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Matkaopas: Vodlavik Bay

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Vuonot, Rannat
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28.6 km

Vodlavik bay is a secluded bay in East Iceland.Vodlavik (sometimes called Vöðlavík in Icelandic) is an abandoned bay in East Iceland near the village of Eskifjordur. Vodlavik offers travelers a peaceful retreat and fantastic views.

Unlike its more famous counterparts on the southern and western coasts, Vodlavik bay remains relatively undiscovered by tourists, lending it an air of unspoiled wilderness. Its remote location and pristine surroundings make it a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts looking to escape the crowds and reconnect with the natural world.

One of the best ways to visit Vodlavik is by booking one of the many self-drive tours exploring East Iceland. This seven-day self-drive tour of the complete Ring Road of Iceland offers ample time to explore the area if you are on a quick Icelandic getaway. Meanwhile, this in-depth two-week road trip will give you more time and flexibility when visiting the site.

Photo above from Flickr, by Jennifer Boyer. No edits made.

What Can You See in Vodlavik Bay?

Driving down to Vodlavik from Vikurheidi, a heath about 1,312 feet (400 meters) above sea level, you'll see a small stream flowing alongside the road that leads to a beautiful waterfall.

Upon reaching the sea, you'll see Vodlavik bay's black sand beach nestled between two mountains, Snaefugl and Hestshaus. Despite the volcanic sands, the surrounding landscape is green in summer, creating beautiful contrasts and photo opportunities.

Vodlovik bay has volcanic black sands.

Photo above from Flickr, by Jennifer Boyer. No edits made.

Furthermore, the Vodlavik area boasts several hiking trails. The one coming from Vodlavik leads to Sandvik, a long black sandy beach found in the fjord's innermost part.

Another trail starts from the town of Eskifjordur, known for its port and a large fishing industry. The second begins in Reydarfjordur, East Iceland's longest fjord.

Where is Vodlavik Bay Located?

Vodlavik bay is located in Iceland's Eastfjords. It is found south of Gerpir, one of Iceland's oldest mountains, dating back to the Stone Age some 12 million years ago. 

What Makes Vodlavik Bay Special?

Beyond Vodlavik bay's striking beauty and serenity, it also holds a fascinating history.

In December 1993, a boat from the Westman Islands called Bergvik got stranded on the black sands. On January 10 the following year, an Icelandic fishing vessel called Godinn was stuck in a storm in the area, resulting in the US Air Force pulling off one of the most challenging rescue operations in the nation's history.

Despite being considered deserted, the Vodlavik area remains a fascinating place to visit. Its hiking trails continue to attract travelers looking for a peaceful spot to unwind and reconnect with nature.

Getting to Vodlavik Bay

The winding road that leads to the quaint  town of Seydisfjordur.

To reach Vodlavik bay from Eskifjordur, head southeast on Strandgata toward Botnabraut for about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers). Continue onto 954 Helgustadavegur for about nine miles (14.6 kilometers). Head onto Helgustadavegur for about 1.3 miles (2.1 kilometers), then turn right to stay on Helgustadavegur.

Continue driving for about 3.7 miles (six kilometers ) until you reach Vodlavik.

What Attractions Near Vodlavik Bay Are Worth Visiting?

When you're done exploring Vodlavik bay, you can visit other notable attractions nearby. Gerpir, the easternmost cape of Iceland, is about 3.8 miles (6.1 kilometers) from Vodlavik bay. The Gerpir mountain is one of the oldest mountains in the country, dating back to about 12 million years ago.

Another must-see attraction is the small town of Seydisfjordur, about 61 miles (98 kilometers) from Vodlavik. Seydisfjordur is a quaint haven characterized by colorful wooden buildings that add charm to its scenic landscape. Its rich cultural scene is evident in the numerous art galleries, workshops, and exhibitions on its streets.

Seydisfjordur has a quaint blue church.

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Saifunny. No edits made.

If you wish to relax your mind and body before leaving Iceland, head to the Vok Baths, the country's largest spa. Located around 48 miles (78 kilometers) from Vodlavik, the Vok Baths feature interconnected pools filled with mineral-rich geothermal water believed to have healing properties.

It is advised to book admission for the Vok Baths to guarantee this experience.

The Vok Baths are located in Egilsstadir, the largest town in the East.

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