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The Coastal Experience is a stunning circular route that sets off from Austurland’s inland hub, the town of Egilsstaðir, and guides you through the southern fjords, each with their own character. The route follows the rugged coast, home to small villages surrounded by dramatic mountains, and also includes scenic valleys and the option of mountain roads to complete the circuit. The panoramas are dazzling, no matter the season.

From Egilsstaðir, the route follows the Ring Road (Hwy 1) south through a valley called Fagridalur (a name that actually translates as ‘Beautiful Valley’), and from here you reach Reyðarfjörður, then it’s onwards to French-influenced Fáskrúðsfjörður, the geological wonders of Stöðvarfjörður, and the beautiful bay of Breiðdalsvík. From here there are decisions to make! Continue south on the Ring Road to the creative town of Djúpivogur, and/or opt for valley exploration and mountain roads to return to Egilsstaðir. Mountain roads are often inaccessible in winter, so always be guided by weather and road conditions.

There are great places to stay overnight along the route (including hotels, campgrounds, and family-run guesthouses), and your taste buds will be happy too. You’ll encounter some great local flavors, with an emphasis on fjord-fresh seafood.

Nature has some fine headliners on this route, including coastline backed by magnificent peaks, valleys, views, and hidden waterfalls. Short and long trails can get you out among the surrounds on foot, or you might like to enjoy the views on a horseback ride or from a boat trip. There’s art and history surprises too, from the history of French fishermen based in Fáskrúðsfjörður in the early 19th century, to a wartime museum in Reyðarfjörður. Petra’s Stone Collection in Stöðvarfjörður shouldn’t be missed, and Djúpivogur is a hive of community creativity.

To return to your starting point from Breiðdalsvík, you can follow Rte 95 through the scenic valley west of here, called Breiðdalur, and over the mountain pass known as Breiðdalsheiði. A second option is to continue on the Ring Road to reach the Öxi pass (Rte 939), a renowned mountain drive. Back in Egilsstaðir you can select another travel route (a lake circuit, maybe more fjords?) for continuing your Austurland exploration.

You may not have time to see everything we include on this travel route. We recommend you plan your trip using the 'Add to favorites' tool on our page. By bookmarking your favorite attractions and experiences in this way, you can tailor a route through Austurland that's perfect for you!

For great information on the areas visited in The Coastal Experience, check out the Visit Fjarðabyggð website (Fjarðabyggð is the name of the municipality covering this area).

Places of Interest

Lagarfljót and Lögurinn
Egilsstaðir Swimming pool
East Iceland Heritage Museum
Fardagafoss Hiking Trail
Wartime Museum
French sailors in Iceland
Steinasafn Petru
Aldamótaskógur at Tinna
Heydalir (Eydalir)
Eggin í Gleðivík - The Eggs in Merry bay
Black Sand Beach in Djúpivogur


N4: Coastal Experience on TV
Join national TV station N4 on a Coastal Experience day tour.