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East Iceland: Everything You Need to Know

East Iceland: Everything You Need to Know

Subject: Planning to visit East Iceland on the upcoming trip for Iceland. Check our special blog for the places to visit and the best restaurant in East Iceland.

 

East Iceland or the Eastern Region is one of the four largest regional divisions of the country. It is yet another region known for its varied landscape and indescribable natural beauty. The Eastern Region consists of rugged mountains, dramatic fjords, bird cliffs, woodlands, streams, forest areas, basalt formations, and streams. You will also come across various fishing towns lining the east coast, quaint villages and farms in the region. East Iceland offers various activity options like bird watching, skiing, hiking, horse riding and seal watching to keep you occupied for several days. The day tour options offered by many operators are many, and the region’s wonders ensure you will have a great time.


Egilsstaðir is the biggest town in East Iceland, situated in the Eastfjords and bordered by the Lögurinn glacial lake. Some other important towns and villages in this region include Seyðisfjörður, Vopnafjordur, Borgarfjörður (Borgarfjordur) Eystri, Vopnafjordur, and Höfn. Vopnafjordur is historically significant as the location of two important sagas (narratives), namely Þorsteins saga hvíta (The Saga of Thorstein the White), and Vopnfirðinga saga (The Saga of the People of Vopnafjordur). It is also the setting for the famous Icelandic novel named Independent People. Borgarfjörður eystri is also renowned as a place of significance in Icelandic folklore, as it is considered the home of many elves. It is also the place where famous Icelandic painter Jóhannes S. Kjarval produced a great number of artworks.

East Iceland is the only region of the country where tourists can spot reindeers. These majestic animals can be seen on the grasslands during the winters, and on the highlands during the warmer summer months. Take trips to Suðursveit, Snæfell, and Vopnafjörður during your Iceland tour to see the reindeers in action. Puffins, skuas and several other seabird species also call East Iceland their home. The rich flora and fauna complement the picturesque surroundings of this expansive Icelandic region. You will come across populations of fishermen and highlanders who are all quite proud of representing the region’s rich culture. As a tourist in East Iceland, you should make it a point to visit its many museums and cultural centers.


The top places to visit in East Iceland include -

Lagarfljót - Lagarfljót or Lögurinn is a beautiful lake situated close to Egilsstaðir in East Iceland. Spanning an area of 53 square kilometers, this pristine lake has a depth of more than 100 meters. The Lagarfljót River runs through it. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Eastern Region and is a great location for fishing activities. A legend associated with the Lagarfljót lake makes it a must-visit location on any East Iceland tour. The lake is the rumored home of Lagarfljót Wyrm, a creature related to the legendary LochNess Monster. The origins of this lake monster are shrouded in mystery, and there have been supposed sightings since the 14th century. You might want to go on a quest to find Lagarfljót Wyrm in these waters during your visit. Boat tours are available for tourists.

Bulandstindur - Bulandstindur is one of the most beautiful mountains in East Iceland, situated at a short distance from Djúpivogur. This 8 million-year-old mountain has a unique pyramid-like shape and is composed of basaltic strata. You can visit Bulandstindur if you are interested to witness its imposing peak standing tall against the sky. There is also the option of hiking up the mountain to get an even closer look. It is the perfect experience to exercise your spirit of adventure as it is quite steep. Even from a good distance, the 1,069 meters basaltic strata is worth a thousand photographs. Bulandstindur has inspired many artists and poets over the centuries. Interestingly, it is considered as one of the main energy sources of Iceland. 

 

Stórurð - Stórurð, also known as The Giant Boulders, refers to an area with a series of huge natural rock formations near the base of the Dyrfjöll mountains. It also contains several glacial ponds and picturesque meadows right by the rocks. Many popular East Iceland hiking trails await your arrival at Stórurð, which is regarded as one of the best hiking locations near Borgarfjörður Eystri. The best time to visit this naturally beautiful location is during the summer months. Taking a trip during the warmer months will help you appreciate the natural wonders of this place with all its almost unearthly and colorful beauty. Stórurð is yet another prominent example of Icelandic geological wonders, which should be explored in clear weather conditions.

Vestrahorn - Vestrahorn in East Iceland can easily be included among one of the top destinations of the region. It is a part of the Horn Mountain Range, along with Eystrahorn and Brunnhorn mountains. This rocky mountain is quite a popular tourist destination, owing to its unique appearance and visually stunning surroundings. It is bordered by black sand beaches, oceans and lush green vegetation, that offer breathtaking views during all times of the day. Vestrahorn is one place you should visit during your trip to East Iceland. Vestrahorn is one of the Gabbro mountains of Iceland, formed 8 to 10 million years through volcanic activity. Tourists who are passionate about photography will not be disappointed as the area offers many amazing views from all angles. Vestrahorn is also a great place to see the Northern Lights dazzling the Icelandic sky.

Laugarvellir Hot Stream and Waterfall -  Laugarvellir refers to the combination of a valley, a hot spring and a waterfall situated in East Iceland. This remote location is a favorite of tourists who love to enjoy the scenic beauty while taking a relaxing dip. You can bathe in the waters of the Laugarvellir hot stream which has temperatures ranging between 39 to 41 degrees Celsius. Although the neighboring areas are barren, the immediate location surrounding Laugarvellir has lush greenery owing to the water from this fall. Reaching the hot stream might be a challenge, but it is definitely worth the journey. This is yet another place you should not miss during your trip to the Eastern Region.

Author: (Abhi Chauhan)
Date: 02/12/2019