Experience the best of both worlds, the beautiful fjords of Jökulfirðir glacial fjords in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve and Ísafjarðardjúp bay on this multi-day tour! Both of these areas are considered to offer the best sea kayaking in Iceland. Numerous bird species spend the summer in the area and there is a great chance to spot whales, porpoises, dolphins, and seals.
We meet at 5 pm on the evening before departure at our base in Mávagarður C (grey building) for a briefing where we meet each other, answer any questions and make final preparations. This shouldn’t take longer than an hour. If you’re unable to be here the day before departure, then just let us know via email and we’ll make sure that you have all the information you’ll need.
We meet again at our base in Mávagarður C at 8 am for last minute checks before departing from the harbor in Ísafjörður on our passenger ferry Bjarnarnes at 9 am. Our destination is Hesteyri, which was the biggest settlement in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. We drop off our gear at the old doctor’s house before getting straight to the paddling. We paddle out of the fjord along the coast to the lighthouse at Slétta. This is a short paddle aimed at getting to know your kayak and blow away any paddling cobwebs you may have before the longer days to come! We enjoy a nice dinner at the old doctor’s house before getting some good sleep ready for the day ahead.
Distance: 14 km
After a hearty breakfast, we pack our kayaks and start the voyage of the day over to Kvíar farmhouse in Kvíadalur valley. The route will take us along the spectacular coastline and across the fjords of Hesteyrarfjörður and Veiðileysufjörður. There is a good chance to see both whales and white-tailed eagles along the coast. We land on the beach beneath the farmhouse in Kvíar and make ourselves at home. The farmhouse is the only house in the valley and was built in 1921 and was occupied by the same family until they moved away in 1948 seeking an easier life in Ísafjörður. We have a nice dinner and head for the warm and cozy sauna that's situated next to the house.
Distance: 15 km
We leave most of the gear in the farmhouse and go for a beautiful paddle into Lónafjörður fjord which, according to many, is the most beautiful fjord in Iceland. Totally unspoiled with no sign of human presence. The fjord is a haven for birds and a huge seal colony can be found in the small bay of Sópandi. We'll follow the whole coastline and enjoy a long day of paddling. Back to the farmhouse for a sauna to soothe sore muscles and delicious dinner.
Distance: 20 km
We pack our boats and start paddling. Our first task is to paddle across the bay to the South side of the fjord near Höfði to get a good look at Leirufjörður fjord with the elegant Drangajökull glacier in the distance. The name Leirufjörður (e. silty fjord) explains itself when we see the clay and silt coming from the glacial river of Drangajökull. We then head along the shoreline towards Grunnavík bay. En-route is a nice rock arch that we can pass under at high tide. There is also a good chance to spot porpoises close to the shore, especially if the sea is calm. At Grunnavík there are a few summerhouses and a nice church that we can take a look at. We set up camp, eat dinner and sleep on the beach.
Distance: 20 km
Today we head out of the Jökulfirðir glacial fjords and into the big bay of Ísafjarðardjúp. We pass many beautiful waterfalls on the way that people rarely experience since they are so inaccessible by foot. We continue along the coast of Snæfjallaströnd and camp either in the beautiful cove in Ytraskarð (20 km) or near the breathtaking Möngufoss waterfall (24 km), all depending on conditions. Campfire on the beach and watch the beautiful sunset.
Distance: 23 km
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. The waters around the island are 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 in. 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 and relax. We then get going again for the last leg of the trip. We paddle to the village of Súðavík, where a car will pick us up. We then make the 20-minute drive back to Ísafjörður. We arrive back in town at approximately 4 pm, in time for the afternoon flight for those flying back to Reykjavík.
Distance: 22 km
This itinerary is a guide only and is subject to change depending on the weather, sea conditions and the ability of the group.