Aquaculture is booming in the southern Westfjords and the population of Patreksfjörður is now well over 700 residents. Photo by Haukur Sigurðsson / Visit Westfjords

Birds, Bath and Irish ales at Saint Patrick's Fjord

Debate this statement all you want, but Patreksfjörður is a town of seven hundred people. Post office, bakery, two restaurants, police station, cinema and multiple places to stay – what’s missing? 

Located in the southwestern corner of the Westfjords, Patreksfjörður stands out on the world map for surprising reasons: the town’s name is among a range of places named after Saint Patrick, the  fifth-century ‘Apostle of Ireland", whose death date is celebrated with St. Patrick’s Day. According to the Book of Settlers, the literary treasure chronicling the story of Iceland’s early settlers, the Celtic viking Örlygur Hrappsson named the settlement after his spiritual guide. 


Many stay in Patreksfjörður over summer to watch migratory birds on Látrabjarg Peninsula

Hub for the southern Westfjords 

In a region where high-season demand far exceeds available accommodation, Patreksfjörður makes for an obvious hub to explore the Látrabjarg Peninsula and Arnarfjörður.

Hótel West and Fosshótel Westfjords, with excellent seaside views, are landmark establishments and the backbone of a growing tourism economy. Guesthouse Stekkaból is another favorite. 

Flak in Patreksfjordur

Flak is a landmark cafe by the harbor in Patreksfjörður, serving soup and craft ales.

Where to eat in Patreksfjörður 

Craft bar Flak, located by the harbor, is the latest addition to a dynamic restaurant scene. In a landmark building with laid-back vibes, Flak offers two types of soup (fish and vegetable) along with craft beer on draft. For a more wide-ranging menu Stúkuhúsið, on the boarders of cafe and restaurant, is a top choice for fish and lamb. Pizzas and burgers? Vestur Restaurant.

At Tálknafjörður, the little sister to Patreksfjörður, Cafe Dunhagi is a superb spot for local cuisine at a charming old building. Great vegetarian and vegan specials.

Pollurinn Hot Pool

Pollurinn Hot Pool is a local favorite in the neighboring Tálknafjörður

Nature baths and swimming pools

The Westfjords are geologically the oldest landscape in Iceland and the least volcanic. Geothermal heating in the region is thus limited, with few of the outdoor public pools defining local life elsewhere in Iceland. Petreksfjörður, along with neighboring fjords, are happy outliers.

Pollurinn Hot Pool (22km from Patreksfjörður) is DIY-spa made from lots of concrete and the run-off water of a geothermal pipeline just outside Tálknafjörður. Lockers are basic and the baths always open. Busy in the evenings, as a spot to unwind after work.

Another old bath, created on top of a hot spring, is Reykjafjaðarlaug (46km from Patreksfjörður). The pool is beautifully located for the evening sun, and ideal for children. Expect the water to be 30°C or less.

Hellulaug is distinctive for being right on the beach, by the southern road between Patreksfjörður and western Iceland. The small bath offers a view of the freezing ocean while being shielded from the road.

Both Patreksfjörður and Tálknafjörður have excellent public pools with slides and multi-temperature hot pots.

Beach near Patreksfjörður

The sandy color of Patreksfjörður's coastline comes from pulverized scallop shells, spoiled elsewhere in Iceland by volcanic eruptions

Other ideas for Patreksfjörður  

  • Take a tour with Westfjords Adventures. Angling, cycling, hiking, horseback riding -- the wast landscape has no limits.
  • Drive the winding Rd 612 to Rauðisandur Beach for a splendid walk and a french cake.
  • The shipwreck Garðar BA is an Instagram favorite by the Rd 612 junction.
  • Go off the beaten track at Vatnsfjörður Nature Reserve and end the trip at Hellulaug.

Get inspired

Experience some of Iceland's amazing routes and travel destinations in the Westfjords.

Patreksfjörður: Birds, Baths and Irish ales at Saint Patrick's Fjord