Informationen über: Ostfjorde

East Iceland at sunsetThe Eastfjords of Iceland is a 120 kilometre (75 miles) stretch of coastline from Berufjörður, in the south, to the small fishing village of Borgarfjörður Eystri in the north.

Out of the country's total population of 335,000 people, only an estimated 3.2% live in East Iceland. Locally referred to as "Austurland" or "Austfirðir", the whole area covers 22,721 square kilometres (8,773 square miles).

Nature in East Iceland

East Iceland has many narrow fjords, surrounded by steep cliffs. Fishing villages sit in most of them.

Often overlooked by visitors, the East Fjords represent the very best of what Iceland has to offer. Including fantastic scenery, remote fishing villages, sparkling lakes, dense forests and traditional farms.

The region boasts the sunniest weather in the country, as well as some of Iceland’s most well-known and loved wildlife.

This region is especially famous for its herds of wild reindeer. It is the only place in the country that reindeer live. Initially brought over for farming, the industry was never lucrative, and they have roamed free ever since.

Reindeer can be found in some areas of East Iceland​​Migratory birds live both inland and in the cliffs in summer, including the elusive puffin.

Many rivers run through the district and by their estuaries, colonies of seals reside. The fertile waters also provide food to whales and dolphins, making them visible even from the side of the shore.

The impressive mountain Snӕfell (not to be confused with Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the West of Iceland) is Iceland's highest free-standing peak and sits in the East. Near here is the highland oasis of Eyjabakkar, one of the world's most significant nesting places for the pink-footed goose.  

Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier, stretches to the borders of Eastern Iceland and is so large it is visible from many places throughout the region.

Breathtaking coastlines and the promise of tranquil solitude also bring visitors to East Iceland. It would make an ideal stop on your ring road adventure.

Klifbrekkufossar waterfall in East Iceland​​There are plenty of things to do in Iceland’s East Fjords. If you enjoy pleasant walks through nature, Borgarfjörður Eystri is a hiker’s paradise. Local folklore tells that this area is home to elves and Iceland’s ‘hidden folk’.

There are also incredible basalt rock formations in Studlagil Canyon. Though the canyon requires a hike to reach it, it’s a genuinely astonishing place for geologists and nature lovers alike.

The East of Iceland is also home to some beautiful waterfalls, such as Litlanesfoss and Hengifoss

Egilsstaðir

East Iceland has only a few towns with vital services. The main one of these, considered to be the capital of the region, is Egilsstaðir.

Egilsstaðir has restaurants, museums, shops, petrol stations and an array of accommodation options to suit all budgets. It is also home to an airport, meaning those with limited time or without a driving licence can easily reach it from Reykjavík.

Vok Baths in East Iceland​​This small, idyllic town in the East of Iceland is famous for many reasons. The most popular things to do near Egilsstadir include hiking, visiting a swimming pool or Spa (Vok Baths is particularly special), visiting waterfalls, and exploring the quaint town. It also boasts a famous Heritage Museum. This gives visitors an insight into the lives of East Icelanders in days gone by.

Hallormsstaðarskógur forest in East Iceland​​The area is packed with fantastic cultural landmarks, such as Hallormsstaðarskógur, the country’s largest forest. This can be found just on the eastern shore of Lake Lagarfljót. Look closely enough at the lake, and you may spot a worm monster in the water.

Hallormsstaðaskógur covers 740 hectares. It is made up of over eighty different species of trees from all over the world. The rate it has grown at is astonishing, considering that in 1910 it was merely a small group of trees within a protected paddock.

Egilsstaðir also has an annual electronic music festival, Hringrás; the Orsteiti Town Festival; and a jazz festival.

For something a touch more relaxing, one could also take a soothing dip in the swimming pool at Selárlaug, near Bakkafjörður. The pool is surrounded by mountains and beautiful views over the fjord and is considered one of the most authentic experiences available in the region.

In the East Fjords in winter, you’ll have an excellent chance to see the Northern Lights from such remote areas as Egilsstaðir, weather permitting of course.

The blue church with the rainbow street leading up to it​​

Seyðisfjörður

Those visiting Iceland by ferry from mainland Europe or the Faroe Islands will make port at Seyðisfjörður. The town has a small population of 700 people. It is famous for its ornate wooden architecture, Scandinavian influence and historical herring-fishing industry. Much of the timber used to develop Seyðisfjörður was shipped over by Norway ready-made in the 18th century.

In the town centre lies a rainbow-painted street, which leads to a famous blue church.

Seyðisfjörður town in East Iceland​​Seyðisfjörður is surrounded by pounding waterfalls, flat-top mountains and serene hiking trails, complemented by gorgeous panoramas over the adjacent fjord. 

Other activities available from or near Seyðisfjörður include scuba diving, skiing, sea angling, paragliding and horseback riding. There are also several cultural exhibits to visit. These include the Fjarðarsel Power Plant Museum and Skaftfell Centre for Visual Arts.

The Ring Road encircles the whole of Iceland

Fáskrúðsfjörður

Fáskrúðsfjörður is a village with a population of just 700. It is nestled in the heart of the East Fjords and has a very distinct culture all of its own. 

Its first settlers were French fisherman, and their legacy lives on in this small town. They first arrived in the mid-1800s. The Frenchmen built houses, a hospital and a harbour, which they considered to be all they would need for their time in Iceland.

They were quite settled here in this small coastal village. However, in the First World War, many Frenchmen were called into duty in defence of France. The town soon emptied of men. However, their heritage lives on.

It’s possible to visit the french hospital, where the full story of these French settlers can be learned. It has recently been renovated and stands as a hotel and a museum. 

Fáskrúðsfjörður town in East Iceland​​As a nod to the village’s founding fathers, the town continues to display signs in both Icelandic and French. It is also linked to a town in France called Gravelines. 

Here they hold two parties every year to celebrate their connection to Iceland. The first is in spring when fisherman would set off to fish in Iceland. The second in autumn, as these men were returning to French shores.

In Fáskrúðsfjörður, the town celebrates its Frenchified connection in the height of summer. July is peaking fishing season, and so the celebrations tended to coincide with this.

For anglers visiting the area, fishing is readily accessible in the nearby Dalsá river.

Visitors are also advised to hike the path along Gilsá river towards the waterfall Gilsárfoss, where they can walk behind the cascading water. 

Lupin in bloom in the East Fjords, with mountains in the background

Breiðdalsvík

Breiddalsvik is located south of Fáskrúðsfjörður. It is a small village with a population of just 140 people. This is an excellent location for people who enjoy hiking, and it’s a great spot to look out for wild reindeer, who are often spotted roaming the nearby area.

Visitors can also enjoy the black sand beach of the charming fishing village of Breiddalsvik. It’s possible to take a road trip to the longest and widest valley in Iceland, Breiðdalur.

The East Fjords are full of small fishing villages​​

Papey Island

Papey (“Friar’s Island”) is an uninhabited island located off the east coast of Iceland. The island is approximately 2 square kilometres (0.8 square miles). Its highest point measures 58 metres (190 feet) above sea level. Boat trips to Papey depart every summer from Djúpivogur.

The island is named after Gaelic monks (“The Papar”). These monks are thought to have inhabited the island long before the Norse settlement. Papey was lived on from the 10th century until the year 1966 when the island’s residents finally moved to the mainland.

For centuries, Papey’s residents had supported themselves on fishing for shark, hunting seals and puffins, and tending to their farmsteads. In later years, the residents would also harvest down from Eider Ducks living on the island.

Today, visitors to Papey can enjoy the large puffin colonies that still live on the island. It’s also interesting to see the remnants of the former settlement including a lighthouse, church and weather station. These all still exist much as they did in 1966.

East Iceland is full of wonderful nature and beautiful landscapes​​

Culture of East Iceland

One of the central points of culture in the East is the cultural and historical centre, Skriðuklaustur, in the Fljótsdalshérað district. In the Middle Ages, a monastery stood on this site. From then on it became the region’s religious centre. In the 20th century, the Icelandic author Gunnar Gunnarsson made it his home.

Gunnar wrote many masterpieces, such as Aðventa (The Good Shepherd), Svartfugl (The Black Cliffs) and Saga Borgaraettarinnar (The Saga of the One-Eyed Guest). He also wrote the autobiographical novel, Fjallkirkjan, which has been given a variety of different titles once translated, including The Church on the Mountain, Ships in the Sky and The Night and the Dream.

Festivals play a significant role in the culture of the East today. Seyðisfjörður hosts the annual music festival LungA. The settlement of Neskaupsstaður also hosts two highly popular annual festivals, Neistaflug and Eistnaflug.

East Iceland is also home to the Kárahnjúkar hydroelectric power station, which provides many of the towns with energy. The construction of this has led to a hot debate on Iceland’s ecological footprint. The debate continues today.

Dienstleistungen in der Nähe: Ostfjorde

Alle Dienstleistungen in 50km Radius

Attraktionen in der Umgebung: Ostfjorde

Berufjordur

Berufjörður is a fjord in east Iceland. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, photo by Chensiyuan Geography of Berufjörður...

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Gleðivík

Gleðivík, or Merry Bay, is the name of the coastline just outside the town of Djúpivogur in east Iceland. Gleðivík is ...

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Djúpivogur

Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photos by Chensiyuan Djúpivogur is a small coastal village located on the Búlandsnes peninsula, nestled by...

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Breiðdalsvík

Photo above from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Christian Bickel Breiðdalsvík is a tiny hamlet in east Iceland, within the incredible val...

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Papey

The quiet and quaint island of Papey can be found off Iceland's east coast, in the municipality of Djúpavogshreppur. Roughly 2 square kilom...

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Stöðvarfjörður

 Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Credit: Christian Bickel.  Stöðvarfjörður is a small coastal village in East Iceland, sitti...

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Fáskrúðsfjörður

Fáskrúðsfjörður is a coastal village in east Iceland with a population of 700 people. The name of the town originate...

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Eystrahorn

Eystrahorn is a little-known but spectacular mountain in east Iceland. It is part of the Krossasnesfjall mountain range. Geography of Eystrahorn A...

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Reyðarfjörður

Photo by Tristan Ferne. Wikimedia, Creative Commons.  Reyðarfjörður is a town of 1,102 people in the East Fjords of Iceland.  ...

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Eskifjörður

Eskifjordur is a fishing town of roughly 1100 people in East Iceland. Along with Neskaupsstadur and Reydarfjordur it forms the municipality of Fjardab...

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Brunnhorn

Brunnhorn is a little-known, jagged mountain in south-east Iceland. It often nicknamed the Batman Mountain due to its distinctive shape, giving it t...

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Atlavik

Located in the east of Iceland, Atlavík is a small cove in Hallormsstaðarskógur forest, on the shores of the lake Lagarfljót....

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Hallormsstaðaskógur

Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photo Credit: Cristophe L Hess Hallormsstaðaskógur is Iceland's largest national forest, found in East Ic...

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Skriðuklaustur

Skriduklaustur is a culture and learning institute in the valley of Fljotsdalur in East Iceland. It is a historical site and home to the Gunnar instit...

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Hofdavik

Höfðavík is a popular camping ground in east Iceland. Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Christoph L. Hess Höfðav&...

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Hengifoss

Photo by Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir. Hengifoss is a waterfall that runs from the river Hengifossá in the municipality of Fl...

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Óbyggðasetrið

Óbyggðasetrið, also known as the Wilderness Center, is a highland adventure hub which caters to those with a passion for the surroundin...

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Litlanesfoss

Litlanesfoss is a waterfall in east Iceland renowned for its surrounding geology. Description of Litlanesfoss Litlanesfoss is two-tier waterfall t...

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Lagarfljót

Lagarfjlót is a narrow lake in the east of Iceland, also known as Lögurinn. This feature is best known for its natural beauty, its fish...

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Eyjabakkar

Eyjabakkar is an oasis in the East Highlands of Iceland.  This is Iceland's second-largest wetland, the largest being Thjorsarver, itself a ...

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