Sparsely populated and located far from the Mid-Atlantic ridge that runs through the country , the East coast is one of the oldest and geologically stable regions of Iceland. Mountains, fjörds and the largest forest in Iceland dominate the landscape, but the area also boasts a number of impressive waterfalls.
Egilstaðir is the pulsing heart at the centre of East Iceland. The population is around 2000 if you include the neighbouring village of Fellabær. It is essentially a service town, acting as a focal point for the surrounding communities. All the facilities one expects from a major town – Post Office, banks, supermarkets can be found here. It also acts as a travel hub for the area, the main bus terminal and airport all operate out of Egilsstaðir.
WHAT TO SEE AROUND EGILSSTAÐIR
The East Iceland Heritage Museum
The cultural history of the area is preserved at the East Iceland Heritage Museum. A reconstructed 19th century farmhouse, complete with furnishings gives the visitor an appreciation of how life was for the inhabitants over 200 years ago. The museum also has relics dating back to the time of the vikings.
Weekends visitors can observe spinning and weaving demonstrations and go for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage.Due to renovations the museum is closed from the 1st of September 2014 until at least the end of May 2015. www.minjasafn.is – Laufskógar 1 – Tel. 471-1412
Egilsstaðir sits on the banks of the glacial river Lagarfljót. It has its source at the Vatnjökull glacier and flows north into the Arctic Ocean. Halfway through its journey the river transforms into a long narrow lake known as Lögurinn. The lake itself is 24km long, 2km wide and over 100 metres deep. Legend has it that in its murky depths resides the Lagarfljótsormurinn (the Lagarfljót monster). Over the years the monster has become a symbol of the area and there have been rumours of sightings. Cruises to the lake are offered from Egilsstaðir.
Impressive waterfalls can be found just about everywhere in Iceland and the East is no exception. The country´s third highest waterfall Hengifoss (“hanging waterfall) is located in Hallormsstaður forest. Reaching to a height of around 120 m, the waterfall is surrounded by colourful strata. It is possible to hike to its summit via a well defined sheep track.
Iceland’s third highest waterfall is Hengifoss (“hanging waterfall”). It is situated more or less across the lake from Hallormsstaður forest. It is 120 m high. Around Hengifoss there are colorful rock layers that add to the sensation of the hike to the waterfall, along a well-defined sheep track. On the way to the top you will encounter a smaller waterfall, Litlanessfoss that is surrounded by impressive basalt columns.
Travel Guide Iceland Team