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.
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.
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.
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.
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.