It’s a sunny morning in May when two Hey Iceland colleagues suddenly find themselves paddling through the calm waters of Hvalfjörður fjord in a sea kayak. Well… it may not have been that sudden, but it was a welcome trip outside the office to try one of the activities we often recommend to our customers.
The activity in question is called Fjord Serenity – Sea Kayaking in Hvalfjörður and is operated by our partners at Arctic Adventures. Pick up is optional and you can meet the team on location if you prefer. We decided to enjoy the full-service experience this time around.
The tour started with an early pick up in Reykjavík. The weather was perfect and we had a feeling that the day would be nothing short of amazing. The drive along Hvalfjörður coast is stunning with mountainous ocean views. Hvalfjörður is a deep fjord, shaped by the ice age glaciers, with steep 1000 m table top mountains reaching for the sky. This is where allied troops hid their submarines and battleships during WWII.
When we reached our destination, we were introduced to our three guides, Maggi, Emily and Anoula. We were handed waterproof jackets and life vests and were taught how to handle the paddle and what to expect on a sea kayak trip. Still not a single cloud in the sky.
Now it was time to set the kayaks afloat and start paddling on the big blue sea. Maggi told the distance we would travel on this trip was around 7 km around a small peninsula.
When we were about half-way around the peninsula we stopped at a small beach to eat some food and regain our energy. This was the perfect time to just sit still and enjoy the stunning scenery and the fjord serenity. The sun still shining, no wind and no fuss.
When lunch break was over it was time to continue the trip around the peninsula. As we paddled in the calm waters our guides provided us with interesting information about the area, Icelandic birdlife and a friendly chat.
As we paddled past a small island our guide Maggi told us that a pair of eagles had nested on top of the island. He told us to keep an eye out because chances are we could spot them. Only a few minutes later an eagle flew past us, soaring in the sky and spreading its wings wide. Awestruck we stared at the bird, taking in every wing stroke, following its path in the sky. Calm waters and total stillness of heart made it possible for us to just take in every second and enjoy. When the eagle was gone Maggi was quick to point out that there were also puffins flying to and from the small island. A big flock of puffins even sat still on the water surface and paddling past them just added to the wonder of the trip.
We did not see any seals that day, but Maggi told us they are a common sight in the area.
Now the trip had come to an end. It was time to land on a small beach and head back home. “We have a special surprise for you”, Maggi said. “Because you are such a great group of people, we will add rock climbing to your trip.” We laughed. Such a funny guy.
As we landed on the beach we saw that he had not been joking about the rock climbing. We landed on a small beach surrounded by cliffs and we realised that we would have to climb the rocks to get back to the car. And we would have to do so carrying the kayaks.
For a moment or two, we did not like the idea. But then the fun began. Our guides are obviously not first-timers doing this and Maggi directed the group in where to stand, what to do and how to carry the kayaks.
The rock climbing ended up being a whole lot of fun. One of the guys in the group had the biggest smile on his face and said: “this is just the perfect ending to a perfect adventure”. We agree.
When: May 15th – September 30th Duration: 6 hours
Level: Moderate Pick up: Yes Meet on location: Yes
Minimum age: 14 years Recommended: Yes!
Included: 4-star BCU certified sea kayaking guide, waterproof jacket, life vest