Join a small group tour of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve with an expert guide. The hike is approximately 35km in total and we hike trails most of the way. The reserve is rich with fascinating nature and wildlife unique to the region. Keep your eyes peeled for the roaming Arctic foxes and soaring seabirds that call this territory home. Along the way, your guide will teach you the history of nearby abandoned villages once populated by intrepid settlers on the edge of the Arctic Circle.
Accommodations are provided between hikes at our cozy basecamp. All camping gear and food is supplied and tour participants only need to bring a backpack for personal items. Enjoy glamping in a big two-person tent with your own bed. Gourmet dinners are served in the mess tent each night!
Your journey begins with a ferry ride from Ísafjörður to Hornstrandir. The boat ride takes about 2-3 hours based on the weather and provides spectacular views of mountains and fjords. Keep your eyes on the sea as we may catch sight of marine life inc...)
Your journey begins with a ferry ride from Ísafjörður to Hornstrandir. The boat ride takes about 2-3 hours based on the weather and provides spectacular views of mountains and fjords. Keep your eyes on the sea as we may catch sight of marine life including dolphins, seals, and whales! During your voyage, your guide will give you a history lesson on the Icelanders who settled here along the Arctic Circle, known as the edge of the world.
Our boat lands at Hornvík Bay where we head off on a hike to the Hornbjarg bird cliffs. Hornbjarg and Hælavíkurbjarg are two of the biggest cliffs in the North Atlantic and home to about 5-6 million seabirds, including the famous Atlantic Puffin. The first stop is the tip of the Horn where we will be met with a breathtaking view of the entire bay. We’ll continue along the grassy hill by the cliff’s edge until we reach Mt. Miðfell. The final part of the slope is pretty steep but your expert guide will be there to offer assistance.
Next we make our way down to the lush Miðdalur Valley, a striking plain surrounded by sheer cliffs and streaked with rivers. Inhabitants of the area once rappelled down these cliffs to collect eggs from the birds who nest there. Their summer eggs haul would feed them throughout the harsh winters.
We’ll forge on to Lake Miðdalur – a serene haven where whooper swans and kittiwakes raise their chicks. During the summer you can find hundreds of these birds bathing in the lake daily. The path continues to the ridge of Múli and our final summit of the day, Kálfatindar Peak (535m). From the peak, you’ll be rewarded with a magnificent view of Iceland’s entire North Coast, Drangajökull Glacier, and several cliffs and fjords. You’ll definitely want to capture this visual highlight on camera!
Our descent takes us back to camp where you will find all your personal gear and a gourmet Icelandic dinner waiting for you.
Distance: 12 km.
Altitude gain: 400 m.
Our day begins with a traditional Icelandic breakfast before a scenic hike the Kýrskard Pass, an area decorated with vivid arctic flowers. At the bottom of the pass, we’ll stop at the charming orange Látravík Lighthouse, also referred to as Hornbjarg...)
Our day begins with a traditional Icelandic breakfast before a scenic hike the Kýrskard Pass, an area decorated with vivid arctic flowers. At the bottom of the pass, we’ll stop at the charming orange Látravík Lighthouse, also referred to as Hornbjargsviti (lighthouse of Hornbjarg). Once used as a manned weather station, the equipment is all automatic now. We’ll take our lunch break at this delightful pit stop.
The trail winds on past immense cliffs, continues along the Almenningar Pass and follows along a steep cliff’s edge. From the trail, we can take in views of the crashing Atlantic Ocean waves below. Our next stop is the gorgeous Innstidalur Valley, another magnificent overlook point for views of Hornvík Bay.
The last highlight of the day is Drífandi Waterfall, a 70 meters high waterfall that cascades down a steep mountain. Not the most torrential of waterfalls, Drífandi is fed by a small river that glides gracefully down its moss-covered cliffs. Oddly enough, the area has earned a reputation for polar bear sightings. The bears float from the east coast of Greenland and end up stranded on the island. Your guide will entertain you with the urban legends surrounding these sightings before we head home.
Enjoy a dinner of Icelandic cooking and relax beneath the clear nighttime sky.
Distance: 13 km.
Altitude gain: 500 m.
Our final morning will give you time to relax around camp or do some exploring on your own. We’ll leave for our final hike after lunch. Today we trek towards the Veiðileysufjörður Fjord, a stunning fjord with the sharp Mt. Lónhorn rising from the top...)
Our final morning will give you time to relax around camp or do some exploring on your own. We’ll leave for our final hike after lunch.
Today we trek towards the Veiðileysufjörður Fjord, a stunning fjord with the sharp Mt. Lónhorn rising from the top. Uninhabited for over 100 years, the only artifacts from former residents are low walls from the whaling station in Meleyri. Ironically, Veiðileysufjörður translates to “fjord with no fishing.”
Next we summit 520 meters to the top of the Hafnarskarð Pass for a panoramic view of the Westfjords. Usually the pass is lined with snow that glitters under the sun. The entire scene is perfect for more nature photos. When we finish taking in the sights we’ll descend down the fjord and head back to basecamp.
The ferry back to Ísafjörður on our third day will depart between 18-19:00 (6 – 7 pm). Our boat ride will take about an hour, another chance for you to enjoy the gorgeous vistas of the region.
Distance: 11 km.
Altitude gain: 550 m.
Meet on Location: Departure for treks is at 9:00 am. Please meet your guide at our Ísafjörður office on Aðalstræti 17 (downtown main street) one hour before departure. We depart from the harbour in Ísafjörður on our passenger ferry Bjarmi. For inform...)
Meet on Location: Departure for treks is at 9:00 am. Please meet your guide at our Ísafjörður office on Aðalstræti 17 (downtown main street) one hour before departure. We depart from the harbour in Ísafjörður on our passenger ferry Bjarmi. For information on how to get to Ísafjörður see our Ísafjörður destination page.
Drop Off: On the last day of our trek, the boat will pick up the group around 6 орto 7 pm. We will then make the journey back to Ísafjörður and drop you off at the main office.
Please note: We provide tents, sleeping bags, mattresses, and pillows. You do not need to carry any of this with you. However, you will need to bring your own sleeping bag liner and pillow cover. You can always rent sturdy hiking boots, waterproof jackets and pants during the booking process.
The tour itinerary is only a guide and subject to change depending on the weather, sea conditions and the ability of the group. You will receive detailed information along with your booking.
First of all, check the weather forecast but keep in mind that the weather in Iceland can be extremely unpredictable, as you may have heard. We have a saying “If you don’t like the weather in Iceland, just wait 5 minutes” which is sometimes disturbingly accurate!
The weather can be anything from sunny to snowy in almost any season although snow is rare during summer time. We do suggest that you dress accordingly. This means in layers, thermal closest to you and waterproof on top. We’ve prepared a guide to help you get ready for your adventures, check out – How to prepare for hiking and trekking in Iceland.
No, please do not wear jeans and sneakers on this tour, it’s not appropriate clothing for this type of tour. Check the list of what to bring to see what kind of clothing is appropriate.