Iain Mallory continues his journey in East Iceland
Join travel blogger and photographer Iain Mallory’s as he continues he north Iceland adventure journeying to Nestkaupstađur and onwards to Egilsstađir, the gateway to Iceland’s East Fjord.
Another small town located on the side of a fjord which was beginning to seem typical of the region and my next overnight stay was at Nestkaupstađur with an evening cruise around the fjord, offered by the owner of the Hildibrand Hotel. Apart from a couple of women from Florida that didn’t appreciate the evening chill, all onboard enjoyed cruising under the majestic peaks which tower over the fjord. We even got to see more puffins and a minke whale.
The next day, it was onward and upward again, retracing my tyre tracks to the nearby Eskifjörđur. Lunch was at Randulffs-Seahouse, for more tasty, locally sourced and produced cuisine, I was beginning to feel spoiled. The fermented shark wasn’t even that bad, although apparently the chef had gone easy on me, as it can taste so strong that eating it is almost a test of manhood! The place is fascinating, an old shark fishing house filled with memorabilia from days long passed. Wherever possible the owners have retained all the original features and it is a museum which offers fine, but simple dining.
While here, I had an opportunity to hold an orphaned arctic fox cub. He seemed to like my down jacket and snuggling in and holding him was a special moment for me.
Last stop before returning to Egilsstađir for the return flight to Reykjavik I stopped at Breiđdalsvik, another fjord-side fishing community and met another entrepreneur. Frederik, owner of Hotel Bláfell, who has his fingers in many business pies. Hotelier, tour operator, shop and convention centre owner, he seems to own the whole town, but in a good way. I particularly liked the coffee shop and general store, which has a whole collection of fascinating past records from the local area, such as salaries and sheep slaughtering quotas all of which are available to browse over a latte.
While here I took a day off driving to be chauffeured around in an Icelandic Superjeep, taking in the scenery and visitor centre at Vatnajökull National Park. Discovering the fascinating Icelandic Wilderness Centre was a fitting climax to this great adventure. Wandering around the eclectic exhibits, exploring the history and culture of the region, through the stories of knowledgeable and imaginative displays left me smiling all the way back to Egilsstađir each time I remembered a small detail.
This road trip has left me hungry to discover more about this region of Iceland, and some of the other more remote regions of the island. The flights direct from London may save some driving time, but visitors planning to explore, I’d suggest booking some extra time off work and spending a good couple of weeks exploring the culture, admiring the views and enjoying the cuisine of East Iceland. You won’t be disappointed.
Start Planning Your Trip
You can follow in Iain’s footsteps on our 7-night Northern Highlights itinerary from Egilsstadir in the East Fjords to Akureyri in North Iceland. From summer 2019, you’ll also be able to explore part of the Arctic Coast Way – a brand new touring route taking visitors off the beaten track.