Best Of East Iceland 2019: Best Road Trip - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Best Of East Iceland 2019: Best Road Trip

Best Of East Iceland 2019: Best Road Trip

Published June 7, 2019

Photo by
Timothée Lambrecq

The East of Iceland is, geographically, one of the oldest areas of the country, and the furthest from the capital. The mountains slump diagonally into the sea, creating a beautiful and distinctive landscape. Many of the winding fjords are cut off from Route One, which runs inland, but for the relatively few tourists who make it, they contain interesting little towns and tucked-away villages with many interesting and eccentric sights, stops, bars and shops.

Best Road Trip

Borgarfjörður Eystri
Borgarfjörður Eystri


This drive is as scenic as it is pleasant. You start off driving towards the wide black beach of Sandur, curving right into the mountains; soon, you’re looking down across the East Iceland coastline from high above. You swoop down into an all-but abandoned valley, where there are a few interesting stops, before winding around a sheer scree slope on a dirt track, arriving at one of the cutest towns in Iceland as your reward.

Runner-Up:

Möðrudalsöræfi
Route One, Eastfjords to North East


Whatever the weather or the time of day or night, this area will always be enchantingly or hauntingly beautiful. “I drive this route regularly and it never gets boring,” said the panel. “Suddenly you’re in the Highlands—usually all by yourself—and you realise it’s just you and the trolls up there.”

Runner-Up:

Öxi & Lagarfljót
Route 939, Berufjörður to Lagarfljót

east road trip East Iceland Photo by Art Bicnick

During the summer months, ascending the steep peaks of the Öxi pass from Berufjörður is breathtaking, adrenaline-inducing, and not for the faint of heart. Descending to Lagarfljót, you can use the remaining daylight to circle the lake or drive to the Kárahnjúkar dam, checking out the Laugarfell hot pot on the way.

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You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Iceland 2019 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Iceland, from the Best Road Trip in East Iceland and onwards—here, posted worldwide. We also have a Special Offer double-pack that also includes our Best Of Reykjavík magazine, about places to eat, see, swim, visit, and shop in the country’s capital city, here.

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