2 Days in the Westfjords | Hornstrandir and Hornvik

2 Days in the Westfjords | Hornstrandir and Hornvik
Arctic foxes are common in the Westfjords due to the wealth of eggs on the sea cliffs in summer.
Dozens of species of bird nest around Hornvík in the summer in the Westfjords.
Iceland is the nesting and breeding grounds for many birds in summer, and the Westfjords are an important place for this.
A guide will tell you all about the history and nature of the Westfjords as you travel around Hornvík.
On the cusp of the snowcapped mountains of the Westfjords, you will attain spectacular mountain and ocean views.
Few get such as great opportunity as camping in the Westfjords in summer.
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Explore Hornvík and Hornstrandir, untouched parts of the Westfjords, on this immersive two-day tour. This trip is perfect for those who love stunning nature and bountiful wildlife.

You meet your guide and groups at Ísafjörður, where a boat is waiting to take you over to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. This is the remotest part of Iceland, having been deserted in the past centuries as the country industrialised. As such, nature has reclaimed it, and it is now home to a wealth of arctic flora and fauna.

The most notable animal is the Arctic Fox; in this region, they have very little fear of people, making it a perfect destination for wildlife photographers. You will also, however, see a huge wealth of seabirds around Hornvík, and are very likely to spot seals on the beach. On your speedboat trips, or just looking out to sea, you might even spot whales and dolphins.

For the night you spend here, you'll be camping in comfortable tents with sleeping bags provided on Hornvík beach. This camping destination is no doubt the best in Iceland, there are few things as inspiring as falling asleep beneath the midnight sun and waking up in such a spectacular location.

Hop aboard, for two days of adventure and spectacular landscapes. Check availability by choosing a date.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Jun. - Sep.
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Activities: Hiking, Sightseeing, Bird watching
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Minimum age: 16 years.
  • Languages: English, Icelandic
  • Highlights: Westfjords, Hornstrandir, Ísafjarðardjúp, Ísafjörður
Pickup information:
  • Departure time : 09:00.

Please be at the tour start location in good time before departure.
  • Boat ride into and out of the Nature Reserve

  • All meals and food while on trip

  • Cooking gear

  • Professional guiding

  • Transport to and from Ísfjörður airport

  • Tents and sleeping bags

What to bring:
  • Personal medical insurance

  • Warm, waterproof clothes

  • Good hiking shoes

  • Water bottle

  • Personal effects

Good to know:

Daily itinerary

Day 1 - To Hornvik Bay

The Westfjords (as its name suggests) is a region of many fjords.

You will board a boat on the morning of day one, and set out for the fjord of Veiðileysufjörður in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, in the northernmost part of the Westfjords. After you land, you will hike up the valley to Hafnarskarð Pass, which even in summer, is often still covered in snow. The overall ascent is approximately 500 metres, but the path is not particularly steep until the end. 

The views from the summit over Hornvík bay are spectacular. After enjoying them and taking some photos from this vantage point, you will descend away from the snow, close to the shoreline.

Here, you'll set up camp with a tent and sleeping bag provided, and your guide will cook you up a delicious meal of traditional Icelandic roast lamb; of course, vegetarians, vegans and those with other dietary requirements will have options too. 

You will retire beneath the midnight sun.

Day 2 - To Hornbjarg Cliffs

Mountains of the Westfjords reflect in the sea under the midnight sun.

Today, after a hearty breakfast, you will have a better look at the spectacular wildlife of Hornstrandir. To do so, you will trek up to the Hornbjarg bird cliffs, which tower 400 metres over the crashing waves below. A wealth of avian species can be found here, the most common species being Kittiwakes.

This is a favourite destination for Arctic Foxes in summer, as their favourite meal - eggs - is readily available and easy to access. You have a great chance of spotting them scuttling along the cliff edges, dark summer coats standing out against the greenery and wildflowers.

After making the most of the wildlife, and getting as close to the edge of the cliff as you dare, you will descend to the beach once more. Your boat will be waiting here to pick you up. As you embark on the two- to three-hour journey back to Ísafjörður, keep your eyes on the seas; in these arctic waters, you never know when a whale or dolphin may surface. Over twenty species are occasional visitors, including belugas, orcas and blue whales.

Even if none appear, however, this journey is spectacular; you will get to see the whole coastline of the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve before reaching the capital of Westfjords.

The tour is not quite finished when you return, however. You are welcome to join your guides at a cafe, where you can have a complimentary coffee and the cake of your choice.

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2 Days in the Westfjords | Hornstrandir and Hornvik
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