Tourism to Iceland tends to centre on the Western side. Reykjavik, the capital is home to the only international airport and the primary route into the country. Attractions such as the blue lagoon and the golden circle trio are all reachable from Reykjavik and activities like northern lights hunting, sledding, lava walking, fjord tours and horse riding can all easily be arranged.
All of this is fine and makes for a great trip to Iceland but if you’re on your second or third visit to the country then you may want to consider visiting the lesser visited East of the Island. An area the encompasses all the beauty and uniqueness of Iceland’s stunning landscape.
The East of Iceland for one is full of history, it’s where the Nordics first settled and an area for a long time that was prosperous due to fishing. You can fly in from Reykjavik to Egilsstaoir and Vopnafjorour or enter on a passenger ferry from Denmark via the Faroe Islands. The best way in by far is to drive via the ring road. The drive is a feast for the eyes as you’ll wind your way through the stunning countryside and delightful coastal roads.
There are number of popular attractions on the East side. The Vatnajokull National Park makes up 14% of the country and is perfect for hiking. The Hallormsstadaskogur National Forest is a unique experience as it’s one of the few in the country owing to early settlers’ heavy deforestation. A quad bike tour is a great way to explore the Hallormsstadaskogur forest.
Seyðisfjörður makes a pleasant change from the solitude of the region. A small quirky fishing town with a welcoming population and good food.
Alfheimar country hotel, a travel and hospitality award winner, is one the finest places to stay in the region with its comfortable rooms and good food (profiled on the next page).