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The Westfjords, Iceland

March 7th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Icelandic coast - March 1st, 2009

Icelandic coast - March 1st, 2009

The Westfjords or West Fjords is the name for the large peninsula in northwestern Iceland. It is connected to the rest of Iceland by a 7 km wide isthmus between Gilsfjörður and Bitrufjörður.

The Westfjords are very mountainous; the coastline is heavily indented by dozens of fjords surrounded by steep hills. The cliffs at Látrabjarg comprise the longest bird cliff in the northern Atlantic Ocean and are at the westernmost region of Iceland.

The Drangajökull glacier is located in the far north of the peninsula and is the fifth largest of the country, but the only glacier of the region.

The lack of flat lowlands in the area makes it unsuitable for agriculture, but good natural harbors in many of the fjords and closeness to fishing areas are vital for the local economy.

The Westfjords are sparsely populated; the total population in 2007 was 7,380. The capital, and largest town, is Ísafjörður (population about 3000), which serves as a center for commerce, administration and transportation in the region.

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