- Backpacking in the nature reserve -
Hornstrandir, in the North West of Iceland, is a whole new world. The landscape is majestic and is protected as a nature reserve since 1975. Due to the remoteness and harsh nature the last of its human inhabitant moved away about 60 years ago. Thus, the flora and fauna have an exceptional opportunity to blossom and now arctic foxes, birds, seals and plants grow and live there in peace and harmony. The area is only to be reached by foot or by boat. Hiking the untraveled paths in endless calm, peace and quiet gives you an ineffable feeling of joy and memories to be remembered.
Day 1 Ísafjörður – Veiðileysufjörður – Hornvík
Day 2 Hornvík – Hornbjarg - Látravík - Hornvík
Day 3 Hornvík – Hvannadalur – Hlöðuvík
Day 4 Hlöðuvík – Hesteyri
The tour starts at Ísafjörður harbor where the boat leaves to Veiðileysufjörður in the Glacier Fjords (Jökulfirðir), one of the most beautiful and remote areas in Iceland. On the way, enjoy the stunning beauty of the sea and landscape, with a view towards Drangajökull glacier. You will likely see puffins and other sea birds, and if lucky whales and seals as well.
A rubber boat transports the hikers from the boat and ashore in Veiðileysufjörður. The first hike is through the mountain-pass Hafnarskarð to Hornvík, the heart of the Hornstrandir area. Hornvík is surrounded by two of the three largest bird cliffs in Europe, has a mystic remoteness and magnificent silhouette. In Höfn the group makes itself comfortable for a two night's stay in tents.
The second day the group explores Hornvík and hikes to the edge of Hornbjarg. This mountain's highest peak reaches 534m above sea level and is one of the world largest bird cliff. When millions of birds shout as loud as they can, one forgets the noise of the traffic and normal life. It is as far away as it can be and the term silence gets a new meaning
In Látravík, a bay east of Hornvík, is a beautiful lighthouse, built in 1930. Standing in front of this 10 meter high tower, you get the feeling being on the edge of the world.
Heading westward the first stop is at Rekavík bak Höfn (e. Drift wood bay behind Höfn). Here we leave our backpacks and follow the narrow path to Hvannadalur (e. Angelica valley). Even though you are not afraid of heights, standing on the edge of Langikambur 70 m above sea level will make your knees tremble.
With backpacks back on, the group heads towards the mountain pass Atlaskarð. There is a saying that when passing Atlaskarð for the first time you should throw three rocks onto the cairn. Probably that was a way to maintain the pile that had an essential function in guiding the way.
Before hitting the crooked path (327 m high) to Búðir in Hlöðuvík bay, we just sit down and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Even though the last inhabitants at Búðir moved away 1943, Indriði the ghost welcomes you and treats you nicely if you share a drop of cognac. We stay one night at Búðir in tents.
The fourth day the group hikes to the abandoned village Hesteyri through Kjaransvík and Kjaransvíkurskarð. In the late 1940’s, the people of Hesteyri, without electricity and roads, made a common decision to move away, and in 1952 the village stood totally abandoned. The landscape around Hesteyri is beautiful with its impressive, steep snow-flecked mountains and it´s quiet and secluded coves. The former doctor´s residence is now a cosy café and we will finish our journey with well diserved coffee and cakes.
We head back to Isafjordur by boat on Tuesday around 19:00.
Are you into another night at this magical place? Please let us know and we will assist you. The former doctor´s residence is now a cosy café and guesthouse offering sleeping bag accommodation and soup for dinner.
Please note: You'll have to bring your own tent, sleeping bag, mattress, cooking equipment, food and other equipment that you need.
Season: June, July & August 2019
Departure: 09:00 from Ísafjörður
Tour length: 4 days
Included: Preparation meeting the day before departure, boat transfer to and from Hornstrandir and guide for all 4 days.
Price: 119.900 ISK per person
Dates: 22.6.2019 and 20.7.2019
Also available upon request for private groups.