East Iceland Nature and Highlights
When it comes to visiting Iceland, Iceland’s south coast seems to take the largest chunk of the pie: the West is next, and then the North perhaps. What about East Iceland? It’s the furthest away from the capitol, the direct opposite end and hardest to access part of the country (unless you land by boat from the ferry from Denmark, which stops in Seyðisfjörður) and takes the longest to reach.
It’s an eight hour drive (at least) to Egilstadir ( the largest town in the East) in total; although Route 1 is never a disappointing ride, you may not have all that time to spare. Did you know there are domestic flights form reykjavik that can get you out there in as little as 40 minutes? How about that for speedy! Some of Iceland Rovers tours’ to the East even include these flights!
Iceland’s Best Kept Secret
If you take a bit of time of time to get there, then East Iceland will reward you handsomely. East Iceland has a wealth of attractions and a richness in natural features that to rival anywhere else in the country. It might be Iceland’s best kept secret.
Great colonies of Puffins, little-known waterfalls equally majestic as anything else you might find; the mightiest of which being Hengifoss (first photo in this post), endless epic fjords to snake around, Iceland’s largest forest with many different trails.
The East also houses Iceland’s longest lake (with it’s own version of the Loch Ness Monster) and a great population of Reindeer (pictured below) should give you plenty to keep busy out there. It’s not just the big things either, it’s little thing too like the countless valleys, brooks and rivers, too numrous to name and count, many of which will come and go with the rain. The hiking opportunities are tremendous, it really feels like you are hiking at the end of the world.
A Historic Wilderness
There is a tremendous amount of history in this harsh landscape, a history of life and settlement, making East Iceland a historic wilderness well-deserving of a few days exploration. There are even some unique knitting, yes that’s right we said knitting, opportunities in East Iceland that will see you doing a fair bit of gentle hiking yourself! You'll also come away with a handknits amde witht he famous Icelandic lopi wool.
Land of the Elves and Artistic Legends
Did we mention that East Iceland is also a home of the elves? Apart from being the end of the world, you'll find the Elf Church "Álfakirkja" in the small town of Borgarfjöður Eystri, in addition to the small hut where the legendary artist Kjarval lived for many summers, which is actually on the road to the town just mentioned. The landscape inspired him endlessly and many of his paintings can be traced back to this area of the East. You will even recognise som eof the features if you compare the paintings again the landscape.
As you can plainly see, the East of iceland is filled with natural, historical cultural and "mythological" delights. There is a lot to miss here if you don't swing by; you won't be disappointed!
Not sure how to get there? Iceland Rovers will get you there!
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