Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
Are you up for an adventure and want to experience something different, wild, raw, beautiful and magnificient.
I know I am. That´s why I took a trip to Hornstrandir. It´s such a striking, fantastic place, so peaceful, energetic and the nature is wild and untouched.
The cute artic foxes run wild and aren´t afraid of people, because they have been protected since 1975, when the Nature Reserve was established.
About 30 species of birds nest there, and many more species can be observed.
The most interesting points for bird watching are the bird cliffs.
Because of social changes Hornstrandir were abandoned during World War II and in the post-war period.
A dream come true:
I have been dreaming of hiking Hornstrandir, for around 10 years, and finally it came true.
Even when we were driving to Ísafjörður, I almost couldn´t belive it was really happening.
Hornstrandir are a part of the Westfjords, and to get there, we had to take a boat.
The boat ride was good, and the majestic landscape in the Westfjord was something extraordinary.
Birds where everywere, swimming, diving for food, or just following the boat out of curiosity.
Our stop was at Veiðileysufjörður. One of the first thing we saw was an artic fox.
Later in the trip we saw one swimming towards some cliff in the ocean, we were well under exitement because we didn´t even know artic foxes could swim.
After the swim the fox shook the water out of its fur, and it was the cutest thing.
Our first hike was to Hornvík and we carried everything in our backpacks, over 20 kg.
Even though it was in June, the snow was still in the mountains, and it was rather chilly.
In the afternoon we reached Höfn in Hornvik, where we camped.
In Hornstrandir time doesn´t matter, it kind of stands still. The days are long, and the nights are light.
You become one with nature, no interruption like internet, social media, and phone connection, exept from when you are standing on the peak of the mountain Horn.
Even when I was there, I didn´t bother checking for connection.
Crossing the river Hafnarós on foot was thrilling.
The water was sometimes shallow and some times deep, and extremely cold.
The landscape is rough, but at the same time so beautiful and coulorful.
Being there felt so free and my mind was at ease.
In the day time we hiked around, climbed mountains, stolled along the beaches, and walked narrow paths in a steep mountain slopes.
That I thought was a little scary, especially when I looked down and saw the ocean right underneath me.
When I was resting, surronded by nature and beautiful scenery, I got the feeling that I was whole, content, happy and mindful.
Feeling I want to carry with me and remember always.
We spent four days in Hornstrandir, sleeping in a tent and cooking outside.
I´m glad that we were good in the equipment department and in a good hiking condition. The hiking code for this trip would be difficult, but I´m definitely going back some day.
Places we hiked: Horn, Ytra horn, Miðfell, Rekavík, Langikambur, Hvanndalur, Gljúfurárfoss, and from Veiðileysufjörður to Hornvík.
-Harpa the hiker