West Iceland is one of Iceland's most geologically diverse regions. Its natural wonders are a nearly exhaustive sampling of all that Iceland has to offer, ranging from slumbering volcanoes and majestic waterfalls to a variety of flora and wildlife.
West Iceland is a world where culture, nature and history complement each other, creating a unique experience. This vast area consists of fjords, valleys, craters, glaciers and volcanoes. Great hikes are found around Akranes and Hvalfjörður, with the mountain Akrafjall and the highest waterfall in Iceland Glymur less than an hour from Reykjavík. Visit the homestead of medieval writer Snorri Sturluson at Reykholt, and see the man-made geothermal bath in which he must have often allowed his mind to wander. Or learn about the awe-inspiring Viking poet Egill Skalla-Grímsson.
These are only a few examples of the interesting sites that can be found all over West Iceland, where nature is inextricably linked to the story of the people.
Just look around, history is everywhere to be discovered. The magnificent landscape and wildlife at Snæfellsjökull National Park, Iceland's only national park that reaches into the sea. The mystical volcano Snæfellsjökull Glacier has inspired artists and poets through the centuries, being one of seven greatest energy centres on Earth. Snæfellsjökull is the setting of Jules Verne's Journey to the center of the Earth.
Snæfellsnes offers beautiful nature and was given the Earth Check award for being a sustainable community in 2008. From Snæfellsnes you can cross over to Dalir, cradle of the great explorers Eirík the Red and his son, Leif the Lucky, the first European to set foot in America. The short distances between popular destinations make it possible to enjoy the area at a comfortable pace all year round, so remember to slow down in West Iceland.
Close to the capital area, but a completely different experience
West Iceland is a relatively short drive from the capital area. It's possible to go by bus or car with many different routes available to experience West Iceland. The Snæfellsnes peninsula offers an intriguing road-trip where the peninsula can be circled with various stops along the way, including the aforementioned Snæfellsjökull, Kirkjufell in Grundarfjörður, Snæfellsnes National Park, Búðir and many more.