Hornstrandir Trek - 6 Day Backpacking Tour
Hiking in Remote Areas of the West Fjords
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is a magical place of untouched beauty and wildlife and the only way to access this hidden gem is by boat. You can be sure that trekking through the Hornstrandir will leave you amazed and packed with memories that will last a lifetime.
- 6 days
- Min. Age
- 16 years
- 191 700
- Ísafjörður e. Isafjordur - The capital of the Westfjords
- Straumnesfjall mountain
- Hornstrandir nature reserve
- Hornbjarg cliff
- Aðalvík e. Adalvik
- Veiðileysufjörður e. Veidileysufjordur
What Is Included?
- Boat ride into the Nature Reserve
- All meals except breakfast on day 1 and dinner on day 6
- Tents, cooking gear etc
- Transport to and from Ísafjörður airport
The Hornstrandir nature reserve is a place of magnificent untouched beauty and wildlife. The sheer basalt mountains stretch from the sea to the sky chaotically divided by deep fjords, secluded alcoves and valleys. At the coastline, the relentless power of the ocean has molded towering sea cliffs, richly populated by birds. Many of the alcoves and scurries of the coast are home to an abundance of seals. Inland the crawling glaciers of the last ice age have hewn ancient mountain passes and lakes into the rugged peninsula and there the arctic fox wanders in its natural environment.
Since the settlement of Iceland up until the middle of the 20th century the area was populated by the toughest of Icelandic fishermen and craftsmen. Many of them making their livelihood from crafting unsurpassed vessels for the North Atlantic Ocean. Hornstrandir is now empty of permanent settlers but their abandoned homes and workshops are scattered around the area, nestled deep in the fjords and valleys. You can be sure that trekking through the Hornstrandir will leave you amazed and packed with memories that will last a lifetime.
This tour is operated by a local tour operator in Ísafjörður, it's a company that we believe has the same safety and environmental standards as we do.
The tour is completely self-sufficient, we carry everything on our back, camp in the wilderness and cook our own food. Truly a wilderness experience!
*Note that domestic flights are not included. Domestic flights can be arranged for 39,900 ISK both ways or 19,950 ISK for one way.
*Those flying back to Reykjavik can catch a flight the following morning or later.
*Please note that the minimum number of participants: 4 persons. Maximum number of participants: 8 persons per guide. If there are less than 4 people in your group, contact us to see if there is a group that you can join
We meet at our office in Aðalstræti 17 (downtown main street) the day before departure at 17:00, where we will answer any questions and make final preparations.
The next day we depart from the harbor in Ísafjörður on our passenger ferry Bjarmi at 9 am. After about 2 hours boat ride we have left the modern world behind and entered a wonderland of sounds from soothing streams and the whisper of the waves by the beach. We start our hike in Hesteyri and head for Hesteyrarskard mountain pass. From there we start to make our way down to sea level again. Overnight at Latrar.
From Adalvik we aim for a little detour to the top of Straumnesfjall mountain to explore an abandoned radar station built in 1953 by the American army. They figured out this was a pretty harsh place to live at so they abandoned the station in 1960. They might also have gotten tired of no enemies showing up ever. After our detour, we will head over to Fljótavík. To get tour destination we need to cross Atlastadaós river which can get a bit tricky since it is sensitive to sea tides so we need to aim for low tide. Overnight at Atlastadir.
We start the day hiking along the green banks of Fljotsvatn lake. The lake is beautiful and the mountain range on our left-hand side is impressive. We need to cross a few mountain passes to get across the mountain range separating us from our next destination, Hloduvik. Overnight at Budir. An optional evening walk to Haelavik.
Today we head up a steep slope to the mountain ridge Skalakambur and follow a route marked with cairns towards the steep Atlaskard (327m) mountain pass. We will go around Mt Kollur and from there start making our way towards Hofn in Hornvík, the heart of Hornstrandir nature reserve. This is a place of dramatic natural beauty and should not be missed out by anyone travelling in this area. It is necessary to spend more than one day at this awe-inspiring place so we will put up camp there for two nights.
The beauty of Hornvik is unmatched, surrounding it are two of Iceland’s largest bird cliffs. Like the entire Hornstrandir area, Hornvik is very remote and is only accessible by boat or by foot. We hike to Hornbjarg cliff where thousands of birds can be seen and the massive sculptures of mother nature make human beings feel very small and vulnerable. Many visitors state that the hike to Hornbjarg was the highlight of their Hornstrandir trip. At the end of the day, we head back to Hornvik where we spend the night.
HORNVIK - VEIDILEYSUFJORDUR - ISAFJORDUR
Boat ride from Veidileysa to Isafjordur: Today we will pack our tents and gear, hit the road and cross yet another mountain pass to get to Veidileysufjordur fjord. After crossing the mountain range we descend down to the coast again, following the beach for a while until we get to Meleyri. From there we will get picked up by a boat that will take us to Isafjordur, back to civilization after almost a week in the wild. For those eager to wash off their hiking dust, a visit to Ísafjördur swimming pool is ideal. Others can go out, eat and just relax for a while reminiscing about the just completed hike.
- Thermal underwear, at least two sets of shirts
- Wool or fleece thermal mid layer
- Hiking pants. We recommend no cottons as they take long to dry if wet
- Waterproof and breathable pants and jacket for hiking onshore
- Wool/fleece hat
- One pair of gloves
- 2 to 3 pairs thick wool/synthetic socks
- Hiking boots (Vibram sole). Need to be high up on the ankle for support
- Sleeping bag. Summer rated, around +5°C is enough. Down bags are the best since they are light and pack really well
- Sleeping mattress. The light inflatable ones are the best
- Dark sun glasses
- Sunscreen / after sun cream
- About 50-60L backpack That can take all your personal belongings, including the sleeping bag and your share of food
- Small binoculars is nice to have for watching wildlife
- Personal medical kit to include personal medication and i.e. band aids, throat lozenges, lip salves, second skin for blister etc
- Don't forget regular medication you may need (e.g. Asthma, bring your inhaler, even if you do not always need it)
- 1 litre water bottle... and don't forget your camera!