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Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is one of Iceland’s last slices of pure wilderness, full remoteness, and unmatched tranquility. Tucked away in the northwest corner of the country (just below the Arctic Circle), Hornstrandir has this unique atmosphere, making you feel like you’re at the edge of the world. And there’s no better way to explore it than by cruising its calm, icy waters. This is a 6-day guided kayaking tour, where you’ll paddle through spectacular fjords, to mighty glaciers and waterfalls inaccessible by foot, all the while spotting adorable puffins, seals, whales, Arctic foxes, and white-tailed eagles, just to name a few. As daylight wanes, settle into comfy guest houses or pitch your tents on the coast or by the waterfalls under starry skies.

  • Thriving wildlife and close encounters

    No people, no problem—the area is teeming with puffins, Arctic foxes, seals, whales…

  • Unparalleled sense of remoteness

    With the last inhabitants gone in 1950s, Hornstrandir’s exclusivity and solitude is second to none

  • Paddling by day, crackling campfire by night

    Recharge either in cozy guest houses or soak in your surroundings by pitching a tent


Explore Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in Iceland by paddling on the serene sea, allowing you to take in its grandeur. Nestled in the northwest corner of Iceland, this area is considered a top sea kayaking destination in the country—apart from dramatic landscapes, Hornstrandir also offers an unrivaled sense of remoteness and a thriving wildlife. This 6-day kayaking tour includes not only expert guidance showing you these best spots and hidden gems, but also accommodation (guest houses or tents), and all meals during the tour. There’s no better retreat and full body and mind reset than this wilderness tour.

  • Meet your guides for a short pre-departure briefing at 5 pm in Isafjordur, a day prior to the adventure. Meet them at their base Mavagardur C (the grey building), where they will answer any questions you might have and make final preparations.

    If you can’t meet them a day before the departure, let us know in time and we will send all the needed information.

    Isafjordur town
  • Meet your guide and your group in Mavagardur in Isafjordur at 8 am. Board the Bjarmi ferry to Hesteyri, the biggest settlement in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Almost touching the Arctic Circle, you’ll feel peace and serenity as soon as you reach Hesteyri. Drop your gear off at the Old Doctor’s House, a comfortable lodging on the northernmost peninsula of Iceland. Slip into your kayak and start paddling through incredible Icelandic scenery. Paddle out of the Hesteyrarfjordur Fjord, surrounded by rocky mountains, to the lighthouse at Sletta. Today’s kayaking is short so you can get used to your kayak. Return back to the Old Doctor’s House and enjoy a welcoming dinner.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 8 miles / 14 km

    Hesteyri Westfjords
  • After a hearty breakfast, pack your kayaks and head towards the Kviar Farmhouse in Kviadalur Valley. The route will take you along the coastline and across the fjords of Hesteyrarfjordur and Veidileysufjordur. You’ll likely spot white-tailed eagles and whales along the shoreline! After intense paddling, reach the beach beneath Kviar Farmhouse, where you’ll spend the two upcoming nights. Built in 1921, it’s the only house in the valley, providing you with a feeling of remoteness. After a delicious dinner, relax in the hot sauna next to the house.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 9 miles / 15 km

    White-tailed eagle in Iceland
  • After breakfast, leave all the unnecessary gear in the farmhouse and go for a paddle along Lonafjordur, the most beautiful fjord in Iceland. Untouched by humans, this is a place where wilderness prevails. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of marine life, including seabirds and seals—a large seal colony can be found in the bay of Sopandi. Cap off the day with a delectable dinner and a soothing saun at Kviar.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 12 miles / 20 km

    Lonafjordur fjord, Westfjords
  • Pack up and leave Kviar behind, today you’re kayaking to get superb views of Leirufjordur fjord with the backdrop of Drangajokull, the northernmost glacier of Iceland. This fjord is also known as Silty Fjord, due to clay and silt traveling down the glacier river, meaning that the water changes color from deep blue to brown. Next, head along the coastline towards Grunnavik Bay, and discover a striking rock arch that you can pass under at high tide. Keep your eye out for adorable porpoises, close relatives of dolphins! Once at Grunnavik, you’ll have free time to explore some summerhouses and a church. Set up camp at the beach and spend your night under the stars—your guide will introduce you to minimal impact camping in untouched places.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 12 miles / 20 km

    Drangjokull glacier, river snow
  • Head out of Jokulfirdir Glacial Fjords and paddle into the big bay of Isafjardardjup, the greatest fjord in the Westfjords. Along the way, discover off-the-beaten-path waterfalls—only accessible to a small number of visitors, as they’re inaccessible by foot. Spend the rest of the day exploring the scenic coast of Snjafjallasetur. You will either camp in a spectacular cove in Ytraskard (12 miles / 20 km for the starting point) or by the thunderous Mongufoss Waterfall (15 miles / 24 km from the starting point). Warm up next to the campfire and watch the sunset.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Distance: 15 miles / 24 km

    Isafjardardjup kayaking
  • Finish the last day with a bang! Today your guides have prepared a special wildlife-themed itinerary. Head to Eider Island, which takes its name from thousands of eider ducks nesting upon its shores. Its cliffs are also teeming with puffins, Iceland’s most iconic seabirds! Then prepare for a long crossing to Vigur, where the birdlife is just as spectacular as in Eider. Farmers of the island even raise special rock walls to help nesting eider ducks, but you’ll also spot puffins. Don’t forget to take pics of Vigur’s colorful houses before relaxing in a small cafe. The last leg of the trip has you kayaking to the village of Sudavik, where a car will pick you up. Arrive back in Isafjordur at 4 pm, just in time for the afternoon flight taking you to Reykjavik.

    Meals: Breakfast and lunch
    Distance: 13 miles / 22 km

    Vigur island, kayaking gear
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Meet your guide

Arctic Adventures
Arctic Adventures
Certified Guides
The Arctic Adventures family consists of adventurous and highly qualified people from all over the world. Some people are passionate river rafters or mountain climbers, while others really thrive on numbers and calculations. There is one thing, though, which they all have in common: a tremendous love and passion for outdoor adventures and total respect for nature. 
5.00 (3 reviews)
AllisonKrishna M (source: Trip Advisor)

Kayaking this lagoon with its glaciers was fantastic. Our family thoroughly enjoyed the intimate setting…very few tourists in the area. The glacier was magnificent and walking some of the icebergs from our kayaks was amazing. Our guides were very informative regarding facts about the glaciers. We had a wonderful experience and highly recommend!

Hrcornflower14 (source: Trip Advisor)

We had a great time! My husband and I like to kayak in our free time but are self taught. The guides were really helpful and gave us lots of tips. We really love this trip! The overall experience was just what we wanted, the views were spectacular and the guides were super accommodating. We’d definitely recommend this trip!

deniseandy (source: Trip Advisor)

The kayak tour was so much fun, beautiful and great exercise. Arctic Adventures is well run and the guide we had was really good.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local kayaking guide with extensive knowledge of the area (certified professional 4-star BCU sea kayak guide)
      • 6-day kayaking tour in Iceland (Hornstrandir Nature Reserve)
      • Accommodation
        • Comfy houses for the first three nights
        • Tents for the last two nights
      • Ferry and car transfer on the first and last day
      • All meals during the tour
      • Kayaking gear (kayaks and paddles, neoprene pants, dry top, spray skirt, life vest, paddling boots, paddling gloves, additional dry bags)
        • Still, you’re welcome to bring your own paddling gear and clothing (good dry pants and top with rubber cuffs or at least a 3mm neoprene wetsuit with a windproof top recommended. For footwear, neoprene boots with ankle support and thick soles work best. Bring neoprene gloves, mittens or pogies)

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to Iceland
      • Accommodations prior to and after the tour
      • Sleeping bag & pad — available to rent
      • Dry suit — available to rent
      • Guide gratuities — optional
  • In order to join this Iceland kayaking tour in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, you need to be in great physical condition. You will be paddling for 6 days in a row, between 8 and 15 miles (14-24 km). Physical strength and endurance is required, as this kayaking tour is classified as challenging.

    If you’d like to see our other kayaking tours in Iceland, check out our 3 and 4-day kayaking tours in the Westfjords.

  • The less you have with you when you’re kayaking, the easier it will be! If you pack wisely, you’ll have plenty of space in your kayak, so pack light.

    Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Thermal underwear
      • Thermal mid layer (wool or fleece)
      • Hiking pants (avoid cotton)
      • Waterproof and breathable pants and jacket (the lighter, the better)
      • Spare clothes for layering
      • A hat (wool or fleece)
      • A pair of warm gloves
      • 2-3 pairs of socks (wool or synthetic)
      • Light hiking shoes for walks onshore
      • A sleeping bag (at least 0°C, down is best) & sleeping pad (thin and inflatable ones are the best)
      • Sunglasses
      • Swimwear
      • 1 L water bottle
      • Personal medical kit & personal medication
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, aftersun lotion, hand sanitizer, toilet paper)
      • 2x dry bags to keep your gear dry — your guides have small selection of dry bags that you can use, but best bring at least two of your own and make sure everything fits beforehand)
      • Small binoculars for wildlife viewing — optional, but recommended
      • Camera — optional, but recommended

    Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For this sea kayaking tour in Iceland, the usual client-to-guide ratio is 8:1.
      • It takes a minimum of 2 people for this tour to operate.
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

    Kayaking in Iceland can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
  • A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies, and deposits are no longer refundable. The remaining 70% of the amount is paid at the latest 3 months (90 days) prior to the departure.

    All cancellations must be made in writing. In conformity with business practices within the Icelandic travel industry:

      • 90% of the price of the trip is refundable if canceled more than fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the start of the tour
      • 50% of the tour price is refunded if canceled forty-eight (48) hours to fourteen (14) calendar days prior to departure
      • 0% of the tour price is refunded if canceled within forty-eight (48) hours prior to departure

    All rates are based on current purchasing prices in Iceland. Your guides reserve the right to change prices without notice due to inflation, changes in prices, taxes, or any other cost increases that are outside the guide’s control. Your guides will absorb an amount equivalent to 5% of the price. Amounts that exceed 5% will be charged and clients will be entitled to cancel their booking with a full refund if the surcharge exceeds 10%. Eventual changes in rates will not be made with less than 4 weeks’ notice before departures or on already confirmed bookings.

    Your guides reserve the right to alter tours and itineraries due to weather or road conditions. All programs can be changed or canceled at any moment during the trip to assure the safety of the clients and staff. No responsibility is accepted for losses, or expenses due to delays, changes of flights, or other services or because of strikes, accidents, sickness, damage, negligence, weather, war, changes in schedules, or other similar causes.

  • To get to Isafjordur, the starting point of your tour and the largest town in the Westfjords, first you have to get to Reykjavík. After flying into Keflavik Airport (KEF), you’ve got two choices on how to reach Isafjordur—either by car or by plane from Reykjavík.

    If you have enough time, driving from Reykjavík takes 5-6 hours and it is an incredibly scenic drive. You can also reach Isafjordur by plane—there are scheduled flights 2-3 times every day from Reykjavik to Isafjordur and it takes around 40 minutes. Once you get to Isafjordur, ferry and/or car transportation are included in the price of the trip.

    Once there, you will meet your guides at their base in Mavagardur C at 8 am. As the first day of the tour is a full day and you have to be there at 8 am, make sure to arrange your flights and pre- or post-tour accommodation accordingly.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.

    Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. For more information on travel recommendations and restrictions in Iceland, please refer to Iceland’s foreign travel advice.

    If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

Have more questions? Read our FAQ, or Talk with us
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/ 6 days
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