Overview

Combine coastal and glacier kayaking in Iceland. Find yourself amazed at the pristine scenery and marine wildlife!

Highlights

  • Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
  • Jökulfirðir Glacier Fjords
  • Ísafjarðardjúp Fjord
  • Drangajökull Glacier
  • The village of Hesteyri
  • Slétta Lighthouse
  • Kvíar Farmhouse
  • Sauna at Kvíar
  • Lónafjörður Fjord
  • Secret waterfalls
  • Grunnavík Bay
  • Snæfjallaströnd Coast
  • Æðey Island
  • Birdwatching (puffins, white-tailed eagles, among others)
  • Vigur Island
  • Seal & porpoise watching
  • A lookout for whales

Paddle just below the Arctic Circle on this skillfully-led sea kayaking tour in Iceland. Explore the beautiful fjords of Jökulfirðir and Ísafjarðardjúp, the top sea kayaking spots in the country. Discover waterfalls that are inaccessible by foot and watch marine animals in their natural habitats. Once you’ve discovered the glacier fjords of Iceland, they’ll stay with you forever!

This kayaking tour includes long water crossings and requires good preparation. For an experienced kayaker, it’s a truly wild adventure!

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Small group experience
  • Expert guides
Availability June-Aug
Departs From Ísafjörður
Duration 6 days
Level Challenging
Minimum age 18 years
Ratio 1:8
Accommodation Included
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up No

From

1 801 USD

Per Participant
  • No booking fees
  • Fast & secure payment
  • Best Price Guarantee
  • Operated by our trusted partner

What's included

Included

  • All food and cooking gear
  • Accommodation in comfy houses for the first three nights
  • Accommodation in tents for the last two nights
  • Ferry and car transfer on the first and last day
  • Kayaking gear (kayaks and paddles, neoprene pants, a dry top, a spray skirt, a life vest, paddling boots, paddling gloves, and additional dry bags)

What to bring

  • Thermal underwear (at least two set of tops)
  • Thermal mid layer (wool or fleece)
  • Hiking pants (avoid cottons as it takes a long time to dry)
  • Waterproof and breathable pants and jacket (the lighter, the better)
  • A hat (wool or fleece)
  • One pair of gloves for camping
  • 2-3 pairs of socks (wool or synthetic)
  • Light hiking shoes for strolls onshore
  • A sleeping bag rated at least 0°C (down bags are the best)
  • A sleeping pad (inflatable pads will easily fit inside the boat)
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen & aftersun lotion
  • 1litre water bottle
  • Personal medical kit (and prescription medicine if needed)
  • 2x dry bags to keep your gear dry (We have a small selection of dry bags that you can use but you should bring at least two of your own. Just don’t forget to test if all your gear fits inside!)
  • Small binoculars for wildlife viewing
  • A camera for taking epic pictures!

Not Included

  • Pick up

Contact us for more Information about this tour

Itinerary

Pre-Departure

Welcome to Ísafjörður! Also known as the capital of the Westfjords, Ísafjörður is the largest settlement in the region.

For a short pre-departure briefing, meet us at 5 p.m. (17:00) at our base Mávagarður C (grey building). We’ll answer any questions you might have and make final preparations. The briefing shouldn’t take longer than an hour. If you can’t meet us the day before departure, let us know via email and we’ll send you all the needed information.

Today your sensational kayaking trip in Iceland begins! Meet us at our base in Mávagarður C at 8 a.m. for last-minute checks. Then we depart from the harbor of Ísafjörður on our passenger ferry Bjarmi to Hesteyri, the biggest settlement in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.

Almost touching the Arctic Circle, Hornstrandir offers peace and serenity.

Once in Hesteyri, drop off your gear at the Old Doctor’s House, a comfy lodging on the northernmost peninsula of Iceland. Then slip into your kayak and start swimming through jaw-dropping Icelandic scenery. Paddle out of the Hesteyrarfjordur Fjord, surrounded by rocky mountains, to the lighthouse at Slétta.

Today’s paddle is short so that you can get used to your kayak. This evening, enjoy a welcoming dinner at the Old Doctor’s House.

Distance: 8 mi (14 km)

Day Highlights
  • The village of Hesteyri
  • Hesteyrarfjordur Fjord
  • Slétta Lighthouse
  • Old Doctor’s House
Included
  • All food
  • Accommodation

Get a good start to your day with a hearty breakfast before we pack our kayaks and head towards Kvíar Farmhouse in Kvíadalur Valley. The route will take you along the picturesque coastline and across the fjords of Hesteyrarfjörður and Veiðileysufjörður. You’ll likely see white-tailed eagles and whales in the same day along these shorelines.

After intense exercise, land on the beach beneath Kvíar Farmhouse, where we’ll spend the two upcoming nights. Built in 1921, Kvíar farm is the only house in the valley. The last inhabitants left the house in 1948 seeking an easier life in Ísafjörður. Today the farm feels remote and peaceful, giving space to slow down and contemplate.

After a delectable dinner, relax in the hot sauna situated next to the house.

Distance: 9 mi (15 km)

Day Highlights
  • Kvíar Farmhouse
  • Hesteyrarfjörður Fjord
  • Veiðileysufjörður Fjord
  • Wildlife watching
  • Sauna at Kvíar Farm
Included
  • Meals
  • Accommodation

After breakfast, leave all your unnecessary gear in the farmhouse and go for a memorable paddle along Lónafjörður Fjord, considered the most beautiful fjord in Iceland.

Untouched by human beings, Lónafjörður is a wild place where nature rules. As you kayak through calm waters, keep your eyes peeled for a variety of marine life, including seabirds and seals. A large seal colony can be found in the tiny bay of Sópandi.

Today enjoy a long day of paddling as you follow the coastline around Lónafjörður. The scenery is like nothing you’ve ever seen!

Cap off the day with a delicious dinner and a soothing sauna at Kvíar.

Distance: 12 mi (20 km)

Day Highlights
  • Lónafjörður Fjord
  • Seal watching
  • The bay of Sópandi
  • Sauna at Kvíar Lodge
Included
  • Meals
  • Accommodation

This morning, pack your boat and leave Kvíar behind. Today you experience the delight of kayaking in the background of Drangajökull, the northernmost glacier of Iceland.

Paddle across the bay to get superb views of Leirufjörður Fjord with the enormous Drangajökull Glacier in the distance. Leirufjörður is also known as Silty Fjord because clay and silt travel here down a glacier river from the ice cap. That’s why water here changes color from deep blue to brown. 

Next, head along the coast towards Grunnavík Bay. Along the way, discover a striking rock arch that you can pass under at high tide. As you kayak along the shore, keep an eye out for adorable porpoises, close relatives of dolphins.

At Grunnavík, you’ll have free time to explore a few summerhouses and a lovely church. Tonight we set up camp and sleep on the unspoiled beach. Your guide will introduce you to minimal impact camping in pristine places. Let’s enjoy natural wonders and leave no trace!

Distance: 12 mi (20 km)

Day Highlights
  • Drangajökull Glacier
  • Leirufjörður Fjord
  • Natural rock arch
  • Grunnavík Bay
  • Purpoises
Included
  • Meals
  • Accommodation

Today you head out of Jökulfirðir Glacial Fjords and paddle into the big bay of Isafjardardjup, the greatest fjord in the Westfjords of Iceland. Along the way, discover off-the-beaten-path waterfalls that will steal your heart. Only a small number of visitors can see these secret cascades as they are inaccessible by foot.

Spend the rest of the day exploring the scenic coast of Snæfjallaströnd. Depending on conditions and the group, we’ll camp either in the gorgeous cove in Ytraskarð (12 mi/20 km from the starting point) or by the pounding Möngufoss Waterfall (15 mi/24 km from the starting point).

Spend the night around warming campfires and watch the sunset. 

Distance: 14 mi (23 km)

Day Highlights
  • Ísafjarðardjúp Fjord
  • Off-the-beaten path waterfalls
  • Snæfjallaströnd Coast
  • Ytraskarð Valley
  • Möngufoss Waterfall
Included
  • Meals
  • Accommodation

Today is the last day of your kayaking tour in Iceland. We’ve prepared a special wildlife-themed itinerary for the day. Your first stop is Æðey Island (Eider Island), which takes its name from thousands of eider ducks that nest upon its shores. Cliffs around the island are also teeming with puffins, Iceland’s most iconic seabirds. Binoculars will certainly come in hand!

After visiting Æðey, prepare for a long crossing (6mi/9km) to the island of Vigur. Here the birdlife is just as spectacular as on Æðey. Farmers of Vigur even raised special rock walls to help nesting eider ducks. The island is also home to dozens of puffins. Don’t forget to photograph colorful houses of Vigur before relaxing at a small coffee house.

Then prepare for the last leg of the trip. Kayak to the village of Súðavík where a car will pick you up and drive you back to Ísafjörður. Arrive back in town at 4 p.m. (16:00) just in time for the afternoon flight for those flying back to Reykjavik.

Distance: 13 mi (22 km)

Day Highlights
  • Æðey Island (Eider Island)
  • Puffins, eider ducks, and other seabirds
  • Vigur Island
  • The village of Súðavík
Included
  • Meals

Meeting Point Info

  • This multi-day sea kayaking tour in Iceland departs from Ísafjörður, the largest town in the Westfjords. Ísafjörður is only 40 minutes from Reykjavik by plane. There are scheduled flights from Reykjavik to Ísafjörður 2-3 times every day.
  • If you have extra days, you can also reach Ísafjörður by car. Driving from Reykjavik to Ísafjörður takes about 5-6 hours. The drive isn’t short but it’s incredibly scenic. Along the way, you’ll pass rugged fjords and mountain passes. 

Drop-off Place

  • We’ll drop you off in Ísafjörður around 4 p.m. (16:00) on the last day, just in time for the afternoon flight for those flying back to Reykjavik. 

Accommodation

  • On this tour, you’ll spend the first 3 nights at cozy rural houses and the last 2 nights wild camping on remote beaches. 

Practical Info

  • The less you have with you when you’re kayaking, the easier it will be. If you pack wisely, you’ll have plenty of space in your kayak. So pack light!
  • This glacier kayaking adventure in Iceland is designed for experienced paddlers. If you’re looking for gentler kayaking trips in Iceland, we’re happy to offer you Wild Camp Discovery or Glacier Fjords Kayaking, where we take things at an easier pace. 

What Do We Provide

We provide you with all the necessary kayaking equipment and clothing

However, you’re welcome to bring your own paddling gear and clothing. We suggest bringing good dry pants and top with rubber cuffs or at least a 3mm neoprene wetsuit with a windproof top. For footwear, neoprene boots with ankle support and thick soles will work best. To keep your hands warm, bring neoprene gloves, mittens or pogies. 

Please note

The itinerary of this tour is just a guideline and is subject to change depending on weather conditions and the ability of the group.

FAQ

We recommend that participants wear warm outdoor clothing, for example, a fleece or wool sweater and pants. You should also bring a change of clothing and swimwear.

No prior kayaking experience is required for the tours as our professional guides will teach the technique on location.

Our kayaking tours are all listed at a level easy or moderate so most people should be able to do the tour. Just keep in mind that the activity is an outdoor nature activity so some physical strength is needed.

All our kayaking tours are operated by experienced and certified professional 4 star BCU sea kayak guides.

We use top of the line plastic sea kayaks.

Our kayaks are very stable and easy to use.

Yes, they can tip over, although they are very stable and it happens rarely. If they tip over the guide has the necessary equipment and ability to quickly tip them over again.

If the kayaks tip over participants don’t have to worry too much, all participants get life jackets and neoprene suits so they will stay warm even if they fall in.

Taking a waterproof camera is a great idea when going on a kayak tour. However, it is not recommended to take too much on this day tour as there is really no need for it.

Although you don’t need to “swim” while sea kayaking, we recommend that you can. People that can’t swim tend to panic when they are in the water. You have to be comfortable with floating in water.

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