Essential Iceland Self Drive
Iceland’s rugged coastline is defined by numerous stunning fjords. A fjord is a U-shaped inlet, open to the sea, that was created by a glacial tongue during the last Ice Age: there are 109 of them, divided roughly between the Westfjords and the east of the country, although there are also a few in the north. For many travellers, these beautiful geographical features are a highlight of their trip. The best way to explore Iceland’s fjords is with a self-drive car: you can explore their beauty at your own pace, stopping off whenever you like for a spot of hiking, horse riding on the sturdy Icelandic horses, whale spotting or sea-kayaking.
Each of Iceland’s fjords has its own unique charm, whether the narrow, steep sided Seydisfjördur where the sun only reaches for three months of the year or the remote Breidafjördur (meaning wide fjord) in the Western fjords, with its stunning open views across the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Hvalfjördur is just north of Reykjavik, and here you will also discover Glymur, one of the country’s tallest waterfalls. If you’re planning to get off the well beaten tourist paths, you’re sure to discover magnificent fjords that will astonish even the most well-travelled visitors.
The roads to Iceland’s fjords have a reputation for being something of a challenge to drivers but the routes in the Western fjords area have undergone extensive improvements recently. However, many travellers choose a 4 x 4 car or jeep, especially when planning a road trip to admire the dazzling snow-covered scenery in autumn or winter.
Whatever the time of year you visit Iceland’s fjords, the extremes of light, from the darkest winter nights lit by the Aurora Borealis to the glowing skies of the summer months, guarantee unforgettable views of the majestic landscape as well as memories to treasure.
The “narrow fjord” in Icelandic is home to Iceland’s smallest village with only 35 inhabitants.
Extending over 60 kilometres, this is Iceland’s longest fjord.
A beautiful 32 kilometre long fjord, it has inspired many Icelandic sagas.
A fjord so steep-sloped that its inhabitants only see the sun three months out of the year.
Also calles “whale fjord”, it is indeed renowned for the number of these majestic creatures that it attracts each year.
A fjord with over 2000 islands that links the Westfjords to the Snaefellsness peninsula.
Around the city of Hofn, this fjord is famous for its waters that brim with fish.