Fox Watching in Hornstrandir
Arctic Foxes in Hornstrandir
Hornstrandir is a magical place and we never get tired of telling people about its charm. To get the chance to take our guests there, is a feeling that is hard to explain. One of Hornstrandir's delights is the charming, elusive Arctic Fox. Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is one of the few places in the world where the fox can raise its young without fear of being prey to hunters.
This makes the foxes friendly towards humans, so they are easier to spot and get close to. For years, an Arctic Fox family has had their den near our farmhouse in Kvíar and often you get a good chance to see them and take photos of the cubs when they venture out of the den in late June. But remember that the arctic foxes are wild animals and it's hard to make guarantees that you see them. But there is plenty to see and enjoy in this isolated valley of Hornstrandir.
The only way to explore Hornstrandir is to travel by boat, the journey to Kvíar is a great way to experience the isolation of this place and its impressive landscape.
When in Kvíar, we get the chance to hike in pristine nature, observe the Arctic Foxes and enjoy delicious home cooked dinner in our beautiful restored farmhouse that was originally built in 1921.
Meeting point: Our base in Aðalstræti 17 (downtown main street) in Ísafjörður.
Departure: 08:00 AM. Be there half an hour before departure time.
Guaranteed departures: We have guarenteed departures every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Minimum age: This trip is suitable for almost all ages.
Group size: We need a minimum of 2 participants to operate the tour. Maximum group is 8, but most of our tours are between 4 - 6 people.
Trip difficulty: Easy.
Duration of trip: 11 hours
Included: Boat ride both ways, professional guide and delicious dinner.
We meet at our cozy office in Aðalstræti 17 for a briefing, where we will answer any questions and make final preparations. We depart at 8am from the harbour in Ísafjörður on our passenger ferry Bjarmi.
The boat journey takes 1-2 hours depending on the booking that day and we travel through fjords and along mountain cliffs, before being dropped off at Kvíar farmhouse. When on land we have a full day of exploring and enjoying the pristine nature surrounding Kvíar lodge. We will tell you the story of Kvíar and its inhabitants. You’ll learn about the Arctic Foxes and try to spot them playing outside.
The itinerary is usually pretty open, since we might have guests that are into photography and might want to test their patience and wait for the foxes to appear. For those who wish to take a little hike, you can walk up the valley behind the farmhouse and enjoy the beautiful cascading waterfalls, or you can also relax outside Kvíar and breath in the fresh, clean air that Iceland is known for.
In the afternoon, the guide will prepare a delicious dinner, that we will enjoy with the good company of our fellow travellers. The house itself is an interesting place to visit, it's like travelling back in time to visit a local farmer of this isolated place.
After dinner, the boat will collect us and we arrive back in Ísafjörður at approximately 7pm.
This itinerary is a guide only and is subject to change depending on the weather and the ability of the group.
- Warm outdoor clothing. Please avoid cotton as it keeps you cold when wet and takes a very long time to dry.
- Waterproof jacket and pants.
- Hiking boots. Please use waterproof high-top hiking boots which provide ankle support.
- Hat and gloves.
- Sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen, it can get sunny up here!
- Small backpack.
- Lunch for the day.
- Water bottle.
- Don't forget your camera!
Is this tour suitable for families?
This trip is a good option for families and it is easy to make it suitable for most ages. It is a great trip to get away from all stress, internet and other distractions and just enjoy the moment, playing outside in the pristine nature of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.
Will I see arctic foxes on this tour?
For years, an arctic fox family has had their den in the farmhouse's backyard and the cubs usually get curious when guests appear. However, the foxes are still very much a wild animal so we make no guarantees that we will see them.
How do I get to Ísafjörður?
Here you can see your options on how to travel to our beautiful town: How to get to Ísafjörður