Vesturbyggð is located in the south of the Westfjords, Iceland. The main villages Birkimelur, Bíldudalur, and Patreksfjörður form the municipality of Verturbyggð. These destinations are way off the beaten track, but like most places in Iceland, are becoming increasingly popular for travellers. The landscape in the West Fjords is both magnificent and fragile. And so it’s important for visitors to respect the local plant life and vegetation.
Patreksfjörður has 700 inhabitants and got its name from its first settler, Örlygur Hrappson whose spirit guide was St. Patrick. The campsite in Patrekfjörður is relatively new. It has excellent facilities including showers, toilets, a washing machine, dryer, and a kitchen. This high standard camping site is a good practice run for visitors in Iceland who wish to get used to camping in the unpredictable Icelandic summer weather. South of Patreksfjörður you can admire the highest mountain in the Westfjords, Kalbakur (998 meters).
They are so many wonderful outdoor activities to try in Patreksfjörður in the summertime. You can rent a bicycle, or take a fishing trip out to sea. Or just walk and admire the many birds in the area. Such as the white-tailed eagle, the razorbill, the guillemot, and the gannet. One of the main attractions in Patreksfjörður is Látrabjarg. A rock 14 kilometers long and up to 440 meters high. Where thousands of nesting birds live in the summertime, including the puffin. If you’re lucky, you will see the arctic fox (the only non-marine mammal native to Iceland), which is more commonly seen on the coastline of Iceland. You can see plenty of seals around the rocks at Látravík, Rauðasandur, and at Látrabjarg, Patreksfjörður Fjord. Where you can also see whales if you go out to sea.
The valleys of Sauðlauksdalur and Rauðasandur (“red sand”) are known for their large variety of natural herbs used for culinary and medical purposes. In 1758, an Icelandic priest in Sauðlauksdalur was the first to grow potatoes and vegetables in Iceland. These valleys are home to beautiful promenades and are a paradise for botanists!
Birkimelur is a quiet community whose main attraction is the local pool, as with many villages in Iceland. Nearby at Birkimelur, near the road number 60, you can bask in the natural water hot pot, Hellulaug (N65 ° 34 ‘36,661 “W23 ° 9’ 48.289”).
Bíldudalur is a village of about 200 inhabitants that organises an annual alternative folk festival called Baunagrasið. The local music museum exhibits Melodiur Minninganna“ (Melodies of Memories) immersing you in the Icelandic pop music of yesteryear with songs that are delightful to the ears!
A little further, to Arnarfjörður, is the Icelandic Sea Monster Museum, that tells the story of sightings of sea creatures around the local area … Arnarfjörður is one of the most beautiful western fjords, with its varied landscapes and towering mountains and above all, Arnarfjörður is known for sheltering the majestic waterfall Dynjandi, from an impressive height of 100 meters.
While checking out the local area, don´t forget to go visit the small village of Látravík that is surrounded by beautiful coves with almost turquoise water and white sand beaches.
© All rights reserved