Green Cliffs of Hornstrandir

Starting from: Ísafjörður
Season: 1st Jun-15th Sep
Duration: 13 hours
Difficulty: Challenging
Minimum age: 14 years old
Min: 4 pax
Max: 8 pax

This trip is a great blend of the unspoiled nature and the fascinating history of the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. We'll discover remains from a British radar station from WWII, see many species of Icelandic birds and walk along the top of some of the most beautiful cliffs in Iceland. The route begins on a beautiful sandy beach and steadily climbs up along the sheer cliffs of Grænahlíð, which for many decades was the best shelter for fishing trawlers when storms reigned in the Atlantic. On a clear day, we’ll be able to see views across the whole of Ísafjarðardjúp bay and into the Jökulfirðir glacial fjords. And remember to keep an eye open for the elusive Arctic Fox!

- Attendance time is compulsory 30 minutes before the scheduled tour departure time
- Please read the instructions under the "Preparation" tab to ensure that you are properly equipped for the tour

We meet for a morning briefing half an hour before departure, where we will answer any questions and make final preparations. Departure is by passenger ferry from Ísafjörður harbour.

After about an hour's scenic boat ride over fjords and along mountain cliffs, we will be dropped off at Slétta, where there is a beautiful sandy beach, a lighthouse and we often see curious seals swimming along the shore. We begin our hike by making our way slowly up to a small lake called Teistuvatn, where we can see graceful Whooper Swans and Kittiwakes swimming on the water. We continue over a mixture of easy grassy terrain and some rocky patches along the tops of the cliffs. This is where we can peek over the edge and see the waves crashing against the rocks, almost 500m below. Many bird species nest on the cliffs. Birds such as Fulmars, Gulls, Guillemots and even the colourful Puffins can be seen soaring high above the ocean, using the updraft from the cliffs to fly effortlessly.

We then reach the British naval radar station which was constructed in 1943. We can explore the ruins of the generators, warehouse and barracks and even see the turret which housed the Oerlikon 20mm cannon. This was a very secret operation during the war and the purpose was to watch out for any enemy planes or ships coming into Icelandic waters. From here we follow the old jeep track which leads down the mountain towards the bay of Aðalvík. We reach the shore at Látrar, which was once a thriving village, where we will take the boat back to Ísafjörður. Keep your eyes open for whales on the way home!

Boat ride and professional guidance

  • Warm outdoor clothing - please avoid cotton as it keeps you cold when wet and takes a very long time to dry
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Hiking boots - please use waterproof high-top hiking boots which provide ankle support
  • Hat and gloves
  • Sun glasses
  • Sunscreen and after sun cream
  • Small backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Don't forget your camera!