The Arctic Coast Way is Iceland’s first official touring route in Iceland. It is 900 km long and takes in 21 villages and 18 municipalities – stretching along the coast and around the peninsulas of North Iceland. The rout will be opened on the 8th. of June 2019. On the opening day, locals invite you to join in on hikes, coastal cleanup, BBQ at the coast, concerts and much more. For those who want to discover unspoiled landscapes in the spirit of pioneers, this day marks the start of an exciting ongoing development process of this touring route which already offers an extraordinary off-the-beaten-track adventure along the northern perimeter of Iceland.
Travelling the Arctic Coast Way means leaving the common routes behind you and going off the beaten track to discover some of the most remote places in Iceland; a unique adventure following 900 km of coastal roads close to the Arctic Circle.
The route which stretches from Hvammstangi in the west to Bakkafjörður in the east, includes six peninsulas on which black beaches and majestic cliffs alternate with glacial river deltas and fjords along awe-inspiring mountain ranges. A clutch of teeny, unforgettable islands with windswept hamlets feel even more remote, and one, Grímsey, straddles the Arctic Circle. From saga settlements to whale watching meccas, each of the small towns on the route offers insights into life at the top of the world.
Here, where volcanic land meets icy ocean, nature´s force has carved a coastline of wild and pure beauty. The route includes six peninsulas reaching far out in the ocean, taking you from black sandy beaches to spectacular cliffs, along glacial river deltas and fjords to high mountains. Going one step further into remoteness, five beautiful islands offer unforgettable experiences and you might even want to straddle the Arctic Circle. Each of the little towns along the way tells unique stories about life on the edge of the Arctic.
In springtime, the migrating birds arrive and ring in the summer with their vibrating calls. You will discover some of the best bird watching places in Iceland and boat tours take you to unforgettable encounters with friendly whales and charming seals.
Narrow roads, very often gravelled, follow the shoreline where the ocean meets the endless horizon or you can switch to roads carved up into steep mountains. You will feel the elemental power of the ocean, and its influence on the ever-changing weather. In a storm roaring rollers crash onto the shore, while you enjoy the cosiness of a café or relaxing in your accommodation. In sunshine, however, the ocean turns a Caribbean blue and walking barefoot on the beach will be a tempting idea.
You could drive the whole route in one go – but you are free to slow down and indulge yourself, as you discover the wonders of the Arctic Coast Way. Moving to the rhythm of waves and wind, feel a surge of energy on stunning hikes and meet friendly people who will make you want to return again and again. The dramatic shifts of light from midnight sun to Northern Lights and the seasonal palette of colours from winter´s pristine white to autumn´s fiery tones offer you a different perspective each time, with new adventures awaiting you.
- 21 fishing villages from Hvammstangi to Bakkafjörður
- the northernmost points of Iceland and the only place to cross the Arctic Circle
- perfect places to see the midnight sun and northern lights
- boat transfer to 6 islands
- excellent places for whale watching, seal watching and birding
- stunning coastal hikes and wide selection for outdoor activities
- 8 geothermal pools
- many music and culture festivals
- and much much more!
The route was selected in the 3.rd place of top 10 best places to visit in Europe in 2019 which shows how interesting it is. For more information visit Lonely Planets web.