Eskifjörður – A Colorful Village in East Iceland

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  • One of the most beautiful villages in East Iceland. 
  • This town has around 1060 inhabitants. 
  • Many Beautiful Hiking Trails

The village of Eskifjörður is situated along the north shore of Eskifjörður fjord, a northern arm of fjord Reyðarfjörður. The red-colored and well-preserved fishing sheds lined up and down the shore provide an amazing view. This charming seaside village in the mid of the eastern Fjords became a trading post in 1789. Since then it has become a commercial center. You can explore the calm waters around this fjord by renting a boat from the locals. The exploratory drilling at this place was rewarded by many hot water reserves that became the source of swimming pool water. These hot water reserves make Eskifjörður one of the few places in East Iceland to heat the homes. Trade has continued here since the Danish trader Örum & Wulff began operations in Iceland. They had built the first store in this village. Until the Norwegians began fishing for herring off the East Fjords, the number of residents did not rise significantly. Currently, this town has around 1,060 inhabitants.

Hólmanes mountain in Eskifjörður village in the Eastfjords of Iceland

Culture, History, and Geography of Eskifjordur

The cultural and industrial development of Eskifjörður has been shaped by the sea for a long time. While walking around the town you will see historic buildings and piers. You can visit the Maritime Museum. The museum mostly has objects and utensils related to fishing and seafaring. It portrays various reminders of local trade, industry, and medicine from the past. The East Icelandic Maritime Museum is considered to be diverse, educational, and well presented. The towering mountains, deserted black beaches, nature reserves, time-stands-still history, and surprising geology around the Eskifjörður town surprise the travelers.

When you approach Eskifjörður along route 92; the road skirts around the base of 985 meters high Hólmatindur Mountain. The Hólmanes Nature Reserve in the shadow of the mountain is home to walking trails that weave between rock formations. East of town Eskifjörður is another nature reserve called Helgustaðanáma that is named for an important quarry where Icelandic spar crystals were once mined. The town offers multiple outdoor and hiking opportunities. Hiking in the Hólmanes peninsula has been popular among locals since over 150 species of vegetation were found there.

While exploring Eskifjordur, you should visit the White Witch. There is a picnic table just above the Holmahals road at its highest point over the peninsula. As per the mythology, under a pile of rocks rests a white witch that is also known as Volva who promised to protect the fjord from invasion as long as her bones remain un-decayed. She saved the fjord from a raid by North African marauders and a bombing plane in World War II.

red houses in Eskifjörður village in the Eastfjords of Iceland

How to Reach Eskifjordur

Since the town of Eskifjordur is located at a distance of around 683 kilometers from Reykjavík, it will take 8 hours and 24 minutes of journey to reach there. Drive the Ring Road until you reach Egilsstaðir, the captial of East Iceland. From there, take road 1 until you reach the road sign for Reyðarfjörður. Drive through the village of Reyðarfjörður and keep on driving in the direction of Eskifjörður. After around 15 minutes drive from Reyðarfjörður, you will reach the village of Eskifjörður. 

snow and winter in Eskifjörður village in the Eastfjords of Iceland

Eskifjörður village on a map

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