Skip to content

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.

Never fear – the winter opportunities on this travel route are outstanding. Two of Iceland’s best ski areas are here: one is at Stafdalur, close to Seyðisfjörður, and the other is in the peaks above Eskifjörður. Eskifjörður’s ski area is known as Oddsskarð, and it has the nickname ‘the East Iceland Alps’. It’s a gateway to some impressive backcountry skiing.

Take your time while driving the mountains passes, 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 supermarkets and a couple of dining options in the towns. It’s worth stocking up on snacks for the car!

From the route’s end at Neskaupstaður, you might want to rejoin the Ring Road and retrace your steps to Egilsstaðir, or head south, winding through more Austurland fjord highlights. Check out The Coastal Experience travel route to create a fantastic circuit .

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 covered, check out the Visit Fjarðabyggð website (Fjarðabyggð is the name of the municipality covering many of the fjords) and Visit Seyðisfjörður.

 

Places to Visit

Activities

Hús Handanna Icelandic Art & Design Shop
East Iceland Heritage Museum
Sláturhúsið
Skaftfell Center for Visual Art
Seyðisfjörður
Seyðisfjörður Incoming Information Office
Neskaupstaður Swimming Pool
Mjóeyri Fjordlife
Eskifjörður Swimming pool
Tanni Travel

Other (4)

Austursigling Fjörður 4 710 Seyðisfjörður 899-2409
Reyðarfjörður District Information Office Heiðarvegur 37 730 Reyðarfjörður 470-9000
Kaj Kayak Club Kirkjufjara 740 Neskaupstaður 863-9939
Norðfjörður District Information Office Sundlaugin á Neskaupsstað - Miðstræti 15 740 Neskaupstaður 477-1243

Restaurants

Other (4)

Bókakaffi Hlöðum - By Lagarfljót Bridge Hlaðir 700 Egilsstaðir 471-2255
Olis - Service Station Búðareyri 33 730 Reyðarfjörður 474-1147
Olís - Service station Hafnarbraut 19 740 Neskaupstaður 477-1500
Hotel Capitano Hafnarbraut 50 740 Neskaupstaður 477-1800

Accommodation

Egilsstaðir Campsite
Gistihúsið - Lake Hotel Egilsstaðir
Hótel Valaskjálf
Icelandair Hotel Herad
Teahouse
Hotel Aldan
Hildibrand Hotel
Reyðarfjörður HI Hostel - Hjá Marlín
Mjóeyri Fjordlife

Other (5)

Greystone summerhouse Grásteinn 700 Egilsstaðir 859-0852
Lónsleira apartments Lónsleira 710 Seyðisfjörður 849-3381
Við Lónið Norðurgata 8 710 Seyðisfjörður 899-9429
Guesthouse Tærgesen Búðargata 4 730 Reyðarfjörður 4705555
Hotel Capitano Hafnarbraut 50 740 Neskaupstaður 477-1800