seek for orcas with Láki tours whale watching in Ólafsvík.
- Visit the Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum and try fermented shark.
Check out the Snæfellsnes Peninsula official travel site for more ideas.