The Best Places to Visit in North West of Iceland
Jón R. Hilmarsson moved to Skagafjordur in the autumn 2005. He was running three schools there and became charmed by the landscape and countryside of Skagafjordur. He was especially struck by the ever changing variety of light and colour. Moving to Skagafjordur was the catalyst for taking his photography hobby seriously. Jón invested in the finest equipment. He has created and published a wonderful photography book called ´In Light and Nature of the North West Iceland´ Jón told about his book and his beloved Skagafjörður.
Photography book dedicated to the North West of Iceland
In my book I highlight interesting landscape, nature and known landmarks. Often the subject is approached during the twilight. This is when land and light merge together in harmony. At those moments unbelievable things can happen in nature. This gives the photos more variety and diversity in frame and color. The aim was to offer a variety of pictures under different conditions and seasons. This includes aerial photographs of the most remarkable places and landmarks of this region.
The Northwest part of Iceland, reaching from Hrútafjörður in the west to Töllaskagi in the east, boasts of great natural beauty. There are seven communities in this region. These are Akrahreppur, Blönduós, Húnavatnshreppur, Húnaþing vestra, Skagabyggð, Skagafjörður and Skagaströnd.
The Beauty of light in Icelandic nature
The magnificent display of light in nature is the main theme of the book. Icelandic light is an endless source of magnificent footage where light provides endless natural scenes for photography. Iceland is in many ways a land of contrasts where you encounter the conflict of light and darkness. There is the calmness of the evening versus the heavy wind and the vegetation of the lowlands compared with the barrenness of the highlands.
The magnificent rock formation Hvítserkur
On Vatnsnes in Húnafjörður there is an awesome rock formation called Hvítserkur. It is a 15 meter high monolith. The sea has eroded the rock into a strange formation. Legend has that Hvítserkur was a troll caught by the sunrise while attempting to destroy the Christian monastery at Þingeyrar. This picture was taken at sunrise at summer time.
See the sea basalt columns at this remote inlet
Kálfhamarsvík at Skagaströnd. Kálfahamarsvík is a small inlet in the north of the Skagi peninsula. A lighthouse, built in 1933 and rebuilt in 1939, is located on the small peninsula, Kálfshamarsnes. Alongside the peninsula there are beautifully formed sea cliffs of basalt columns formed about two million years ago. They are a peculiar natural formation. Around the turn of the 19th century fishing was conducted from Kálfshamarsnes. About 100 people lived at this location and in its neighbourhood. After 1930 the fishing declined and around 1940 the settlement was deserted. In the year 1999 information signs were put up which describe the settlement.
There are not many waterfalls in the North West compared to other parts of Iceland. Here is one beautiful, kolufoss. Kolugljúfur ravine and its waterfalls Kolufossar are named after the female troll Kola.
The northern lights above the haunted house
At the mountain road to Skagafjordur, Þverárfjall you can see this abandoned house. At this picture you can both see northern lights and the Milky Way. After I took this picture I found out that the house is haunted. Driving around the countryside you can discover many things, this old and rusty bus I found in Vatnsdalur used as a shelter for the horses. Before that it was used in Reykjavik as the sign on the front top says.
Taking pictures from an airplane can give totally different view of the land like this one.
Other destinations in Skagafjörður and the North West of Iceland
- Austari Jökulsa Glacial River – The Beast of the East – is an awesome river for river rafting
- Drangey Island is steeped in the legends of the Icelandic sagas
- Vatnsnes is the scene of the best selling historical novel funeral rites by author Hanna Kent
How to get there
Skagafjörður is only some 3 – 4 hour drive from Reykjavik on highway one. You can rent a car with Carrental.com if you fancy a road trip in Iceland.