Clifton Wilkinson / Lonely Planet

Ísafjörður

Hub of Westfjords adventure tours, and by far the region’s largest town, Ísafjörður (www.isafjordur.is) is a pleasant and prosperous place and an excellent base for travellers. The town is set on an arcing spit that extends out into Skutulsfjörður, and is hemmed in on all sides by towering peaks and the dark waters of the fjord.

The centre of Ísafjörður is a charming grid of old timber and tin-clad buildings, many unchanged since the 18th century, when the harbour was full of tall ships and Norwegian whaling crews. Today it is a surprisingly cosmopolitan place, and after some time spent travelling in the Westfjords, it’ll feel like a bustling metropolis with its tempting cafes and fine choice of restaurants.

There’s hiking in the hills around the town, skiing in winter and regular summer boats ferry hikers across to the remote Hornstrandir Peninsula.

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