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East Iceland Emigration Center

The East Iceland Emigration Center is located at Kaupvangur Cultural Center.

The East Iceland Emigration Center is an organization of volunteers interested in re-establishing contact with the descendants of the people who left East and Northeast Iceland (primarily Vopnafjörður, North- and South-Múlasýsla, Þistilfjörður) after the eruption of Askja in 1875.

Opening hours:
Monday, Thursday and Saturday: 10-17
Other times: We will gladly meet visitors upon request

This summer's exhibit: "Sails, Rails, Rivers and Trails" - "Sigld, gengið, riðið og rúllað í lest" is open from May 25 until the end of August. The subject is the journey of the emigrants - how did they get from Iceland to North America, not to mention Brazil? Visitors are invited to experience this journey for themselves - in the form of images and text focusing on the ships, the trains, even larger ships over the Atlantic, and again the trains, wagons and even by walking as they made their way to Curitiba, Utah, Minnesota, North Dakota, Manitoba and north to New Iceland.

East Iceland Emigration Center

Hafnarbyggð 4

GPS Points N65° 45' 13.754" W14° 49' 36.562"
Telephone

+354 473-1200

Opening period All year

Travel directory for East Iceland Emigration Center

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The woodland Eyjólfsstaðaskógur, under the supervision of the East Iceland Forestry Society, offers beautiful scenery and natural diversity. There are two waterfalls adorning the site, one of which can be accessed from behind! In order to visit, the traveler would do well to continue past the cluster of vacation chalets, due N- E.

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Gálgaás

Gálgaás is an old execution place in Egilsstaðir.The cliff Gálgaás, just east of Egilsstaðir Church, may seem unimposing, yet it has been the location of many a lugubrious destiny in centuries past. The most renowned person to loose his life at Gálgaás was a farmer named Valtýr, living at Eyjólfsstaðir some 10 km. southwards. He was hanged in the wake of being tried for theft and murder; accusations which he steadfastly denied. Fourteen years later, the real murderer was unmasked by mere chance - also named Valtýr und suffered the same fate as his innocent namesake. Both skeletons were left lying below the cliff, which now bears a bronze plate commemorating these events.

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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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Lagarfljót and Lögurinn

Lagarfljot is about 140 km. long flood or river, consisting mostly of glacial water. The innermost section forms a lake Lögurinn with a surface of 53 m2. The depths of the lake descend to 112. m. with the bed of the lake as deep as 90 m. beneath sea level. The Lögurinn is home to the legendary monster serpent Lagarfljótsormurinn, first mentioned in 1345. It was considered a bad omen if the curved forms of the monster were spotted above the of the water. In recent years it has not revealed itself so often - yet the Lagafljót serpent is truly unpredictable!

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Grænafell

The haven of Mt. Grænafell by Reyðarfjörður has served as the prime location for local outdoor activities for a number of years. At the top of the mountain, a beautiful lake awaits the visitor and a spectacular gorge carves the landscape beside the fell. A paradise of fine bushes at the foot of the mount completes the icing on the cake. The tiny forest is adorned by planted trees, brooklets and extensive rocks fragments from the cliff, reminiscent of dwellings from the land of fairy tales. The area has been made easily accessible by marked hiking trails.

On Fatmap here below can you find more info about the hiking trail up to Grænafell.

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Midhús

Miðhús was among the first guesthouses in the Hérað region. Travellers passed Miðhús on their way to Seyðisfjörður and Eskifjörður. Today Miðhús houses an art gallery and a workshop (operative since 1975) where Icelandic material is used in many diffirent ways.

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Gljúfursá river

The Gljúfursár waterfall runs down a colorful ravine just below our starting point. From there is a marked walking path that takes you along the river Gljúfursá, down to the sea and around Drangsnes.

Walking along the precipitous cliffs is a great experience and leaves few visitors unmoved. The trail goes past Krummsholt where you can see ancient ruins dating back to Viking times. In fact, a Viking named Þorsteinn Uxafótur is thought to have lived there. Looking at such ancient habitats leaves one wondering about the lives lived here centuries ago, wishing the earth could talk and tell us the stories of our ancestors.

Across the fjord, you can see glimpses of the village of Vopnafjordur standing on a peninsula reaching out in the fjord. The peninsula itself is called Kolbeinstangi.

The river Gljúfursá used to be a major obstacle to travelers heading east over Hellisheiði. Many accidents occurred when people tried to cross the river by foot or on horseback.

You can walk along the river to the old bridge over Gljúfursá, built around 1900 and at the time considered to be a great marvel. The story goes that construction began on the bridge after a man on horseback died while attempting to cross the river during winter.

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Eiðar

Eiðar (14 km. north of town Egilsstaðir) is a ranking presbytery with important cultural and educational background. This is the site of one of the very first agricultural schools in Iceland ( founded in 1883), later converted into a general educational center for the East region. Its function as a school was discontinued to a large extent in 1997 and since then many ideas have been launched as to its future role. In the meantime, Eidar has served as a summer hotel. The Eiðar surroundings are picturesque and inviting, with verdant grounds on the banks of beautiful Lagarfljót laying the ideal grounds for peaceful and poetical walks. Presently, efforts are afoot to develop a center for arts and culture.

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Sandvik Black Beach

Sandvík is a long, black sandy beach in from the fjord. The coast is a paradise for birds, created by the hand of nature. There one may find seashells, take a walk, watch the birds, build a sand castle - or follow your own imagination.

Along with this coast, a supply ship ran aground on 2 October 1981. All the crew was rescued. At low tide, one can still see a glimpse of the wreckage.

Access to Sandvík is from the track lying down to the bay inland from the golf course.

We remind everyone to be careful along the beach. The surf can be dangerous and children must be carefully watched. The Hofsá river often flows over the sands in the spring, and as a result, quicksand can form along the beach.

Always walk the coastline with care, with respect for nature and the hidden dangers which can lie near the sea.

GPS: 65.735784 - 14.857769

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Eyvindará

Among the precious gems of the township, Egilsstaðir is the river Eyvindará. Small waterfalls nourishing it, as well as the stream´s deep green-blue color, contribute to its exquisite beauty. The depths render Eyvindará an ideal swim site during the summer-season, albeit the water is cold. The farm on the river banks traces its roots prior to A.D. 1000. This is the site of the burial mound of saga legend Helgi Droplaugarson, and ruins - commonly believed to be the ruins of his historic abode- is still to be seen. The area is highly popular among the local youths for all kinds of outdoor activities.

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Skjólfjorur beach

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Please respect that it is forbidden to remove stones from the beach.

One of the characteristics of Vopnafjordur is the incredible rock pillars and cliffs that take on various forms, often resembling different creatures. Ljósastapi rock pillar stands out in the sea just off Skjólfjörur. It is often called "Fíllinn" or The Elephant by locals, as its form resembles that of an elephant.

The mountain Búrið stands to the right of Ljósastapi. Búrið is a part of the Fagradalur mountains, an ancient volcanic area. In the Fagradalur mountains, you can see colorful rhyolite rocks that certainly make their mark on the surrounding environment. A marked walking path takes you down to Þerribjörg, east of Hellisheiði Eystri, where the rhyolite is at its most beautiful. The walk is fairly difficult and long, but well worth it for experienced hikers.

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Selskógur

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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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Vallanes

Vallanes is a farm and a vicarage, known for the habitation of many leading scholars and literates of centuries past. Today the farmers of Vallanes are renowned for organic farming and pioneer products, i.a. vegetables and barley. They also produce food and cosmetics under the brand name of "Móðir Jörð" - "Mother Earth".
In the last century, the locals of the surrounding district erected their community centre, Iðavellir, on the outskirts of Vallanes, and there the East Iceland Equestrian Association has its main hub on the grounds for races and shows.

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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