Spectacular 3-Day Guided Kayaking Tour in the Westfjords from Isafjordur
Jump aboard a wild kayaking tour in Iceland that will take you to the hidden attractions of the Westfjords. This multi-day tour will have you kayaking for three days through some of Iceland's most remote and beautiful areas, and is a must for those who love wildlife!
You will start your multi-day tour from Mavagardur in Isafjordur, where you'll meet your experienced guide early in the morning. Isafjordur is the region's capital and a charming town that serves as the main tourism hub of the Westfjords.
After a short briefing and final preparations, your small-group kayaking tour will depart from the harbor aboard a ferry en route to Kviar in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.
Hornstrandir is a long-abandoned part of the Westfjords renowned for its dramatic cliffs, untouched landscapes, and abundant wildlife.
As you arrive in Kviar and with luck on your side, you might even see arctic foxes in the area.
Soon after, you'll start packing your boat and paddling to see Iceland's most beautiful views.
The kayaking journey begins as you paddle south of the fjord near Hofdi to see Leirufjordur fjord. The small fjord is most known for its unusual clay and colorful sediments. Here, you'll see Drangajokull river, originating from Iceland's northernmost ice cap, the Drangajokull glacier.
The tour continues to the banks of Grunnavik bay, where the group will prepare dinner and set camp under the midnight sun.
On day two, you'll paddle towards the bay of the enormous Isafjardardjup fjord, where whales are a common sight. Humpback whales, renowned for their dramatic leaps, are the most common, but you also have a chance to spot dolphins, porpoises, and many other species.
Along the way, you'll see breathtaking views of numerous waterfalls as you kayak on rocky coves and inlets while surrounded by stunning coasts.
These waterfalls of different heights are generally impossible for people to see due to their remote and inaccessible locations. But with this Westfjords kayaking tour, you're given the rare opportunity to explore such wonders.
Depending on how far you get on this day, you'll either camp in Ytraskard cove or near Mongufoss waterfall. Either way, you will have beautiful surroundings when you retire.
The last day of the kayaking tour will give you a more thrilling experience with a better chance to explore the wildlife in Iceland. The remote island of Aedey boasts lush vegetation where flocks of different bird species, such as puffins, thrive.
The next island you'll visit, Vigur island, has the same rich wildlife as Aedey island. Here, more bird and duck species populate the area, and the farmers who live on the island in summer have even built rock walls as a nesting area for the eider ducks.
The tour ends as you kayak one last time toward the village of Sudavik, where a car will take you back to Isafjordur.
Embark on this fantastic kayaking tour to see the views of Iceland in a unique way and discover the landscapes and wildlife the incredible Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Even better, you'll have the best shot at seeing the flourishing wildlife of the Westfjords! Check availability now by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Hornstrandir Nature Reserve and Jokulfirdir Fjords
The spectacular multi-day kayaking tour in Iceland begins in the scenic town of Isafjordur in the Westfjords, 282 miles (454 kilometers) from Reykjavik. At the Mavagardur C building, you’ll either meet your kayaking guide or a staff member of the tour operator.
From here, the group will make final preparations before departing from the Isafjordur harbor aboard a passenger ferry. While on the ferry, you may enjoy the scenic landscapes and coastlines of the fjords from a distance.
After a short while, you’ll arrive at the remote and peaceful shore of the Kviar farmhouse in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. The nature reserve is most known for its rich flora and fauna, so it won’t be surprising if you spot wild animals like arctic foxes here.
From Kviar, you’ll start paddling across the south side of the calm bay to marvel at the Leirufjordur fjord. The fjord is unique because of its clay or silt deposits coming from the Drangajokull glacier.
Kayaking in these areas of Westfjords offers a wild and unforgettable experience. Most of its attractions remain untouched by human activities, as most islands and coasts are uninhabited.
The kayaking adventure continues as you paddle your way to the mouth of Jokulfirdir glacial fjords, the Grunnavik bay. En route to this location, you’ll see more stunning views of the coastlines. One, in particular, is a rock arch accessible during high tide.
If luck is on your side, porpoises may even appear near the bay’s shore. These gentle marine animals populate the Westfjords during summer.
The day ends as you make camp at Grunnavik beach, where you’ll prepare dinner and sleep. Before retreating for the night, you may go around the area and visit some of the summerhouses.
If the skies are clear, you’ll sleep peacefully under the stars, knowing you conquered 11 miles (18 kilometers) of the kayak route.
Day 2 - Isafjardardjup Bay and Westfjords Waterfalls
Day two of your small-group tour begins early in the morning with an Icelandic breakfast. After this sumptuous meal and a long night’s sleep, you are now ready for another day of kayaking adventure.
The Westfjords tour continues on a journey outside the Jokulfirdir fjords. For today, you’ll cover roughly 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) of the kayaking route, surrounded by the nature of Iceland.
You’ll spend quite a long time paddling in the vast waters of the Isafjardardjup bay. Not only will you have a great time playing in the rocky waters, but you’ll also have an incredible sightseeing tour of the massive fjord.
Isafjardardjup in itself has smaller fjords in its territory that are mostly harder to access via land transport. So you’ll get a better look at some of its most beautiful spots through kayaking.
Moreover, the fjord is a hotspot for marine animals such as whales. That’s why whale watching tours are also popular here.
The highlight of the day’s kayaking is the chance you’ll have to see some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Tourists rarely see these waterfalls because of how inaccessible they are on foot. But by joining this kayaking tour, you’re one of the few people who can successfully see their majestic beauty.
Hopefully, you brought a waterproof camera to document these rare sights. These photos are something you can show back home to your friends.
The final destination of your day is the beautiful Ytraskard cove. But this may change to the banks near the Mongufoss waterfall, depending on weather and physical conditions.
Both locations are ideal for a sunset view and a campfire to cap off your day before getting a much-needed rest for tomorrow’s last kayaking adventure.
Day 3 - Birdwatching in Iceland: Aedey and Vigur Islands
The third day of your Westfjords tour will take you closer to Iceland’s thriving wildlife and birdlife. It is the perfect way to end your thrilling kayaking adventure in the land of fire and ice.
The 13.6 miles (22 kilometers) journey begins with a beautiful view of the Ytraskard cove or Mongufoss waterfall, as you prepare and eat your breakfast. From here, your small group will paddle across the bay to the beautiful island of Aedey.
Aedey island is one of the few islands in this area of the Westfjords inhabited only during summer. As you make your way to its beautiful beach, a flock of sea birds, particularly puffins and guillemots, will greet you with their cute presence. You may enjoy this incredible view of birdlife while taking a quick rest on the island.
Soon after, you’ll return on your kayak for quite a long crossing toward another remote and scenic location, Vigur island. For this paddling journey, the group has to cross around six miles of the sea route surrounded by picturesque landscapes.
Like Aedey island, Vigur island is most known for its lush birdlife. As the second largest island in the Isafjordur bay, more bird colonies populate its lands, including eider ducks, razorbills, and puffins.
If you push further into the island, you’ll see unique rock wall structures built by the farmers living here. These rock walls serve as nesting areas for the eider ducks. After a satisfying birdwatching activity, you may choose to rest in a nearby coffee shop.
The final stretch of your coastal kayaking adventure is a trip to Sudavik village. The fishing village is where a car will pick you up to return to Isafjordur.
You’ll arrive in Isafjordur late in the afternoon with memories of a wild kayaking tour in Iceland.
What to bring
Good to know
- This kayaking tour is suitable for experienced paddlers only.
- Kayaking gears are provided, but you may bring additional gears or rent upon booking.
- All meals will be provided. For special dietary requirements, you may coordinate with the tour operator.
- Tents are provided, but you must bring your sleeping bag and pad.
- Travel to and from Isafjordur before and after the trip is not included.
- The itinerary is subject to change depending on the weather and sea conditions and the group's ability.