Special places (2): Borgarfjörður Eystri

Borgarfjörður Eystri

As I wrote in part 1 about the Askja, I thought taking you to places in Iceland that I find special would be fun. Although, all of Iceland is special of course! I spoke to someone who had read part 1 and asked me: “Are you going to name all those beautiful places in the interior where it is difficult to get to and you need a 4×4?”

Indeed, but I will certainly write several blogs about places for which you do not need a 4×4. And this is one of them! Even though you have to cross a mountain pass, the road to it is easy and quite beautiful.

Road number 94

Road number 94 will take you from Egilsstadir to Bakkagerdi in about an hour. That’s if you didn’t stop at the candy machine halfway up! And of course that is not the only opportunity to stop, the views of the pass and many birds that have their breeding grounds just before the pass are more than worth it. Don’t rush, you’re in Iceland.

Puffins

Borgarfjordur Eystri is a fjord, located in East Iceland, and its main settlement is Bakkagerdi. As it is beautifully situated in the bay bowl, you have a reasonable chance of spotting porpoises from the coastline. A large and beautiful campsite, three cafes, a tiny (and expensive) supermarket, and a few B&Bs interspersed with villagers’ houses. If you don’t like camping like I like to do, Guesthouse Blabjorg is fantastic but pricey.

You’ll be through the fjord before you know it. If you drive down the road you will come to a harbor which is the main tourist attraction of the area: a breeding ground for puffins. Hundreds, even thousands, nest here between mid-April and August. A spectacle to see! After years of visiting Iceland, I’ve come to see it as a beautiful area for hikes and walks.

Hiking in the area

Where to begin?!

There are numerous beautiful trails in this area, perfect for multi-day camping with lightweight gear. There are also several huts where you can spend the night and walk from Bakkagerdi to Seydisfjordur in about 3 to 4 days. The fjord is located a little further south, there is a bus connection between Seydisfjordur – Egilsstadir and Bakkagerdi, so luckily, you can also return. It is possible to buy a map of this beautiful area in the village, but luckily you can also find it online. The Borgarfjordur Eystri site is also worth a visit for more information.

Brunavik

A nice walk starts near the harbor where the puffins are. Via walk number 19, you can get to the Brúnavik (Brown Bay) hut from 1944. The walk is demanding due to the climb, but you will be rewarded with beautiful views. The cabin itself is a bit dated, which makes it so beautiful. You go back in time with the old stove and photo of BowWowWow (who remembers them?!) on the wall. You can extend the walk with route number 20, which will take you near Bakkagerdi. Remember to wear good footwear, because it can be very wet here. This applies to most of the walks in this area, let’s consider you forewarned.

Stórurð

All roads lead to…

For me, Stórurð is the most beautiful place in this area. So special! You can choose from several paths. I think the nicest walk is via path no. 8 and further to the campsite via no. 13. That is a full day of hiking and can be called tough to very tough! If you don’t have the time or fitness, go back and forth via route no. 10, but it’s still not a ‘walk in the park’! Please take reasonable safety precautions. Make sure you have enough food and drinks, and good shoes. Also, let people know what you are going to do. The weather can suddenly change here and you have little or no coverage in this part.

The highlight is the mass of stone with the bright blue lakes between them. There is a kind of circular walk through this central point. Something a German tour guide did not know and who is to this day still grateful to me for pointing it out to him. You will even find a cupboard somewhere with a guestbook, if you leaf through it you will regularly come across my name and the names of my groups.

stórurð
The beautiful bright blue lakes of Stórurð

Now that I’m writing this blog I’m just homesick for this place, the whole area. Watch puffins, take a long hike, and then, in the evening, eat a delicious fish soup with a nice Icelandic beer in the Alfa Café to rest your tired legs.

Tips

You can easily stay here for a few days. There is a nice campsite with beautiful views of the mountains, but also a luxurious B&B with hot tubs by the sea. See the photos below. If you stay here a little longer, do your shopping in Egilsstadir, in the supermarket in Bakkagerdi you will pay the top price (and it is also closed all the time). Buy that map if you plan to walk! In the evening, walk further to the Alfa Café to reach the beautiful coast and look for porpoises or dolphins. Something else and not entirely unimportant, there is a huge festival here in July – usually in the third week – called Bræðslan. The campsite and B&Bs are overcrowded and there is hardly ever room anywhere. Check this in advance to avoid disappointment!

We will visit this place (did I mention that it is beautiful here?) on our Tour of Iceland!

Enjoy!

Bakkagerdi

Stórurð and other places

Latest news

19 March 2024
Waterfalls drop off cliffs in a big, loud splash, and right under your feet, volcanoes sleep quietly. Big chunks of ice from ancient times shape...
15 January 2022
Many people who travel with us in the summer often ask us whether winter in Iceland is different, but also what my favourite thing to...
6 January 2022
I can hear you thinking: Is it even possible to go rafting in Iceland? I hadn’t thought of that! Rafting isn’t probably among the first...