Midnight Sun and Arctic Foxes
Wildlife exploring in Westfjords
Kvíar Lodge is an old farmhouse in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. When people abandoned the area in 1948 with their livestock, arctic foxes became the only remaining land mammals. For 65 years they have roamed the fjords and bays, free from human disturbance, making them rather tame and playful.
My partner and I did the 2 night Midnight Sun and Arctic Foxes tour to Hornstrandir, and it was one of the best experiences we've ever had. We were very lucky with the weather - so fickle in Iceland - so had two great hikes, foraging berries and spotting Icelandic flora, enjoying the views of the fjord, glacier, and waterfalls. We also had a great kayak trip accompanied by a seal, with whales nearby.
Our main aim was to see arctic foxes and we were not disappointed - they played near the house much of the time and were so close! We went in September so didn't see the midnight sun but got the northern lights instead. Gwenllian, Tripadvisor Sept. 2016
Kviar is the only house in many kilometers radius, reachable only by boat. This summer we welcome our guests to spend a night in the old historical house and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, where nature has ruled for 65 years.
We respect the arctic foxes and realize that summer is their breeding time. Therefore we walk carefully, keep distance and follow guidelines and rules given by wildlife specialists.
Starting point is at our café in Bræðraborg in the center of town. Short briefing will be held in the morning around 10:00.
Day 1: We will leave by boat from Ísafjörður harbour at 12:00. We embark our speedboat Bjarnarnes and head over the big fjord and into the Jökulfirðir fjord system until reaching land at Kvíar after an hour sailing. Enroute there is a very good chance to see humpback whales. We will walk up the valley to the mountains edge where we get a panoramic view over the magnificent Lónafjörður fjord. While keeping a close lookout for Arctic Foxes, guests can enjoy the rich birdlife around the area; from common species such as eider ducks, swans, oystercatchers and snipes to more rare birds, such as the white tailed eagle.
Day 2: After a hearty breakfast, we will head out for another adventure in the surrounding mountains and fjords. We normally split the day into a good hike in the morning and optional sea kayaking into Lonafjörður Fjord where we can try our skills on the water if conditions are good. Sea kayaking is very easy and we use stable and seaworthy kayaks for a comfortable paddle. Back home for a nice dinner and optional wood heated sauna at the lodge.
Day 3: We try to wake up early so we can enjoy the company of the foxes for the last time. The boat will pick us up from Kvíar around 10:00 in the morning, bringing us back to Ísafjörður.
You should bring:
- Warm clothes
- Sturdy, high-ankle, waterproof hiking boots.
- Small backpack
- Personal items
- Of course, your camera