Looking for the best budget accommodation in the Westfjords? Iceland’s least visited region has great options to base yourself for adventures in this wild area of the country.

 
Often overlooked as a destination in Iceland, the Westfjords are the country at its most dramatic. The oldest part of the country is filled with silent fjords, wistful fishing villages and epic mountains, all of it ripe for exploring. If you’re planning on making the extra effort to get here, don’t break the bank with expensive hotels; here are the best hostels in the Westfjords.
 
 
 
Reykhólar HI Hostel
Reykhólar is as close as you get to Reykjavík in the Westfjords, and once you’ve arrived here you can officially say that you’ve arrived in the region. But despite being the closest to the main route, Reykhólar still feels a bit off the beaten track. The small town of around 200 people sits at the base of gently sloping mountains that taper off into Breiðafjörður. It feels like nothing huge ever happens here and nothing ever will; it’s sublime. Most come here for the underrated hiking.
 
 
The Reykhólar HI Hostel is one of the best budget options for staying in the area. With a clean, Nordic-styled interior, outdoor hot tub, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains, it doesn’t get much better than this for a hostel. But don’t expect the raucous behaviour of hostels on the European mainlands - this is for those who are after a bit of peace and quiet. The accommodation itself is made up of mixed dorms and private rooms (for up to 4 people), and all guests share a kitchen and common room. There’s even a BBQ outside in the garden for sunny days.
 
Reykhólar is slowly becoming a popular detour from the ring road thanks to the presence of its seaweed baths. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, bathing in a geothermal bath with seaweed is a unique wellness activity to be had in the area. If that’s not your style, there’s a pretty good swimming pool in town and walks down to the coastal wetlands reveal plenty of birdlife. Hikers should head back up to the main road and hike up Vaðalfjöll, a volcanic rock pillar above the pass.
 
 
 
Broddanes HI Hostel
If you’re planning on travelling along the northern entry point to the Westfjords (Route 68), then this is the hostel for you. Located 30km away from Hólmavík, it’s both lovingly disconnected but close enough to town in case you feel like stopping in. The area is secluded, beautiful, and wild.
 
 
The Broddanes Hostel is an old schoolhouse that has been refurbished and refitted for the adventurous travellers that pass this way. What makes this place special though is its location right next to a colony of puffins in the summer. The dorms and private rooms all come with their own views over the landscapes, but it’s really the spacious dining room that commands the best.  A telescope in the corner allows you to see the puffins up close (and the seals who also hang out in the area). While you wait for your turn, challenge your fellow guests to a game of pool on the billiards table.
 
 
As is the norm in Iceland, if you stop for a while in a place not many others do then you’re going to turn up some gems. For this area, it’s the hiking trails. Winding around the peninsula, you’ll be afforded with astounding views of the Strandir coast, the windswept stretch of land that is about as Arctic as Iceland gets. In nearby Hólmavík, a visit to the popular Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft comes highly recommended. The star of the show is the necropants, trousers made from human skin said to bring the wearer great wealth.
 
 
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Activities in Westfjords in Iceland
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Korpudalur HI Hostel
Deep in the Westfjords near the village of Flateyri is the Korpudalur HI Hostel. This vintage farmhouse is a world away from the Iceland filled with tourists you’ve come to know. Slowing down to stay here for a few nights really brings into perspective just how few tourists there are in the region. It’s a delightful place to disconnect, switch off, and get away from it all for a while. 
 
 
Set in a beautiful valley with mountains all around, people choose to stay at this hostel because of the location. The farmhouse itself has a charming old-timey atmosphere, filled with antiques but still very comfortable and warm. Tidy rooms and small dorms are all available, as is a kitchen and laundry facilities. If you’re only staying one night, be warned; you might end up cancelling plans to extend your stay.
 
The area is all about the hiking; getting out into the valleys and fjords to reconnect with nature is what this part of Iceland does best. Various trails delved into the surrounding valleys, and a longer trail ascends the mountains to take you over to Álftafjörður. The nearest town, Flateyri, is where sea angling has found its home in Iceland. At just 10km from the hostel, you can choose to walk or hitch a ride into town. Overall, it’s a great location to base yourself for deeper explorations into the northern part of the Westfjords as well. Ísafjörður is just a short hop away, as is the magnificent waterfall Dynjandi.
 
 
 

James Taylor is a travel journalist from Australia who lived in Iceland for three years.

Falling in love with the country, he began to write about his travels for magazines and websites in Australia, Europe and the U.S.A.