Eyrarbakki Travel Guide
Eyrarbakki is a charming village with a population of roughly 600 people. Once a leading port and trading center for the south, Eyrarbakki has a rich history to go with its quaint beauty.
Photo from Unsplash, by Freysteinn G. Jonsson.
Eyrarbakki is located in the south of Iceland, about 28 miles (45 kilometers) east of Reykjavik. The village is a great place to explore on a relaxing self-drive tour, and if you're coming from Reykjavik via Threngslavegur road, don't forget to stop by Raufarholshellir Lava Cave to take a Lava Tunnel Tour.
The houses in Eyrarbakki are known for their colorful wooden architecture, reflecting the village's historical significance and cultural heritage. Many houses date back to the 19th century when Eyrarbakki was a thriving trading port.
In addition to its rich history and the inviting atmosphere of the village, Eyrarbakki is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery. The nearby coastline features black sand beaches and offers opportunities for birdwatching, walking, and enjoying the tranquility of the Icelandic countryside.
Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Martin Sauter. No edits made.
Eyrarbakki was an important trading port during the Danish trade monopoly in Iceland from the 17th to the 19th century. It was an important center for commerce and served as a hub for the export of local agricultural products, such as wool and fish, as well as the import of various goods.
The oldest house in Eyrarbakki, Húsið, which simply means "the House," was built in 1765 and is now a heritage museum. Once home to merchant families, the House served as a center for art and European culture in Iceland at a time when most Icelanders lived in turf houses.
The village church, Eyrarbakkakirkja, was built in 1890. Its most prized possession is a royal altarpiece gifted to the church's architect by the Queen of Denmark, who painted it herself.
Stunning black sand beaches characterize the coastline near Eyrarbakki. These volcanic beaches result from the area's volcanic activity, creating a dramatic contrast against the crashing waves and surrounding landscape.
The wetlands and coastal areas near Eyrarbakki are home to various bird species, making it a popular spot for birdwatching. Visitors can observe migratory birds, such as Arctic terns, puffins, and various waterfowl, especially during summer.
Things to Do in Eyrarbakki
While visiting Eyrarbakki, stop by the heritage museum to see how the Icelandic upper class lived during Danish rule. In the Maritime Museum, located nearby, you can find numerous items from when sailors living on the south coast rowed out to sea every day.
Stokkseyri, the sister village of Eyrarbakki located a couple of miles nearby, also offers a variety of exciting museums and its own fascinating coastline and birdlife. Visit the Ghost Center in Stokkseyri to learn about Iceland's frightening superstitions - as long as you're not faint of heart!