The Fljotsdalsherad district in East Iceland, home to East Iceland's main town, Egilsstadir, is particularly attractive and features an abundance of sites of natural, historical and cultural interest, some of which are listed below.
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Notable natural attractions in Fljotsdalsherad
Storurd, in the valley Urdardalur is considered one of the greatest natural attractions of East Iceland and is highly popular with hikers. It features massive boulders, beautiful meadows and ponds, with the impressive Dyrfjoll mountains towering over the scene. During summer there can be thick snow patches and travellers should be wary of wandering from the marked path during fog.
The site of Iceland's largest birchwood, Hallormsstadaskogur is a short drive from Egilsstadir, as well as the popular camping site Atlavik creek. Hallormsstadur also features a nice tree museum. Other interesting forests in Fljotsdalur include Eyjolfsstadaskogur and Selskogur.
Lagarfljot & Hengifoss
Located near Hallormsstadur, this river is Iceland's third-largest. By the river is the lake Logurinn where Iceland's equivalent of the Loch Ness, The Lagarfljot Worm is said to live. One of Iceland's most beautiful waterfalls, Hengifoss, is close by the river. It is one of Iceland's tallest waterfalls, at 118 meters. Another waterfall, Litlanesfoss, is slightly further below.
Notable cultural and historical attractions in Fljotsdalsherad
This is a culture and learning centre and was the site of a monastery in the Middle Ages. Icelandic author Gunnar Gunnarsson had the impressive current house built in the 20th century and lived there in his middle age. The house has an institute erected in his memory, Gunnarsstofnun, which hosts exhibitions about his life and works.
Gunnar Gunnarsson was one of Iceland's major writers and author of such masterworks as the autobiographical novel cycle Fjallkirkjan ('The Church on the Mountain), Adventa (The Good Shepherd) and Svartfugl (The Black Cliffs). Gunnar was born near Skriduklaustur, at the farm Valthjofsstadur but lived in Denmark from 1907 to 1939 and wrote most of his works originally in Danish.
A turf house that was inhabited from 1843-1943 and renovated in 1992-3. A visit to this farm-inspired Nobel author Halldor Laxness in his writing of his classic novel Independent People. The caretakers of the house offer guidance throughout the area and refreshments.
Modrudalur a Fjollum
Iceland's highest set farm (469 m above sea level), with one of the most extensive farmlands in the country. We recommend the beautiful church, built by farmer Jon Adalsteinn Stefansson in memory of his wife. The inner decorations and altarpiece were made by him as well.
At Eidar you can see the longwave transmitter of the Icelandic Broadcasting Company, a mast of 220 meters.
Further southwest, in the East Highlands, are Karahnjukar, which now feature a Hydropower Plant which produces energy for Alcoa's aluminium smelter in Reydarfjordur. The construction of the dam has been the source of heated debates locally and internationally.
At Heradsfloi bay, where the estuaries of the rivers Jokulsa a Bru and Lagarfljot meet, we recommend the rich birdlife and many seals.