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.

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