West Iceland is a fascinating region of Iceland. From waterfalls to hot springs to seal colonies to the most photographed mountain, West Iceland is diverse & rich. For most tourists visiting Iceland, West Iceland is usually the last stop during their Iceland adventure. I went in the opposite direction. It was truly a great beginning of the trip.
About 125 km away from Reykjavik (The capital of Iceland), in West Iceland, a wonderful waterfall called Hraunfossar is located. Incidentally, Hraunfossar was the first sight that I visited after arriving in Iceland. This was indeed a great beginning to the great Icelandic road trip.
As most things in Iceland, Hraunfossar is also a natural phenomenon. Cold, Glacial water flows through the field formed by lava years ago. Cold water flowing through rocks formed by hot lava is definitely a wonderful sight & great introduction to Iceland’s dance of ice & fire.
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This was the first waterfall we saw in Iceland. Hraunfossar is small yet amazing. The rocks are made by volcano & the water cutting through those rocks look simply fascinating. It is located on the ring road itself & can be easily reached from Reykjavik in about 1.5 hours. Visit West Iceland to see Hraunfossar & have a coffee at the nearby cafe as well! 😁 #AwaraDiaries #AwaraInIceland #WestIceland
There is a parking facility right next to the waterfall. You can also visit the small cafe located nearby to enjoy some nice hot coffee & bakery products in a cold weather.
If you are starting from Reykjavik, Deildartunguhver is located about 25 km before Hraunfossar. The distance between Hraunfossar & Deildartunguhver is about 25 km. This was the second sight that I visited during my Icelandic road trip.
Deildartunguhver is known as the biggest hot spring in Europe. You can easily spot this West Iceland wonder from kilometers away because of the steam. The hot spring comes up with about 180 liters of pure hot water (about 100*) EVERY SECOND. When you walk around the place, you can feel the heat in the atmosphere. Its hotness is harnessed by the towns of Akranes & Borgarnes. The hot spring heats up the houses of these 2 towns, provides hot water for their use & of course, to fill up swimming pools!
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Deildartunguhver thermal spring is located in the #WestIceland. This is also Europe's most powerful hot spring! The towns of Akranes & Borgarnes gets its central heating all thanks to this spring! The pipeline carrying the water to Akranes from here is whopping 60+ km long! There's a small spa nearby as well if you want to take a bath in the same water! #AwaraDiaries #AwaraInIceland @westiceland
There’s a parking facility nearby as well. You can also visit the Krauma Geothermal Bath which is located just next to Deildartunguhver. It is kind of a smaller, secluded & more private version of the world famous Blue Lagoon.
3. Akranesviti (Old Akranes Lighthouse)
Akranesviti (or famously known as the Akranes Lighthouse) is definitely an amazing sight to visit in West Iceland. My trip to Akranesviti was truly memorable & it was only because of 1 person – Mr. Hilmar Sigvaldason. Hilmar is a truly an enthusiastic person when it comes to talking about the history of lighthouses, Icelandic culture & anything in general.
You can visit 2 lighthouses (Old & New). You can go to the top of the new lighthouse. The acoustics in the new lighthouse is truly out of this world. If you get a chance to get listen to a concert or sing a song, do it. You can’t visit the old lighthouse from the inside but still, as a photography enthusiast, you are bound to fall in love with Akranesviti.
There is a parking facility near the lighthouses. You can sit & chat with Hilmar (highly recommended) near the cabin. Akranes is a charming town & you can get recommendations from Hilmar about Akranes’ sights.
4. Ytri Tunga
Ytri Tunga is a fascinating place in West Iceland. There is a beautiful beach in Ytri Tunga. From Reykjavik city, Ytri Tunga is about 160 km away. The most famous fact about this place is that Ytri Tunga is a seal colony.
If you go in July/July, you will be able to spot many seal families around. I went there in April and I still could see a few seals lying & lazying around (like me) near the beach. It definitely gives a great photo opportunity & a chance to see these lovely creatures.
There is a parking facility nearby. To watch the seals, you will have to walk for about 500-700m.
Do you know the exact location of heaven? It is also called Arnarstapi. About 195 km away from Reykjavik, Arnarstapi is truly a gem of West Iceland. From Ytri Tunga, it is only 35 km away.
Arnarstapi has an ability to sweep anyone off their feet in a moment. It is THAT beautiful. This charming village used to be a fishing hub in the past but now it is filled with tourists exploring the absolutely panoramic views from here.
The views from here cannot be described in words, so here are some more pictures.
Kirkjufell is the most-photographed mountain of Iceland. And I can definitely see why. There is something magical about the way Kirkjufell looks. It is massive, beautiful & full of peaceful vibes. From Reykjavik, Kirkjufell is only about 185 km away.
You can walk around Kirkjufell because the walking trail is very light & simple. You can also climb your way to the top of the mountain. For the perfect photo-op, you can go to the other side of the road (near the waterfall) & capture your perfect Kirkjufell moment.
There is a parking facility nearby.
Pictures: Parichay Mehta
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Want to know the budget of my Iceland trip? Here you go!