Iceland // The West Fjords //

The west coast: along Route 60

Passing through some of the most dramatic scenery the West Fjords have to offer, Route 60 is the access route for the southern and western sections of this region. It’s predominantly a mountain road, winding through narrow passes and deep-green valleys as often as it rounds the heads of fjords, past the handful of tiny villages which mark the way down the west coast south of Ísafjörður. It arrives on the south coast at the insubstantial outpost of Brjánslækur, where you have the option of continuing south or east and out of the region, or heading down to the West Fjord’s southwestern tip at Látrabjarg.

Despite Route 60 being one of the West Fjords’ main roads, once you’re south of the small sleepy fishing villages of Flateyri and Þingeyri, it’s little more than an unsurfaced and badly potholed dirt track, where driving requires slow speeds, much gear changing and even more patience. Things improve after the spectacular climb and descent into minute Hrafnseyri, the birthplace of Jón Sigurðsson, the man who led Iceland’s nineteenth-century independence movement. Beyond here, look out for triangular Dynjandi waterfall, at the head of the eponymously named fjord, and a favourite rest break for buses. One of the main entrance points into the West Fjords lies due south of here, the ferry terminal at Brjánslækur for connections to the island of Flatey and on to Stykkishólmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula.