Historically Icelandic food was oriented toward survival rather than pleasure, but that is no longer the case. A 6-day drive along the west coast will bring you in touch with many of the country’s culinary highlights, from Reykjavík’s finest farm-to-table bistros to unchartered farming and fishing villages, home to some of the island’s best seafood. Iceland’s foodie route can be done year-round, though be sure to reserve hotels and tables early during the summer.
Day 1: Reykjavík
Spend your first day eating around the capital. After tasting your first skyr, Iceland’s high-protein yogurt, during your hotel breakfast, walk over to Reykjavík Roasters, the city’s premier specialty coffee shop and roaster, for a quick pick-me-up. For lunch, head over to Matur og Drykkur, a stylish Icelandic bistro that aims to rescue long-lost recipes like halibut soup. Rest up because you will be having dinner at Dill, one of the top restaurants in all of Scandinavia, for a seven-course tasting menu sourced from local fishermen and farmers that’s paired with natural wines. For a nightcap, head upstairs to Mikkeller & Friends, the local branch of cult Danish brewer Mikkeller.
Day 2: Reykjavík to Búðir
Set off from Reykjavík around 9am and drive 74km (46 miles) north of Reykjavík to the Háafell goat farm outside Borgarnes, to see how this once endangered breed is being saved through culinary means. Pick up samples of goat cheese and other products at the farm, then make the short drive to Krauma where you can sample their Icelandic goat platter after a dip in the geothermal baths. Then it’s time to begin your exploration of the beautiful Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Start your journey along the south coast, stopping only for a short horseback riding excursion before reaching Hótel Búðir, where you will spend the night, enjoying a meal of local fish or game in the elegant dining room and a glass of wine or craft beer overlooking the ocean in the lounge.
Day 3: Búðir to Stykkishólmur
In the morning, continue to the village of Arnarstapi, signing up for a snowmobile tour of Snæfellsjökull glacier, then take a 2-hour walk along the sculpted lava coastline between Arnarstapi and Hellnar, where you can stop for fish and chips from the food trucks near the lava archway. Stroll through Djúpalónssandur, a picturesque beach tucked inside a rocky cove, and drive through the gnarled lava field Berserkjahraun. Spend the night in Stykkishólmur, where you’ll sample the local seafood delicacies, such as mussels or scallops, from Narfeyrarstofa.
Day 4: Stykkishólmur to Suðureyri
Witness the uncountable islands and shallow marine habitat of Breiðafjörður—while eating shellfish straight from the shell—on the 11am Unique Adventure boat tour from Stykkishólmur. Then board the 3:30pm car ferry to Brjánslækur on the Westfjords’ south coast. Forming the convoluted claw shape in Iceland’s northwest corner, the Westfjords have been criminally overlooked by the tourist industry. Drive to Suðureyri, Iceland’s (if not all of Europe’s) most sustainable fishing village.
Day 5: Suðureyri to Ísafjörður
Sign up for a Fisherman Culture tour, which will visit the country’s oldest fishing station in Bolungarvík, an eco-friendly fish processing plant, and a local food trail to sample regional delicacies. Take your dinner in Ísafjörður, the Westfjords’ appealing capital, where you can enjoy a generous dish of pan-fried fish at Tjöruhúsið restaurant next to the Heritage Museum.
Day 6: Ísafjörður to Reykjavík
Drive along the winding coastline of Ísafjarðardjúp Bay to the Heydalur Country Hotel, and chat up the resident parrot over lunch in a converted barn. Choose among Heydalur’s recreational activities—sea kayaking, horseback riding, fishing, and hiking—relaxing afterward in the natural geothermal pool. Cross the “neck” of the Westfjords to Hólmavík, where you can grab an afternoon snack at Galdrasýning á Ströndum, better known as the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, which has a restaurant that surprisingly serves some of the best blue mussels around. Then drive back to Reykjavík to end the night with pork belly and a local craft beer at gastropub Sæmundur í Sparifötunum.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.