As far as you can get (some 650km) from Reykjavík, Iceland’s impressively varied and sparsely populated east (called Austurland) doesn’t announce itself as loudly as other parts of the country, preferring subtle charms over big-ticket attractions. The Eastfjords is the area’s most wondrous destination – the scenery is particularly spectacular around the northern fjord villages, backed by sheer-sided mountains etched with waterfalls. If the weather’s fine, several days spent hiking here may be some of your most memorable in Iceland.
Away from the convoluted coast, the country’s longest lake stretches southwest from Egilsstaðir, its shores lined with perfect diversions. Further inland are the forgotten farms, fells and reindeer-roamed heathlands of the empty east, and Snæfell, one of Iceland’s prime peaks.
Ring Road motorists often simply overnight in Egilsstaðir then speed out of the east. Lunacy! The east's spectacular fjords, scenic hiking trails, fascinating geology and friendly villages are some of Iceland's unsung treasures.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout East Iceland.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in East Iceland.