Hot Pools Kayaking

Experience Iceland Kayaking Journey

What could be better than incorporating great kayaking, visiting beautiful islands and dipping into geothermal water after a long day of paddling? The Bay of Isafjardardjup is the perfect area for kayakers wanting to spend time in the wilderness but still be close to civilization. We'll visit great places and camp at beautiful spots where we sometimes have the option to take advantage of geothermal pools in the area. 

 

Included:

  • All food 
  • Tents, cooking gear 
  • Boat or 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

 

Sea kayakers in Iceland agree that Hornstrandir and Ísafjarðardjúp Bay offer the best sea kayaking in Iceland. Paddling along the shores of isolated bays and fjords is an experience not to be missed. This trip is intended with little kayaking experience but participants need to be in general good physical condition to enjoy the trip in full. Nights will be spent in comfortable and sturdy tents on the coast. There are large numbers of eiders, puffins and other sea birds that nest along its shores. Ptarmigan are found back from the coast and nesting whooper swans rule the lowlands. We strongly suggest looking for long-tailed ducks (old squaws) or goosanders.

ITINERARY

Day 1 
Departure from Ísafjörður in the afternoon with a car to the head of Seyðisfjörður wher we start paddling. Our destination for the night is Folafótur, a small peninsula between Seyðisfjörður and Hestfjörður fjords.

Day 2
Kayak to Vigur Island. The birdlife in the island is amazing and the beautiful and colourful houses are very picturesque and a small coffee house is a great place to stop by and relax. After about two hours on the island, we get going again and paddle to Aedey Island for the night. 

Day 3
Today we´ll paddle to Kaldalón where Drangajökull Glacier meets the low plains of the wide valley. We´ll pass the lagoon and head bit further before camping for the night. There is an option for a visit to a geothermal pool in Laugaland to relax sore muscles for few hours.

Day 4
Now we slide a bit further along the coast before heading across the Bay. We´ll stop en route in Borgarey Island for some lunch and check out the puffins. Then we keep on going all the way across to Reykjanes Peninsula which is a great area to spot seals. There is a lot of geothermal heat in the area and a big geothermal pool. We will relax a bit in the pool and get going again for a short paddle to our designated camp spot in a cove nearby. Probably in Vatnsfjarðarnes. 

Day 5
This is our last day of the trip. We´ll start paddling out of the bay and stop where we want along the coast. Depending on the spirit within the group and weather, we choose how far we want to paddle before meeting the car. Ögur cove is a likely place to end the trip. 

Difficulty: Moderate. People need some kayaking experience to enjoy this trip, preferably with few nights of kayak/camping under their belt.

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

SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT LIST

It´s important to realize that kayaks have limited space. So travel light. The more you carry, the whole trip becomes more complicated!

  • Thermal underwear, at least two sets of shirts.
  • 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. Wool/fleece hat.
  • One pair of gloves.
  • Two pairs wool/synthetic socks.
  • Kayak shoes/sandals or boots. There is a great selection here and people´s preferences are very different. Thin neoprene socks and sandals/Crocks, neoprene paddling shoes or paddling boots will all work fine.
  • Two dry bags, large or medium size. One needs to be able to “swallow” your sleeping bag. We have a good selection of dry bags too that you can borrow.
  • Paddling gloves. It can be neoprene mittens or gloves. Or just wool.  Can be provided.
  • Light hiking shoes.
  • Sleeping bag. Summer rated. Down is better than synthetic since it takes much less space.
  • Sleeping mattress. Theramarest type is the best. The smaller, the better. A foam mattress will also work if put on the deck.
  • Dark sun glasses
  • Sunscreen / after sun cream
  • Binoculars are 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).
  • 1 litre water bottle
  • A bottle of your favorite liquor to impress your travel companions!
  • And don´t forget your camera!

 

PADDLING GEAR

We provide a good quality dry top and pants, life jacket (PFD) and a paddle. But it’s of course fine if you want to bring your own. We have a selection of paddling shoes but you would be better off bringing your own. A dry suit is not necessary on the Iceland trips but can be nice to wear but quite bulky when the weather is nice. 

We use sturdy Perception sea kayaks and have few models for you to choose from.

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 ifd you get a chance. 

 

I'm very interested in whales and have seen some of your photos with people kayaking close to them. Do you normally spot whales on this trip?

Nothing can be guaranteed but Ísafjarðardjúp Bay has in the last few years been the home ground of many humpbacks that we often see. There is also a lot of smaller whales like porpoises and dolphins. So we can say without hesitation that the chances are good.

 

I've done fair a bit of kayaking but I can't roll. Is that OK?

You don't need to be able to roll your kayak Greenland style. It's very rare that people capsize on mutli-day trips since the boats are loaded and very stable. We recommend that people take a weekend course if the get a chance to refresh their skills and learn simple self rescue techniques. The more you come prepared, the more you enjoy the trip.

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Check out some moments from Hot Pools Kayaking