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Hornstrandir Panorama

If one day is all you have! Rewarding panorama views of fjord landscapes and the only glacier in the Westfjords.

At the very north of the Westfjords, it is knocking on the door of the Arctic Circle and has a very ‘out there’ feeling, as the only way to get there is by boat. There have been no permanent residents on the peninsula since the early fifties and so it’s very raw and untouched. This tour follows historic pastoral cairns along a trail exclusively traversed by Borea Adventures. 360 views at the top of this hike reward you with panorama views of the various mountain passes of the Hornstrandir as well as Drangajökull glacier.

Contents of this tour

We did the Hornstrandir Panorama Tour today. It was an amazing tour. We saw whales on the boat trip to Hornstrandir, had a really nice hike and crossed Kviarfjall with awesome views even to the glacier. As we got to Lonafjordur we had a break in a nicely renovated former farmhouse. While our guides cooked the dinner, we had another hour to explore the surrounding area where we could observe arctic foxes. Carla and Joonas are the best guides, I would recommend honestly! Thanks for this unforgettable day!

Tour overview

Description

This tour is a perfect way to explore Hornstrandir if one day is all you have. We explore a very remote part of the peninsula which includes pristine hiking, breathtaking views and diverse wildlife. To top it off, we have a delicious home cooked dinner in a beautifully restored farmhouse which was originally built in 1921.

For years, an Arctic Fox family has had their den in the farmhouse’s backyard and the cubs usually get curious when guests appear.

Meeting point: Our Service Center (white container), Ísafjörður harbour.

Departure: 09:00 AM. Be there half an hour before departure time.

Minimum age: 12 years.

Group size: We need a minimum number of 4 participants to operate the tour. Maximum group size is 10, but most of our tours are between 4–6 people.

Trip Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging.

Duration of trip: 10 hours.

Included: Boat ride, professional guide and delicious homemade dinner. Lunch is not included.

 

 

Itinerary

We meet at our Service Center (white container) half an hour before departure for a briefing, where we will answer any questions and make final preparations. We depart at 9am from the harbour in Ísafjörður on our passenger ferry.

After about an hour scenic boat ride over fjords and along mountain cliffs, we will be dropped off at Ádalir valley or at Steig in Veiðileysufjörður fjord.

Then a gentle hike takes us up the valley, over streams and through flower fields, where there are no trails or other signs of human presence. We’ll reach an elevation of around 460 meters and enjoy a fantastic view of the surrounding fjords. Somewhere along the way, we’ll stop by a small stream for a well-earned lunch (please bring your own favourite snacks or a sandwich).

In the afternoon, we descend down Kvíadalur valley to the old farmhouse at Kvíar. At Kvíar, you can relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings while your guide prepares a delicious dinner.

After dinner, the boat will collect us and we arrive back in Ísafjörður at approximately 7pm.

This itinerary is a guide only and is subject to change depending on the weather and the ability of the group.

What to bring

  • Warm outdoor clothing. Please avoid cotton as it keeps you cold when wet and takes a very long time to dry.
  • Waterproof jacket and pants.
  • Hiking boots. Please use waterproof high-top hiking boots which provide ankle support.
  • Hat and gloves.
  • Sun glasses.
  • Sunscreen and after sun cream.
  • Small backpack.
  • Lunch for the day. One or two sandwiches and your favourite snacks.
  • Water bottle.
  • Don’t forget your camera!

FAQ

The hike is approximately 10km and there are no trails, therefore, we hike over rough terrain including some loose rock. We start at sea level and the highest point is approximately 460m, so we gain around 460m in elevation. If you are an active hiker then you will have no trouble on this hike.
Of course, we realise that we’re not all made the same and have different needs and desires. We try our best to cater to your needs. Please let us know ahead of time if you have any requirements so that we can plan the food accordingly.
For years, an Arctic Fox family has had their den in the farmhouse’s backyard and the cubs usually get curious when guests appear. However, the foxes are still very much a wild animal so we make no guarantees that we will see them.
You arrive in Keflavik International Airport about 40 minutes away from the capital city of Reykjavik. From the domestic airport in Reykjavik there are 2-3 daily 40 minute flights to Isafjordur. You can take the Fly-Bus between the airports and most of the time you can continue same day. Check out Air Iceland Connect for schedules and special offers. You can also rent a car and drive to Isafjordur. The drive, over mountain passes and through fjords is an adventure itself. It’s about 440-500 km depending on which route you take. A new road via Arnkötludalur opened in 2009 which completes the asphalted pathway the whole way, and kills the old myth of bad roads in the Westfjords! The drive will normally take you 5-6 hours. A new tunnel opened in September 2020 under the infamous mountain pass between the fjords of Arnarfjörður and Dýrafjörður. That tunnel makes it much easier to travel through the Westfjords all year round and shortens the route up the West coast. For accommodation in Reykjavik there are many options of hotels and guesthouses that we can book for groups. Please ask us for individual bookings. We strongly recommend you to spend a few extra days visiting the West Fjords and other parts of Iceland. We’re happy to help you arranging few days in the area or give you good tips about exciting things to do while in Iceland.

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