The Westfjords in northwest Iceland is a remote and sparsely populated peninsula of steep, tall mountains cut by dozens of fjords. The lack of flat lowlands suitable for farming played a key role in keeping this region wild and sparsely populated. The raw and untamed natural landscape around Ísafjörður is characterized by a subarctic environment. A colorful show of blooming tundra wildflowers carpets the mountain slopes and valleys during the short, cool summer.
Vigur Island, second largest island in the Westfjords region, is one of the most renowned areas in Iceland for viewing nesting birds en masse. The area’s cliffs host an astonishing wealth of nesting birdlife, while the occasional arctic fox can be spotted patrolling the edges of the bird colonies in hope of an easy meal.
According to Icelandic history, Ísafjörður was first settled in the 9th century by a man called Helgi Magri Hrólfsson. The oldest house in Iceland, built in 1734, can be found in Ísafjörður and is now a part of a local museum.