Information about Eastfjords

The Eastfjords of Iceland is a 120 km long stretch of coastline from Berufjörður, in the south, to the small fishing village of Borgarfjörður Eystri, in the north.

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

Often overlooked by visitors, the Eastfjords represent the very best of what Iceland has to offer, from fantastical scenery, remote fishing villages and sparkling lakes to dense forests and traditional farms. Boasting the sunniest weather in the country, as well as some of Iceland’s most well-known wildlife, this region is perhaps best known for its herds of wild reindeer, its breathtaking coastlines and its promise of tranquil solitude.

Papey

Papey (“Friar’s Island”) is an uninhabited island located off the east coast of Iceland. The island is approximately 2 sq km with its highest point measuring 58 m above sea level. Boat trips to Papey depart every summer from Djúpivogur.

The island is named after Gaelic monks (“The Papar”) who are thought to have inhabited the island long before the Norse settlement. What is known for sure is that Papey was lived upon from the 10th century until the year 1966, when the island’s residents finally moved to the mainland. For centuries, Papey’s resident’s had supported themselves on fishing for shark, hunting seals and puffins and tending to their farmstead. 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, as well as the remnants of the former settlement; a lighthouse, church and weather station all still exist much as they did in 1966.

Seyðisfjörður

Those arriving in Iceland by ferry from mainland Europe or the Faroe Islands will make port at Seyðisfjörður, a town famous for its ornate wooden architecture, Scandinavian influence and historical herring-fishing industry. In fact, much of the timber used to develop Seyðisfjörður was shipped over by Norway ready-made in the 18th century.

Populated by around 700 people, Seyðisfjörður is surrounded by pounding waterfalls, flat-top mountains and serene hiking tails, complimented 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 is even a number of cultural exhibits including the Fjardarsel Power Plant Museum and the Skaftfell Centre for Visual Arts.

Lagarfljót

Lagarfljót (otherwise known as Lögurinn) is a thin lake in the east of Iceland, found just nearby to the region’s largest town, Egilsstaðir. Shaped like a long pencil, the lake reaches depths of 100 metres (330ft) and covers a total area of 53 square kilometres (20 sq mi), measuring almost 25 kilometres (16 mi) in length. Lagarfljót’s widest point is 2.5 km (1.6 mi).

Folklore dictates that the lake has long been home to Iceland’s very own version of the Loch Ness Monster; locals refer to this cryptid, serpentine creature as Lagarfljótsormurinn, or the Lagarfljót Worm. Sightings of the monster date back all the way to 1345 and have continued well into the 21st century, the latest having been recorded on video in 2012. In the past, sightings of the creature have thought to be an ill-omen, preceding a natural disaster such as a volcanic eruption or an earthquake.

Folklore also dictates that the lake is home to an enormous skate that resides in the shallows. This skate is said so poisonous that should a rider's horse step on it, the horse's foot will have to be cut off by the knee immediately.  

Other Attractions 

The East Fjords are packed with fantastic cultural landmarks, such as Hallormsstaðarskógur, the country’s largest forest, found just on the eastern shore of Lagarfljót. If you enjoy pleasant walks through nature, you could also visit the hiker’s paradise, Borgarfjordur Eystri, the supposed homes of elves’ and Iceland’s ‘hidden folk’.

Visitors could also enjoy the black sand beach off the charming fishing village of Breiddalsvik and take a trip to the longest and widest valley in Iceland, Breiðdalur. For something a touch more relaxing, one could also take a soothing dip in the swimming pool at Selárlaug; the pool is surrounded by mountains and beautiful views over the fjord, making this one of the more authentic experiences available in the region.  

Services near Eastfjords

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Attractions nearby Eastfjords

Djúpivogur

Djúpivogur is a small coastal village located on the Búlandsnes peninsula, nestled between the picturesque fjord, Hamarsfjörður...

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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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Fáskrúðsfjörður

Fáskrúðsfjörður (sometimes referred to as Búðir) is a coastal village in east Iceland with a population of 700 p...

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Kistufell

Kistufell is a mountain in north Iceland, with a highest point of 1450 metres (4757 ft). Hiking and super jeep tours run up the mountain slopes. From...

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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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Fjallabak

  Fjallabak may refer to two highland routes, South Fjallabaksleid or the North Fjallbaksleid. South Fjallabaksleid The South Fjallabaksleid (...

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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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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

Hallormsstaðaskógur is Iceland's largest national forest, found in East Iceland near Egilsstaðir. The area is a famous for its plea...

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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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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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Lagarfljót

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Denkhenk Lagarfjlót is a narrow lake in the east of Iceland, also known as Lögurinn. This fea...

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Laugarfell

Laugarfell is a small mountain in the eastern part of the Icelandic Highlands, with a peak of 827 m (2,713 ft) above sea level. Environment and ...

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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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Neskaupstaður

Neskaupstadur, in the fjord Nordfjordur, is a fishing town of around 1500 people in East Iceland. It is the largest town of the municipality of Fjarda...

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Egilsstaðir

Egilsstadir is the largest town in East Iceland, with a population of 2257 people as of 2011. It is located on the banks of the river Lagarfljot in th...

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Snæfell

  Snaefell, in the east of the Icelandic highlands,  is the highest freestanding mountain in the country. It is located within the vast Vat...

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Fljótsdalshérað

  The Fljotsdalsherad district in East Iceland, home to East Iceland's main town, Egilsstadir, is particularly attractive and features an ab...

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Tours near Eastfjords

8-Day Horse Riding Adventure | East Fjords of Iceland

Explore the hidden valleys of East Iceland from horseback on this fantastic eight-day riding......

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The Deserted Fjords of East Iceland | Horse Riding Adventure

Experience the desolate East Fjords of Iceland from horseback on this full-week riding tour,......

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East Fjord Fishing Villages | Cultural Day Tour

Get to know the natives of Iceland’s East Fjords on this cultural day tour of horse riding,......

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