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Between sea and mountains: the East Fjords

The East Fjords are mountains which seem to emerge suddenly from the sea, they are shaped by the wind, sea, snow and all Icelandic weather conditions.

On the road

The road you will travel is winding, don't hesitate to stop when you need to, to take a photo, to stretch your legs or to take a short walk. This is one of the least populated areas of Iceland and it sometimes has a ghostly, dramatic appearance, especially in the mist, or when you discover villages that appear deserted. It is common to encounter a herd of reindeer in these parts.

The wind can be very strong due to the proximity to the sea. In case of a storm, especially if you have a lightweight tourist vehicle, do not attempt to drive and wait until the storm has passed. Even when driving very slowly, a gust of wind can easily knock you off the road. Also, never leave the car door open, always remember to close it, otherwise it may be torn off.

Where to stop? 

There are many interesting walks surrounding Borgarfjordur. Pass by the impressive Dyrfjoll; the aptly named Gate Mountain. On the west side of the mountain, you can admire gigantic rocks and small frozen lakes. 

The road to Mjoifjordur can be unpleasant, it is steep and visibility is sometimes limited. However, when you reach its summit, the panorama is magnificent and warrants a detour if you have the time, the view is otherwise limited.

Kayaking is a good choice for discovering the Seydisfjordur fjord, allowing you to explore areas otherwise unseen. At the top of the fjord is a lovely view of the lake and village with its little coloured houses. The former Skalanes farmhouse is a remote place, its cliffs provide shelter for many birds, making it ideal for observing wildlife.

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Reydafjordur is a small village situated at the bottom of Iceland's widest fjord, about thirty kilometres inland. During the Second World War, it was the second largest allied military base, a museum recalls the events of that period. Today it is the head office of a large aluminium production factory.

If visiting Nordfjordur, you will have the impression of being isolated from the rest of the world, left only with magnificent landscapes for company. The Folksvangur Neskaupstadar natural reserve offers the possibility of short walks near its cliffs and resident puffins. There are also longer and more challenging walks, such as those navigating the Gerpir cliffs, Iceland's most easterly point. 

Located slightly inland, Egilsstadir is not a terribly interesting town, unlike the Lagarfljot river located about fifty kilometres south. Legend says that a monstrous serpent, a bit like the Loch Ness monster, lives in its dark waters. North of the town, there are mainly sand dunes and basalt outcrops.

During a stay in Iceland, you should allow a few days to visit the East Fjords if you wish to go hiking, alternatively, a full day is sufficient to get a good overview of the sights and to see some points of interest. 

Marielle Awad
74 contributions
Updated 22 March 2018