T he chances of anyone stumbling across the fascinating ruined buildings on top of Straumnesfjall mountain in the Westfjords area of Iceland are practically non-existent. The mountain itself remote as remote can be and the spot wide open to the harshest and coldest Arctic winds and weather.
It is clichéd indeed to boast that all and everything everywhere is amazing and surprising and whatnot. Indeed, a line found often in tourist brochures of various countries. But it really is true about Iceland and almost everything on it.
The view from this mountaintop is in the five star category
Take the case of Straumnesfjall mountain as an example. A part of the Hornstrandir National Park where no one lives this is as remote as one can get in the already remote Westfjords part of Iceland. Now, this mountain is not part of many tours and perhaps understandably so. Not only is this the site of some of the worst average weather on the whole island, it is also a pretty long way from both Tipperary and the nearest town or village. Any accident here could have dire consequences.
On the other hand this place is unmissable if you are traveling around the Westfjords for two simple reasons. The view from this mountaintop is in the five star category of views and some say it is possible in the very best conditions to see all the way over to Greenland. Even if that is a myth it does give awesome views over a large chunk of the Westfjords and way out to sea.
But the most chilling and/or fascinating thing here, depending on your taste, is not the view but the rows of abandoned old buildings found only meters away from sheer and scary cliffs.
The buildings here were built with tremendous hardship by the US Army in the middle of last century as one of four radar stations in Iceland. But it was not to be for long. It only served its purpose for a couple of years or so before the American packed their bags for the last time and left the whole thing behind.
It is a truly amazing thing to happen upon this place in the otherwise void and empty Hornstrandir area. We recommend it highly but do take care.