Ísafjörður is a wonderful town in the West Fjords of Iceland. This is the craggy bit in the northwest of Iceland, characterised by deep, blue fjords, separated by flat-topped mountains. Ísafjörður is the biggest town in the area and it’s surrounded by mountains and beautiful landscapes. It is a perfect location to spend a weekend , relaxing and enjoying all this capital of the Westfjords has to offer. For a perfect day in Ísafjörður, here are a few things to check out.
Photo by Ágúst Atlason
Start Your Day With a Breakfast Kringla!
First of all the townspeople of Ísafjörður love their ‘‘kringlas‘‘. A kringla is a wonderful horse-shoe shaped bread that you can get in the local bakery called Gamla Bakaríið or The Old Bakery. It is exceptionally soft but they add caraway seeds to give it an extra special taste. Kringlas are available all over Iceland but nowhere are they as popular (or as good) as in Ísafjörður!
The town is known for its wonderful ski area which is the only one on the West Fjords and there you can enjoy a wonderful day skiing, snowboarding or cross-country skiing. The area is called Dalirnir tveir and is open all days of the week in the wintertime as long as the weather conditions are good. Not only are the slopes perfect for skiing, the view of the surrounding mountain range just adds that little extra something to your skiing experience.
To enjoy the nature surrounding Ísafjörður to the max, Naustahvilft Valley is definitely something you want to check out. The valley is situated in Kirkjubólshlíð, a mountain overlooking the town. The short hike is not only a great way to enjoy what Iceland has to offer, it’s also the perfect family activity where all members of the family can hike together; Naustahvilft is only 500 meters high. From there, you have a beautiful view over Ísafjörður so it would be a clever thing to bring lunch or a small bite while enjoying the view.
Photo by Björn Baldursson
Study the Unique Culture Of the Area!
If you want to learn about the unique and quirky culture Ísafjörður has to offer, you must visit Ísafjörður’s Culture house. The Culture house is situated in a beautiful building built in 1925 which served as a hospital for decades. Even though it hasn’t been a hospital since the eighties, most people in Ísafjörður still call it “Gamla Sjúkrahúsið” or “the Old Hospital”.
Eat Some Delicious Seafood!
After spending a wonderful day in Ísafjörður it would be a great idea to end your night at Tjöruhúsið restaurant. Tjöruhúsið is located in Neðstakaupstað and has gotten some great reviews but their specialty is Icelandic fish courses. Most Icelandic towns in the countryside rely heavily on fishing and Ísafjörður is no exception. As a result, they have exceptional ingredients to work with and the chefs at Tjöruhúsið really know how to prepare them in the best way possible!
If you have more than one day in Ísafjörður, there are plenty of other things to do as well. We recommend visiting the neighbouring towns as well, (a visit to the Ósvör maritime museum in Bolungarvík, perhaps?), going for a swim, or just having a stroll around the picturesque city centre.
Whatever you do, don’t miss out on this charming little town in the West Fjords! If you need any more information, check out www.westfjords.is