DAY 3: TO THE WESTFJORDS & BACK
Day 3 route map
Driving time: 6 hours
We stayed overnight at Laugar í Sælingsdal, an old boarding school...where we were the only guests! Bit spooky, but we had fun running round all the empty corridors. There was also a small geothermal pool 100m away, where we soaked under the stars.

The hotel also turned out to be a great gateway to the westfjords.

We had no actual itinerary for the westfjords- just to drive around and take in some of the scenery.

The westfjords are attached to the mainland by a narrow, 10km-wide strip of land, and show nature's relentless, fearsome power in all its glory.

Intense glaciation created the dramatic saltwater fjords that give the area, on the very edge of the Arctic circle, its rugged beauty. Table mountains loom in the background wherever you look, and waterfalls with mineral-dyed rocks abound.

It felt a little apocalyptic: we went for hours without seeing any humans, and could count the number of other cars we passed that day on one hand. The few hotels and restaurants we passed were deserted - as were the petrol stations (thank goodness for self-service...!).

Only 7000 people live here - but even they seemed to have sought out sunnier climes when we visited, as all the houses seemed deserted. And who can blame them - turns out, we were very lucky with the weather when we visited, as the westfjords are often inaccessible even to the locals.

And the real feeling of isolation was enforced by the survival shacks we came across - places stocked with food and water where stranded people can seek shelter. This was definitely the least 'touristy' part of our trip.

If we'd had several days up there, I'd have loved to have made it to Nornstrandir nature reserve, at the northern most tip of the westfjords.

Next time...

Day 3 accommodation: the Erpsstaðir dairy farm
Had to give a shout out to the Erpsstaðir dairy farm, our day three accommodation.

We stayed on this family-run working farm overnight, and had a fantastic time.

We had a whole cottage to ourselves, and while the technology was simple (the TV had just one - Icelandic - channel, and there was certainly no wifi!), you'd have no need for it anyway.

Instead, there were fantastic views of the rolling hills, Icelandic board games, and a hot-tub. And to top it all, it started to snow that night!

Drinking whisky in a hot-tub while the snowflakes melt in the water is an experience I'll never forget.

Plus, when I asked for a cup of milk for my tea, I got a whole bucket of hot milk straight from the dairy cows. Delicious.

Address: Efstidalur 2, Laugarvatn 840, Iceland

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