Stórurð is a spectacular mountain region in east Iceland.
Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Michal Klajban. No edits made.
Stórurð translates to ‘the Giant Boulders’; it describes an oasis of meadows and lakes, surrounded by sheer-sloped and jagged tuff mountains. As its name suggests, the area is strewn with many enormous boulders, likely abandoned here by retreating glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age.
There is still a small glacier that overlooks Stórurð.
Like many hidden gems of the East Fjords, the region is a place of incredible, untouched beauty. Due to its remote location in the Dyrfjöll mountain range, however, it does require some effort to reach; it must be hiked to from Vatnskarð Service Station.
As the journey takes over two and a half hours each way over some rugged (though stunning) terrain, you should be in reasonable health before taking the trek. A full day could be spent enjoying this mountain oasis.
Stórurð not only takes a while to hike to, but dedication to reach in general, as the East Fjords are on the opposite side of Iceland to the capital. The largest town of the East, Egilsstaðir, can be accessed from Reykjavík either by driving Route 1 north for almost eight hours, or by taking a flight from the domestic airport.
Of course, if you elect to drive, you can plan a trip that involves multiple overnight stops to break up the journey, or book a self-drive to organise such an adventure for you.
The largest settlement of significance near Stórurð is Borgarfjörður Eystri, a village renowned for its incredible puffin watching opportunities and fascinating folklore. To reach Borgarfjörður Eystri from Egilsstaðir, take Route 94 north. This journey will take just over an hour.
Twenty minutes before you reach your destination, you will find the Vatnskarð Service Centre, where the hike begins.