Hornstrandir

Iceland’s extreme northwest provides outdoor lovers with the ultimate in untouched nature at Hornstrandir Nature Reserve where unmarked hiking trails link the beautiful fjords and bays of this uninhabited area.

Bereft of civilization since the 1950s, Hornstrandir is completely off limits to all motorized traffic and a wonderful location to commune with wild nature. Located on the rim of the inhabitable world, it is both breathtakingly raw and astonishingly rich in vegetation, and a known location for sighting the normally elusive Arctic fox.

The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve was established in 1975. Its boundaries are in the Skorarheiði moor between the fjords of Hrafnfjörður and Furufjörður. The reserve area thus covers the Hornstrandir region, part of the Jökulfirðir fjords (or the rural district of Sléttuhreppur) and part of the district of Grunnaví­kurhreppur. The Nature and Food Agency is responsible for the Reserve.

Social changes resulted in the abandonment of all farms during World War II and in the post-war period. The land is mostly private property and the land owners are entitled to its traditional utilisation, i.e. eider farming, fishing in rivers and lakes, hunting birds and gathering eggs. Few dozen houses are located within the Nature Reserve are, both old, renovated farmsteads and new summer cottages. People often spend the whole summer in these houses, and it is important that tourists refrain from pitching their tents too close to them.