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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!
– Beauty of the landscape:West Fjords offer some peaceful and dramatic landscapes. This part of the country is home to steep mountains, isolated land and empty beaches, deep fjords… We will bring you to this unique region of Iceland and will offer you chance to discover its amazing landscape. With your guide, you’ll discover an amazing fauna and flora, away from others human being.
– A trek off the beaten path: This part of Iceland remains relatively discreet and protected. Foxes might stumble across our paths, and we can spot numerous bird species (puffins, plovers, whimbrels…) The main interest of this trek is that it offers a variety of hikes, alternating between desert beaches, fjords, lost valleys and mountains and that it stays well off the beaten track.
– A trek in small group: to have a pleasant and smooth trip and to make the most of it we only take small group (max 12 pers). You’ll need to carry your equipment and camping gear during this trip, it’s important to travel light.
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.
Difficulty: Challenging, you have to carry your personal gear, your camping gear and food.
The area is accessible only by boat, therefore gear and food are not available at every stop, carrying the gear and food is then required, a little price to pay to enjoy pristine and remote locations.
Group size: Multi-national group 6 to 12 members max.
Hike, itinerary & security: Hike without porterage with a level from moderate to challenging depending on the day. There is approximately 6-8 hours of hike every day, you need to be in fit condition to maintain the rhythm and walk the itinerary. The day-by-day itinerary as it is indicated here can be modified or even reversed depending on natural circumstances (late or early heavy snow, eruption, river flooding, weather conditions…) The guide knows the field perfectly and is able to judge exceptional circumstances.
Important :Note that you’ll need to carry your equipment with you (personal belonging as well as sleeping bag and camping gear).
Transport: Before and after the trek, transfer in small and comfortable bus.
Accommodation: camping – sleeping bags are not provided.
Food: Mostly local, with a vegetarian tendency – apart from the delicious grilled leg of lamb – and the inevitable local fish of course. We are particularly concerned with offering well-balanced and nutritious meals. If you have a special diet you need to let us now it before the beginning of the trip.
Participation: During our trip we often request to our guest to help us with preparing diner and cleaning the dishes involving both men and women 🙂
Trip extension: This trip can be combined with an individual extension to see more of Iceland. You can stay a couple of days in Reykjavik enjoying the northern most capital or visit another area. You can also add short excursions to the Blue Lagoon or go whale watching… For a trip extension don’t hesitate to contact us.
Climate: because of the rough and changing climate in Iceland see below a list of recommended equipment to bring with you for this trip. You can except temperature between 0° and 20°C from April to September and from +5 to -20°C from October to March.
YOUR PERSONAL EQUIPMENT: