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Hiking

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Hiking

Walking, with or without guidance, is a popular way to travel in Austurland. The hiking routes in Austurland, East Iceland are endless. Below are only a few ideas to get you started. 

 

Seven summit´s

Period: summer

By climbing seven of the peaks surrounding the fjord of Seyðisfjörður, one earns the prestigious title of "a Seyðisfjörður Mountain Viking". Mostly exceeding an altitude of 1.000 m, these mountains are as follows: Sandhólatindur, Bjólfur, Nóntindur, Hádegistindur, Strandartindur, Snjófjall, and Bægsli. You´ll find guestbooks and ink stamps waiting on each peak. The cards for summit stamps and further details are available at the information centre in the ferry terminal, tel. +354 472 1551 and at www.seydisfjordur.is

Völvuleiði

Situated some distance above the highway connecting the villages Reyðarfjörður and Eskifjörður is the burial mound of a prophetess said to be a guardian angel of the area. According to legend, as long as her bones remain intact - and the cairn indicating the site is maintained - the prophetess will continue to fulfill her protective role. Thus, in 1627 as the Algerian pirates who had previously pillaged the South and the Westman Islands, approached the eastern shore, the cunning lady produced a fog so massive that the scoundrels were compelled to take to the sea and abandon their lugubrious plans of manhunt and massacre.

Stórurð

One of East Iceland's most illustrious spots is the Stórurð ("The Giant Boulders"), located to the east of the road leading to Borgarfjörður Eystri. Stórurð lies below the small glacier west of Dyrfjöll mountains. It consists of gigantic tuff boulders, charming meadows, and attractive ponds. This wonderful scene can be reached in 2.5 hours on foot from Vatnsskarð pass. To enjoy Dyrfjöll and Stórurð a whole day plan is highly recommended.

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Hengifoss

Apart from having recently been re-defined as Iceland's second-highest waterfall, the Hengifoss is particularly picturesque. The layers between numerous Tertiary lava strata yield a reddish color particularly salient in the cliffs around Hengifoss. Moreover, underway towards Hengifoss, the Litlanesfoss presents impressive stands of basalt columns on both sides of the gorge.

Usually, the climb ends well below Hengifoss, at a point where it can easily be admired without crossing the river. However, if the flow is scarce - as is often the case in autumn - it is feasible to go closer and even enter a shallow cave behind the waterfall.
There is an easy walking path from the highway to Hengifoss, it takes 40-60 minutes to walk from the parking lot to the waterfall.

www.hengifoss.is

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Dyrfjöll

The magnificent mountain range Dyrfjoll near the fjord Borgarfjordur Eystri is 1136 meters high and only experienced hikers should do this hike. It is possible to contact a local professional hiking guide to hike with up the mountain.

Dyrfjoll mountain is an old volcano and is famous for the huge gap in the middle of the mountain. The view from the top is extraordinary and won't let anyone down!

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Einbúi

Jafnadalur is a valley in Stöðvarfjördur facing northward. At the core of the vale, there is Einbúinn - "The Hermit"- , a voluminous and solitary rock in otherwise flat surroundings. The Jafnadalur also boasts a 6 m. stonearch, located to the east of Mt. Álftafell. A walking trail connects Jafnadalur and fjord Fáskrúðsfjörður. These are agreeable surroundings and well-suited for short or extensive hikes.

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Fardagafoss

The scenic Fardagafoss waterfall is situated close to the main road to Seyðisfjörður as it winds its way up the mountainside of Fjardarheiði, about 5 km from Egilsstaðir. The ascent from the parking area to the fall takes about half an hour. Underway you can enjoy the beautiful gorge and views over the whole valley. The last stage of the trail is not an easy walk, a chain is fastened in the cliff to get down to the water, but it´s worth it.

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Gerpir

Gerpir is the easternmost tip of Iceland.
Magnificent view, high rocks, and cliffs (661 m.) Making your way along the edge of cliffs some 12 million years old is an experience you´ll never forget. Throughout the area ( "Gerpissvæðið") there are many marked trails, walking paths and hiking routes, construed by the hiking club Ferðafélag Fjarðamanna. Prior to visiting, obtaining a good map of the area is a sensible option - or getting in touch with a local information center. The area is also popular among kayak enthusiasts and mountain bikers.

Hallormsstaðaskógur

Hallormsstaður National Forest

Hallormsstaður National Forest is considered to be Iceland's largest forest. The forest covers an area of 740 hectares most of which is native birch. Since 1905, the forest has been the site of large scale trials of exotic species.

The forest is a popular outdoor area in a diverse landscape. There are 11 marked trails. A hiking map is in a box at the start of all the hiking trails, as well as the map at Hotel Hallormsstadur. Hallormsstadur host arboretum a tree collection with over 80 tree species.

There are two camping areas in the forest: Atlavík which is located in a picturesque cove surrounded by birch woods and Höfðavík that provides a higher level of services for campers.

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.

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Hólmatindur

Hólmatindur is the mountain every inhabitant in Eskifjörður cherishes, towering 985 m. above sea level. It´s not an easy climb to the top but the stunning view is a reward in itself and worth your exertions. Once on the top, the valiant mountaineer can write his /her name in a guestbook, and subsequently, obtain one stamp in a succession of 5 needed in order to get the title Mountain Conqueror. This being an initiative organized by the local hiking club Ferðafélag Fjarðamanna.

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Mt. Bjólfur and the Snow Avalanche Barriers.

The trail is open from June - September

A trail leading to the uppermost mountain slopes (>600 m.) offering a breathtaking view of the Fjord and the Snow Avalanche Barriers. Open from June until first snowfall in October/November. This 5 km. the trail is an F-road and presents a rare opportunity for high altitude sights for those generally averse to mountain climbing. Furthermore, the spot is ideal for paragliders. The ascent takes about 15-20 minutes from the Fjarðarheiði heath road up to the Snow Avalanche barriers.

Reindalsheiði

Reindaldsheiði is an old marked route between Breiðdalur and Fáskrúðsfjörður. The mail was brought this way in times gone by and therefore the old cairns still mark the trail. The tour, which is verily a feast for the eye, takes 7-10 hours.

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Rauðubjörg

The cliffs of Rauðubjörg at Barðsnes in Norðfjörður are endowed with a constant glow as if they reflect ceaseless sunshine. The name means "Red cliffs" which is appropriate since rhyolite is a dominating ingredient.

Sandfell

Sandfell is a distinctive 743m. high rhyolite mountain between Stöðvarfjörður and Fáskrúðsfjörður. The best approach is from the south side of Fáskrúðsfjörður. The trail leaves the coastal road between Víkurgerði and Vík farms and proceeds along the Víkurgerðisá River before cutting west for the peak. The scenery is excellent en route, with views of Fáskrúðsfjörður, Andey and Skrúður islands. The ascent + descent takes approx. 5 hours.

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Studlagil Canyon

Stuðlagil Canyon

In the valley Jökuldalur (Glacier Valley) in East Iceland there is a marvellous natural site that almost nobody knew about until recently. For a long time it was hidden under water or until the hydroelectric plant Kárahnjúkavirkjun was built and the waterflow in the glacier river Jökulsá á Dal, a.k.a. Jökla, was extremely reduced. This marvel is the part of Jökla's canyon which is called Stuðlagil Canyon. Stuðlagil Canyon has one of the biggest and most beautiful basalt columns formation in Iceland.

There are two options to access Stuðlagil Canyon. To access the canyon from the west site you turn south on the Ring Road nr. 1 to road nr. 923. Then you drive about 19 kilometers to the farm Grund where you will find a parking lot and a path to riverbank (the walk is about 250 meters, or 5 minutes). There is a good view down to the canyon and the diverse columns look spectacular. Bear in mind that even though the walk is short caution is needed because the path is partly very steep.

To get into the canyon, and down to the river, you have to access it from the east site. Then you drive to the bridge by the farm Klaustursel, also be road nr. 923 about 14 kilometers from the Ring Road nr. 1. Bear in mind that you are requested to park your car on the parking lot on the north site of the bridge. From there you cross the bridge on foot and take on a hike by a track (approx. 5 kilometers) to a place where you can get down into the canyon. You will need to be careful because the rocks and stones can be very slippery. On the way, about 2 kilometers from the bridge, there is a impressive waterfall called Stuðlafoss. All in all this hike is just over 10 kilometers and could take about 3 hours, when including stops by the waterfall and Stuðlagil Canyon.

It is important to keep in mind, either way you choose, that that the nature in this area is delicate. Stuðlagil Canyon is a new destination and the traffic is steadily increasing but construction of facilities has just started. Visitors are therefor encouraged to be respectful to the enviroment and be tidy. In the period from May 1st - June 10th flocks of pink-footed geese breed and lay eggs along the gorge. During that time visitors are requested to keep to the marked paths and to not interupt the birds.

Hiking Tours - Hiking

Hiking with or without a guide us always a popular mode of travel and many hiking trails exist.

Innra Hvannagil

The gorge Innra-Hvannagil is located in Njarðvík near Borgarfjörður Eystri and is accessible from a parking by the road. After about 100 meters you find yourself at the mouth of this marvelous rhyolite canyon, where numerous dark basalt dikes crisscross the bright slopes.

Snæfell

Mt Snæfell towering to 1,833 m, is the highest mountain in Iceland outside the glacier regions. Even so, and despite the omnipresent snow, (Snæfell = "The Snow Mountain), it is fairly accessible from Snæfellsskáli hut. While Snæfell boasts a splendor of its own, it offers a fabulous view, partly overlooking the oasis of Eyjabakkar. Eyjabakkar is a choice habitat for geese. Reindeer can frequently be spotted west of Snæfell, towards Hálsalón reservoir, in addition to other territories in the East Iceland highlands.

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Waterfall Circle

The Waterfall Circle is an 8 kilometers long hiking circle that starts and ends in Laugarfell. On the hike, you can see five waterfalls and one canyon. Some of these waterfalls are among the most powerful in East Iceland. Most famous of the waterfalls are Kirkjufoss and Faxi.

This beautiful hike is getting more and more popular among hikers. After the hike then it is a good idea to take a bath in the hot springs in Laugarfell.

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Waterfall lane

Fjarðará River & Fjarðarsel Museum
Duration: 2,5 and 4 hours / 2- 4 km.

Period: June - September

An easy and pleasant walk from the center of Seyðisfjörður town, by a walkway partly gravel, partly grassy through a forested area towards the vale Fjarðarsel where beautiful waterfalls and varied green growth await the wanderer.
A visit to the oldest operational power plant in Iceland at Fjarðarsel (1913) is optional, provided that it is arranged beforehand. The plant marked a turning point in the history of Icelandic electrification. For the avid waterfall lover an added walk along the south side of Fjarðará river up to Neðri Stafur rock stratum, (300 m. alt.) is a must.
Out of a total of 25 waterfalls, in river Fjarðará some of the most spectacular ones can be seen along the way. At Neðri Stafur rock stratum, the wanderer is presented with an exquisite view over Seyðisfjörður fjord and town, along with a fine selection of berries in late August. The scenic mountains, waterfalls, vegetation, and the history of the town is a wonderful blend that makes this walk unforgettable.

Þerribjörg cliffs

Drive the main road up Hellisheiði mountain and when you've reached where you are about the highest part, take an off-road trail to the right from there until you've reached Kattárdalsdrög. The trail leads to Kattárdal valley. There is a sign where you can park your car and start walking. The trail is staked to the edge of the cliffs above Múlahöfn harbor. From there (65°45.144 - W14°21.964) lies a trail below the edge, down a rocky slope down to Múlahöfn, one of the natures' masterpieces surrounded by cliffs and huge pillars of rock on two sides.

This harbor was declared an official trading harbor in 1890 but was only used once as such because of the complications when bringing the shipment further on land. From the harbor, walk north to the outer point. From there one can see Þerribjarg and Langisandur shore. The cylinder with the visitors' log and a stamp is by the trail leading down to the beach. Hikers are encouraged to go down and walk along the sand under Þerribjarg cliffs before turning back.

Part of Hiking Treasures in Egilsstaðir Region

GPS : N65°45.336-W14°20.990

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Tverárgil canyon

The hiking path runs along Þverá river in Þverá canyon. The canyon is exceptionally beautiful as you can see colorful rock formations from an old volcano, a pleasant contrast to the otherwise dark rocks of the Smjörfjöll mountains.

There is a rich bird life in this area, especially Icelandic highland birds. The view is magnificent over the Hofsá valley and out to sea.

The path is about two hours long and is a little bit upward. Therefore we put two shoes on the difficulty of the hike.

The starting point of the walk is above the Þverá river on rd. 919 - Sunnudalur road.

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Austurland

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