Hornstrandir Nature Preserve (access by boat)
Hikes from 1 day to 1 week
Just north of Isafjordur across the Ísafjarðardjúp fjord awaits one of the most remote and dramatic landscapes of Iceland, the Hornstrandir Nature Preserve. Welcome to one of the best hiking areas in all of Iceland, accessible only by foot or boat. Enjoy a long day hike over mountain passes, past old farmsteads, and along sheer cliffs where you can see millions of birds at Hornbjarg cliffs. If you're short on time, head to Hornvík Bay, a hiker's favorite in the area. If you're looking for a break from the modern world, consider spending several days up to a week hiking through lush valleys enjoying the pristine and untouched areas. Bring your own gear or join a small tour and sleep on comfortable mattresses enjoying delicious food while you bask in the midnight sun. If you're lucky, you may meet some of the arctic foxes in the area.
Naustahvilft (“Troll seat”)
Approximately 1 hour round trip
This short hike lets you quickly climb above the airport for dramatic views of the fjord and town below. The hike starts from a parking lot, above the airport on the east side of the fjord. The trail is very steep, but only takes 20-30 minutes up. From the top you can sign the guestbook, walk around the large boulders in the carved out section, and look back down on Isafjordur and admire the view.
Story of "the troll seat": the seat was caused by a troll who was in a rush to get back home before the sunrise would turn her into stone. To rest her tired feet she sat on the mountainside and left an impression that remains to this day.
Kubbi: Great views looking back over Isafjordur
Approximately 2-3 hours
This steep hike will offer some great views of the higher mountains, cascades, and a view along Isafjordur north out to the sea. To start, drive to the very south side of the fjord where the dirt road will eventually end near the river. Cross the bridge and follow the tracks up the side of the mountain, alongside the stream. The first 0.5 miles are very steep and there isn’t much of a trail. As you get further up the mountainside a trail will emerge, but it sometimes disappears again (just continue in the direction to the point). When you reach the end you will have grand views of the fjord and surrounding mountains. You can extend the out and back hike by turning it into a loop by continuing to the top of the mountain and back down.
Súðavík to Ísafjörður: over the Mountain
Approximately 5-6 hours
Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Vigur Island and Hornstrandir Nature Preserve from the plateau on Sauratindar peak, the highest point along Isafjardardjup bay (856m). This one-way hike over the mountain starts in Sudavik and ends in Isafjordur (you can also do this in reverse). The start of the hike is quite steep but you are quickly rewarded with incredible scenery. In early summer you may still find snow on the top, with wild berries appearing by late summer.
If you do not have your own transport for the one-way hike, guided tours with transportation are available.
Old Oshlid Road
Follow the road northwest around the corner and pull off to the right before you go through the tunnel to Bolungarvik. Here you will find the old road before the tunnel existed, or what’s left of it. This road has not been maintained for many years and has fallen off the cliff in some places. You can walk along the remains of the road, through some tunnels for great views of the coast and the Hornstrandir Nature Preserve in the distance across the bay.
There are several other hiking options in other parts of the Westfjords, and you could easily spend a week climbing mountains and enjoying the scenery. If you want to give your legs a rest, consider joining a kayak tour of the fjords for a new perspective on this beautiful landscape.