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Top Destinations

While travelling through Austurland you will without a doubt spot some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Towering mountains and powerful waterfalls are just a fraction of the amazing destinations the region has to offer. Below we have handpicked several destinations that no traveller should leave unseen.

Hengifoss
Apart from having recently been re-defined as Iceland's second-highest waterfall, the Hengifoss is particularly picturesque. The layers between numerous Tertiary lava strata yield a reddish color particularly salient in the cliffs around Hengifoss. Moreover, underway towards Hengifoss, the Litlanesfoss presents impressive stands of basalt columns on both sides of the gorge. Usually, the climb ends well below Hengifoss, at a point where it can easily be admired without crossing the river. However, if the flow is scarce - as is often the case in autumn - it is feasible to go closer and even enter a shallow cave behind the waterfall. There is an easy walking path from the highway to Hengifoss, it takes 40-60 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the waterfall. www.hengifoss.is
Streitishvarf
From Streiti lighthouse, south of Breiðdalur valley, there is a beautiful view over the ocean. A marked hiking trail leads around the peninsula Streitishvarf and the area is well suited for outdoor activities for the whole family.
Stórurð
One of East Iceland's most illustrious spots is the Stórurð ("The Giant Boulders"), located to the east of the road leading to Borgarfjörður Eystri. Stórurð lies below the small glacier west of Dyrfjöll mountains. It consists of gigantic tuff boulders, charming meadows, and attractive ponds. This wonderful scene can be reached in 2.5 hours on foot from Vatnsskarð pass. To enjoy Dyrfjöll and Stórurð a whole day plan is highly recommended.
Saxa
Just off the coast of farm Lönd in Stöðvarfjörður, there´s a singular rock formation called Saxa ("The Grinder). This is an impressive perforated cliff, penetrated ceaselessly by the swelling waves of the Atlantic, resulting in spectacular eruptive splashes which fling seaweed and algae, minced by the force of the ocean, high into the air.
Hafnarhólmi
Hafnarhólmi islet at the harbour in Borgarfjörður Eystri is perfect for birdwatching. Hafnarhólmi is easily the most accessible Atlantic Puffin colony in Iceland where they nest every year from middle of April to beginning of August. Kittiwakes, Fulmar and Common Eider also nest in Hafnarhólmi along with many other bird species. Locals have taken care of Hafnarhólmi and its birds for decades and built it up to be easily accessible for visitors to enjoy the area in harmony with the wildlife there. At the newly built Hafnarhús - Harbour House you can enjoy art exhibitions and excellent view over the harbour and Hafnarhólmi while tasting some Icelandic delicacies.
Eggin í Gleðivík
Eggin í Gleðivík (The Eggs in Merry Bay) are outdoor works that show 34 replicas of eggs of nesting birds that nest in the vicinity of Djúpivogur. There is a rich birdlife in the area and the eggs reflect the strong connection that Djúpivogur has with nature. Eggs in Gleðivík is a popular tourist destination and has become one of the landmarks of Djúpivogur.
Hólmanes
Between Reyðarfjörður and Eskifjörður you can visit the Nature reserve Hólmanes. This is an ideal place to enjoy a good walk either down to the sea or up the hills. Birds and remarkable rock formations can be enjoyed in Hólmanes. With luck, you could stumble upon a herd of reindeers.
Bustarfell
In Hofsárdalur you will find the old family farm Bustarfell, a quaint, centuries old Icelandic turf house with red gables and a grass-grown roof which is now a museum. Bustarfell is one of the oldest and best preserved turf houses in Iceland. In 1532, the farm was bought by Árni Brandsson and his wife Úlfheiður, the farm has been owned by their descendants ever since. A visit to the museum at Bustarfell is a journey through the history of farming and changes in lifestyle from the beginning of the 18th century to the mid-20th century. When walking through the museum you feel the inhabitants have only just left the house. Three kitchens from different eras are showcased, as well as other artifacts from around the farm which show how technology developed. Hjáleigan Café is located next to the museum and a hiking path leads to the rock Álfkonusteinn, source of a local folktale.
Rainbow Street
Painted by the locals, Rainbow Street in Seyðisfjörður is probably one of the most well-known landmarks in East Iceland. At the end of the rainbow, you can find the beautiful Blue Church.
Páskahellir
There are beautiful natural sights like the cave Páskahellir down by the shore of Neskaupsstaður. The walk from the entrance of the Nature Reserve to the site is about 10 to 15 min.
Hallormsstaðaskógur
Hallormsstaður National Forest is considered to be Iceland‘s largest forest. The forest covers an area of 740 hectares, most of which is native birch. Since 1905, the forest has been the site of large scale trials of exotic species. The forest is a popular outdoor area in a diverse landscape. There are 11 marked trails. A hiking map is in a box at the start of all the hiking trails, as well as the map at Hotel Hallormsstadur. Hallormsstadur host arboretum, a tree collection with over 80 tree species. There are two camping areas in the forest: Atlavík, which is located in a picturesque cove surrounded by birch woods, and Höfðavík that provides a higher level of services for campers.
Stuðlagil
In the valley Jökuldalur (Glacier Valley) in Austurland - East Iceland there is a marvelous natural site that almost nobody knew about until recently. For a long time it was hidden underwater or until the hydroelectric plant Kárahnjúkavirkjun was built and the water flow in the glacier river Jökulsá á Dal, a.k.a. Jökla, was remarkably reduced.