When speaking about Iceland, most of the people characterizes it as rough and harsh in terms of not having a very hospitable weather. Indeed, one rarely uses word “pleasant” when discussing Iceland’s climate; however, the weather differs in various parts of country. If you are all about the challenges and if you really want to see the toughest and most unspoiled of all the corners of Iceland, head to Hornstrandir – a tempestuous yet scenic peninsula at the very top of the country.
For centuries, locals have identified that Hornstrandir holds some very precious nature values and hence people there have always tried to more or less live and work in ways that harm these values as less as possible. Although there were attempts to construct and maintain some settlements and industries, namely fishing and farming, the social and economic challenges combined with the inconvenient location worked against these strives and now there are mainly ruins left of these times.
Magnificent mountains, pitted cliffs, meadows scattered with wildflowers and sandy beaches welcome you when arriving at Hornstrandir. The most impressive sightseeing highlight in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve surely is Hornbjarg Cliff. Being 533 meters high, it is the highest point of the peninsula and it has become home for vast and impressive bird colonies – not only puffins but also razorbills, guillemots and fulmars making it every bird-watcher’s dream spot. It must be point out that hiking in Hornstrandir is no stroll in the park – it usually takes quite a lot of time and you won’t see many tourist facilities on your way (you won’t meet that many tourists there), the paths are quite rough and most likely you will have to spend the night in a tent. However, if you are up to such challenges and you want to be as deep in the wilderness as possible, this is one of the best options in Iceland.