East Fjords, Iceland: recommendations & photo journal

The East Fjords of Iceland are a much lesser visited and far more remote part of the island, along with the West Fjords.  While most people stick to Northern and Southern Iceland, the East and West Fjords are the areas where you can really escape into the Icelandic countryside.  With barely a car on the road or a person in sight, it doesn't get more beautifully remote than trudging along the gravel roads that zig-zag between the ocean and the mountains.  If isolation, simplicity, and peacefulness are what you're after, then the East and West Fjords are just for you.  For today, I'm just going to focus on the East Fjords.

If you're checking in to my Iceland recommendations for the first time, definitely be sure to check out my post on Southern Iceland, which includes a lot of general tips about the island, why I visited in the late fall, and more.  I'll also be rolling out recommendations for other areas of Iceland in future posts, so keep an eye out for that!

My recommendations

  • Litlanesfoss & Hengifoss - a relatively short hike uphill from one waterfall to another.  We did this hike during sunset in autumn and the colors were stunning.  Red volcanic lines run through the rock behind Hengifoss making it all that much more picturesque.
  • Djúpivogur - one of my favorite little finishing towns that we visited.  The architecture is just adorable and the fjord is the perfect place for a picnic.

  • Neskaupstadur - the coolest part about this town is that it used to only be accessible by boat until about 50 years ago when the tunnel was built.  The drive has absolutely incredible views and the little town of Neskaupstadur is so perfect.  We camped here overnight and woke up to a gorgeous sunrise with double rainbows!

  • Mjóifjorður - the drive down into the fjord is an unforgettable sight.  The town is so small and quaint; so peaceful and tranquil.  This is one of those towns in the world where everything seems still and silent.

  • Seydisfjordur - the road to Seydisfjordur is pretty incredible with views of Lagarfljót (the lake where the Icelandic Worm Monster supposedly lives) on one side of the mountain, which then transitions to sweeping vistas of the fjord.  The drive down features a beautiful waterfall as well.  The actual town of Seydisfjordur is colorful and festive.  Check out the bar on the colorful walk-road in the center of town for a pint of local Icelandic brew!

  • Just drive - the best part of the Eastern Fjords is just driving the roads and stopping wherever your heart pleases.  Some of the most incredible views, vistas, waterfalls, and overlooks are dappled amongst the roads and the only way to find them is to hit the pavement.

Camping

  • Neskaupstadur (open until Sept 15, however we stayed there later in September and the facilities were still open)
  • Egilsstaðir Campsite (open year round)
  • Seydisfjordur (open until Sept 30)

Find additional camping tips & info in my Southern Iceland post.

Additional Tips

  • Make sure you top up on gas when you can because some of the stations are unmanned and they can sometimes be far apart.
  • Most of the tunnels are one-way and they're pretty dark.  It can be scary for US drivers at first, but it's also pretty thrilling.

For additional tips, check out my Southern Iceland post.

Other Things We did

We visited a bunch of towns and places in the Eastern Fjords, so if you have the time I would certainly suggest to visit everything.  But, if you're limited on time, definitely make sure to hit up my main list of recommendations.  We spent 2 days and 2 nights in the Eastern Fjords which I felt was a pretty good amount of time to visit all of these places.  Here are some of the other things we did:

  • Breiðdalsvík - black beaches and beautiful vistas, plus a little town.
  • Stöðvarfjörður - super small town.
  • Fáskrúðsfjörður - beautiful fishing town that we drove through.
  • Gufufoss - a beautiful waterfall.
  • Lagarfljót - a large lake where the Icelandic Worm Monster supposedly lives.

photo journal