Ísafjörður (Isafjordur), Iceland

Introduction to Ísafjörður (Isafjordur), Iceland

Perched on a sand-spit jutting out into an inlet on one of northwest Iceland's deepest fjords, Ísafjörður has a fine natural harbour which has made this one of the country's main fishing and trading centres for over 250 years.

With its fine natural harbour, Ísafjörður – the largest town of the Westfjords - has been one of Iceland’s busiest and most important fishing and trading centres for over 250 years. Set against a backdrop of steep mountains and perched on a sand-spit that juts out into an inlet of one of the deepest fjords in northwest Iceland, Isafjordur isn’t just one of Iceland’s most important towns; it is one of the prettiest too.

The town centre of Isafjordur has some of the best preserved timber buildings in the country and is a joy to explore. It is only a small town, so it is easy to navigate on foot and it is worth visiting some of the warm cafes, bakeries and welcoming family-run restaurants that serve the finest locally caught seafood all year round. There are also a couple of museums to visit and on occasion, music festivals and events take place in the town offering visitors the chance to experience modern Icelandic culture.

During your time in Ísafjörður, be sure to explore the beautiful landscape of Vigur – ‘The Paradise Island’. The island is only a 30 minute boat trip away and is home to thousands of birds of various species including puffins, arctic terns, eider ducks, black guillemots and more. Here you can also visit Europe’s smallest post office and send a postcard to your envious friends and family back home.

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BOAT TRIP TO VIGUR ISLAND

  • Discover the charming island of Vigur
  • Admire the countless birds living in harmony with the natural environment
  • Learn about the traditional farming heritage and the old farming remnants that have been preserved on the island
Boat Tour
Price£80.00-£90.00
DurationApproximately 3 Hours
LimitationLimited capacity per departure
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Admire the beautiful island of Vigur - just two kilometres long and 400 metres (1,312 feet) wide, it is a green oasis in the blue waters of the fjord Isafjardardjup. During spring the island is the nesting place for countless birds.

An approximate 30 minute boat ride will take you to Vigur, where a walk around the island will offer you the perfect opportunity to see an abundance of birds in their natural environment. Discover relics of old farming methods which are preserved in Vigur, including Iceland’s only windmill, built in 1840 and used until 1917 for grinding imported wheat from Denmark. The windmill has been carefully preserved as well as a 200 year old eight oar rowing boat, which is still in use to ferry sheep to the mainland.

The houses also date back to the last century. Viktoria House was erected in Vigur in 1862, made of wood, which was pre-cut into shape in Norway. In 1993 the house was restored by the National Museum of Iceland. The second house was erected by a young priest in 1884 -  an ancestor of his family still lives on Vigur today.

Before heading back to Ísafjörður, refreshments will be served in the old cowshed and you will also have the chance to visit one of the smallest post offices in Europe, which is located on the island, and gives you the opportunity to send home a postcard

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 ICELAND CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Due to the steps to get into and out of the boat, as well as the walking on the Island, over uneven, gravel, grass and muddy ground, this tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Sturdy and waterproof shoes or boots are recommended. Please note that the sighting of particular sea birds cannot be guaranteed after mid-August, and all sightings are dependent on both the season and the weather. Coffee or tea and Icelandic cakes will be served by the farmer’s family.


Fjord Kayaking, Iceland

FJORD KAYAKING

  • Kayak along the majestic fjord of Ísafjörður in West Iceland
  • Admire the natural surroundings and savour the serenity of the area
  • Kayaking between the mountains is an unforgettable experience
Activity Tour
Price£90.00-£100.00
DurationApproximately 2 hours
LimitationVery limited capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Fjord kayaking is not only a healthy and rewarding way to spend your time; it is also the perfect way to get to admire Icelandic nature up close. Grab a paddle and get ready for a great adventure!

Your kayak will take you close to the magnificent mountains which tower over Ísafjörður, giving you a different perspective of your beautiful surroundings and the impressive fjord.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 ICELAND CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? You will have a short walk to and from the departure point for the kayaking. Participants must be a minimum of 12 years old and all children must be accompanied by an adult. You will be in single kayaks. Life vests and a waterproof jacket will be provided. You will spend approximately one and a half hours on the water, so guests need to be fairly active to participate.


Flowers & Fjords, Isafjordur, Iceland

FLOWERS & FJORDS

  • Discover Iceland’s oldest botanical garden
  • Enjoy an Icelandic musical recital in the charming village of Flateyri
Activity Tour
Price£70.00-£80.00
DurationApproximately 3 hours
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
Free time includedFree time included

 

This tour combines the landscape and a visit to Skrudur Botanical Garden with the history and culture of Iceland.

Begin with a drive across the mountains for an excellent view of the harsh landscape. Your first visit is to Skrudur, the first Icelandic Botanical Garden, which was founded in 1909. It was the concept of the former minister and principal of Nupur, who was the cultivation pioneer of Iceland.

Continue on with a drive to the village of Flateyri located on a gravel spit that was built around shark fishing in the middle of the 19th century. In Flateyri you will be dropped near the church. It is a small and charming rural church, typical of villages in Iceland. Here you can enjoy an Icelandic music recital.

From the church, enjoy a stroll with your guide through the centre of Flateyri and take the opportunity to visit the old bookshop and the merchant’s home, where time stands still. Here you can view an exhibition reflecting the history of Flateyri, and you will also visit the handicraft workshop where local women make pieces of art. Enjoy a coffee break in the village before the return drive to your awaiting ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 ICELAND CRUISES 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour is accessible to guests with wheelchairs, as the sites visited can be accessed with assistance, however all participants must be able to board the coach unaided. Approximately one hour of walking in total is required, over paved and gravel ground and a few steps – guests may remain on the coach at stops if they wish (to get the most from the tour, however, we do not recommend this). You will have some free time at the gardens and the village. Refreshments will comprise tea or coffee and cake. Please note that the journey includes tunnels, so this tour may not be suitable for guests who suffer from claustrophobia.


GLACIER FJORDS & HESTEYRI BOAT TRIP

  • Cruise along the remote area of Jökulfirðir, also known as the Glacial Fjords
  • Admire the beautiful scenery and learn about the rich history of Hesteyri
  • Step back in time as you visit the ruins of a herring processing factory
Boat Tour
Price£90.00-£100.00
DurationApproximately 4.5 Hours
LimitationVery limited capacity
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
Free time includedFree time included

Travel by boat to the beaches of Hornstrandir - one of the most beautiful and remote areas in Iceland. The pleasant cruise through the glacier fjords gives you the chance to relax and hopefully spot such birds as the Arctic tern!

An approximate one hour cruise will take you to your destination at Hesteyri - the westernmost bay of the Glacier Fjords. With very limited lowland strips, this isolated spit of land is framed with steep cliffs and has the backdrop of two beautiful mountains.

Your visit will give you an insight into the difficult lives of the people living in Hesteyri, who eventually deserted the village. Tired of the isolation and hardships the location imposed upon them, they left in 1940 when herring fishing came to an abrupt end. In 1975, the area was turned into a nature reserve and today represents one of the main wild areas in Iceland. After a walk around the area you will stop for light refreshments at the former doctor’s home.  As Hornstrandir is one of the most inaccessible areas in Iceland, this journey is definitely something to write home about.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 ICELAND CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchairs users. Depending upon the tide, the boat may be accessed by a small dinghy, which will be boarded via narrow, steep steps. Furthermore, getting off and on the boat at Hesteyri pier is not suitable for guests with mobility problems, as there are several steps to negotiate as well as a narrow pier with no sturdy handrail. Some walking is required over uneven, gravelled and muddy ground, as well as grass. Sturdy and waterproof shoes or boots are recommended. Please note that the sighting of particular sea birds cannot be guaranteed. Refreshments will typically include Icelandic pancakes and traditional rye bread with smoked lamb.


LIFE & CULTURE OF ÍSAFJÖRĐUR

  • Discover the history and heritage of Ísafjörður
  • Immerse yourself  into the local culture with a visit to Osvor – a perfect example of how life was for Icelandic fishermen
  • View the diverse landscapes of the western Icelandic fjords
Activity Tour Boat Tour
Price£70.00-£80.00
DurationApproximately 3 Hours
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
Free time includedFree time included

Ever wondered what is it like to live at latitude 66° north? Well this tour will give you an insight into the area and the lives of those who live there!

Begin with a drive through the centre of Ísafjörður along a narrow coastal road towards the town of Bolungarvik to visit the church. The village of Bolungarvik lies in a picturesque bay surrounded by steep mountains. A visit is made to Osvor, an old fisherman’s hut, which was restored in 1988. Osvor is a perfect example of how life was for Icelandic fishermen until the beginning of the 20th century.

Travelling in the direction of Ísafjörður you can enjoy views of the magnificent mountains of the Djup, the largest fjord in the Westfjords, before continuing to the Valley of Tungudalur. Upon your return, drive through the oldest part of Ísafjörður and stop at the Maritime Museum. The museum is situated in one of the oldest houses in Ísafjörður and beside it there are three other renovated and preserved houses, all from the same era - around 1780.

TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017 ICELAND CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour is not recommended to guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users, as most of the sites visited do not have easy access. Sturdy and waterproof shoes or boots are recommended in case of wet weather. Typical Icelandic refreshments, including dried fish and/or shark, preserved Icelandic style, will be served on this tour. Please note that the journey includes tunnels, so this tour may not be suitable for guests who suffer from claustrophobia.


Dynjandi Waterfall, Isafjordur, Iceland.

THE DYNJANDI WATERFALLS

  • Admire the beautiful Dynjandi Waterfall –considered the most stunning waterfall in Iceland
  • Take in the majestic scenery from the comfort of your coach

 

Activity Tour
Price£170.00-£200.00
DurationApproximately 5 Hours
LimitationLimited spaces
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

This tour visits Dynjandi, a picturesque waterfall which is one of the main attractions of the Westfjords.

Leaving Ísafjörður you will embark on a scenic drive to enjoy the Icelandic scenery en route to the Dynjandi Waterfall. Arriving at the waterfall, you will have plenty of time to marvel at this beautiful cascading waterfall (which is actually one of a series of seven) before proceeding to the remote village of Suðureyri.

Suðureyri is best-known for its scenic location and sustainable food producers. During your stop here, you will enjoy a walk named by locals as the seafood trail, and learn how the thriving community processes Iceland’s finest fish. Enjoy a tasting of the local produce, including the fresh Icelandic fish, and learn all about how the fish can be on your dinner plate in just 36 hours! Feeling refreshed, you will then re-board your tour coach and travel back to Ísafjörður.

TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017 ICELAND CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that there will be an approximate ten minute walk to view the waterfall, however to fully appreciate this natural wonder, a further 30 minute walk will need to be undertaken, over grassy and potentially muddy terrain – so please wear suitable footwear should you wish to do this element of the tour. Please note that the waterfall will not be seen from the coach. Please be aware that the seafood trial will be an approximate 800 metre (2,624 feet) walk - this must be negotiated in order to enjoy the tasting.  Typical Icelandic refreshments will be served. Please note that the journey includes tunnels, so this tour may not be suitable for guests who suffer from claustrophobia.


Dynjandi Waterfall, Isafjordur, Iceland.

WESTFJORD HIGHLANDS BY SUPER 4x4

  • Enjoy an exhilarating off-road journey in a 4x4 super truck
  • Marvel at the Dynjandi Waterfall – regarded as the most stunning of the many waterfalls in Iceland
  • Discover the Icelandic mountains which are often referred to as “the Alps of the Westfjords”

 

Activity Tour
Price£275.00-£315.00
DurationApproximately 5.5 Hours
LimitationVery limited spaces
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

This Super Jeep adventure allows you to a see a side of Iceland’s wild western fjords that is hidden to many.

Leavening Ísafjörður behind you will travel to the small friendly village of Þingeyri, where you will enjoy a brief stop. From Þingeyri you will make your way up the steep and narrow Hrafnseyrarheiði Heath to the thundering Dynjandi Waterfall awaits you. The waterfall is considered by many to be the most stunning of the many waterfalls in Iceland. It elegantly drapes several platforms of lava rocks with crystal clear water.

Next, you will make your way back towards Ísafjörður, where you will briefly visit Auðkúla Farm, where a large colony of eider ducks resides during the breeding season. Follow a winding dirt road in Fossdalur, known as Waterfall Valley, where you can admire the spectacularly scenic shoreline on one side and a breathtaking mountain range on the other. If road conditions allow, you will drive along Mount Kaldbakur – the highest mountain in the Westfjords, which is only reached by super 4x4

TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017 ICELAND CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Guests will be required to negotiate a deep step in order to board the vehicle; therefore this tour is regrettably not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. You will be travelling off-road so please be prepared to be bumped around. We do not recommend this tour to guests suffering from neck or back injuries, or pregnant ladies. Please note that the journey includes tunnels, so this tour may not be suitable for guests who suffer from claustrophobia. Please kindly note that the duration of the tour can be anywhere between five to six hours, as it depends on the conditions of the roads travelled – this will purely depend on whether Mount Kaldbakur can be visited or not.

 


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