Hornvik Height & Sights
Hike the heart of Hornstrandir, taking in all its beauty, Hornbjarg bird cliffs and history in a short time.
We have departures every Friday from 10. June until 26. August.
When limited to only a couple days in Hornstrandir, the toughest part can be deciding where to go. Hornvík Bay is a clear favorite for many travelers and is our recommendation for the “I only have a couple days where should I go?” traveler.
We totally recommend doing more than a day trip to the nature reserve since in the evenings the nature takes on a different shape. The Arctic foxes come out from the dens searching for food, the midnight sun shines straight into Hornvík bay and it's so cozy to sit around the table in our basecamp enjoying a nice cup of tea talking to your fellow travellers.
The wildlife in Hornvík is amazing with over 6 million birds nesting in the cliffs, Arctic foxes that are so relaxed that you can enjoy their company from a short distance and many species of waders that call the bay their home.
The nature is pristine and breathtaking. You will return from this trip a different person.
“Hornvik Heights and Sights - Highlight of our trip!”
We did the 2-day Hornvik Height and Sights trek from Isafjordur. It was a 7 hour hike on the first day - up and over a mountain pass, with a long decline into the campsite for dinner. The second day was a trek up to Hornbjarg cliffs. The scenery on both days was spectacular - from fluoro-green moss to meadows of wildflowers, to glaciers and craggy cliffs.
Our guide was a local who knew the flora and fauna very well, as well as all the different paths in the Hornstrandir reserve.
Our guide made a BBQ lamb on coals in the beach sand, and it was the best dinner you could hope for after a long day. The cost of the trek was well worth it, as they provided tents and food, and they have a large standing kitchen tent where you can relax from the volatile weather. We also saw a family of Arctic foxes very close up - definitely a highlight!!
We highly recommend this trip if you like to hike but don’t want to carry your tent!
Rhiine, Australia (Tripadvisor)
- Boat ride into the Nature Reserve and back
- All food
- Tents, sleeping bag, mattress
- Professional guide
- All activities described in the itinerary
- Travel to and from Ísafjörður, Iceland unless specifically mentioned in itinerary.
- Personal medical insurance
- Personal equipment
Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging.
Starting point is at our café in Bræðraborg in the center of town. Short briefing will be held in the morning at 08:00.
We start with a morning boat ride (9:00 AM) straight to the fjord of Veiðileysufjörður, where we walk up the valley floor to Hafnarskrað Pass where the view opens up over the bay of Hornvík. The hike takes us up to 500 meters and is on path most of the way. The last part up to the pass is usually on snow and is a little steep. We descend down to the bay and make our way to our basecamp in Hornvík and have a true Icelandic roasted lamb for dinner. Options for vegetarians also! The night will be spent in comfortable tents and we supply the tents, mattresses and sleeping bags.
We will wake up early and have a hearty breakfast, before circumnavigating the edge of the magnificent Hornbjarg bird cliffs. During the trek you will experience looking down the 400 meter cliffs (if you dare) seeing kittiwakes taking a bath in the lake under the cliffs, thousands of birds soaring the edge, arctic foxes searching for food on the beach or in the mountains and enjoy the magnificent view over this isolated and pristine place. We then make our way down to the beach for a boat pickup around 1:00 PM. Then we start a 2-3 hour boat journey where we can see the whole coastline of the nature reserve from a different angle. Arriving in Ísafjörður we walk up to our café for a farewell cup of coffee and the cake of your choice!
Guests can catch the flight out of Ísafjörður to Reykjavik the same day (Saturday at 8:25 PM).
- Thermal underwear
- 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.
- Wool/fleece hat
- One pair of gloves
- 1 extra pair wool/synthetic socks
- Hiking boots (Vibram sole). Need to be high up on the ancle for support
- Dark sun glasses
- Sunscreen / after sun cream
- About 40L backpack that can take all your personal belongings
- Small binoculars is nice to have for watching wildlife
- Personal medical kit to include personal medication and i.e. band aids, throat lozenges, lip salves, second skin for blister etc. Don't forget regular medication you may need (e.g. Asthma, bring your inhaler, even if you do not always need it).
- 1 liter water bottle
- ...and don't forget your camera!
SLEEPING BAG, TENT AND MATTRESS IS PROVIDED AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO CARRY IT!
I'm interested in your Hornstrandir Heights and Sights trip since I have limited time. I do fair amount of hiking but I'm not in a super shape. Do you think I can do it?
If you do hike or walk regularly, especially if it includes gaining some altitute, you should not have any trouble on this trip. This is a wilderness hike on trail most of the way. But the trail is rough and that is what surprises people quite often.
You mention that proper hiking shoes that are high up on the ankle are mandatory. What kind of shoes would you recommend?
The main "problem" that we've had to deal with is that guests don't have proper shoes. High up on the ankle shoes give much better support and keep you dry. when walking through wet grass etc. We recommend Scarpa leather shoes or nylon versions with Gore Tex. There are many other manufacturers that are good like La Sportiva, Mammut, Merrell and Meindl.
Is it correct that I don't need to carry the camping gear?
Yes, that's right. All camping gear will be waiting for you in Hornvík.