The Icelandic Westfjords are a jewel in In Iceland’s crown. They have duly been receiving the recognition they deserve among travellers in recent years. Flat tabletop mountains from the oldest bedrock in Iceland have been polished through millennia, while glaciers grew and receded. Endless fjords and bays boast an abundance of marine and avian wildlife. Slopes connect sea to summit, with almost no land in between. These are the Westfjords. Here, people have been carving out life since the age of settlement, through the harshest of living conditions.
The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
The Westfjords are home to one of Iceland’s last true wildernesses. They are a haven for nature lovers, with no motorized vehicles permitted, no helicopters landing and the resulting lack of industrial noise leaving only nature’s song.
The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve has been uninhabited since around 1950 and became a protected area in 1975. It covers 580 km2 of mountainous terrain. The evidence of previous human inhabitants in the dramatic landscape evokes real respect for those who built and lived their lives here.
An unforgettable adventure
It is to this remote and wonderful place we will bring our guests this spring, on board Örkin, a classic Icelandic oak boat newly renovated and fitted out with all modern comforts for the winter explorer. Örkin will serve as both our mode of transportation from Isafjörður harbour, and as our accommodation. She will be waiting for us as we ski down the slopes of a new valley each day, following the snowline all the way to shore.
Just imagine: you wake up to the smell of coffee and wander up to deck, while taking in the vistas of today’s skiing. In the dawn light, you warm your hands on your cup and listen to the silence. It is broken only by the soothing lap of waves against the ship’s hull, or perhaps a lonely fox wailing in the distance. After breakfast, the dinghy takes you to shore and you head up the slope to today’s pass. The beauty of the pristine snow under the bright sky, and the crisp smell of fresh air invigorate your senses. This is truly what freedom means.
We look forward to welcoming you to experience the peace and the exhilaration of the Hornstrandir nature reserve on skis. Check out our availability here, and beware: there are limited spaces, because we want our guests to have all the space in the world.