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Hornbjargsviti

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Arctic Fox Photography

Wildlife Photography in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

Experience the wild nature and beauty of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve during winter. This is the time when Arctic foxes are most desired with beautiful and thick winter fur; that combined with the elements, make for the perfect photo.

This tour caters for your individual photographic needs. If you have a specific shot in mind, or would like to spend an extended period out at our private lodge, this is the tour for you. You are in charge of your time in Hornstrandir, accompanied by an knowledgeable guide, who will take care of preparing delicious meals and make sure things run smoothly, so you can focus on your photography.

Contents of this tour

Tour overview

Description

The Arctic fox is the only original land mammal in Iceland, having survived here for at least 12.000 years since the end of the last Ice Age. The fox has been aggressively hunted through the centuries, since it’s a powerful predator that the farmers didn’t get along with very well.

The Arctic fox is totally protected in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve and the area has the highest density of Arctic foxes in the world. They are also pretty relaxed around humans and can easily be seen both in summer and winter. They are definitely more beautiful in the winter, with their thick fur, minding their own business of hunting and survival in the harsh climate of the North Atlantic. There are both white and blue morph in the valley, though the blue morph is more common.

Borea is a pioneer in running services for wildlife photographers wanting to take photos of arctic foxes both in summer and winter. Most of the trips are booked by professional photographers but occasionally we have weeks available to offer on an individual basis.

The tour in a nutshell, includes boat rides out to Kviar Lodge and back, with accommodation for five nights in made up beds and delicious food the whole time. During the day, you can wander around the valley and you don’t need to venture far to spot tracks and eventually see them up close to get the perfect shot. There are few dens in the valley and in the surrounding area of Kviar and we often spot them fighting and playing around in the snow and on the beach.

Borea has built a hide that is perfect to use when it’s stormy and you need a shelter to take photos and store gear away from the elements.

This time of the year is also perfect to photograph the northern lights. The sky is big around Kviar and there is absolutely no light pollution. Kviar is the only house that is occupied in at least 40 km. radius.

Please drop us an email if you’re interested!

Included:

  • One way boat transportation to Kvíar Lodge at the start and end of the trip.
  • All food in Kvíar Lodge
  • Accommodation in made up beds
  • One caretaker/cook from Borea
  • Full use of the house facilities, including the sauna…!

Not included:

  • Alcohol beverages
  • Personal insurances
  • Travel to and from Ísafjörður

Photos

Itinerary

Leaving at 12:00 noon from Ísafjörður Harbour on our boat to Kviar Lodge. The boat ride takes about an hour. We’ll be landing on the beach in a Zodiak since there is no harbour in Kvíar. Make sure you have waterproof boots and pack your gear well since things could get splashed if there are some waves. We get our equipment in the rooms and make ourselves at home. After few words about the house and briefing, you can get ready to take photos.

Full days of photography at your own pace. There are plenty of opportunities near the house and it’s not necessary to venture far. Massive snowbanks are to be found just beneath the house, there are trees nearby and open landscapes. The beach is also a good spot on low tide when the foxes come down from the valley in search for dead fish and sometimes try to snatch sea gulls or eider ducks. We will also follow the aurora forecast and cloud coverage since the northern lights can be magnificent since there is no light pollution.

Full days of photography at your own pace. There are plenty of opportunities near the house and it’s not necessary to venture far. Massive snowbanks are to be found just beneath the house, there are trees nearby and open landscapes. The beach is also a good spot on low tide when the foxes come down from the valley in search for dead fish and sometimes try to snatch sea gulls or eider ducks. We will also follow the aurora forecast and cloud coverage since the northern lights can be magnificent since there is no light pollution.

Full days of photography at your own pace. There are plenty of opportunities near the house and it’s not necessary to venture far. Massive snowbanks are to be found just beneath the house, there are trees nearby and open landscapes. The beach is also a good spot on low tide when the foxes come down from the valley in search for dead fish and sometimes try to snatch sea gulls or eider ducks. We will also follow the aurora forecast and cloud coverage since the northern lights can be magnificent since there is no light pollution.

Full days of photography at your own pace. There are plenty of opportunities near the house and it’s not necessary to venture far. Massive snowbanks are to be found just beneath the house, there are trees nearby and open landscapes. The beach is also a good spot on low tide when the foxes come down from the valley in search for dead fish and sometimes try to snatch sea gulls or eider ducks. We will also follow the aurora forecast and cloud coverage since the northern lights can be magnificent since there is no light pollution.

Here you have at least half a day to take photos before we embark the boat and head back to Ísafjörður. We aim at departure around 2 pm.

What to bring

Here is a brief list of things to have. Of course you might have your own preferences but it’s a good starting point so you will fully enjoy your tour. Please note that we make a landing on the beach in a Zodiak, so make sure you have your valuables well packed since there is sometimes surf on the beach and things tend to get splashed by seawater. 

  • You DON’T need to bring a sleeping bag. There are made up beds.
  • Thermal underwear, at least two sets of shirts. Wool or synthetic. No cotton!
  • Wool or fleece thermal mid layer.
  • Take two thin layers instead of one thick one.
  • Waterproof and breathable pants and jacket.
  • Thermal jacket (down or fiber).
  • Wool / fleece hat and balaclava.
  • Ski goggles are a good idea but optional.
  • Two pairs of gloves and one pair of mittens.
  • 2 to 3 pairs thick wool / synthetic socks.
  • Casual clothes to wear in the evenings.
  • Slippers to wear inside the house.
  • Good winter boots that can stand up to the Icelandic winter. Something like insulated Sorel boots or Muck Boots.
  • Rubber boots are really good to have for the beach landing, unless you have waterproof boots similar like the one in the links above.
  • It’s handy to have simple walking crampons in case it’s icy in the area. There are many different brands and they’re not expensive. Just Google “Spike Crampons”.
  • Soft travel bag (no hard suitcases) that is easy to carry. This is important. We might not be able to land on the beach beneath the house and then we have to walk about 20 minutes from a different drop off point that is sheltered from the surf. So soft bags, preferably with shoulder straps, are very good to have. The standard in these bags are The North Face duffels but there are other manufacturers.
  • Make sure that you can carry your camera gear in a waterproof bag for the beach landings. A simple thick plastic bag suits fine.
  • Swimsuit and towel for the sauna.

FAQ

On average, two individuals per day
Foxes often roam the coasts and fields around the house. Many groups haven’t needed to walk much further than 50m to find their subjects.

Map

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