Hike through the reserves and parks of snowy highlands overlooking lagoons on the opposite side of the country from the capital.
East Iceland is an immense area comprising several towns and a national park with a glacier and many picturesque rock formations. Its largest municipality is Egilsstaðir which is home to more than 2,000 inhabitants. Travel around the region to take in the charm of the many lagoons, islands and fishing villages.
For a comprehensive understanding of the geology and history of the area, visit the many museums of its second largest town, Höfn. Inspect the intriguing displays at the Höfn Glacier Museum to learn about the Vatnajokull Glacier that rises above the town. Visit Huldusteinn to see an array of precious rocks from East Iceland and stroll through Hornafjörður Art Museum for its collection of landscape paintings.
Explore the East Fjords region, a spectacular terrain carved apart by Ice Age glaciers. Visit the various quaint villages enclosed by mountains and bodies of water. Note the charming wooden cottages and old-world feel. Hiking and kayaking are among the popular activities here.
Enjoy the views of the snow-capped highlands, such as Snaefell Mountain, that are a predominant feature of East Iceland.
Visit the farmstead of Skriðuklaustur, a museum dedicated to its former inhabitant and author, Gunnar Gunnarsson. Its café serves many local delights. Try the culinary specialties of the region at the many restaurants with extensive views over rolling green hills. Seafood dishes are popular on the coast, as is a type of almond cake dessert.
The climate differs dramatically across this vast section of land due to varying altitudes and proximity to the coast. In general, expect warm summers and cold winters with snow. Höfn is among the driest parts of the country.
The region takes up a vast land area of 8,772 square miles (22,721 square kilometers) on the eastern portion of the country. Several domestic flights bring passengers to East Iceland from the capital city of Reykjavik. To reach the area from mainland Europe, take a passenger ferry to Seydisfjordur Harbour from Hirtshals in Denmark.
East Iceland is at times flamboyant with its white mountains and stunning terrain, but also retains a subtle charm away from the urban culture of Reykjavik.