Rúnar Óli Karlsson

New day trip to Hornstrandir Nature Reserve

This summer we are offering a new day-trip to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Few days ago we did the first trip with a mix of Icelandic, Japanese and German visitors. The sun was shining from a perfectly clear, blue sky when our ferry Bjarnarnes motored out of Bolungarvik harbour in the early morning. A slight swell was running but everyone’s spirits were high as we set course for Jökulfirðir bay (Glacier Fjords). A couple of Humpback whales greeted us about half way and showed us their tails as they dove down for another mouthful of food.  We landed at the head of Veiðileysufjörður fjord („fjord where there is no fishing“!) and the group was dropped off at Karlsstaðir. From there the hike led up the valley in perfect summer weather.

Still there is quite a bit of snow left in the mountains and sometime we had to hike across patches of spring snow. That didn´t give us any problems and only added to the flavour of spring hiking just 20km below the arctic circle. We reached the highest point at around 650 meters and had a delicious lunch prepared by our own Bræðraborg coffee shop. Here we enjoyed a fantastic view of the surrounding area; snow capped mountains, quiet fjords and lush green valleys. After a well earned break we headed down another valley towards the sea again. Six hours after we were dropped off we arrived at the abandoned farm of Kvíar. The total length of the hike was around 12 km.  Here we took time to look around and see how people lived almost 70 years ago when 20 persons called this farm their home.

Today nature rules unchallenged and the only access is by foot or by boat. We then lit the barbeque and grilled a couple of nice fillets of Rainbow Trout from the neighbouring Dýrafjörður and fresh Ling from the local market. With the fish we had salad and freshly baked bread brought along from Bræðraborg Café.  Just when we had finished a nice cup of coffee and cheese for desert we saw Bjarnarnes approaching and got ourselves ready to be picked up on the beach. It was a happy group that climbed up on the wharf in Bolungarvik after 13 hours of wonderful adventure in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.