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Visitor Information

The best source is the information center in Ísafjörður. The Environment and Food Agency website www.ust.is (click "Protected Areas," then "Tourist Information") has very useful information.

Getting There & Around

For those not taking an organized tour, the general procedure is to sketch out an itinerary in sync with ferry schedules. Most travelers take ferries to Hornstrandir from Ísafjörður or Bolungarvík, the village 14km (9 miles) northwest of Ísafjörður. The other ferry connection is from Norðurfjörður, on the Strandir coast. You could start in Ísafjörður and end up in Norðurfjörður, or vice-versa, but Norðurfjörður is a tiny settlement with no scheduled buses or car rentals. A few travelers walk the 16km (10 miles) between Norðurfjörður and the tiny Gjögur airport, which has one weekly flight to and from Reykjavík. Hardcore hikers sometimes walk into Hornstrandir over several days, starting from Unaðsdalur, at the end of Route 635 on the north shore of Ísafjarðardjúp.

Contrary to what many have heard, camping is not necessary in Hornstrandir. If you like to camp but don't enjoy lugging your tent and gear around in a heavy backpack, the ferry system allows you to set up base camps from which to explore. West Tours acts as an agent for all ferries below, and can even arrange for packages to be sent in. Schedules (except for Freydís) are mapped out at their website.

Sjóferðir (tel. 456-3879; www.sjoferdir.is), based in Ísafjörður, has weekly ferry service to Grunnavík (3,500kr/$56/£28), Hesteyri (4,000kr/$64/£32), Aðalvík (4,200kr/$67/£34), Veiðileysufjörður (4,800kr/$77/£38), Hrafnfjörður (4,800kr/$77/£38), and Hornvík (6,800kr/$109/£54) from late June to late August (all prices one-way). The schedule at the website is misleading, because many listed departures are only for organized tours with West Tours.

 

The ferry run by Borea Adventuress (tel. 456-3322; www.boreaadventures.is; ) leaves from Bolungarvík and has irregular service (phone to check or book) to Grunnavík, Hesteyri, and Aðalvík from mid-June through August (all prices one-way).

The ferry run by Ferðaþjónustan Grunnavík (tel. 456-4664; www.grunnavik.is) leaves from Bolungarvík and has twice-weekly service to Grunnavík (3,000kr/$48/£24), Hesteyri (3,500kr/$56/£28), and Aðalvík (3,500kr/$56/£28) from mid-June through August (all prices one-way).

Freydís (tel. 893-6926 or 852-9367; www.freydis.is) operates the ferry from Norðurfjörður twice per week from late June to mid-August, stopping at guesthouses in Reykjarfjörður (not to be confused with the fjord of the same name south of Norðurfjörður; 5,000kr/$80/£40), Bolungavík (not to be confused with Bolungarvík near Ísafjörður; 5,500kr/$88/£44), and Látravík (aka Hornbjargsviti; 6,000kr/$96/£48) en route to Hornvík (6,500kr/$104/£52) and Hælavík (aka Hlöðuvík; 6,500kr/$104/£52) and back to Norðurfjörður (all prices one-way). Taking the round-trip route as a sightseeing day trip is 8,000kr ($128/£64). A third weekly trip extends only from Norðurfjörður to Reykjarfjörður.

Don't Stand Up the Ferry Man -- If you're traveling independently in the Nature Reserve, your ferry operator will ask when and where you expect to be picked up. If your plans change, relay a message to the boat operator through a guesthouse or another traveler. Otherwise an expensive search and rescue mission will probably be launched.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.