The nature reserve of Hornstrandir is one of the country’s most exceptional areas. It offers endless outdoor pursuits in its remote mountains, sheltered fjords and bays. It is virtually inaccessible with no roads that lead to it —the only way is by boat. The sailboat Aurora, our movable backcountry hut, awaits us every day with a warm welcome, gourmet meals and friendly chat throughout the everlasting arctic nights.


Meet with the local guide crew at your arrival to Isafjordur village. We settle into the boat that will be our home for the next 6 days. At 6.30 p.m. we leave the harbor and sail across the deep fjord of Isafjordur, a long inlet fjord spiked by eight offshoots. Our captain will sail until he finds a suitable spot for an overnight stay.


Early departure for our first day ride. After a quick kodiak transfer to the fast land of Snæfjallaströnd (the Snow-Mountain-Coast), we follow the seashore by a old sheep trail through a flower covered tundra. Some small river crossings will be on our way this day. After the lunch break we start a rather easy climb on a old mountain road followed by a nice downhill to the other side. We rejoining our sailboat Aurora, wherever she is anchored, in the fjord of Leirufjordur.


Today we venture on one of the most remoted trail in Iceland, from Höfðaströnd to Grunnavík, a beautiful bay that has been inhabited since 1962. The nature is pure and the tranquillity unmatched. We will ride the day through, between steep mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, passing an abandoned farmhouses, without much likelihood of seeing a single human being. Before joining our sailboat we have an option of a short but a fantastic downhill in the bay of Grunnavík. After dinner we sail over to the golden bay of Adalvik.


From the village of Látrar leads an old road, perfect for a nice mtb ride, up to the top of the whale shaped Mt. Straumnes. During the years of 1953-1956 the American army built a radar station on top of it that serviced the army for about 10 years. Now, only some abandoned ruins and old roads are left as a proof of their passage in Hornstrandir. A great downhill will lead us all the way to the seashore again and back to our sailboat.


We kick out the day by a fantastic ride on the golden beach to reach to one of the most popular trails in the area. The first part is a hike-a-bike climb on a rough trail following some remaining cairns. The second part is a packed downhill single track all the way to the seashore. The black sand pebble beach is an indicator of village where the last residents moved out around 1960. During the bright summer days, the “Old Doctor’s House,” is occupied by a small family run coffee house that makes the best local pancakes in the world.


We will have an option of a short bike, kayak or SUP tour activity before sailing back to Ísafjörður. Keep your eyes open for the diverse bird life, seals and the arctic fox. Arrival around 16:00 in the afternoon. You can catch the last flight to Reykjavik that night or stay at least one night to relax and get to know a typical countryside village in Iceland.

There is always possibility of alterations to the itinerary, here above, as weather or terrain conditions dictate. This is for your own good to improve the trip quality and ensure that we choose the best ride that suits each day.

Group size: From 5 - 8 participants.

  • Airfare and taxes to and from Reykjavik to Isafjördur
  • Pickup and drop off at the airport in Isafjördur
  • Expert local leadership
  • Services of a captain and crew
  • All meals and snacks from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 6
  • Use of sea kayaks (optional, please enquire)
  • Use of stand up paddle boards
Not included:
  • Airfare and taxes to and from Keflavik Airport in Iceland
  • Accommodation and meals in Reykjavik before and after the trip
  • Accommodation, meals and extra cost for the Enduro festival in Isafjordur on day 7
  • Trip insurance
  • Your mountain bike and related equipment needed to ride
  • Personal items like drinks, snacks and energy supplements
  • Optional tipping to guides

Technical level: This unique adventure is rated for moderate for intermediate/advanced mountain bikers, used to physically demanding routes.

Fitness level: The adventure level is high on this trip. As you know, the fitter you are the more fun you'll have.

Health: All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully in the group travel experience. If, in the opinion of our group leader, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Aurora-Arktika reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. We therefore ask that you read the itinerary in these trip notes thoroughly and then realistically self-assess your physical ability to complete the trip as described. Please consult with your doctor if you have any doubts.

Responsible travel: We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimize the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects.

The bike: The perfect bike for this trip is a five or six-inch all-mountain dual suspension bike with disk brakes. It is required to have it in excellent working order before the trip begins.

Food: We take great pride in the food we serve on board Arktika and use local produce and ingredients as much as we can. Local fish and lamb are common dinners and often berries and rhubarb pies for desserts. We can cater for vegetarians and guests with dietary restrictions. Please let us know in advance. It is a good idea to take some of your own dietary substitutes if you have a specialist diet.

Climate: Iceland can be chilly, even in summer. Expect nights to dip down to below 10°C (below 50°F) and days to warm up to 15-20°C (60-70°F) and warmer. In mountains, weather can change quickly and drastically and rain is common. Participants should be prepared to ride in challenging weather conditions like cool, rainy, windy days.

Sailing Yacht Aurora: The yacht is a 60-foot sloop built by Colvic Craft in the UK in 1996. She was designed by David Pedrick for the Clipper Round the World Race and has been raced around the world four times. Aurora’s previous owner, Clipper Ventures Plc (based in Gosport, UK), was founded by the legendary sailor, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who in 1969 became the first person to singlehandedly sail around the world non-stop. Sir Robin was in Ísafjör›ur and on the yacht (then named Antiope Clipper) in the summer of 2005, together with Sir Chris Bonington and other friends, en route to Greenland. Over some chicken curry and beer on-board, we decided to fulfill an old dream and buy the yacht! Accommodation is seamanlike—simple and utilitarian—but the vessel is very sturdy and spacious. There are ten single berths, one of which can be turned into a double. Sleeping bags are required for this expedition. The yacht has good heaters, hot and cold water, good galley and spacious communal areas, two heads (toilets) and one shower. There is 220V electricity to charge batteries and other electronic devices. The vessel was initially fitted out for 15 crew, but can now accommodate 12 people—2 crew and 10 guests. The boat is equipped according to strict Icelandic regulations in regards to emergency equipment.

Communication: There is good mobile phone coverage and Internet service in Ísafjörður. Mobile coverage is not good where we travel, though most days there is reception on the mountaintops! On board, Arktika will have a satellite phone that can be used for urgent calls or emails.

Sea sickness: We only sail short distances during this trip, and seasickness has not proven to be problematic. Still, it´s a good idea to bring medication if you know you are prone to seasickness or you think it will be helpful.

Issues on your trip: While we always endeavor to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or the captain straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and mitigate any potential negative impacts during the rest of your trip.

The Next Steps: Once your online registration form has been received we will send you a confirmation in form of a ticket for the trip. Please make sure you have read and understand our Terms and Conditions and do not hesitate to get in touch if you still have questions.

Questions? Feel free to send us an email at if you have any questions.