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East Iceland offers a dream-like escape in sparsely populated landscape

The man with the grey hair and the piercing blue eyes I met on a small fishing boat one afternoon is the same man who turned up in the town’s lone bar that night, and then at the sole concert later on (attended by just 40). The next day, I see the man again, this time serving breakfast at one of the few local hotels, which, it turns out, is owned by his son.

“Everyone has to wear many hats here,” said another local resident, Siggi Olafsson, who bills himself as a management consultant, lecturer, hiking guide and bassist. “With so few people, we all pitch in.”

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Towns & Villages

Each town in Austurland has its own characteristics. In some of the coastal villages t, the influence of North European neighbors obvious to everyone. 

The French made a strong impact in Fáskrúðsfjörður where the road signs are made out in French as well as in Icelandic. Norwegian influence is easily detected in the Eskifjörður and Seydisfjörður architecture. No such roots are to be seen in Egilsstadir which is the latest addition to East Iceland agglomeration, founded in the late forties of the 20th century.  

Map Vopnafjörður Borgarfjörður Eystri Egilsstaðir Seyðisfjörður Mjóifjörður Neskaupstaður Breiðdalsvík Eskifjörður Reyðarfjörður Fáskrúðsfjörður Stöðvarfjörður Djúpivogur