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Unexplored Iceland: A Visit to the East Coast

On approach to Egilsstadir, a 60-minute flight east of Reykjavik, peer out of the window and you’ll see Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier, thousands of feet below, before it suddenly gives way to the Highlands—a vast, open expanse either blanketed by snow or punctuated by grazing sheep, depending on the season. And then come the fields—swaths of farmland, pastures, and even groves of trees (a highly unusual sight in the largely treeless Iceland), before landing on what might be one of the most picturesque tarmacs in the world. Deplane and take a deep breath of the impossibly fresh air before you pick up your rental car (you might easily be the only rental for the day) and head off into the wilds.

Read further if you want and need to. 


East Iceland

Towns & Villages

Each town in East Iceland has its own characteristics. In some of the coastal villages the influence of North European neighbours is obvious to everyone. 

The French made a strong impact in Fáskrúðsfjörður where the road signs are made out in French as well as in Icelandic. Norwegian influence is easily detected in the Eskifjörður and Seydisfjörður architecture. No such roots are to be seen in Egilsstadir which is latest addition to East Iceland agglomeration, founded in the late forties of the 20th century.  

Map Vopnafjörður Borgarfjörður Eystri Egilsstaðir Seyðisfjörður Mjóifjörður Fljótsdalshérað Neskaupstaður Breiðdalsvík Eskifjörður Reyðarfjörður Fáskrúðsfjörður Stöðvarfjörður Djúpivogur