Westfjords – Respite

#GeysirAdventure by Donal Boyd

After many months spent surveying the core of Iceland’s Central Highlands amidst endless days and nights of the summertime midnight sun – indulging a love for the region where I’ve been based for the past two seasons — I found myself ultimately gripped by exhaustion. Although the Highlands are undoubtedly worthy of further exploration, one can only take so much time immersed in a particular location without pause. Deprived of a change in setting, exhaustion quickly developed into apathy and then apathy into disconnection. I needed a break.

The gloomy sky in one of the West Fjords

“You’ll read in most guidebooks that the sizeable region is the least visited by tourists and even among Icelanders, very few make the journey to this vast fjordland.”

So… where does someone who has spent an entire summer exploring some of the most remote and distinct landscapes Iceland has to offer travel to for a recharge? Well, to somewhere even more remote and equally as distinct from the rest of Iceland, of course – the Westfjords.

But honestly, I’m not surprised, because for me this region is one of the most profoundly difficult to translate what you see into words and likewise just as challenging to capture its grandeur in photographs. It’s not really a place you can easily describe using such illustrative methods… it’s more of a place that you fundamentally feel — right down to your roots. And that’s what all of the travel agents, guidebooks, visitors, and myself alike can’t quite communicate so easily.

Arctic fox

To truly understand, you’ll have to visit yourself

As soon as you span the splinter of land connecting the rest of Iceland to the Westfjords and crest the first major mountain pass, you’re suddenly met with a primitive sense of connection to what you witness. An instinctive feeling starts to swell. It’s tough to fully grasp at first, but as you move forward you realize it’s as if you already know it somehow. The further you wind along the seaside and through the fingers of tabletop mountains, the feeling matures. A sense of calm and energy ensues.

Abandoned house

My introduction to the area back in 2015 was profound. And now, for me, the Westfjords is a place I desire to visit when in need of reestablishing my connection to nature in a fundamental and strangely familiar manner. Those who live in the region know the feeling very well.

General Notes about a #GeysirAdventure to the Westfjords. Roads in the region are mostly paved, but you will encounter various gravel roads, which we recommend driving cautiously driving with any vehicle. During the end of summer and fall, we recommend the following vehicles for traveling through this region

As always while planning any journey in Iceland, it is imperative to check road.is before beginning your route into the Westjfords. During certain times of the year, especially during winter, oftentimes inclement weather results in road closures. In springtime, some of the mountain passes are not open until early summer.

Donal Boyd offers professional location scouting services to film crews/individuals and media agencies that wish to visit Iceland for commercial projects. Through countless hours of exploring the vast wilderness of Iceland, Donal has come to amass extensive knowledge of unique and scenic locations throughout the country with a special focus on distinct and remote areas within the Central Highlands.

Donal often works with clients to arrange all logistics within Iceland for either the entire duration or a portion projects. Donal also has the capacity to aid in aerial/standard filming and photography direction (DOP) as needed to meet the requirements of a wide variety of commercial work.

For more information on how to hire Donal as a coordinator or as a director of photography/filmmaker, please contact him via email (hello@donalboyd.com). Include a brief project overview/requirements and desired dates in your message.

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