Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, Bolungarvik: Hours, Address, Hornstrandir Nature Reserve Reviews: 5/5

Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Located in the northernmost part of the Westfjord peninsula, which was inhabited from the 9th century, this is a birdwatcher and hikers' paradise.
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30 reviews
Very good

Shao Z
15 contributions
Hiking tour in Hornstrandir
Aug 2019 • Friends
This natural reserve is so wild, with awesome mountains and fjord view. The tour can be super tough if not well-prepared or dangerous in some routes. We hiked 45km with 3 days and 2 nights (1-3 August). Luckily, it's sunny and foggy all the time, but camping there can be cold at night, so be prepared for it.

Some area like Havik, you might be able to see the adorable Arctic fox. Remember not to disturb or chase them though, after all they are the core of this reserve.

Finally, I wanted to say thank you to the rangers in the reserve. They have only few people serving there, the living and working condition for them is not so good, but they really did a good job, and are super helpful.

I met one ranger (can't remember her name). she provides me a lot of suggestions. I really enjoyed the talking with her.
Written 7 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

11 contributions
An absolute must hike trail!
Jun 2019
I hiked the Horstrandir Natural Reserve with 2 other friends for 8 days late June to early July 2019. This is one of my best hikes ever (along with the Northern + Long Range Traverses in Newfoundland, the Talus Lake Trails in Tombstone Nat'l Park and Chilkoot Trails in Alaska). Hornstrandir peninsula is located at the very northwestern tip of Iceland.

First things first: you have to be prepared for this hike mentally, physically and logistically. Expect any kind of weather ranging from snowstorms, rainfalls, heavy fog and beautiful sunny moments (all that can happen in a glimpse). Have protection gear for cold and humid weather conditions which can be mentally challenging. Oh: the wind is ALWAYS present and strong. On the terrain one will experience solid positive elevation gain and of course steep walks down. Terrain can be very rough and sometimes requires climbing skills with a heavy backpack. Daily hike length is around 12-15 kms with most of the time two passes to get through before reaching the next campground. We chose to hike to the longer loop from Hesteyri passing through Látrar, Kögur and Hlöðuvík before reaching Höfn and then get out in the Veiðileysufjörður fjörd. All that in 8 days. The first part of this loop is much less popular than the Hesteyri - Höfn - Veiðileysufjörður trail. From Hesteyri to Látrar, Kögur and Hlöðuvík trail can become inexistent and one has to find his route. GPS and compass when sky is clear are must-haves. One must be fully autonomous for the duration of the hike + food for 2 days extra in case small ferry boat cannot make it to pick-up point. Backpacks can easily reach up to 25 kg (55 lbs). Walking poles are not necessary but advisable. They will help your knees on steep descents, ease your effort on strenuous climbs and keep your balance in river crossings.

But the majestic landscape of the Hornstrandir make you forget all the arduous moments. Expect to be amazed at each step with the apex of the hike being the Horn and Hornbjärg on sunny days. It is just breathtaking. Take time to enjoy the surrounding landscape and the 400-meter vertical cliffs plunging straight into the North Atlantic Ocean. And the the Látravík lighthouse one can even get a delicious waffle topped with rich whipped cream. Do not skip this stopover as you can meet authentic Icelandic people and have an interesting chat with them. The Horstrandir Natural Reserve is probably the only few places in Iceland where you will see artic foxes in their natural environment. Their fur turns dark brown to black in summer time and becomes totally white in winter. There are no biting flies, midges (noseeums) nor mosquitoes anywhere in Iceland (and that is very appreciable).

Highlights: Mind-blowing landscape, arctic foxes, wilderness, not full of tourists but only respectful hikers and WATER. Quality of water in Iceland is the most amazing discovery for me. I drank water directly from the streams without further treatment and it tasted heavenly and quenched my fiercest thirst. And it is readily available as there are so many crystal clear streams.

Points to keep in mind: 1) Open fires are forbidden on all the Natural Reserve territory. 2) Hiking trails cross privately owned lands. Please respect them as owners kindly allow hikers to use the trails. 3) Existing cairns are landmarks raised by the original settlers to guide themselves when they travel from one hamlet to the other. Do not damage them nor add any rocks. 4) Weather change rapidly from one extreme to the other. Be prepared for all conditions. 5) Level of difficulty of the hike is high. It is therefore intended to experienced hikers. Less experienced hikers can hire guides through Borea Adventures in Ísafjörður. However it is not recommended as first hike ever. 6) Sea conditions are highly tied to weather and pick-up might not be able to make it to rendez-vous at planned date and time. Always plan extra food for one and even two days. 7) Pernilla, the park ranger, is very helpful and she can provide treasures of information. If you have the chance talk to her and she will give you with precious hints. 8) Emergency shelters are located at the various campsites. They should be used for emergencies only. Please keep them neat and tidy. Do not remove any material from them. On cold and windy days we ate our dinner inside the shelters but we slept in our tents. 9) Campings and park access is totally free. You only pay the tiny ferry bringing you to the peninsula from Ísafjörður. 10) In summertime the Sun never sets and there are consequently 24 hours of daylight. But as an Icelandic gentleman told us: "You will soon realise that your eyelids are much more opaque than you think!" This is Icelandic wisdom!

Do I recommend this hike? This is no questions asked an absolute must-hike trail. One of my best experience.
Written 5 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

4 contributions
Most unique nature and experience you can imagine!
Jun 2019 • Solo
I was hiking on my own in Hornstrandir for 6 days. I walked from Hesteyri(most common boat drop off point) to Veidileysufjordur.

Stunning trip! If you are considering travelling to Hornstrandir, this is what i would have wished somebody had informed me more about:

1. This is NOT for beginners. Especially if you plan on going alone for several days, you must have experience camping, and be in really good shape. You need to understand basic navigation with GPS /compass and map.

2. The roads can be HARD to find. Be prepared to think before you walk, since you easily walk past the roads.

3. Rather have too much equipment than too little. Make sure you have solid waterproof gear. - look up westtours - they have an equipment list of everything you NEED to have with you.

4. The weather can be tough. I experienced basically all types of weather. Sun, rain, snow, fog, extreme winds and even more. This is part of the experience, and can actually be quite amazing to experience.

5. DON'T Throw ANY trash, walk-on no marked routes or camp outside designated areas. The nature is amazing, but very fragile. make sure you respect it with your entire heart.

6. Do not plan a route that is too long. I made this mistake. Make sure you take the time to camp 1-2 days at prefered camping site. You easily forget to enjoy your visit when you are constantly walking. take it in, slower.

7. Spend most of your time in Hornvik. This is BY FAR the best place. Its the most sunniest place, and the most beautiful place. You can easily spend 2 days camping here. - it is also a MUST to climb Horn.

8. The western part of Hornstrandir was the windiest when i walked. the winds were way too strong to be pleasant. Sometimes i had to stop in order to not fall off the cliff. Spend most of your time on the eastern side of Hornstrandir.
Written 18 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pacheco de C
Sao Paulo, SP27 contributions
Breathtaking. Worth facing the year-round wind and rough seas
Jun 2019
Iceland, in general, is a unique experience. Foreigners (nonEuropeans, mostly) need to be aware of certain peculiarities and be prepared. Pharmacies and Hospitals close (completely) during weekends. If you have an emergency, you need to call ahead and they will open the place for you (no walk-in ERs). Make sure to take with you a well stocked medical kit including stuff for fever, cold, bandages, etc. This goes for the entire country.
Written 24 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Toronto, Canada52 contributions
Wish the weather had been better
Jun 2018
Weather left much to be desired - would love to come back again for a day trip/tour and see the sun shining in the fjord.
Written 9 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Anna L
Helsinki, Finland60 contributions
The quiet place
Jun 2018 • Friends
Sailed and hiked here and loved it! Stunning valleys, fjords and hills. The trails are easy to locate and navigate. The weather can be a bit rough, but well worth it - just be prepared for any type of weather.
Written 4 July 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Stigur S
Isafjordur, Iceland3 contributions
amazing place
Aug 2017
the most beautiful place in Iceland in good weather, very hard to be there in bad weather. west tours is a very well organised company to get there.
Written 11 May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Astoria, NY347 contributions
Aug 2017 • Friends
If you have the time then this nature reserve is a must. We took a ferry to one side, and hiked to the other from which we grabbed a ferry back. On this 2 day adventure we saw orcas, whales, seals, arctic foxes and an iceberg. So cool@
Written 8 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Frances S
Ashford, UK455 contributions
History and nature together
Jul 2017 • Friends
The deserted and demolished village of Hesteyri with its sad little church remnants & relics of fishing industry etc. was the centre of a delightful visit by boat to this remote area. The highlights for me were the striped sandy beach gay with wild flowers & with lots of big clam shells to collect, the wild angelica & sweet cicely along the path to the cafe, & the delicious coffee in the cafe with a pastry including rhubarb sweetened with the sweet cicely. Hope for a clear day to get the views - we were a bit unlucky.
Written 26 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pacific Northwest44 contributions
Green Cliffs of Hornstrandir: Amazing trip with Borea Adventures
Jul 2017 • Family
We took the 9AM ferry to Hornstrandir and landed in Saebol. After a 500-600m ascent (not too hard), we got to the cliffs. The hike was about 8-9 miles. Ronja. our guide from Borea Adventures, was great.
Note: Take windproof pants :). It can be very cold and windy. Multiple layers, mittens and a couple of kinds of hats are a must. So also, sunblock.
The vistas were spectacular. The alpine moss is so spongy that it feels like walking through soft sand. We saw multiple arctic foxes (one scrambling over the cliffs). There was neither a boat nor a helicopter in sight! Absolute peace and quiet - and the desolate but spectacular beauty of Hornstrandir.
Written 6 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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