Do you want to go off the beaten track? Then exploring East Iceland is just the thing for you. You might know that the TV series Trapped is set in East Iceland. But East Iceland is more than a filming location of a popular TV series. There is a lot to discover in East Iceland, and in this article, we will tell you all about it.
In Borgarfjörður eystri, there is a hiking trail called Víknaslóðir. This hiking trail will take you past beautiful picturesque coastlines and through rugged mountain areas. The starting point of the trail is the village Bakkagerði. In this town you can get all the information you need for the hike, and the owners of Guesthouse Borg offer a luggage transport service.
The trail is clearly marked and there are good trekking huts along the way, that have to be booked beforehand if you would like to use them. On the first day you will walk from Bakkagerði to Breiðavík (21km), on the second day from Breiðavík to Húsavík (15km), on the third day from Húsavík to Loðmundarfjörður (15km), and on the last day from Loðmundarfjörður to Seyðisfjörður (23km).
Located far from Reykjavík, in the east of Iceland, it’s less travelled than some of the other trails, and the landscapes are diverse, untrodden and pristine.
Petra’s Stone Collection
In Stöðvarfjörður, you will find Petra’s Stone Collection. This stone museum is founded by Ljósbjörg Petra María, known as Petra (1922-2012), who started collecting stones and rocks in the area and displaying these in her yard. Over the years, her collection kept growing and growing, and visitors in the area showed a lot of interest. After a while, her house was turned into a museum showcasing the best specimens. There is a coffeehouse at the museum, called Café Sunnó, that is open during summertime and has coffee, sandwiches and soup on offer.
Hengifoss is one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland, dropping down 128m. To get to Hengifoss, you have to hike for about an hour from the parking lot. On the way there, you will come across another waterfall, Litlanesfoss, and it’s a nice and easy hike. You can bring a water bottle and fill it with water from the stream, it can’t get any fresher than that.
Eggin í Gleðivík
In Djúpivogur, you can see an artwork called Eggin í Gleðivík (The Eggs of Merry Bay). This artwork consists of 34 big eggs designed by Sigurður Guðmundsson, which are all models of the eggs of birds in the area. The artwork is set up close to the seafront and is fun to check out if you’re in the area.
Hallormsstaðaskógur National Forest
It’s no secret that Iceland does not have a lot of trees. But in East Iceland you can find an actual forest, called Hallormsstaðaskógur. It has been preserved since 1905 and it’s Iceland’s first national forest. The area has great hiking trails (of a total of 40km), for instance to Ljósárfoss waterfall. It contains 85 different tree species, and it offers great opportunities for berry and mushroom picking. In the forest there are two campsites and several picnic areas.
Stokksnes is a peninsula in Southeast Iceland, about 460km from Reykjavík (5 hours and 40 minutes by car). It’s home to the spectacular mountain Vestrahorn, a stunning 454m tall mountain, that is standing proudly next to the ocean, surrounded by black beaches. It’s dazzling in every season. It doesn’t matter if dark skies are hovering above the snow-covered mountain, or if the midnight sun is turning the whole landscape pink.
East Iceland is the habitat of reindeer. In the 18th century, reindeer were brought to Iceland from Norway for farming, but that did not work out, and the animals were never domesticated. Reindeer seemed to fit in well in Iceland, and these days, you can still find about 3,000 of them in the eastern part of the country.
Check out this tour if you want to go on a reindeer photo safari.