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Trekking in the Hornstrandir nature reserve. A unique chance to discover this remote area of Iceland well preserved and wild. Along the coast, the power of the ocean has created those steep cliffs where thousands of seabirds come every year to nest.
The Hornstrandir natural reserve is a superb natural site located in a remote and wild part of Iceland. The steep mountains in basalt stretch from the ocean to the sky, they are separated by deep fjords and isolated valleys. The fjords are home to numerous seals and seabirds. In the inland, glaciers from the last ice age have smoothed the mountains and formed lakes. Here the arctic fox is in his natural environment.
From the first settlers of Iceland to the 20th century, this region was only inhabited by fishermen and craftsmen who worked with what was given by the ocean. Hornstrandir is nowadays an uninhabited land where just a few abandoned houses attest this past. Hiking in this wild land will leave you some unforgettable memories, it’s also the best place to see the arctic fox!
This trek starts in the North West of the country in Ísafjörður. You must be there in the morning of D1. To get there, it is better to take a domestic flight from Reykjavik the day before, which flies over Iceland in less than an hour, or we can also organize a self drive trip of a few days in autonomy, with travel book and accommodation reservations, vehicle rental, before or after the trek.
Note that the route of this trek is given as an indication, because very often we arrange the stages according to the weather and so as to improve the route to be as far as possible off the beaten tracks.
The trek starts here in Ísafjörður. We leave in the morning in direction of Bolungarvik village where a boat will bring us to the charming little village of Hesteyri. From there, we leave the modern world for a wild region. There we can only hear the sound of the waves and the flow of the streams. The trek is going in direction of the neck of Hesteyrarskarð before we can go down on the other side to join the sea level. Night in Látrar.
From Aðalvík we will make a small detour to the top of the mountain Straumnesfjall and have a chance to explore the old radar station. Built in 1953 by the American army, the place was abandoned in 1960 because of rough life conditions. We will continue in the direction of Fljótavík. To get to our final destination for the night we need to cross the river Atlastaðaós which can be tricky depending on the tide time. Night in Atlastaðir.
Our day will start with a gentle walk along the green riverbank of the lake Fljótsvatn. The landscape is gorgeous and surrounded by mountains. We need to cross them to get to the next stop Hlöðuvík. Night in Búðir. A night walk to Hælavík is possible for those who want.
Today we walk in direction of the mountain Skálakambur following a path marked by cairns to Atlaskarð located at 327 meters in altitude. We will hike around mount Kollur before going down to Höfn in Hornvík located in the heart of the Hornstrandir reserve. This place is special, we will stay there 2 nights in order to be able to enjoy and discover it.
There is nothing to compare with the beauty of Hornvík surrounded by steep cliffs where nest seabird colonies. Hornvík is an isolated place only accessible by foot or boat. We will walk along the cliffs of Hornbjarg to admire thousands of birds and were human being feel small in front of the power of Mother Nature. We will set our camp in Hornvík.
It’s time to go back to civilisation, we take the road in direction of the fjord Veiðileysufjörður. After crossing the mountain, we get to another pass following the beach and getting to Meleyri. From there we will take the boat again back to Ísafjörður. If you wish to enjoy a relaxing time there is no better place than the public pool! Free time to explore, relax, enjoy the town. Flight to Reykjavik and night in the center.