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4 Day Hornstrandir Kayaking Adventure from Isafjordur with Comfortable Housing

A kayaker in the Westfjords.
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Tour starts
Aðalstræti, Ísafjörður, Iceland
Starting time
at 09:00
Duration
3 days
Ending place
Aðalstræti, Ísafjörður, Iceland
Languages
English
Difficulty
Demanding
Available
Jun. - Aug.
Minimum age
18 years old

Kayak through Iceland’s most spectacular and untouched coastlines with this four-day adventure to the magnificent Hornstrandir region. Travelers to the Westfjords looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that few others will ever get to experience should not miss this extraordinary opportunity.

On this journey, you’ll set out from the capital of the Westfjords, Isafjordur, by ferry to access the distant Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Abandoned decades ago and left with little infrastructure, it is now an incredible wilderness of fjords, towering cliffs, and an abundance of flora and fauna. In terms of the fauna, you are very likely to see animals such as Arctic Foxes, birds, seals, and whales throughout your trip.

The kayaking here is some of the best in the world; without another soul in sight and nothing but beautiful seascapes around you, it is the perfect way to reconnect with nature and make some lifelong memories. 

Although this tour provides a fantastic escape, you will still retire in comfort each night. Welcoming renovated houses will be waiting for you at each of your destinations to provide you with a fantastic night’s sleep before your next adventure. One even has a sauna!

The operator will provide you with all the equipment you need on this tour, including a kayak, paddle, life vest, dry bags, and neoprene clothes to keep you warm. Friendly, expert guides will lead you throughout, keeping you entertained, informed, and safe. They will be able to answer all your questions about Hornstrandir and life in Iceland.

Note that you will need to arrive at Isafjordur the day before this tour starts for your early ferry on day one. You will meet at the base camp the evening before the excursion to be briefed on the journey ahead. This can be sorted via email if not possible, however. 

Spend four days kayaking through one of Iceland’s most breathtaking and awe-inspiring nature reserves with this fantastic journey through Hornstrandir. Check availability by choosing a date. 

Included

Four-day kayaking adventure in Hornstrandir with expert guide
One night stay in the Doctor's House
Two nights in the Kviar Farmhouse
Kayak and paddle
All safety equipment
All meals except breakfast on day 1 and dinner on day 4
Pre-trip briefing

Activities

Kayaking
Sightseeing
Boat Trip

Daily itinerary

Day 1
A boat with kayaks sails to Hornstrandir.

Arrival to Hornstrandir

On the first day of your kayaking adventure in the Westfjords, you’ll meet your guides at the kayaking base camp, grab your gear, and travel as a group to the ferry. The cruise from Isafjordur to Hornstrandir is a fantastic way to start your day; the fjords of this region are magnificent, and it is often possible to spot whales, dolphins, and seals already.

The boat will drop you off at Hesteyri, a largely abandoned village that was once the region’s biggest settlement. The Doctor’s House here has been converted into the comfortable accommodation you’ll stay at tonight, so you’ll drop your belongings off here before heading straight to the fjord to start to kayak.

Your first paddle will be a nice and easy one, allowing you to brush off any cobwebs and get used to the equipment. You’ll get to travel along the coast to see the lighthouse of Sletta, marveling over the surrounding mountains and cliff-faces as you do. Keep an eye out for birds and other wildlife, as you will find them in abundance some days!

After getting comfortable and enjoying your exploration, you’ll return to the Doctor’s House for a warming dinner and rest. Before retiring, you might want to have a look inland for some wild Arctic Foxes, which are common here and have very little fear of people.

Day 2
Kayaks sail past the coast of Hornstrandir.

To Kviadalur Valley

After breakfast on the morning of day two, you’ll prepare your kayaks and set out on your next voyage; you’ll be leaving Hesteyri and paddling to Kviadalur Valley, where your next accommodation waits. Though this journey is quite a distance, your pace will be gentle, and the cliffs will provide enough shelter to keep the waters calm.

En route, you’ll travel across two magnificent fjords, Hesteyrarfjordur and Veidileysufjordur, both of which are fantastic examples of the region’s coastal beauty and places where whales and white-tailed eagles are commonly seen.

Once you come to Kviadalur Valley, you’ll be breath taken by its stunning views. You’ll pull your kayaks up on the beach and head to the old farmhouse of Kviar, which has been renovated since it was abandoned in 1948 and now provides an excellent stay.

After dinner here, you’ll be able to warm up in the cozy sauna by the house before you retire.

Day 3
A group of kayakers camp in Iceland.

Lonafjordur

Following your hearty breakfast at the Kviar farmhouse, you’ll spend a whole day paddling on the seas. Your main destination is Lonafjordur, a fjord with no signs of human presence, which promises to provide an otherworldly escape.

Thousands of seabirds of many species nest here throughout the year, soaring through the skies, gathering on the towering cliffs, and plunging into the bountiful waters for food. Furthermore, you’ll discover a vast seal colony on your journey when you come to the hidden bay of Sopandi, hauling out on the coast and bobbing on the surface.

Again, your pace will be easy, allowing you to spend hours on the sea without tiring yourself out!

In the evening, you’ll enjoy another delicious dinner at Kviar, relax away any stress built up in the sauna, and retire for the night.

Day 4
Hornstrandir has an enormous bird colony.

Departure

Day four is your final day in Hornstrandir; your ferry will pick you up from Kviar Lodge in the morning to return you to Isafjordur. On this breathtaking journey, remember to keep your eyes peeled on the seas for any last signs of wildlife, as you still have a chance of seeing more whales, dolphins, seabirds, and seals.

Once you have returned your gear to the base camp, you’re welcome to get on with the rest of your Westfjords adventures.

What to bring

Warm, waterproof clothes
Camera
Water bottle

Good to know

All trips are weather dependent and may be amended for safety reasons.

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