Yeah alright, we are starting with the obvious one. But if we are going to be blogging about things to do and see in East Iceland we have to include Hengifoss to be taken seriously. Hengifoss is Icelands second highest waterfall and arguably East Icelands biggest attraction. But if you find yourself hiking the path to Hengifoss keep in mind that it has a little brother, Litlanessfoss, that you will find on the way. Now little brothers tend to stand in the shadow of the bigger brothers. But Litlanesfoss holds its own and is quite beautiful in his own right. It is surrounded on either side of the gorge by beautiful basalt columns give it a picturesque frame.
Best time to see: Most people visit Hengifoss in the summer and fall. As with other sites in Icelandic nature, weather conditions plays a factor in how accessible it is. Having said that, the area surrounding it is not known for heavy snow. The website for Hengifoss estimates that it takes about 40-60 minutes to hike to it.
The vending machine in the middle of nowhere
We promised you quirky, right? Well it doesn’t get much more kooky and fun then the wending machine right smack in the middle of nowhere. This is arguably the most famous vending machine in all Iceland and that really is saying something. In it you can buy anything from candy to beverages and … well we guess that that’s about it. If you are wondering where it gets its electricity from, it is sun and wind powered. So if you find yourself in on the road between Egilsstaðir and Borgarfjörður in East Iceland you can swing by and say hello to this lonely guard of eccentricity.
Best time to visit: When you are feeling peckish.
The eggs in Gleðivík
Djúpavogur has long been recognized for producing fun and creative people. It seems that this little town seems to have an endless stream of innovative and creative people. And we are not sure you would find something like the eggs in Gleðivík anywhere else. The artist behind this wonderful display is Sigurður Guðmundsson and they were installed August of 2009. The exhibit is comprised of 34 eggs replicating eggs from different birds in Icelandic wildlife. It is on permanent display in the harbor in Djúpavogur and will continue to bring joy and inspiration for years to come. So if you find yourself in East Iceland and looking for things to do, be sure to swing by.
Best time to visit: Spring, summer, winter and autumn. Really just whenever you looking to fuel your creative side.
The spar mine at Helgustaðir in Reyðarfjörður
Spar, often referred to as Icelandic spar is a crystallized variety of calcite that is clear and transparent. From the mine at Helgustaðir spar was mined from the 17th century until the beginning of the 20th century. It is quite possibly the most famous spar mine in the world. In 1975 the site became a natural heritage and it is now forbidden to remove spar from the mine. The mine is open to the public and is about 10 minutes drive from Eskifjörður.
Best time to visit: As is with sites in nature it really depends on the weather. So it is best to check with local people that know how conditions are. In summer and into the fall the mine is easily accessible and it is open to the public and no admission is required.
We hope you are as excited to reading it as we are to bring it to you. Our mission with this blog is simple. East Iceland is our home and although it is a little of the beaten path, we feel that it is quite special. In this blog we want to share with you our passion and let you see East Iceland through our eyes. We want to introduce you to the nature, culture and people that define us. We are going to tell you all about our favorite things to do and places to visit in East Iceland, or as us locals call it, Austurland. And who knows? Maybe, just maybe, you too might come to be smitten with our little part of Iceland.
Fun to know
Iceland is a country of myths and legends and we love to tell stories. The only difference between the stories in East Iceland and the rest of the country is that ours are all true.
There are a few things you only find in East Iceland and not the rest of the country. The flower bluebell is only native to East Iceland and so are the reindeer that we are so very proud of.
East Icelands arguably biggest attraction is the country’s second highest waterfall, Hengifoss. It is so fabulous that it even has its own website.