Coastal Kayaking Adventure

Kayak adventure in Iceland

A true 3 days wilderness kayaking trip in the beautiful nature of Ísafjarðardjúp Bay. The bay is famous for its rich wildlife where you can experience the best Icelandic nature has to offer.


Great chance to see whales, white tailed eagles, and guaranteed to spot thousands of sea birds like puffins, eider ducks, kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots, oyestercatchers and many waders that live close to the sea shore.

We visit the islands in the bay, enjoy wild sunsets and campfires on the beach, great meals, paddling under sheer mountainsides where waterfalls cascades down the cliffs, only accessible by kayaks. 

We had the most amazing sea kayaking trip, with wild camping at a beautiful bay. Thank you so much to our fantastic guide Ronja who made the trip so much fun and looked after us so well!

Jeanette, Tripadvisor 2016

Included:

  • All food 
  • Tents, cooking gear 
  • Boat and car transfer on first and last day of the trip
  • Kayaking gear (boat, paddle, dry-suit top and bottoms, life jacket and dry bags)

Not included:

  • Travel to and from Ísafjörður, Iceland unless specifically mentioned in itinerary.
  • Food the first day until leaving on the trip
  • Personal medical insurance
  • Personal equipment
  • Gratuities

Difficulty:  Moderate to Challenging.

Day 1

Meet up at our café Bræðraborg around 08:00 in the morning for preparations and briefing.  You leave the harbour in Ísafjörður on our passenger ferry Bjarnarnes at 9:00 AM. The destination is our farmhouse in Kvíar that stands on the shore between the fjords of Veiðleysufjörður and Lónafjörður. There you will meet your giude and join the group that is doing the whole six days trip. Boats and other gear that we provide, will probably already be there or you will take it with you on the passenger boat.

We pack our boats and start paddling. Our first task is to paddle across the bay to the South side near Höfði to get a good look at Leirufjörður Fjord with Drangjökull Glacier in the distance. Leirufjörður (e. Silt Fjord). The name of the fjord explains itself when we see the clay and silt coming from the glacier river of Drangajökull Glacier. We then head along the shoreline towards Grunnavík Bay. En-route is a nice rock arch that we can pass under on high tide.  There is also a good chance to spot porpoises close to the coast, especially if the sea is calm. In Grunnavík there are a few summerhouses and a nice church that we can take a look at. Camp on the beach. 

Distance: 20 km.

Day 2

Today we head out of the Jökulfirðir fjord system and into the big bay of Ísafjarðardjúp. We pass many beautiful waterfalls on the way that people rarely experience since they are so unaccessible by foot. We continue along the coast of Snæfjallaströnd and camp either in the beautiful cove in Ytraskarð (20 km) or by the breathtaking Möngufoss waterfall (24 km), all depending on conditions. Campfire on the beach to watch the beautiful sunset.  

Day 3

Our first stop on the last full day of kayaking is the island of Æðey. The island is inhabited by one family during the summer months and is a nice place to stop, relax and enjoy life on the island while ashore. The waters around the island is covered with puffins and other sea birds. Literally! After visiting the island, we do a long crossing (9 km) to the island of Vigur. The birdlife on the island is quite amazing and the farmers have raised special rock walls for the eider ducks to nest. Puffins are found all over the island. The beautiful and colorful houses are very picturesque and the small coffee house is a great place to stop by and relax. After about two hours on the island, we get going again for the last leg of the trip. Depending on weather, we'll paddle about 6 km to Hvitanes or to the village of Súðavík if conditions are good, where a car will pick us up. Drive back to Ísafjörður. We'll arrive in Ísafjörður in time for the afternoon flight for those flying back to Reykjavík. We urge you to stay at least one night in Ísafjörður and get to know this old and beautiful town. There are many interesting sites and nice walks in the mountains around the fjord that are definitely worth it. 

Distance: 20-22 km.

This description gives only a brief overview and might be changed by the guide, depending on weather and other conditions.

 

Remember that the less you bring, the easier it gets. There is plenty of space in the kayaks if you pack wisely. 

  • Thermal underwear, at least two sets of tops.
  • Wool or fleece thermal mid layer.
  • Hiking pants. We recommend no cottons as they take long to dry if wet.
  • Waterproof and breathable pants and jacket for hiking onshore. The lighter - the better.
  • Wool/fleece hat.
  • One pair of gloves.
  • 2 to 3 pairs thick wool/synthetic socks.
  • Light shoes for strolls in and around camp.
  • Sleeping bag. Summer rated to at least 0°C. Down is best since it packs better than synthetic.
  • At least two dry bags for your personal gear. One needs to be able to “swallow” your sleeping bag. We have some selection of drybags but it's best you bring at least one or two of your own.
  • Sleeping mattress. Thin inflatable one is the best as it fits easily inside the boat.
  • Paddling gloves or mittens. It can be cold on the water and warm fingers are a must!
  • Kayak shoes/sandals or boots. There is a great selection out there and people´s preferences are very different. Thin neoprene socks and sandals/Crocks, neoprene paddling shoes or paddling boots will all work fine.
  • Dark sun glasses.
  • Sunscreen / after sun cream.
  • Binoculars is nice to have for watching wildlife.
  • Personal medical kit to include personal medication and i.e. band aids, throat lozenges, lip salves, sea-sickness tablets etc. Don't forget regular medication you may need (e.g. Asthma, bring your inhaler, even if you do not always need it).
  • Small thermos. Preferably 0.5 liters. Optional.
  • 1 litre water bottle.
  • Don't forget your camera!

We supply all paddling gear and clothing. Feel free to bring your own if you have it available. With your personal gear, you're guaranteed that it fits perfectly and is comfortable. We recommend good dry pants with ankle rubber cuffs or 3mm neoprene bibs. Top, preferable with hood and arm rubber cuffs. Full dry suit is for sure best but can be pretty warm and cumbersome on sunny days but great to have if things get rough. Footwear should preferably be neoprene shoes high up on the ankle with thick soles, or neoprene boots. Neoprene gloves, mittens or poagies to keep the hands warm.

I've been looking into your exciting kayaking trips and I really want to see whales. What is this the best trip for that?

Our feeling is that whales are more common in Ísafjarðardjúp Bay. So we would recommend this trip for that. Though nothing can be guaranteed.

Can you supply tandem kayaks?

Yes, we do have few tandem kayaks. Please send us an email if you prefer to use tandem boats.

My kayaking experience is fairly limited but I do a lot of outdoor activities and consider myself in very good physical shape. Do you think I'm fit to participate in this trip?

Yes we do. This is not a very technical sea kayaking trip (no surf landings, big swells or strong currents) and people with little experience but in good physical shape, normally do very well. We urge you though to paddle as much as you can if you get a chance. Wind can be strong in Iceland in general, so be prepared to paddle in windy conditions where there are waves. 

Do you sleep in tents on this trip?

Yes we do. We supply the tents but you should bring your own sleeping mattress.  If you prefer to stay in houses, we recommend Glacier Fjords Kayaking where you spend one night in Hesteyri and two nights in Kvíar Lodge.

 

 

 

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Check out some moments from Coastal Kayaking Adventure