Hvalfjordur or the Whale fjord is only a 30 minute drive from reykjavik, but the fjord with it's calm waters, snow-capped mountains and waterfalls is a must visit.
Since the tunnel underneath Hvalfjordur was built to eliminate the need to drive around this particular fjord, the area has become very quiet and tranquil.
From the moment you turn-off onto route 47, all traffic disappears and you be one of the only road users on this well maintained route.
On this particular day, the water was like a mirror, the snow capped mountains were glistening in the March sunshine.
In the fjord, although the name suggests it, you wouldn't really see any whales. But there is still a whaling station which is the only one left in Iceland.
During World War 2, a naval base of the British and American Navy was located in this fjord, some of the buildings and piers are still visible.
At the end point of the fjord is a hiking trail to the formerly highest waterfall of Iceland , named Glymur. The trail follows the edge of the river gorge and is a spectacular walk, at one point passing through a short cave and having to cross a thin bridge.
Driving around the fjord, you will notice the many summer houses against the flanks of the mountains. If you are interested in learning more about the WW2 occupation by British and American navy of Hvalfjordur, you should visit the War and peace museum (http://www2.warandpeace.is/). This museum has a great range of artifacts and information and is worth a visit.
The drive around the fjord is worth the detour, and we recommend driving around the fjord rather than taking the tunnel underneath it, just to enjoy the tranquility and beauty of this fjord.