Thanks to Hornstrandir’s exposed location on the edge of the Greenland Sea, the weather is especially unpredictable, and hiking here needs plenty of careful planning. Deep snow often lies on the ground until July and snow showers are not uncommon even in July and August. Fog, too, can be a particular problem. Also, because there are no functioning settlements here – those marked on maps are farm buildings, or the remains of farm buildings only – you must be prepared for emergencies if you come to hike. It’s essential to bring the following equipment: a sturdy tent and warm sleeping bag, waterproof clothing and boots, more food than you’ll need in case of unforeseen delays (there are no shops or facilities anywhere on the peninsula, except for the guesthouse at Hesteyri), a compass and Landmælingar Íslands 1:100,000 Hornstrandir hiking map.

Although many routes are marked on the map as clearly defined, this is often not the case in reality; in poor weather conditions it can be all too easy to lose the path, so make sure that you can use a compass properly before setting out. Remember, too, that in June and July it doesn’t get dark here, which means you can extend your hiking time if needed. Mobile phones do not work in Hornstrandir, but there are landline phones for use in emergencies in the orange shelters dotted around the coast and marked on maps. Take extra care if you’re crossing tidal flats, or rounding headlands at low tide, as the going can often be very boggy. There are no footbridges in Hornstrandir, so bring an old pair of running shoes to cross rivers and streams – and be prepared to grit your teeth against the bitingly cold water.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Iceland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Hot tub happiness: the dos and don'ts of Icelandic spas

Hot tub happiness: the dos and don'ts of Icelandic spas

Going for a spa in Iceland can feel wonderfully alien. Against a backdrop of barren moonscapes and denuded hills, the waters are so preternaturally blue, so exa…

24 Nov 2016 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Reykjavík

A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Reykjavík

Reykjavík, a bustling port and the world’s most northerly capital, draws visitors from across the globe in record-breaking numbers – and its popularity sho…

12 May 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
360° video: up close and personal with Iceland's Strokkur geyser

360° video: up close and personal with Iceland's Strokkur geyser

Feeling far away from the natural wonders of Iceland? You're about to feel a lot closer. Welcome to 360° virtual reality, where you can look where you wan…

14 Oct 2015 • Colt St. George videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month