Iceland is the land of Vikings, massive glaciers, active volcanoes, and secret forests. There is no place more otherworldly than the Icelandic fjords. Arriving in Ísafjörður will feel as though you have just traveled to the moon, where the black rock stretches out to a cold and mysterious ocean, with the mountains and valleys looking more like craters than anything carved by water.
On Ryder-Walker’s Iceland: The Remote Westfjords we explore one of the most remote regions of Iceland. The Westfjords are the northwesternmost extreme of Iceland and it truly is a land of extremes. The main city in the region, Ísafjörður is little more than a stone and metal port that at first seems impossibly austere. However, after the first night, hopefully, punctuated with a hearty Icelandic fish stew, one begins to understand just how full of life the Westfjords are. The wildlife alone is enough to justify the trip. As we hike it’s not uncommon to see arctic foxes. And as we travel by fishing boat and ferry, between the peninsulas we hike across, it’s possible to see puffins fishing, Arctic terns, and killer whales breaching out of the arctic ocean in all of their majesty.
The Icelandic culture is as rich as the natural majesty that so enshrines the island. The capital of Reykjavík alone is worth the trip, with a parliament that’s open to the public and a central church that is shaped like a Viking longship to symbolize the historic peace between the Icelandic Vikings and Christians. After we leave Reykjavík we pass by the famous Snæfellsjökull – a glaciated volcano that is the setting for Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth . In the extremes of the Westfjords, the Icelandic warmth continues to permeate everything, proving that Iceland is one of the friendliest countries on earth. In Ísafjörður there is a Michelin-starred restaurant at the edge of the world, where locals go to eat seafood served in a communal style that has been practiced since the Viking era!
Hiking in Iceland is perfect for those who are seeking a true adventure. The nature of the Icelandic soil makes it so that the ground rarely holds a trail, with the routes instead crossing the Icelandic tundra marked only by cairns. Because of this, hiking in Iceland can be surprisingly challenging, even if by the numbers it looks easy. The magic of this infinitely mysterious and time lost land is worth the challenge, and maybe even heightened by how distant and adventurous it can feel.
Guided Tours: Iceland
Immense glaciers and endless fjords, unspoiled wilderness areas waiting to be explored, clean icy seas where whales surface, volcanic cliffs with one of the biggest bird colonies in the northern hemisphere, geysers, active volcanoes and ancient fishing villages – Iceland’s cinematic beauty is simply overwhelming. Beginning in Iceland’s progressive capital, Reykjavík, our trip leaders will whisk ...View Trip Details
*All prices are per person based on double occupancy and subject to change