Isafjordur & Vigur Island

Aug 14, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer

We dedicated the day to exploring the western side of Iceland. Locally known as the Westjords, this region is far and remote, and although the location we visited has road access, many of the northern areas cannot be reached by anything but small boats or expedition ships.

Our adventures took us from the small village of Isafjordur into various destinations. Some guests went hiking to Valagil, a beautiful valley with a gorgeous waterfall at the end. Others went on a walking culinary experience in the center of town, visiting local houses and enjoying some delicacies unique to the region. The majority of guests enjoyed a scenic ride to see some of the highlights of the region.

During the afternoon, we repositioned the ship to the northwest of Isafjordur to visit a privately owned island called Vigur. The owners of the island and their close relatives were our guides, and they gave us a real, local perspective on a business that has been run for several generations: the extraction of eider duck down and its commercialization.

The whole day was a great opportunity for photography, particularly to use our newly acquired skills taught by the photo instructors on board. Both the morning and afternoon adventures were full of photogenic details, and we were able to use our creativity to capture our unique experiences!

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About the Author

Javier Cotin


Javier 's passion for birds and nature began as a child exploring the Pyrenees mountains with his father. The mystery that surrounds the Lammergeier silhouette triggered his curiosity and interest towards wildlife. Javier studied biology in Spain and Norway, and was awarded his PhD at the University of Barcelona in 2012, titled “Birds as bioindicators of pollution in terrestrial and aquatic environments”. Within it he mainly studied the trophic ecology and pollution levels of land and waterbirds, with a particular focus on how human activities affect bird populations and dynamics. His work provided important information for conservation management of wetlands and terrestrial habitats and the species that utilize them.

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