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Winter in Austurland is magical, but travel during this time always requires a little more planning and a degree of flexibility. You should pack appropriate clothing, check if your preferred attractions will be open (some close during the winter period), and always check the weather and road conditions before setting out. Weather details are online at vedur.is, and road.is has extensive information about local roads and safe driving.

Austurland under a layer of snow is unforgettable, and you can make it easier to access by packing the right gear – including sturdy waterproof footwear, hiking poles, and crampons if you plan to do some exploring. Be aware that daylight hours are quite limited in the winter months: around the winter solstice (December 21), there is less than 4 hours of daylight. This means more chance of observing aurora fill the dark skies, but it also means your window of opportunity for hikes and outdoor adventure is shorter.

In summer, The Coastal Experience is a circuit trail, but in winter both mountain roads on the route (Rte 95 and 939) are generally closed. Never fear: the Ring Road (Hwy 1) remains open and well serviced all year round, so the fjord communities are relatively easy to visit in winter.

Take your time while driving the valleys and fjord shores, and if the weather is agreeable stop to enjoy the nature. It all looks pretty as a picture with a dusting of snow, but be on the lookout for icy patches on paths and roads.

Also keep your eyes open for reindeer, as they come down from the highlands in the winter in search of better grazing areas. Your own grazing opportunities may be more limited – some of the area’s restaurants close during the winter, but you’ll always find a supermarket and usually a dining option in the towns. It’s worth stocking up on snacks for the car!

From the route’s end at Breiðdalsvík or Djúpivogur, you will need to retrace your steps on the Ring Road to return to Egilsstaðir, but you might like to explore other parts of Austurland along the way. The Fjord to Fjord travel route can take you to more scenic fjords, and to some of Iceland’s best ski areas.

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 to Visit

Activities

Hús Handanna Icelandic Art & Design Shop
East Iceland Heritage Museum
Vök Baths
Sláturhúsið
Finnsstaðir
Egilsstaðir Swimming pool
Breiðdalssetur
Tinna Adventure
Cultural Center - Langabúð
Arctic Fun
Djúpivogur Swimming pool

Other (3)

Reyðarfjörður District Information Office Heiðarvegur 37 730 Reyðarfjörður 470-9000
Fell Horse Rental Fell 760 Breiðdalsvík 8974318
Nanna´s Memorial Museum Berufjörður 1 765 Djúpivogur 478-8977

Restaurants

Other (6)

Bókakaffi Hlöðum - By Lagarfljót Bridge Hlaðir 700 Egilsstaðir 471-2255
N1 - Service Station Egilsstaðir Kaupvangur 4 700 Egilsstaðir 440-1450
Olis - Service Station Búðareyri 33 730 Reyðarfjörður 474-1147
Guesthouse Tærgesen Búðargata 4 730 Reyðarfjörður 4705555
Café Sumarlína Búðavegur 59 750 Fáskrúðsfjörður 4751575
SAXA Guesthouse and Café Fjarðarbraut 41 755 Stöðvarfjörður 5113055

Accommodation

Egilsstaðir Campsite
Gistihúsið - Lake Hotel Egilsstaðir
Hótel Valaskjálf
Hérað | Berjaya Iceland Hotels
Teahouse
Skipalækur
Hotel Bláfell
Hotel Staðarborg
Hotel Framtíð
Djúpivogur Campsite
Bragdavellir Cottages

Other (4)

Lyngás Guesthouse - Egilsstaðir Lyngás 5-7 700 Egilsstaðir 4711310
Lagarfell Studios Lagarfell 3 700 Egilsstaðir 8934322
Guesthouse Tærgesen Búðargata 4 730 Reyðarfjörður 4705555
SAXA Guesthouse and Café Fjarðarbraut 41 755 Stöðvarfjörður 5113055