Plants and forests
No other Icelandic region can boast of such varied, delightful woods as the East. In Hallormsstaðaskógur, the Icelander’s favorites forest, you will find some of Iceland’s highest growing birch, lovely paths with an arboretum, nowhere paralleled at such northerly latitudes. The hotels and campsites on the Lagarfljót lakeshore are perfect for relaxation. In Fljótsdalshérað and elsewhere in the East, green groves of trees are becoming ever more common where the traveler can stop and enjoy the vegetation and wind shelter. The gravel banks of the rivers are bright pink with arctic fireweed and the grasslands and moors brightly colored with the flourishing arctic flora. At Snæfell, Iceland’s highest mountain outside Vatnajökull, you can observe the extreme survival skills of tiny flowers all the way to the top.
The inlet of Atlavík is beautifully situated on the shores of Lagarfljót (Lögurinn). Like other areas in the Hallormsstaður woodland, the inlet provides the shelter of trees, as well as a comparatively continental climate at the south end of the lake, far away from oceanic conditions. In addition to a 2 full-scale camping site, rental services for small boats, Hallormsstaður also offers the possibility of horse renting.
Selskógur the small forest on the eastern outskirts of Egilsstaðir, mainly consists of birch but also numerous rowans. Inviting woodchip trails of various lengths lure the wanderer to stroll through the peaceful surroundings. A football field and a playground are among other recreational options in the area.
In the summer of 2000 a forest project was started in Eydalir by Landnyrðingsskjólbakkar. It was a part of the National Millenium Forest Project. The area is ideal for walks and other outdoor activities. In the 1950s a considerable forestry took place on the banks of river Tinna in Valley Norðurdalur, approx. 1 km. off the national highway. At Staðarborg in Valley Breiðdalur a green region has also been established resulting in agreeable outdoor- and walking grounds.
The woodland Eyjólfsstaðaskógur, under the supervision of the East Iceland Forestry Society, offers beautiful scenery and natural diversity. There are two waterfalls adorning the site, one of which can be accessed from behind! In order to visit, the traveller would do well to continue past the cluster of vacation chalets, due N- E.
Iceland's largest forest surrounds Hallormsstaður. Experiments with imported tree species were initiated here in 1903; in 1938, the first larch grove was planted, demonstrating that wood cultivation was feasible in Iceland. In fact, the woods are an extensive and congenial area, and in late summer large quantities of berries and mushrooms are yours for the taking. A home economics´ school with dormitories, which initially only accepted women, now educates both sexes. It is placed in a stately building dating from 1930. The Hallormsstaður arboretum is unique in Iceland, comprising a collection of around 70 tree species. Many enjoy stralling through the arboretum, and there are well-marked trails throughout much of the surrounding woodland, clearly indicated on a map published by the Forest Services.
Jórvíkurskógur is an attractive Icelandic woodland with growing forest by Icelandic standards. It has all that the local people desire: Greengrowth and plants with berries and mushrooms. The trees are tall enough to form a wind-shelter, there are convenient footpaths and lovely brooklets with pure water flowing briskly , an old farmhouse and green lawns. This is an ideal spot for resting peacefully and enjoy life. What more would you want?