Adventurous 12-Hour Hike in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve with Isafjordur Transfers

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Tour starts
Ísafjörður, Iceland
12 hours
June - Aug.
Minimum age
8 years old


Discover untouched wilderness in the Westfjords on this full-day Hornstrandir nature reserve hike, including boat transfers from Isafjordur. Trekking enthusiasts keen to explore one of the country’s most beautiful and remote areas should book this 12-hour tour now.

Your exciting day begins when you meet your hiking group and guide at the Isafjordur harbor 30 minutes before your boat departs. Then it’ll be time to head across the gorgeous Isafjardardjup fjord to Adalvik bay.

Isafjardardjup is a large fjord with several smaller fjords branching from it. You can marvel at the stunning scenery and abundant birdlife as you cruise across its beautiful waters. You may also be lucky to spot whales or dolphins!

When you arrive at Adalvik, your trek through the unparalleled beauty of the Hornstrandir nature reserve begins. Your destination is the abandoned settlement at Hesteyri, and the route offers an excellent taste of the nature and wildlife Hornstrandir is known for.

The Hornstrandir nature reserve has no motorized traffic and has been free from permanent human inhabitants since the 1950s. Therefore, flora and fauna here have been undisturbed and allowed to thrive for decades. 

This protected area is home to arctic foxes, many birds, seals, and approximately 260 different flowering plant and fern species. Hunting is forbidden at Hornstrandir, so the arctic fox roams the meadows without fear and preys on birds nesting on the cliffsides.

The area’s rugged terrain made farming difficult for early settlers, so fishing and bird hunting were the mainstays. However, the harsh winter weather eventually drove human inhabitants away, allowing nature to run wild. 

Today you’ll traverse around 8.6 miles (14 kilometers) with about 984 feet (300 meters) of elevation change. The walk is considered a moderate difficulty level, suitable for those in good physical condition, and children as young as eight can participate.

Your route will take you past the old church and across a hill. You’ll enjoy breathtaking panoramic views across the Isafjardardjup and Jokulfirdir fjords from its peak. Although it’s not quite as immense as Isafjardardjup, Jokulfirdir is a large fjord with several smaller fjords branching off it.

You can breathe fresh air and appreciate your natural surroundings with every step. The lack of human intrusion in this region means you can pass areas where the plant life extends for miles. Overall, it’s one of the country’s best off-the-beaten-track hiking destinations boasting unbeatable solitude.

After a picturesque and enjoyable trek, you’ll arrive at Hesteyri, where warm drinks and pancakes await, offering the perfect end to your adventure.

You’ll leave Hesteyri on the boat in the evening and arrive back in Isafjordur at about 22:00.

Don’t miss the opportunity to trek across wild pastures surrounded by stunning mountain and fjord scenery on this 12-hour hike of the Hornstrandir nature reserve from Isafjordur. Check availability now by choosing a date.

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Boat transfers from and back to Isafjordur
Experienced English-speaking guide
Coffee and pancakes after the trek and before the boat ride back


Boat Trip

What to bring

Warm, waterproof, and windproof clothing, including gloves and a cap
Good hiking boots
Packed lunch
Water bottle
Wading shoes, if you have them (optional)
A towel to dry your feet after walking through water

Good to know

Meet at the departure point at the Isafjordur harbor 30 minutes before the boat leaves.

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