Wildlife of Vigur Island
This exciting trip takes you from Hvítanes peninsula with its large colony of harbour seals, out to and around Vigur Island, where the birdlife is just about as rich as it gets in Iceland. Seeing the teeming life of Ísafjarðardjúp Bay and sometimes even a whale or two, while enjoying the unique, panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and fjords from the sea is an experience like no other. Stopping at Vigur to eat our delicious home-made lunch among the puffins and eider ducks is sure to get you ready for the paddle back to the mainland.
We meet up at the Borea café in the center of Ísafjörður where we gear up before driving to Eyri in Seyðisfjörður Fjord.
After about 40 min. drive we get the kayaks ready for the first leg of today, where we paddle to the headland of Folafótur and make a short stop there for lunch. On the way we keep a lookout for seals and whales that often venture into this fjord.
From Folafótur, we make the last leg to the island of Vigur, where we go ashore to take a little break from kayaking and enjoy the slow paced life on this beautiful island. Thousands of birds call Vigur their home in the summer. Puffins are everywhere around the island and eider ducks, guillemots, razorbills and other marine birds.
The relationship between the farmer and the ducks is very special, since the family has collected the down from their nests for hundreds of years in exchange for a protection from birds of prey.
After the walk on the island, we get back to our boats and paddle back. If conditions are good and we have ample time, we can take a short detour to take a better look at the seals sunbathing on the rocks close to shore.
Don't miss out on the incredible wildlife of Vigur Island! Check booking availability now, by choosing a date.
- Available: May. - Sep.
- Duration: 8 hours
- Difficulty: Demanding
- Minimum age: 16 years old
- Languages: English, Icelandic
The Westfjords are the westernmost part of Iceland and the whole of Europe. The Westfjords are home to some off the most beautiful natural gems and off the beaten track attractions in Iceland.
The Westfjords are a wide area stretching as a peninsula to the northwest of the mainland. The peninsula is all mountainous with numerous fjords of varying length.
The town Isafjordur in the fjord Skutulsfjordur serves as the capital of the region, with around 3000 inhabitants. There are many fishing villages in the fjords, as good fishing banks are found around the Wesfjords.
The agriculture is very scant, due to the steepness of the mountains and the lowland is limited. Below are some of the best natural attractions you can find in the Westfjords.
Hornstrandir nature reserve
Many places in the Westfjords are now deserted, such as the northernmost part of the peninsula: Hornstrandir. Hornstrandir is a holy place for travelers who seek solitude, wildlife, breathtaking scenery and great hiking trails. Don´t miss it if you´re looking for peacefulness.
Dynjandi ('Thunderous') is one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls. This is really a series of waterfalls, seven altogether, with a cumulative hight of 100 meters. The trapezoidal shape of its main uppermost tier is particularly notable (40 m wide at the top, 60 m at the bottom.
Europe’s westernmost part is in The Westfjords, the massive vertical seacliff Latrabjarg, over 400 meters high with millions of seabirds nesting there. In 1947 a British trawler stranded there. Local farmers managed to safe most of the fishermen by heaving them by rope 190 meters up into the air. This heroic deed has been filmed.
Raudisandur Beach & Sjounda
The beach by the cliff is called Raudisandur, rare for its pale red, almost pink sand. Along with many seabirds, the beach also features hundreds of seals.
Innermost of Raudisandur are the remnants of the farm Sjounda. At the beginning of the 19th century it was a site for one of Iceland’s most famous murder cases.
Two farmers lived there with there wives but the one farmer fell in love with the other's wife and she with him and they were later sentenced to death for murdering their spouses. This dramatic event later served as an inspiration for Icelandic author Gunnar Gunnarsson's masterful novel Svartfugl (The Black Cliffs).
Isafjardardjup ('Icefjord's Deep') is a large fjord in the Westfjords of Iceland. The north side of the fjord has one inlet, Kaldalon, but the south one has several fjords of its own.
The fjords of the south side are Skutulsfjordur (home of Isafjordur town, capital of the Westfjords) Alftafjordur, Seydisfjordur, Hestfjordur, Skotufjordur, Mjoifjordur and Isafjordur (not to be confused with the aforementioned town).
Isafardardjup has three islands. Aedey and Vigur have one farm each by Borgarey is uninhabited. The area is rich with seals and birdlife and offers magnificent scenery. In Skotufjordur there's a restored farm, originally built in 1894, with an exhibition about the farmers' life in former times.
Vigur Island, half an hour’s boat ride from Ísafjörður in the Westfjords, is famous for its enormous colony of birdlife. Species here include puffins, eider ducks, arctic terns, black guillemots and razorbills.
Despite Vigur being the second largest island in Ísafjörður bay, there are only five permanent residents - a farmer and his family - who live in a mid-19th-century house. Overall, this family has farmed the lands on Vigur over six generations.
Their relationship to the nesting ducks is an interesting one; for years, the farmers have collected the down from their nests, bound by the unwritten rule that they themselves will act as the species’ protector against more predatory birds. The family makes part of their income from collecting and selling this down, largely by filling cushions and duvets. Over two hundred years ago, a farmer built what is colloquially known as ‘The Eider Duck Hotel’, a small stone wall with built in cubby holes, the perfect refuge for a nesting mother duck. The hotel still operates today.
Guided tours around the island are available, though the duration of these differs depending on whether the birds are currently in a nesting season. Visitors must make take extra care and attention to not step on the thousands of eggs laying amongst the grass, and also be aware of the Arctic Tern’s fiery and protective nature. These birds are known the island over for their dive-bombing, aggressive chatter and physical bravery. Waving a stick or an Icelandic national flag is a sure way to deter any potential aggression.
Departure time : 09:00