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.
One of the most remote fjords in the east, the drive to Mjóifjörður is an adventure in itself. Following the steep slopes down to a tiny village of about 20 inhabitants also provides you with astonishing views of the surrounding mountains and the beautiful Klifbrekkufossar waterfalls. Also highly recommended is a trip to the Dalatangi lighthouse. Don’t rush it: life out East is slow, so sink into the rhythm and enjoy it all the more.
It’s not the most beautiful place in Iceland, but seeing the country’s largest and most notorious hydroelectric dam is an impressive and sobering experience. After driving across a dusty Highland desert, the hard lines of the dam are like an alien spacecraft, or a remnant of a lost civilisation.
Off Route One towards Vopnafjörður
This road is not for the faint-hearted, or reckless drivers—but if you’re prepared to cry your eyes out for a good view, this is a must. The dirt track crosses some alarmingly high scree slopes, and on a clear day offers views north all the way to Langanes, and south over to the glorious Dyrfjöll.
You can buy a copy of the full Best Of Iceland 2019 magazine—an essential guide to having fun in Iceland, from the Must-See Spots 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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