We were at the halfway mark of our Icelandic adventure, and it was high time to explore East Iceland!
- Fáskrúðsfjörður (Cafe Sumarlina)
- Eskifjorour (Helgustaðanáma) (highlight)
- Lagarfljót and Lögurinn
STOP #1: Berufjörður
This is a picturesque narrow but long fjord offering many viewpoints to stop and explore the surrounding by foot.
STOP #2: Fáskrúðsfjörður
Originally settled by French seamen who came to fish the Icelandic coast between 19th century and 1914, it is a narrow fjord and fisher village. As you emerge from the tunnel, you will find a small parking lot in a wonderful surrounding, inviting for a short walk around town. Driving there is a unique experience due to the high mountain passes with astonishing fjord and ocean scenery.
Fun Fact: En route, be prepared for unexpected surprises, like a herd of sheep crossing the Ring Road! :P Sheep definitely have the right of way here.
Located right at the town entrance, this creaking wooden house cafe possesses its own rustic charm. I really enjoyed the ambience, and the walls were lined with trinkets and photos which added some individuality and character. They serve up typical western fare like burgers, pizzas, crepes etc, perfect for filling your tummy in freezing weather. We tried the belgian waffles, which were crispy and freshly baked, making for such a delicious guilty pleasure.
The owner, Odinn Magnason, is humorous and relayed fascinating tales of the Northern Lights.
STOP #3: Eskifjörður
This friendly, prospering little town is stretched out along a dimple in the main fjord of Reyðarfjörður. It is located in a beautiful setting, overlooking the majestic mountain Hólmatindur (985m) rising sheer from the glistening blue waters.
Helgustaðanáma (hidden gem!)
The remains of the world's largest spar quarry lie east of Eskifjörður. Iceland spar (silfurberg in Icelandic) is a type of calcite crystal that is completely transparent and can split into 2 parallel beams, which is vital in early microscopes.
To reach the quarry, follow the gravel road past Mjóeyri, driving 6km along the coastline until you reach an information panel. The quarry is then a 500m walk uphill.
A little ways below from the top, there is a cave worth exploring!
One of my favorite visuals from the entire trip was this row of striking red houses against a mountainous landscape. Dream retirement home, much?!
STOP #4: Egilsstaðir
This town isn't a ravishing beauty, but it serves as the main regional transport hub and centre for local commerce.
STOP #5: Lagarfljót and Lögurinn
The main draw of Egilsstaðir is the lovely Lagarfljót, Iceland's 3rd largest lake.
Reputed to harbour a fearsome monster, this lake begins its journey in the Vatnajökull ice cap, and its glacial waters flow north to the Arctic Ocean. It is a wonderful stretch of water to circumnavigate by car.