Hvalfjörðurinn - The Whale bay.
Hvalfjörður bay used to be the only road to the west of Iceland coming from Reykjavík. Then Hvalfjarðargöngin - The Whale bay tunnel was built in 1998 saving us 55 km off ring-road 1. When the tunnel was built almost everybody used it and Hvalfjörður bay got cut off. The thriving restaurants there went bankrupt, but one is still going strong, Ferstikla restaurant. When driving in Hvalfjörður I always get a little sad when I see these places gone.
Hvalfjörður is 30 km long and a 62 km drive. Driving along it coming from Reykjavík you will see a ferrosilicon and aluminium plant immediately on your left hand side on the other side of the ocean. It gets better as the bay is so beautiful, especially in sunny weather. You will see farmlands and salmon rivers, beautiful mountains and bays so it is so worth taking this road instead of the tunnel - if one is not in a hurry.
In Hvalfjörður is the highest waterfall in Iceland in Botnsdalur, called Glymur, but it cannot be seen from the road and there is a 2 hours' walk to the waterfall.
During WW2 Hvalfjörður played an important part serving as a base camp for the Allies and you can see some of the barracks they left behind by Hvalstöðin - The Whaling station in the northern part of the bay.
The Whaling station was built in 1948 and there the whales were cut - I remember coming here with my family when I was a young girl to see if there were any whales being cut. I know that it sounds barbaric, but no different from killings of other animals, I think (and I have not tasted meat since 1987). For 20 years there was no whaling in Iceland until 2009 when The Whaling station was taken into use again. So if you are ever driving in Hvalfjörður you might see a whaler or a whale being cut. This season 148 finbacks and 60 minke-whales were caught.
Driving along Hvalfjörður there is Ferstikla restaurant and gas station on your right hand side and a little bit further on is Vatnaskógur and Hotel Glymur on your right hand side. With a lovely church, Saurbæjarkirkja on your left hand side (see my next tip).