Hornstrandir is one of the most remote places in Iceland. The area, the northernmost spot in the Westfjords, is a nature reserve and is only accessible in summer. There are no roads in Hornstrandir either, so getting there is further complication. Here’s how to make the trip.
By far the easiest way to get to Hornstrandir is by letting someone else make all the arrangements. West Tours offers several options for day tours, which range from 6200 to 21,500 ISK per person and from 4 hours to 12 hours. The big draw here is the beautiful, untouched nature of the reserve, the towering cliffs that drop of into the sea, and the wildlife that inhabits the area. A good guide can help you explore the area and will point out the flora and fauna you’ll see along the way. The tours all depart from Isafjordur in the Westfjords. If you have more time, you can also do multi-day tours, exploring the area by day and sleeping in a tent at night.
DOWNLOAD OUR TRAVEL GUIDES
If you’ll have a rental car, you’re best option is to drive from Reykjavik to Isafjordur and then take the ferry across to Hornstrandir. There are no roads in the nature reserve.
Two boat companies offer scheduled boats to Hornstrandir – Sjóferðir operates three boats departing from Ísafjörður. Freydís offers mainly tours from Norðurfjörður to the east side of the peninsula. Ferry schedules only post the time leaving the departure point though, and travel time depends on a number of factors. Once the boat arrives at Hornstrandir, it goes back to Isafjordur. Most people choose to get off the ferry at one point, spend time hiking to another, and then reboard the ferry there. Just be sure to check the schedules, as most points are only serviced twice a week. Advance bookings are essential. West Tours sells tickets for each of the ferries.
If you don’t want to have to worry about the ferry schedule, you can charter a boat, which is quite easy to do but can be much more expensive. This is a better option if you are traveling with a larger group.
Photo by bjarnit