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Skagafjordur, Iceland

The deep bay of Skagafjördur cuts into Iceland’s northern coast west of Akureyri. Surrounded by mesa peaks and rolling slopes, this is rich agricultural country renowned for sheep ranching, horse breeding and resounding choral singing. Prosperous Saudárkrókur is the main town.  Three islands in the bay, Malmey, Drangey and Lundey are all packed with breeding birds in the summer, including razorbills, guillemots and puffins, for which Lundey is named. Drangey is the most picturesque, a fortress-like block of volcanic tuff rising sheer from the sea. The promontory of Bórdarhöfdi presents a palisade of columnar basalt when seen from the water. The nearby Glaumbaer Museum centers on an authentic turf farmhouse and outbuildings stocked with tools and artifacts breathing life into the past.  This might be an opportunity to try a horseback ride on one of the distinctive, small Icelandic horses with their unusual gait. Or pick up a sweater or other item woven from the unique Icelandic wool.