Kayaking & Sailing Iceland's West Fjords
Iceland...an island in time, presenting a panorama of surreal landscapes, rich history and the struggle between man and the environment; it is a destination whose breathtaking beauty invites exploration.
Iceland is at once a primordial world and a technical conundrum. It has been a place that demonstrates the dichotomy of the wildness of nature, its taming and harnessing by humanity. These qualities have sparked the imaginations of explorers, adventurers, writers and artists from the four corners of the world...and in so many ways, it is indeed the earth's center.
Take the voyage with H2Outfitters' staff, and cross the seas to the island Republic of Iceland. We'll land in this small country's capitol, Reykjavik, the place of Norseman Leif Erikson and his Viking explorers made landfall centuries ago. His statue stands beneath the church towers of Hallgrimskirkja. Leif's era was a time of epic Viking sagas, discoveries, and battles with the gods and demons that inhabited the geo-thermal nooks and crannies scattered across the surface of the island. These "super-natural forces" have since been tamed by the local population and now support the people and the land as alternative energy sources while at the same time providing recreational and therapeutic resources as an added bonus. From hiking, skiing, and boating to the relaxation of soaking away the stresses and strains in the plentiful hot springs, the land in and of itself is unequaled as an adventures' paradise.
We'll paddle into the country's deep fjords, visit small villages, and get to know the people on an intimate level of culture-to-culture. The locals are self-sufficient, welcoming to voyagers from the sea like ourselves, and always curious about the ancestry of the new friends they meet. Remember, these are people with surnameslike Sigurds-son or Olafs-dottir and they want to know who you belong to this in this world! This is their land where the mountains meet the sea, a land that is in a constant state of flux with seismic volcanic action and slow-moving glaciers. The metaphor of fire and ice holds so true in this dynamic environment and is the driving force behind the hospitality and generosity of its people.
We'll trek to, and stand on, the surface of a glacier underway, breath air whose crispness will quickly become an acquired taste, and savor the magical light in a land that is for half the year bathed only in shades of twilight. This is the atmosphere of adventure, and discovery, and there is no place like it on this Earth. And so, it might be said that Iceland is an all-encompassing wilderness that not only transcends the conflict between man and nature, but also offers visitors an opportunity to become participants in its daily give and take.
Please join us for an exciting journey to this magnificent land of fire and ice, another on our list of Adventures for a Lifetime.
2014 Iceland Itinerary
Sea Kayaking & Sailing Iceland's West Fjords
A journey by sea, land and horseback
June 7 - 17, 2014
The West Fjords of Iceland offers unequaled landscapes of dramatic cliffs, lush valleys, and few remote fishing villages. Wildlife is abundant with almost 50 species of breeding birds, arctic fox, seals, whales and porpoise. Using a sailboat as our 'Mothership' you will have the flexibility to explore the plentiful fjords that penetrate deeply into this land-mass creating the fingerlike peninsulas of the West Fjords. In addition to the kayaking, you'll also have the chance to explore on foot over glaciers and sloping lava fields. Clean, comfortable, and warm accommodations are provided on board the sailboat as well as delicious Icelandic meals and fresh coffee.
At the end of the kayak/sailing trip, we will return to the capital city of Reykjavik, renowned for its European influence of fine restaurants, nightlife, and shopping. You'll have time to explore this vibrant city full of history, architectural designs, and excellent cuisine. One cannot leave Iceland before experiencing the agility and sturdiness of the Icelandic horse or a visit to the Blue Lagoon. You'll have the option to partake in both activities or spend time exploring on your own on our final day in Iceland.
Day 1 - Departure from US
Day 2 - Domestic flight from Reykjavik to Isafjordur
Day 3 - Explore Isafjordur; leave on kayak trip
Day 4 - Paddle around the island of Vigur; a breeding site for thousands of seabirds
Day 5 - Kayak near spectacular cliffs in the Hornstradir Nature Reserve
Day 6 - Kayak or hike in Hornvik and then sail to the old abandoned village of Hesteyri
Day 7 - Paddle to the Drangajokull glacier & hot springs
Day 8 - Explore the fjord by kayak before returning to Isafjordur
Day 9 - Catch a morning flight to Reykjavik, explore Reykjavik
Day 10 - Optional/day horseback riding
Day 11 - Depart for US
Day 1 - Saturday, June 7
Depart from US to Iceland. It is best to try for the overnight flight arriving in Iceland early morning.
Day 2 - Sunday, June 8
Upon arrival in Iceland, transfer by bus to the domestic airport for a mid-late morning flight to Isafjordur. After we have settled into the guesthouse, spend some time exploring this picturesque village nestled in the shadow of the surrounding foothills. Enjoy an Icelandic cup of coffee, stroll through the tiny streets or stretch your legs wandering the hills and be sure to bring your camera. Our first Icelandic dinner will be enjoyed at the local restaurant as we share excitement for the upcoming sailing/kayaking adventure. (D)
Day 3 - Monday, June 9
Final preparations for gear and equipment will be covered today with the plan to depart at about 4PM to sail to our first night's anchorage, approximately one hour away. Once anchored you'll have the option of going for a short paddle or a short hike along the beach. The long days provide many hours to enjoy this incredible outdoor playground and wonderful lighting for the aspiring or avid photographer. (B, L, D)
Day 4 - Tuesday, June 10
We're off to the island of Vigur, a breeding ground for thousands of seabirds including Eiders, Puffins, Arctic terns and Black Guillemots. You'll have a chance to walk on the island, paddle around it, and experience the unique coexistence of man and nature firsthand. Later in the day, we'll sail 2-4 hours to our next destination, the bay of Aoalvik. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Wednesday, June 11
Get ready for some spectacular scenery today as we paddle along white sandy beaches, and
beneath 600'-1500' cliffs around the Hornvik peninsula, part of the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. The panoramic views of the fjords you will have from the hike will be well worth it and perhaps you'll spot an Arctic fox frolicking in the flowering fields. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Thursday, June 12
View the beauty of this area today with a hike in the preserve to the top of the cliffs or explore more by kayak before we depart by sailboat to our anchorage just offshore of the abandoned village of Hesteyri. A quick side-trip on the sailboat we'll take us across the Arctic Circle before reaching our destination. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Friday, June 13
A paddle across the bay will bring us to the Drangajokull glacier that flows into this fjord stirring the water enough to muddy the waters. Hike up the glacier and perhaps even take the kayaks up the river and try an easy run down. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Saturday, June 14
This is the final day of the kayak trip with the option of a short or long paddle. Later in the day we will end up back in Isafjordur, check into the guesthouse and head off to dinner, indulging in another wonderful Icelandic meal and sharing tales of the week. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - Sunday, June 15
After breakfast and packing our belongings, we'll catch a morning flight to Reykjavik, check into our hotel, and venture off to explore this vibrant city rich in history, culture, and architecture - maybe we'll even stop by for a soak in one of the many thermal pools scattered throughout the city. (B)
Day 10 - Monday, June 16
It's off to "tolt" on the sturdy-footed, agile, and gentle Icelandic horses through lava fields, farmland, and rolling hills. These iconic creatures are beloved by the Icelandic people and an important link in the transportation chain of this small country. If you'd prefer not to ride, you'll have time to explore more of the city before we all meet up for our final dinner. (B)
Day 11 - Tuesday, June 17
Departure day. (B)
$5250 per person double occupancy; single supplement $300.
If you are single and willing to share a room, please let us know.
• Domestic Flight from Reyjkavik to West Fjords and back
• Meals as noted on itinerary
• Four-nights accommodations in guesthouses/hotels
• 5 days kayaking/sailing including kayaks, paddles, PFDs, and spray skirts
• Accommodations on the sailboat and all meals while on the kayak/sailing trip
What's Not Provided
• International airfare
• Meals not specified on the itinerary
• Excess baggage charges or insurance of any kind
• Alcoholic beverages
• Items of a personal nature (snacks, laundry, etc.)
• Fees for any optional activities such as horseback riding or other sightseeing options
• Airport departure taxes; additional hotel nights that may be incurred due to airport schedule changes or other factors
• Gratuities for guides
NOTE: We try to be as accurate as we can with our itineraries but certain factors out of our control can cause the itinerary to change. We appreciate your flexibility and trust in us to provide you with a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience.