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The Westfjords Way — Bikepacking Iceland's most remote coastline


The Westfjords Way — Bikepacking Iceland's most remote coastline

Bike Touring Collection by Lael



49:53 h

667 mi

36,100 ft

The Westfjords Way will be Iceland's first official bike touring route: a combination of dirt and pavement and best suited for a gravel bike. The Westfjords are the most remote area of Iceland, with only 7,000 people living in the entire region.

The route generally stays by the water, traversing mountain passes to connect fjords. This area is a seasonal home to puffins and well known for waterfalls, hot springs and vibrant terrain. The wind is the greatest challenge — the coast is very exposed and Iceland sees some pretty serious storms.

Visit Westfjords and Chris Burkard partnered to design this route and invited a group of five riders, two photographers and a videographer to document the Westfjords Way. We spent eight days scouting and documenting the route, with a goal of encouraging others to come and ride it.

We are also working on organizing a self-supported ultra distance stage race on the route for late June 2022. The route will be broken into four stages, each to be completed within about 24 hours before the next one begins. Each stage will finish near accommodation, food and a chance to soak in a hot spring. More information to come!

A huge thank you to Iceland Air and Inspired By Iceland for their support of this project.

On The Map


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The Westfjords Way full Tour

657 mi

44,700 ft

44,700 ft

Last updated: April 26, 2022

Tours & Highlights

  • Day 1: Ísafjörður to Heydalur — The Westfjords Way

    91.8 mi
    14.6 mph
    2,700 ft
    2,725 ft

    The Westfjords Way starts and finishes in Ísafjörður. With just under 3,000 people, it is the largest town in the area and has an airport with commercial flights to and from Reykjavík.


    The first stretch of the route is all on pavement. We made a slight detour to soak in a remote hot spring and stay at

    by Lael

  • 06:01
    89.4 mi
    14.9 mph
    3,850 ft
    4,075 ft

    This stretch leads to the first mountain pass on the Westfjords Way, a good initiation to the what will come on the route.


    Near the end of our day, we stopped at a hot spring just before Drangsnes. It's maintained by the town with hot showers across the street. There's a small store in Drangsnes, a good

    by Lael

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  • We faced strong wind and spitting rain: a tough day on the bike! I drafted off Chris, Nichole drafted off Payson and we stopped 100 miles in the supermarket to warm up and resupply.



    One of the employees, Rebecca, welcomed us in with open arms. She has a farm, 50 animals and three children near by. She

    by Lael

  • With a strong storm rolling in, we rode a half day to stay out of it. High winds and rain dominated the day. Fortunately, at times, we benefitted from a tailwind and were able to stay upright through the crosswind (although I almost rode off the road).


    We stopped midway through the ride for soup and cake

    by Lael

  • 06:40
    93.0 mi
    14.0 mph
    7,075 ft
    7,125 ft

    Two big and gorgeous climbs and a lot of wind. We stopped at a restaurant for hot lasagne, pizza, soup and salad after getting beaten by the rain.


    This stretch ends at a hot spring and pool, funded by the singer Björk and her "Water Friends".


    I highly recommend the Mora Guesthouse. The owner brought us

    by Lael

  • 06:16
    82.3 mi
    13.1 mph
    7,100 ft
    7,225 ft

    We rode an out and back to the westernmost point in Iceland on day 6. This might not make it into the official Westfjords Way, but is well worth the detour.


    Puffins nest seasonally here at the westernmost point. In early September, they were already gone for the season.


    There are white sandy beaches and

    by Lael

  • The most adventurous day of the tour with the best weather! The first mountain pass is paved, the second is dirt. The final ride around the peninsula is rough: the road doesn't officially connect through. The story is that a farmer in the area used his tractor to carve out the cliff, and it's only passable

    by Lael

  • 02:48
    33.1 mi
    11.8 mph
    3,225 ft
    3,375 ft

    The last bit includes two climbs: the second follows the old and closed mountain road above the new tunnel to Ísafjörður. Though the climbing is pretty mellow, it looks really rugged on top and includes a little hike-a-bike stretch.


    Ísafjörður is a very welcoming haven. To officially finish the route

    by Lael

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    667 mi
  • Duration
    49:53 h
  • Elevation
    36,100 ft

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