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Iceland Wilderness Hiking_TOP002_3

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  • Itinerary
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Iceland Wilderness Hiking

The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in Iceland is an untouched land of remarkable beauty and impressive wildlife.  This wilderness hiking adventure takes you right into the heart of it. This is a six day hiking and camping journey through sheer basalt mountains, deep fjords, ice blue lakes, magnificent mountain passes and stunning green valleys.


  • Leave the modern world behind and enter a land of striking beauty and soulful sounds
  • Cross the Atlastaðaós River on foot during low tide
  • Enjoy the impressive view from Fljótsvatn Lake
  • Explore Hornvík, the heart of the natural reserve
  • Spend time at Hornbjarg, one of Iceland’s largest bird cliffs

Day one finds you travelling from the start point of Ísafjörður to the abandoned village of Hesteyri. You’ll hike through a magnificent mountain pass before heading back down to sea level for the first night’s camp. The next few days include a trek to the top of Straumnesfjall Mountain to explore an old abandoned American army radar station built in the 1950’s, a hike along the shores of the beautiful Fljótsvatn Lake and a climb to the ridge of Skálakambur, toward the mighty Atlaskarð (327m) mountain pass. You will hike around Mt Kollur and from there make your way towards Höfn in Hornvík, the heart of majestic Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.

Iceland has historically been inhabited by some of the toughest pioneers anywhere.  Many of them made their way by crafting extraordinary vessels, built to handle the North Atlantic Ocean.  The area around Hornstrandir nature reserve is now abandoned but the homes and workshops of these remarkable people remain.

Much of the nature reserve is only accessible by boat or foot. A highlight for many visitors is the hike to Hornvík, in the heart of the nature reserve. This wilderness area is best known for the enormous Hornbjarg cliff, which is home to thousands of nesting birds. You’ll camp for two nights at Hornvík, because the area is simply too wonderful to leave after just one day before trekking your final  mountain pass to Veiðileysufjörður fjord on the way back to Ísafjörður.

Enquire today to learn more about this Iceland wilderness hiking adventure.


Day 1

We depart from the harbour in Ísafjörður at 12:00 noon on our speedboat for a 40 minutes boat ride to the charming abandoned village of Hesteyri.  We have now left the modern world behind and are entering a wonderland of sounds, from soothing streams to the whisper of the waves by the beach. We start our hike in Hesteyri and head for Hesteyrarskarð mountain pass. From there we start to make our way down to sea level again. Overnight at Látrar.

Day 2

From Aðalvík 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 to our destination we need to cross Atlastaðaós River, which can get a bit tricky since it is sensitive to sea tides, so we need to aim for low tide. Overnight at Atlastaðir.

Day 3

We will start the day hiking along the green banks of Fljótsvatn 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, Hlöðuvík.  Overnight at Búðir. An optional evening walk to Hælavík.

Day 4

Today we head up a steep slope to the mountain ridge Skálakambur and follow a route marked with cairns towards the steep Atlaskarð (327m) mountain pass. We will go around Mt Kollur and from there start making our way towards Höfn in Hornvík, the heart of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. This is a place of dramatic natural beauty and should not be missed out by anyone traveling 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.

Day 5

Nothing compares to the beauty of Hornvík, surrounding are two of Iceland’s largest bird cliffs. Like the entire Hornstrandir area, Hornvík 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 Hornvík where we spend the night.

Day 6

Today we will pack our tents and gear, hit the road and cross yet another mountain pass to get to Veiðileysufjörður 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 Ísafjörður, back to civilization after almost a week in the wild. For those eager to wash off their hiking dust, a visit to Ísafjörður swimming pool is ideal. Others can relax, go out, eat and just enjoy the town for some time.

Guests flying back to Reykjavik can catch a flight the following morning or later.  

What to bring

It’s important to rembember that you have to carry all your personal belongings on this great hiking trip. Try to keep your pack as light as possible but still take what you need but maybe not all that you want! Pack your spare clothes and sleeping bag in a dry bag or plastic bags. Pay good attention to your hiking shoes and that they are waterproof and up for the task ahead. You hiking shoes need to be high up on the ankle for good support.

  • 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 ancle 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 yo 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!


2018 dates TBC. Please enquire.

Price: from 226,900 ISK

What is included

  • Boat ride into the Nature Reserve and back
  • All meals except breakfast on day 1 and dinner on day 6
  • Tents, cooking gear etc
  • Professional guide
  • Transport to and from Ísfjörður airport
  • All activities described in the itinerary

What is not included

  • Travel to and from Ísafjörður, Iceland unless specifically mentioned in itinerary.
  • Personal medical insurance
  • Personal equipment


The operator for this great adventure is a fully licensed adventure guiding company based in the heart of the Westfjords of Iceland.

The founders have always recognized the great potential of adventure tourism surrounding their home, yet little was being done to encourage it. They wanted to let people enjoy their home environment in the same way they had done since they were young.

The company was created in 2006 and focuses on both short day trips for everyone and exclusive expeditions to remote corners in the Arctic. It is operated by sailors, climbers, skiers, and sea kayakers that find their inspiration in the unique wilderness that surrounds them. We love that all their guides are local Icelanders and good friends that have designed each trip to operate in full harmony with nature. They have years of experience in all sorts of outdoor activities in Iceland and know the Westfjords like the back of their hand. The company only hires guides with thorough knowledge in backcountry skiing, sea kayaking, hiking and that have great respect for the natural environment.

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