Westfjords Way - Biking Adventure
The winding roads of the Westfjords are a true paradise for serious cyclists. With fjords and scenic mountain passes that offer the perfect setting for bike adventure to remember. The low car traffic also makes it even more appealing to enjoy nature on a slow speed to make ample time to take it all in. The Westfjords Way is a route that takes you between some of the most beautiful spots in the Westfjords. The route was biked by the well known photographer and Iceland enthusiast, Chris Burkhard in the autumn of 2021 with some of his friends and they loved it. The trip is car supported so you can jump on board the vehicle if your legs are bursting and you want to rest a bit.
This is a test trip for the summer of 2022, so we're offering it on a price that is pretty much just to cover the cost. So, we recommend that you jump on the opportunity to enjoy the Westfjords on two wheels in good company.
We will use the opportunity to film and photograph the trips and participants need to agree to participate in the producing marketing material for future trips.
- Accommodation in hotels and guesthouses for five nights
- Professional biking guide
- Breakfast and packed lunch
- Support vehicle and driver
- Travel to and from Ísafjörður prior to and after the trip
- Lunch the first day
- Bike but (can be rented from us for ISK 40.000)
- Other personal equipment and clothing
You need to be in good physical shape and have experience in biking long days of 80-100 km a day. We have the support vehicle if people get tired and want to take a rest and we even might use the vehicle to shuttle the whole group in some parts if wind or weather is not in our favour.
We plan for a meeting in the evening before the departure to make sure everyone is on the same page and ready to roll the morning after.
We meet at 8 am and roll out of town at 9 am from our gear storage in Ísafjörður and aim to bike to Heydalur Valley. The route takes us through six fjords with not much climbing. But it's the longest distance on our six day journey of 135 km When we arrive at the farm hotel in Heydalur, the geothermal pots will be well deserved to sooth tired muscles. Dinner at the hotel.
Today we saddle up and start the day on a gravel road for a bit. En-route is a nice geothermal pool that we might jump in if we feel like it. But there are more of those to come! When we reach the head of Ísafjörður (the fjord, not the town), we turn on to the gravel road that leads up to Kollafjarðarheiði mountain road, that takes us over to the SW part of the Westfjords. The support vehicle will take an easier but longer journey since the road is not fit for normal vehicles. We will meet up again after we cross the mountain road. The route is spectacular with small pristine lakes and barren landscapes and patches of snow. The road is pretty rough and we‘ll just take it slow and enjoy the scenery. After reaching the top of the plateau (around 450 m) we descend down the winding road leading to Kollafjörður Fjord where we reach the tarmac again for a smooth ride all the way to Hotel Flókalundur in the heart of Vatnsfjörður Nature Reserve. There is a beautiful natural hot pool down by the sea close to the hotel that we will enjoy before dinner.
Distance: 130 km
Climb: 1000 m
After a good night‘s sleep and breakfast, we saddle up again for a day of cycling to Látrabjarg, the largest bird cliffs in Europe and are the home of the puffins and the largest colony of razorbills in the world. Látrabjarg is often called the Westernmost point of Europe though the Azores lie a bit further West.
The route starts on a nice tarmac and the road is flat and easy. Then we start pedalling up Miklidalur road that takes us up to 500 m altitude and then a smooth ride all the way down to Patreksfjörður Fjord. We then leave the tarmac for a nice smooth gravel road and bike out the West side of the fjord with white sand beaches and beautiful fjordscapes. A short climb of 300 m takes us up to the plateau leading towards Látrabjarg with some up-and-downs until we reach our destination; the lighthouse of Látrabjarg.
We spend a good hour enjoying the panoramic views and photograph the puffins that call this spectacular cliffs their home. The cliff stretches 14 km and millions of sea birds live there in perfect harmony. We will jump in the car and drive about 40 minutes to our hotel in Breiðavík for well-deserved relaxation and dinner.
Climb: 1000 m
Today is a shorter day since we’ve been going pretty hard for the first three days. The aim is to bike to Bíldudalur, a small and picturesque fishing village at the head of the large Arnarfjörður Fjord, the home of the sea monsters! We start with a warm up climb from Hotel Breiðavík and make our way back to Patreksfjörður on the gravel road. After that is another short climb of 300 m before reaching Tálknafjörður, where we have an option to jump in the outdoor pool (extra 9 km in total) before our final climb of 500 m to Bíldudalur.
After arrival to Bíldudalur and shower, we can explore the village and it’s an option to visit the Sea Monster Museum by the harbour where there is a nice display about the folklore around the sea monsters that supposedly live in the fjord. Nice accommodation in a guesthouse.
Distance: 85 km
Climb: 1400 m
From Bíldudalur, we hit the road towards Þingeyri village. The route takes us through probably the best views on the whole route while biking the notorious Dynjandisheiði mountain road. But before cruising up the gravel road, we have a chance to jump in the pool in Reykjarfjörður. It’s a tradition in Iceland to never skip the chance to jump in a pool. Especially if it’s just sitting there waiting for you! After a nice soak, we start pedalling upwards to an altitude of around 500 m with the whole fjord of Arnarfjörður to the West and its valleys carved out by glaciers during the last Ice Age.
The winding gravel road finally takes us down to Dynjandi, the most magnificent waterfall in the Westfjords. The waterfall comes thundering over a 100 m high cliffs in many steps, forming a perfect fan shape of water. The walk up to the base, takes about 20 minutes and there you can really feel the power of Nature.
After walking back down, we saddle up again for the last part to Þingeyri. We have a chance to choose between either taking the short cut through the new 5,5 km tunnel that opened in 2020, or take the mountain road over Hrafnseyrarheiði, which is a beautiful road that now serves as a summer road after the tunnel opened.
Distance: 87 km through the tunnel but 98 km over the old mountain road.
Climb: 700 m but 1300 m with going over the old mountain road.
On the last day of our adventure, we embark a road-well-known by the locals, Svalvogar Route. This is probably one of the most scenic rides in all of Iceland, a road that was partly carved out by one man and his small bulldozer in the 70’s to make a circular route around the Fjallaskagi Peninsula. This mountainous peninsula beholds the highest mountains in the Westfjords with Kaldbakur mountain the highest one (998 m but 1000 m if you stand on top of the man-made cairn on top!).
Now the route is popular with drivers on proper 4WD jeeps and bikers looking for adventure. We pass many beautiful valleys before venturing on the super narrow road that is quite amazing since it’s just a streak in the soft rock between the harder bedrock above and below. There you’ll find petrified trees from millions of years ago when the climate in Iceland was more like California.
We continue to the lighthouse at the end of the peninsula and then into Arnarfjörður Fjord on the South side. The road becomes pretty good and fast to ride in parts before we hit Skútabjörg cliffs where you sometimes have to pass on low tide. We cross small streams and continue to Fossdalur Valley where we make our way up the steep road with Mt. Kaldbakur right in front of us. Here we might have to walk the bikes a bit to save energy. From Kvennaskarð Pass at 600 m the road is all downwards to the valley of Kirkjubólsdalur where we meet the main road again for a short bike ride back to Þingeyri. We’ll then pack our gear in the car and drive to Ísafjörður which takes about 40 minutes.
Distance: 53 km
Climb: 900 m.
A drink and some food in Ísafjörður might be a good idea to celebrate our adventure together.
Here we are at the end of our journey through the Westfjords and we say farewell until we hopefully meet again.
- Thermal underwear, at least two sets of tops.
- Wool or fleece thermal mid layer.
- Bike pants and shorts
- Waterproof and breathable pants and jacket
- Biking shoes
- Gloves. It's good to have one thin pair and one a bit warmer just in case. Cold hands is not fun when biking!
- 2 to 3 pairs of socks. Nice to have at least a pair of thicker socks if it's chilly.
- Dark sunglasses.
- Sunscreen / after sun cream.
- Swim suit and towel.
- Bike repair kit of personal preference (we carry more tools and spare parts)
- Spare inner tube
- Personal medical kit to include personal medication and i.e. band aids, throat lozenges, lip salves, sea-sickness tablets etc. Don't forget regular medication you may need (e.g. Asthma, bring your inhaler, even if you do not always need it).
- Personal snacks or power bars that you particularly like when biking
- Water bottle
We recommend gravel or hybrid bikes for this trip with 29'' rims and about 40-45 mm wide tires. Some front suspension is good to have for the gravel but not essential. It's best to try to have most of the gear on the bike so you don't have to carry a backpack with the gear you need for the day. Good solution is a frame pack and/or saddle pack.