May 12, 2018
May 26, 2018
Join us as we explore the wild West of Iceland from a totally unique perspective.
Your Icelandic adventure begins in Reykjavik, the world’s most northerly capital city. With almost 24 hours of daylight during the summer, Reykjavik truly becomes the city that never sleeps. Managing to combine a terrific blend of hip and wholesome, but without the stress that usually follows a cosmopolitan metropolis, it is definitely worth arriving a couple of days early to explore this intriguing city.
Stykkisholmur, Snaefellsiokull and the Isle of Flatey
Leaving Reykjavik we set sail for Icelands prettiest town, Stykkisholmur, a great place to plan an visit to the Snaefellsiokull, one of Iceland’s great glaciers. We then set of for one of the largest of the Breidafjordur Islands, the Isle of Flatey, often covered in bright yellow buttercups during the summer months.
Vatnsfordur Nature Reserve and the bird cliffs of Latrabjarg
After exploring the Briedafjordur Islands, we continue our journey North where numerous glistening fjords await to be explored. Here, we have the opportunity to visit Vatnsfurdur National Park, famous for its rich bird life. The red-throated and great northern diver and the colourful harlequin duck are known to nest in this area. Binoculars a must here to view the impressive bird colonies on the cliffs of Latrabjarg.
Hornstrandir National Park
Leaving the Western fjords of Dynjandisvogur and Borgafjordur behind, we head further North to one of the highlights of this voyage, Hornstrandir National Park. On the very edge of the Arctic Circle facing the Denmark Strait, Hornstrandir makes up the unhospitable North West corner of Iceland. Here, hiking is the main activity. The cliffs are home to the country’s greatest bird colonies. The birds themselves attract predators like the Arctic Foxes. With cliffs full of Puffins, Fulmars, Guillimots, Kittiwakes and Razorbills, seals sunbathing on the warm rocks and Arcitic Foxes wondering the wildflower meadows, you will definitely not be disappointed by this Icelandic wildlife at its best.
Djupavik and the North Coast
Sailing out of the fjords and into the Denmark Strait, breath taking views will surround you, the steep cliffs rising up and natural ice sculptures forming everywhere. As we make our way to Djupavik in the Reykjarfjordur you will get familiar with the North coast of Iceland. With a heading south east you will pass some of the most stunning sites Iceland has to offer. The shallow fjords and coast are uninhabited and rarely visited. With a population of only 12, Nordurfjordur is one of Icelands most remote communities. Enjoy an icy plunge in the North Atlantic after a warming bath in the natural hot spring, situated at the foot of the Krossneslaug mountain. It is one of those memorable experiences only Iceland can offer! Djupavik once was a thriving herring port. The old factory is proof of the once prospering outpost. The old building is now used for cultural exhibitions and is open to the public.
Further south we find Drangsnes at the mouth of the Steingrimsfjordur, overlooking Grimsey Island (not to be confused with its larger brother to the north), home to the second largest Puffin colony in the world. Sailing over to Skagafjordur there is another bird sanctuary at the Island of Drangey. A short stop before dropping anchor for the night.
Next morning it's off to Icelands most northerly city, Siglufjordur. Only 20 mile south of the Arctic circle! The town once was the Herring capital of the world but has now slipped into a more quieter existence. An ideal base to leave for Grimsey, the Island on the Arctic Circle. Named after Grimur, the first Viking settler. This chunk of basalt is now home to a tiny community and one settlement, Sandvik. Like most of the offshore Islands of Iceland it is host to a great variety of birds. Following the rough sheep track around the Island you will soon get in contact with most of them. Just passed the airport, runs the Arctic Line. It is marked by a signpost and a good opportunity for a photograph.
Leaving Grimsey we set course for Akureyri at the end of Eyjafjordur. When underway it is not unlikely to spot one of the many whale species visiting Iceland. There should still be time to stop at the Isle of Hrisey, home to the Ptarmigan. They are protected by law and have no natural enemies, making them very tame and approachable. Be aware of the Arctic Terns, for they can be extremely protective of their eggs and offspring. The Island is also a good place to spot Golden Plover and Eider ducks. The last stretch of sailing on this trip will be amongst North Iceland most rugged mountains, made up of the snow-capped Latrastrond coastline including the 1167mtr high peak of Kaldbakur. A spectacular end to an even more spectacular trip!