Exploring Egilstaðir: A Guide to Eastern Gateway of Iceland

Recommended activities

Egilstaðir is a town located in eastern Iceland, with a population of approximately 2,300 people. The town is situated on the banks of the Lagarfljót River and is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including mountains, forests, and waterfalls. Egilstaðir was officially founded in 1947 as a small village, but the area has a rich history that dates back centuries. The town is located near several ancient sites, including the Skriduklaustur monastery, which was founded in the 15th century and is now a museum and cultural center.

Today, Egilstaðir is a bustling hub for commerce, tourism, and transportation. It is home to an airport, which provides connections to other parts of Iceland, as well as an important highway junction that links the eastern and northern parts of the country.

Despite its growth and development, Egilstaðir has managed to maintain its unique charm and character. Visitors to the town can experience the best of both worlds: the conveniences and amenities of a modern city, along with the beauty and tranquility of Iceland’s natural landscapes.

Greetings from Egilstaðir, a charming town in East Iceland’s heart! As a proud local resident, I’m excited to share with you all the hidden gems and local favorites that make Egilstaðir such a special place. From breathtaking natural wonders to unique cultural experiences, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in and around Egilstaðir. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, I hope our insider tips and recommendations will help you make the most of your time in this beautiful part of Iceland.

So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let me take you on a virtual tour of Egilstaðir – a town that’s sure to capture your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories.

How to get to Egilstaðir

Egilstaðir, located in the Eastfjords region of Iceland, is a small and remote town that can be a challenge to reach. However, several transportation options are available for visitors who wish to explore this hidden gem.

Flights are available to Egilsstaðir Airport from Reykjavik on a daily basis. This is the fastest and most convenient way to get to Egilstaðir. The flight takes about an hour and offers stunning views of Iceland’s landscape.

Another option is to take a bus from Reykjavik to Egilstaðir. There is a bus company that offers daily trips to Egilstaðir, including Stræto. The bus journey takes around 7-8 hours, but it’s a great way to see the scenic route of Iceland’s Ring Road, which is dotted with waterfalls, glaciers, and lava fields. You can find more information here

For those who prefer to drive, renting a car is a great option. The drive from Reykjavik to Egilstaðir takes around 6-7 hours, depending on the weather and road conditions. The route takes visitors through some of the most scenic parts of Iceland, including Vatnajökull National Park and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.

As visitors make their way to Egilstaðir, there are several notable landmarks and sights worth exploring along the way. These include the majestic Vatnajökull glacier, the largest glacier in Europe, and the famous Diamond Beach, where glittering icebergs wash up on a black sand beach. Other notable stops include the cascading waterfalls of Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss and the quaint fishing village of Höfn.

In conclusion, although Egilstaðir is located in a remote part of Iceland, it is accessible by air, bus, or car. Whichever mode of transportation visitors choose, they can expect to be treated to breathtaking views of Iceland’s natural beauty, from stunning glaciers to cascading waterfalls.

Things to do in Egilstaðir

Egilstadir is a hidden treasure in Iceland’s east, providing travelers of all stripes with activities and attractions for enjoyment. Here are a few top things to do in Egilstadir and the surrounding area:

Hiking Trails: Egilstadir’s stunning mountain and valley terrain makes it an ideal location for hiking enthusiasts. One of the area’s most beloved hiking trails, the Hengifoss waterfall with a 128-meter drop, attracts hundreds of hikers each year; round-trip travel can take approximately 2 hours while affording breathtaking views of its natural surroundings.

Hallormsstadur National Forest: Hallormsstadur is Iceland’s largest forest, conveniently situated just a short drive from Egilstadir. Featuring numerous hiking trails, picnic spots and camping sites – Hallormsstadur makes an excellent place for outdoor fun with children or those wanting an enjoyable picnic or camping trip with family and friends!

Skaftfell Cultural Center: Egilstadir’s Skaftfell Cultural Center offers exhibitions, workshops, performances and performances throughout the year. Attracting both visitors and locals alike alike with events ranging from film screenings, concerts and art exhibits this is must visit for culture enthusiasts!

Lagarfljot Lake: Lagarfljot is an entrancing lake located a short drive from Egilstadir. Legend has it that an unknown monster lurks below its waters; visitors may take a boat tour to explore or hike to nearby waterfalls and hot springs for an immersive experience.

Seydisfjordur: Seydisfjordur is an idyllic fishing village situated 30 minutes outside Egilstadir. It’s best known for its colorful houses, bustling arts scene, and breathtaking fjord views – visitors can explore local galleries or hike to nearby waterfalls for stunning fjord views and waterfall hikes.

Family-Friendly Activities: Egilstadir and its surroundings offer many family-friendly activities, including horseback riding, kayaking, and fishing. Families can also visit the swimming pool in Egilstadir or explore local playgrounds and parks nearby.

Unique Experiences: For visitors seeking something off the beaten path, Egilstadir provides many hidden treasures. Visitors can explore abandoned farms and ruins, hike to remote hot springs or embark on photography tours of Egilstadir’s breathtaking natural landscapes.

Overall, Egilstadir and its surroundings provide a variety of activities and attractions for travelers of all kinds. Be it outdoor activities, cultural experiences, or family-friendly fun; Egilstadir should be on every traveler’s agenda when visiting Iceland.

Where to eat and drink in Egilstaðir

Egilstadir, situated in eastern Iceland, boasts an exciting food and drink scene with plenty of dining and drinking establishments available to residents and visitors. Here are some of the best spots in Egilstadir where visitors can get something delicious to eat and drink:

Salt Cafe & Bistro – This cafe and bistro is known for their delectable coffee and baked goods, as well as hearty meals made using locally sourced ingredients. Some must-try dishes include their fish of the day, lamb shank and homemade fish soup.

Cafe Nielsen – Cafe Nielsen is an intimate cafe that serves homemade cakes and pastries, light meals and coffee in an inviting setting. Additionally, they have a small gift shop where visitors can purchase Icelandic souvenirs.

Hildibrand Hotel Restaurant – This Icelandic-themed restaurant provides an inspired menu, including fresh seafood and locally-sourced meats such as lobster, lamb shank and homemade ice cream. Some standout dishes at the Hildibrand include Icelandic lobster, lamb shank and homemade ice cream.

Egilstadir offers some delicious local specialties or must-eat dishes you should definitely experience while visiting. Lamb is one of Iceland’s signature dishes, so be sure to have at least one lamb dish while visiting. Lobster is another must try; fermented shark is also worth giving a try along with fermented shark liver pate and skyr (a type of yogurt). Furthermore, Iceland is well known for its craft beer scene so take the opportunity to sample something local while visiting Egilstadir!

Where to stay in Egilstaðir

Egilstadir offers a variety of accommodation options that cater to various budgets and preferences, from hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and camping sites. Below are a few recommendations based on budget, location, and amenities:

Hotels: Egilstadir has several hotels that provide comfortable and convenient stays for visitors. Hotel Edda, offering budget-conscious visitors clean and simple rooms with basic amenities is conveniently located close to town center with free parking and Wi-Fi connectivity. Another top pick in Egilstadir is Hotel Herad, featuring spacious rooms, restaurant, bar, fitness center and free Wi-Fi internet connection – making for an exceptional visit!

Guesthouses: Egilstadir’s guesthouses provide an ideal way for those searching for more personalized and cozy accommodations to experience Egilstadir. Eyvindara Guesthouse can be found nestled peacefully among rolling countryside just a short drive from town center; offering cozy rooms, shared lounge space and an idyllic garden. Hagi Guesthouse can also be found close by featuring comfortable rooms as well as shared kitchen access and a beautiful garden space – two options that will surely meet all your expectations!

Apartments: If you’re seeking more space and privacy, renting an apartment may be the answer. Egilsstadir Guesthouse and Apartment is a top choice, located just minutes’ walk away from the town center. Their fully furnished apartments come equipped with kitchen facilities, living area seating areas, private bathroom suites as well as free Wi-Fi service and parking options – an excellent choice!

Camping Sites in Egilstadir: Camping is an economical and outdoor-focused way to travel on a budget, with Egilsstadir Campground near the town center offering campsites for tents and campervans alike. Additional features of Egilsstadir Campground include playground equipment, BBQ pits and shared kitchen and bathrooms – perfect for an unforgettable camping trip in Egilstadir!

No matter what type of accommodation you select, it is always advisable to book in advance, particularly during peak seasons. Furthermore, keep in mind that certain accommodations may have limited availability or could close during off-peak seasons.

When selecting an accommodation in Egilstadir, keep its proximity to both town center and attractions in mind as well as amenities provided such as parking, Wi-Fi access, and breakfast offerings. Egilstadir offers accommodations to fit various budgets and preferences, making it an excellent destination for all travelers.

Day trips and activities from Egilstaðir

Egilstaðir serves as an excellent base for exploring the Eastfjords region of Iceland, with several exciting day trip destinations within easy reach. Here are some of the top nearby destinations that make for great day trips from Egilstaðir:

  1. Vatnajökull glacier: The largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Located just a couple of hours’ drive from Egilstaðir, the glacier offers spectacular hiking trails, ice cave tours, and glacier walks.
  2. Hengifoss waterfall: A short drive from Egilstaðir lies the Hengifoss waterfall, one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland. The hike to the waterfall is a rewarding experience, with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and a chance to spot rare bird species.
  3. Seyðisfjörður: This charming town located on the eastern coast of Iceland is renowned for its colorful wooden houses, picturesque harbor, and scenic hiking trails. It’s also home to several cultural attractions, including the Skaftfell Center for Visual Arts and the Technical Museum of East Iceland.
  4. Hallormsstaður forest: Located just outside Egilstaðir, the Hallormsstaður forest is Iceland’s largest forest and a popular spot for hiking, camping, and birdwatching. The forest also contains several hiking trails that lead to stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lakes.
  5. Borgarfjörður Eystri: This scenic fjord located about an hour’s drive from Egilstaðir is known for its rugged beauty, rich history, and vibrant art scene. The area is home to several hiking trails, including a popular trail that leads to the remote and picturesque Stórurð boulder field.

No matter what your interests, there are plenty of exciting day trip destinations to explore from Egilstaðir. With its central location and easy access to some of Iceland’s most stunning natural wonders, Egilstaðir is the perfect base for your Eastfjords adventure.

Egilstaðir is a charming town in the eastern region of Iceland that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, from hiking to fishing to skiing, as well as explore the town’s museums, galleries, and restaurants. The nearby attractions, such as the Vatnajökull glacier, the Hengifoss waterfall, and the town of Seyðisfjörður, make for excellent day trips and further add to the appeal of the area.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Egilstaðir has something to offer. Its stunning scenery, friendly locals, and laid-back atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Iceland. So pack your bags and head to Egilstaðir for an unforgettable Icelandic experience.

We encourage readers to share their own experiences and recommendations in the comments section below. Whether it’s a hidden gem you discovered during your visit or a tip for traveling in Iceland, we would love to hear from you!