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West Iceland chosen as most scenic destination in Europe by Luxury Travel Guide

By Staff

  • Kirkjufell mountain Named as "the most photographed mountain in Iceland" Kirkjufell is one of the pearls of West Iceland. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson.

The travel magazine Luxury Travel Guide has picked West Iceland as the most scenic destination of Europe in 2017. The magazine argues that the closeness to both Reykjavík and dramatic scenic destinations, mountains, volcanoes, glaciers and dramatic fjords makes West Iceland an ideal destination.

The magazine also points out that destinations in West Iceland have not seen the same dramatic increase in travel as the popular spots in South Iceland. 

Arnarstapi, vesturland, Snæfellsnes

Arnarstapi A tiny fishing village on Snæfellsnes peninsula in West Iceland. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

"West Iceland has been included in this list due to it having the perfect combination of stunning landscapes, unique regional culture and friendly locals. It is also easily accessible for visitors due to its proximity to Reykjavik and a robust year round road network. In recent years, West Iceland has become more accessible to tourism due to improvements in the infrastructure and services. This has resulted in an encouraging growth in winter tourism."

West Iceland has everything to offer which foreign travellers are looking for in Iceland, a statement from Luxury Travel Guide points out: 

"West Iceland’s strength lies in its natural wonders. Highlights include the Snæfellsjökull National Park, which has black sand beaches and diverse rock formations; beautiful lava caves; the most powerful hot spring in Europe and beautiful waterfalls, such as the highest waterfall in Iceland, Glymur. Perhaps one of the most spectacular natural wonders is the Langjökull glacier, which can now be seen from underneath in a manmade ice cave. On boat trips, in the wide bay of Breiðafjörður, visitors are able to see whales and stunning rural islands."

Read more: Photos: Hraunfossar waterfall in West Iceland is even more beautiful in winter

Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar waterfalls Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

West Iceland is home to Langjökull glacier, the second largest glacier in Europe, after Vatnajökull, as well as the historic Snæfellsjökull glacier at the western tip of Snæfellsnes peninsula. One of Iceland's most beautiful waterfalls, Hraunfossar waterfalls, are also in West Iceland, as is Kirkjufell mountain, the most photographed mountain in Iceland.

The small village of Hellnar on Snæfellsnes peninsula was also recently named as "1 of 25 secret European villages you should visit in your lifetime". 

West Iceland also has a rich and unique history. It was home to Snorri Sturluson, a 13th century writer who was the author of some of the most celebrated of the Icelandic medieval texts, and the birthplace of Leifur Eiríksson, Leif the Lucky, the Viking explorer who discovered North America in the year 1000.

 

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