Best time to visit Iceland

Fjord Kayaking in Iceland

Secluded and calm waterways full of wildlife are an excellent location for paddlers

Best time: mid-May–September

Fjord Kayaking

The serene beauty of the fjord system on the Icelandic coast offers endless opportunities for fjord kayaking. Calm fjord areas are appropriate for paddlers of all levels, including those without previous experience. The variety of options minimizes the possibility of trip cancellation which could be frequent due to changeable weather.

Hvalfjörður Fjord or Whale Fjord is one of the favourite locations for kayakers in Iceland. Besides its natural serenity, it's known for excellent wildlife watching opportunities, particularly in summer when it teems with migratory birds. The fjord is already labelled a bird lover's paradise.

Another popular kayaking spot is West Fjords. It is suitable for kayakers with some paddling experience. Tours usually depart from Isafjordur. Imagine the beauty of kayaking along fjords with snow-covered slopes on the backdrop. Proximity to the glaciers gives you the feeling of being close to the Arctic Circle.

The fjord kayaking season runs from mid-May to the end of September. Tour companies offer packages with departure from Reykjavik or right on the spot all around the country.

Practical info

When is the best time to go fjord kayaking in Iceland?

Fjord kayaking in Iceland is best during the period between mid-May and the end of September due to stable weather conditions and migratory bird sightings in summer. Prior to the trip, it is critical to check the weather conditions with your tour operator as Icelandic weather can be unpredictable. Show more

Where are the most popular fjord kayaking spots in Iceland?

One of Iceland's favourite locations for kayakers is Hvalfjörður Fjord, also known as Whale Fjord. Another popular kayaking spot is West Fjords. Hvalfjörður Fjord is preferred over West Fjord due to its serene beauty and wildlife watching opportunities. West Fjords provides a more challenging kayaking experience for kayakers with some paddling experience. Show more

What wildlife can you spot while fjord kayaking in Hvalfjörður Fjord?

While kayaking at Hvalfjörður Fjord, you can spot a range of wildlife species, including birds and seals. In summer, the fjord is teeming with migratory birds, including puffins, guillemots, among other seabird species. Seals are also a common sight basking on the rocks or swimming in the fjords. Your tour operator will advise you on the necessary safety measures while kayaking near wildlife. Show more

What is the paddling experience required for kayaking in West Fjords?

Kayaking in the West Fjords is considered more challenging and requires kayakers to have some paddling experience. The region is known for stronger winds, higher motorboat traffic and steep-sided fjords compared to other spots, requiring kayakers to be more confident navigating the steep rock precipices. Tour operators provide equipment, guides and safety measures to ensure a safe kayaking experience. Show more

Are there any tour packages available for fjord kayaking in Iceland?

Yes. Tour companies offer kayak packages for fjord kayaking in Iceland with departure from Reykjavik or on location all around the country. Packages vary in the number of hours, with some taking comprehensive trips to different fjords, while others allow kayakers to take shorter trips focusing on a particular fjord. Tour guides provide kayaking equipment and safety gear, along with instructions on kayaking safety. Take time to compare packages from different companies before booking. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin