Iceland // The west coast //

Boat trips from Stykkishólmur

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Stykkishólmur is an excellent place from which to take a boat trip out into the island-studded waters of Breiðafjörður. Two companies operate from the harbour: the most exhilarating tour is offered by Ocean Safari, Hafnargata 2 (t820 0350, woceansafari.is) who use a speedy 12-seater rigid inflatable which scuds across the water, getting up close to the islands and local birdlife. The 2hr tour costs 8900kr, and there are three daily; you can also create your own itinerary. Sæferðir, Smiðjustígur 3 (t433 2254, wsaeferdir.is), operates a larger catamaran and offer a similar two-hour nature-watching tour, known as the Unique Adventure Tour (1–2 daily mid-May to mid-Sept; 6690kr), which also heads out to the dozens of tiny islands northeast of Stykkishólmur. During the tour the crew fish for shellfish using a small drag net and everyone on board gets a chance to taste the contents. On both tours you’ll see plenty of species of birds including puffins, eider ducks, kittiwakes, cormorants and, if you’re lucky, the white-tailed eagle and you’ll pass close to the small and now uninhabited Öxney island, east of Stykkishólmur, where Eirík the Red and his son, Leifur Eiríksson lived for several years. Sæferðir also operates the car ferry to Flatey and Brjánslækur in the West Fjords.

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