I would like to invite you to an amazing hike across the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve during 5 exciting days. I can almost promise you that this journey through Iceland’s untouched wilderness will leave you in awe.
First, let me tell you a little about the region. Hornstrandir is the northernmost peninsula of Iceland. On this trip, we trek in the north region of the Western Fjords through the stunning Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. The area has been mostly left alone by humans since the middle of the twentieth century, so it has a great variety of wildlife. Furthermore, its surreal terrain of sheer cliffs and cloud banks can make you imagine you’ve reached another world. Due in part to its remoteness and serenity, the Hornstrandir territory is a hiker’s paradise.
Another thing that makes this trip unique is the abundance of wildlife in this area. Have you ever seen an Arctic fox in the wild? On this trip you will. You will also get the chance to see and hear thousands of seabirds that make their homes in the cliffs.
On this tour, we will trek from the village of Hesteyri over to the waterfronts of the northern coast, passing through cliffs and mountain passes along the way. The average walking time per day is 3-7 hours. One place we’ll explore is the Hornbjarg cliff on the Vestfirðir peninsula. This cliff has one of the largest colonies of seabirds in Iceland.
This 5-day guided trek takes you to a mostly untouched, mystical area. The combination of wildlife and scenery makes it an incredible backcountry trekking experience.
If you are interested in this expedition, send me a message now! I will be waiting for your contact in order to plan our next trip around Hornstrandir. If I’m not available to guide you during your preferred dates, I will arrange for another member of my skilled team to be your guide.
I also lead climbing trips to Iceland’s peaks. Check out my 3 peak challenge.
You will meet me or a member of my team in the morning at the airport in Reykjavik to fly to the Westfjords. We will be transferred to the harbour where we hop onto the boat which takes us over the Ísafjarðardjúp to the fjord of Hesteyri (approx. 1 hour ride). On the way, we have a good chance of spotting whales. In the abandoned village of Hesteyri we start our hike towards Hlöðuvík. We descend towards the shore at Kjaransvík where we turn east and continue past the mountain Álfsfell. We have to ford one river before we reach the houses of Hlöðuvík. Here we spend our next two nights.
Hlöðuvík – Hælavíkurbjarg – Hlöðuvík
We start our hike from Hælavík to climb the local mountain of Skálakambur (327 m). From there we descend down to Hælavík bay, where we can see the ruins of an old farm. We hike along Mávatjörn and then turn uphill until we reach the top. By then, we have reached the cliffs of Hælavíkurbjarg, which hold one of the biggest colonies of seabirds in Iceland. We hike along the cliff, turn for a moment up to the hills of Axlir and then continue along this massive cliff. Every now and then we stop and carefully look over the edge. We reach the cliff’s highest point, Festaskaðatind (530 m) before we turn back down towards Skálakambur and back down to Hlöðuvík.
Hlöðuvík – Hornvík
On this day we start to climb up to Skálakambur (327 m). After a zig-zag climb we put down our backpacks and enjoy the views over the Hælavík bay, the surrounding mountains, and the hut where we stayed. We continue towards Atlaskarð where we find a cairn called Atladys. We leave the bags behind and go along a small path to the narrow ridge Langikambur, which reaches down into the sea and where we can enjoy the view over Hornbjarg. Then we take the same path back to our rucksacks and continue down to the ruins of the house in Rekavik. We pass by the impressive formations of Stapi in Tröllakambur and finally reach our next camp in Höfn in Hornvík bay. It is a very remote place and there is a good chance of seeing wild foxes in this area.
Hornvík – Hornbjarg – Hornvík
On this day we explore the Hornvík area and hike to the most northern part to the Hornbjarg. Then, we hike along the bay to the North where we can peek down into the high cliffs and listen to the calls of millions of birds. We hike to the peak of Miðfell through lush vegetation and continue towards Múlinn. We hike along the cliffs and finally turn back to our camp by passing another waterfall.
On the last day, we leave the Nature Reserve of Hornstrandir. We hike South and soon start our climb towards the Hafnarskarð pass (519 m). We enjoy the fantastic views back over the valley and the Hornbjarg. Then we follow the cairns down to the Veiðileysufjord. Here we are picked up by our boat and brought back to Ísafjörður. Again we can enjoy the views over the fjords, partly covered with snow. The boat ride takes a little bit more than 1 hour. From Ísafjörður we take the plane back to Reykjavík where the tour ends at the domestic airport.
Price per person
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- Guiding fee
- All meals during trip
- Transport during the trip
- Group equipment
Skill level required
Fitness level required
The trip starts and ends at the domestic airport in Reykjavik.
During the trip, we will be staying in mountain huts and tents. If you're looking for an accommodation before or after the hike, here are my recommendations: Guesthouse Sunna, Guesthouse Aurora, Fosshotel Baron, Kex Hostel, Loft Hostel and Oddsson.
There are plenty of river crossings along the way. It is therefore a good idea to bring some light river shoes.