Kirkjufell mountain, Western Iceland, as the aurora really starts to pump out, illuminating the frozen landscape. ....From a superb trip with David Clapp and Antony Spencer


Top choice in West Iceland

Stykkishólmur’s jagged peninsula pushes north into stunning Breiðafjörður, a broad waterway separating the Snæfellsnes from the looming cliffs of the distant Westfjords. According to local legend, there are only two things in the world that cannot be counted: the stars in the night sky and the craggy islets in the bay. You can count on epic vistas and a menagerie of wild birds (puffins, eagles, guillemots). Boat trips, including whale watching and puffin viewing, are available from Stykkishólmur, Grundarfjörður and Ólafsvík.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby West Iceland attractions

1. Súgandisey

0.15 MILES

The basalt island Súgandisey features a scenic lighthouse and grand views across Breiðafjörður. Reach it via the causeway at Stykkishólmur harbour.

2. Norska Húsið

0.37 MILES

Stykkishólmur’s quaint maritime charm comes from the cluster of wooden warehouses, shops and homes around the town’s harbour. Most date back about 150…

3. Library of Water

0.39 MILES

For relaxing views of town and bay, head up the hill to the Library of Water. This window-lined space showcases an installation by American artist Roni…

4. Volcano Museum

0.42 MILES

The Volcano Museum, housed in Stykkishólmur's old cinema, is the brainchild of vulcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson, and features art depicting volcanoes,…

5. Stykkishólmskirkja

0.59 MILES

Stykkishólmur's futuristic church, designed by Jón Haraldsson, has a sweeping bell tower that looks like a whale vertebra. The interior features hundreds…

6. Viewing Disc

0.71 MILES

Get a 360 degree view of town and the fjords from this viewing disc marked with local landmarks.

7. Helgafell

2.77 MILES

About 5km south of Stykkishólmur, the holy mountain Helgafell (73m) was once venerated by worshippers of the god Þór. Although quite small, the mountain…

8. Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum

9.16 MILES

The farmstead at Bjarnarhöfn is the region’s leading producer of hákarl (fermented shark meat), a traditional Icelandic dish. The museum has exhibits on…