Skip to content

 

Austurland offers a variety of family friendly experiences and activities. All family members should find something of interest while exploring Austurland and there are plenty of rest-stops along the way to stop and stretch, take in the scenery and breathe in the fresh air. Here are some suggestions that we feel will hit home with even the youngest family members.

Arboretum in Hallormsstaðar Forest
Í Hallormsstaðaskógi er trjásafn með um 80 tegundum trjáa og runna víðsvegar að úr heiminum, og er safnið einstakt á landsvísu. Best er að hefja gönguna um trjásafnið á bílastæðinu við þjóðveginn, þar sem einnig er salernisaðstaða, og fylgja göngustígnum þaðan um safnið. Mælt er með að gefa sér 2 til 3 klukkustundir til þess að skoða safnið og njóta útiverunnar. Einnig er tilvalið að hafa með sér nesti, sem skemmtilegt er að taka með sér niður að Fljótinu og snæða.
Selskógur
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.
Héraðssandur
Kárahnjúkavirkjun
A large power plant has been built at Kárahnjúkar, to supply the aluminum plant in Reyðarfjörður with energy. The Kárahjúkar power plant is the largest construction project in Icelandic history and, at the same time, the most significant electricity production in the country. A trip to Kárahnjúkar is an ideal road trip for the family. A paved road runs from Fljótsdalur to the Kárahnjúkar dam. The Kárahnjúkar area is ideal for outdoor activities. It is fun to see the Kárahnjúkar Dam itself and the Hálslón Reservoir. When Hálslón fills up and overflows, the Hverfandi waterfall appears at the western end of the dam, where the water plunges about 100 meters into Hafrahvammahljúfur. The waterfall is mighty and can become more powerful than Dettifoss. There are also fun hiking trails in the area; for example, there is a great hiking trail along Hafrahvammagljúfur and to Magnahellir, but to get to the starting point of the marked hiking trail, you need a four-wheel-drive car.  
Tröllatjörn
At some point in the first place, Geithellaá has paved a new road down Geithelladalur by Álftafjörður. The old riverbed is now mostly healed and the area is fun for outdoor activities. At the back there is a pond called The Grinch Pond, and the name is probably derived from the troll-like images the river has made in the rocks.  The area is very well suited for outdoor activities, especially for families.
Tvísöngur Sound Sculpure
Tvísöngur sculpture, by artist Lukas Kühne, mixes concrete, nature, and sound to create an interactive tribute to Iceland’s unique tradition of five-tone harmony.  The installation piece looks like a grouping of interconnected cement bubbles from afar. Up close the five segments are quite large, ranging from roughly 6 to 12 feet tall and can be entered via rounded arches built into the walls. Once inside the stark industrial domes, visitors will find that they have each been designed to resonate at different harmonies as the wind blowing in off the cliff rushes through the openings. The collective effect is almost as though the wind itself is playing a giant instrument. The five chambers of the piece are meant to recall the Icelandic musical tradition of quintal harmony, with each dome reflecting a tone in the tradition. Juxtaposed with the serene and stark surroundings, it seems as though Iceland itself is creating the music. Tvísöngur is a permanent work and is meant to keep the country’s musical traditions alive, which is not an easy thing to do simply with concrete.
Páskahellir Cave
Páskahellir is a small cave by the seaside of Neskaupstaður Nature Reserve, with pillow lava and rock tunnels. You can also find holes that were probably formed by prehistoric trees. A forest that used to grow here was most likely destroyed by lava around 12 million years ago. After that, erosion by the sea formed the cave itself. Legend has it that by visiting Páskahellir on Easter morning, you can see the sun dancing over the ocean waves when rising. The name Páskahellir can easily be seen as a result of this folklore. The walk from the entrance of the Nature Reserve to the site is about 10 to 15 min. Wooden stairs lead down from the walking path down to the cave, but please note that climbing down can be tricky and must be done with caution.
Kárahnjúkar
The Power Plant at Kárahnjúkar is the largest construction project in Icelandic history and the most significant electricity production in the country. The Kárahnjúkar Power Plant was built to produce energy for the aluminum plant at Reyðarfjörður. A trip to Kárahnjúkar is an ideal road trip for the family. A paved road runs from Fljótsdalur to the Kárahnjúkar dam.  The Kárahnjúkar area is ideal for outdoor activities. It is fun to see the Kárahnjúkar Dam itself and the Hálslón Reservoir. When Hálslón fills up and overflows, the Hverfandi waterfall appears at the western end of the dam, where the water plunges about 100 meters into Hafrahvammahljúfur. The waterfall is mighty and can become more powerful than Dettifoss. There are also fun hiking trails in the area; for example, there is a great hiking trail along Hafrahvammagljúfur and to Magnahellir, but to get to the starting point of the marked hiking trail, you need a four-wheel-drive car. 
Wilderness Center
Wilderness Center of Iceland - Center of Recreation The Wilderness Center is an authentic and peaceful hideaway, located right on the edge of Northern Europe´s most extensive wilderness. One can experience the spirit of the past through a variety of services, such as unique accommodation, local food, exhibitions, horse riding and hiking, stargazing/Aurora station, day tours, escorted tours, super jeep tours, and tailor-made tours. The center's tranquil and pleasant location, as well as the distinct choice of accommodation and unique setting both indoors and out, will draw guests into adventures of the past and offer a unique atmosphere. Delicious food from local ingredients is cooked from scratch in the open home-style kitchen. Cakes and bread are also home-made. The Center offers a variety of activity and services. One can go hiking along waterfalls, cross the river on a cable-bridge, go horseback riding, rent mountain bikes, go fishing, gaze at the stars in the stargazing hut or visit the creative museum about the history of the Icelandic wilderness, where one can walk into the adventures of the Icelandic wilderness and be touched by the dramatic struggle between the forces of nature and the Icelander´s fight to survive. Many different day tours can be made from the Wilderness Center either self-drive or escorted. For example to Hengifoss, Laugarfell hot springs, Snæfell area, Hafrahvammagljúfur canyons and many more. Multi-day, tailormade tours can also be arranged, all year around.
Horseback Riding
Íslenski hesturinn er uppáhald margra og þekktur víða um heim sem fyrirtaks fararskjóti. Víðsvegar um Austurland eru hestaleigur þar sem boðið er upp á lengri og skemmri ferðir og þær sniðnar að þörfum hvers og eins. Það er einstök og öðruvísi upplifun að njóta austfirskrar náttúru af hestbaki.
Þvottaá
The farm Þvottá is the southernmost farm in Álftafjörður. Around the year 1000 the renowned Saga personality Hallur Þorsteinsson, or Síðu-Hallur, lived there. He received the priest and missionary Þangbrandur, who spent the winter with him. Síðu-Hallur and his whole household were baptized in the river by the farm and since then it was named River Þvottá (The Wash River). The farm gets its freshwater supplies from the so-called Þangbrandur Well, where the missionary probably held services at St. Michael’s Mass with the people of Þvottá attending the day before they were baptized. A ruin by the well was declared inviolate. Þvottá was a church site until 1754 and a parsonage for a long time. The old cemetery is still visible. Mt Mælifell (487m) is closer to the sea and north of it are Sellönd (Summer Pastures). The whole area is rather colourful because of the rhyolite intrusions and quite a few basaltic dykes decorate the landscape. These formations were created by the ancient and extinct central volcano, which has now mostly disappeared under the Álftafjörður Bay. Traces of several minerals were discovered in the area, gold, platinum etc. By Þvottaá, there is a monument to the adoption of Christianity and the area is vell suited for outdoor activities. 
Álfkonusteinn Hiking Trail
A considerable distance above the farm Bustarfell in Vopnafjörður stands a large rock called Álfkonusteinn (Elf Stone). It is relatively easy to walk from Bustarfell to the rock, and there is an interesting legend related to the stone. The story goes that a sheriff's wife at Bustarfell was led by an elf into the stone, while sleeping. There she came to the aid of an elf-woman in childbirth, who paid for herself with a beautiful gold-plated web or cloth. The cloth is neatly made, exotic and unique in this country, and is now owned by the National Museum of Iceland.
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. Powered by Wikiloc
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.
Helgustaðanáma Hiking Trail
The Iceland spar mine in Helgustaðaland can be found on the way from Eskifjörður to Vöðlavík, and a footpath leads to it. Helgustaðanáma is an old Iceland spar mine in the land of Helgustaðir in Eskifjörður, which was protected as a natural monument in 1975. Helgustaðanáma is one of the most famous spar mines in the world, where spar was excavated from the ground from the 17th century until the first half of the 20th century. Most of the Iceland spar in museums around the world comes from the mine at Helgustaðir, but some of the largest and purest specimens of spar in the world were found in Helgustaðanáma. Iceland spar is a particularly clear crystal of the rock calcite, but the rock played a vital role in developing various studies on the properties of light. Today the Iceland spar is protected, and it is strictly forbidden to remove it from Helgustaðanáma.
Stafdalur
Stafdalur ski resort in Seyðisfjörður is located near road nr 93 between Egilsstaðir and Seyðisfjörður. In the area are 3 skilifts and hills for all kind of skiers. Beginner’s lift is a rope lift 100 meters long and only open on weekends and holidays. Lift nr 1 is a tow lift 900 meters long and has 190 meters vertical drop. Lift nr 2 is a tow lift 700 meters long and has 160 meters vertical drop. Stafdalur has a nordic ski track which is about 5 km long. Ski and snowboard rental is on the area and a hut for all guests.