A Day Hike in Seyðisfjörður

The 5- to 6-hour hiking route from Stafdalur to Vestdalur is a spectacular traverse through peaceful upland heath, past the mountain-sided lake Vestdalsvatn, and down into Seyðisfjörður along the cascading Vestdalsá River. Other than the steep downhill stretch at the end, the trail isn't too difficult or strenuous. It's a one-way route, and you'll need to arrange transport at either end. Any clear day from late June to early September is suitable, though late June and early July have the best show of wildflowers. The trail is poorly staked, so bring a topographical map. Early in the season, ask about snow conditions and bring sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare.

The trail begins from a ski lift along Route 93, about 8km (5 miles) outside of Seyðisfjörður. The turnoff is indicated by a large sign with the Shell Oil logo and the words "VELKOMIN Á SKÍÐASVÆÐIÐ Í STAFDAL" The trail is marked with yellow-tipped stakes and leads north, away from Route 93, with Stafdalsfell mountain on the left and the boggy Stafdalsá River Valley on the right. In the pass between Stafdalsfell and Bjólfur peaks, the trail crosses the Stafdalsá. At this point you are about halfway to Vestdalsvatn Lake. Make sure to round the lake clockwise; another yellow-staked trail takes the near side of the lake and will lead you astray. At the northeast corner of Vestdalsvatn, you can sign the guestbook in the Vatnsklettur shed. From there it's all downhill, due east, along the Vestdalur Valley, with waterfalls and fabulous fjord views the whole way. Upon reaching the Vestdalsá River, the trail divides and proceeds down both banks; the southern (right-hand) trail is a little easier. Both trails end up on the coastal road, 2km (1 1/4 miles) north of the village center.

The reverse route uphill from Seyðisfjörður through Vestdalur to Vestdalsvatn, then back the same way, does not require one-way transport and is almost as rewarding. Allow 5 hours round-trip, or six if you start from the village center.

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.