East Iceland

East Iceland is the region of Iceland home to Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier.


Other destinations


East Iceland is a vast and very diverse region. Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier, sits on the mountaintops of the south-east, with only a narrow strip of land between the sea and the glacier. The coastline is a long sandy beach, with only one natural harbour at Höfn which is also the main town in the south-east. A little further north, in the central section of East Iceland, are the East Fjords. These fjords are dotted with fishing villages in picturesque settings squeezed between the mountains and the sea. Hérað is an inland area on the other side of the mountains from the East Fjords. Hérað is known for being one of the warmest places in Iceland in the summer and a very popular destination for Icelanders travelling in their own country. The main town in Hérað is Egilsstaðir by the Lagarfljót lake. Finally, in the northeast you will find the remote and fascinating villages of Vopnafjörður and Bakkafjörður.

Get in

By car

The Ring road, highway 1, passes through the region and connects it with the rest of the country.

By boat

There is a weekly car ferry, from Hirtshals in Denmark, to Seyðisfjörður, operated by Smyril Line

By plane

Flights are available from Reykjavík go to Egilsstaðir operated by Air Iceland, and from Reykjavík to Höfn, operated by Eagle Air .

By bus

Strætó operates busses that travel almost the entire length of the Ring Road, with busses coming from the North terminating in Egilsstaðir and busses from the South terminating in Höfn. As of summer 2015 the times of busses are as follows:

Get around

By car

The Ring Road runs through East Iceland and most of the inhabited fjords are connected by highways leading off the ring road. Some sections of the fjord roads can be quite unnerving, with steep drops from the road to the sea.

By bus

East Iceland is one of only two regions in Iceland not covered by the Strætó network, the other being the West Fjords. Instead the municipalites in the region have set up their own system, Strætisvagnar Austurlands (East Iceland Busses) or SVAust. A PDF timetable (2015) can be found here:

Stay safe

As elsewhere in Iceland, weather is the primary safety concern. Always check the weather forecast before setting off on your journey, especially if you're planning to go through one of the mountain passes in the region.

Note that East Iceland has the only unpaved sections of the Ring Road and that some of these run along sheer drops to the sea in the East Fjords. Drive carefully.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, July 07, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.