Höfn to Egilsstaðir: Iceland’s road less travelled

In En-Route, Iceland, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Day Five, The Rugged Coastline

As we head out of Höfn back onto the Ring Road. You can immediately tell that this is where most tourists have turned around and headed back along the south of Iceland.
 
The roads weren’t too busy prior to this; now the adventure was going to be even more cherished.

The south-east coast of Iceland

Today’s planned route should be a distance of around 158miles/255km. Which is once again predominately along the Ring Road, but with of course our regular viewpoint stops to soak up the landscape.




Honest, there were Reindeer

We were more or less hugging the coastline today, and no sooner we had left Höfn, the seascape opened out before us.

The view from Hvalnes Lighthouse, Iceland

We were now even seeing signs for ‘reindeer crossing’, and lo and behold we saw some. But not too close, to be perfectly honest when we pulled over to take some photos they were unsure of us and walked in the opposite direction.

Reindeers in Iceland

Not a bad idea

We went distinctly low tech with a traditional foldout paper map for our Icelandic adventure. 

Sure we'd mapped our route out beforehand, and we're using 'Etta's' inbuilt GPS.  But somehow there's nothing better than checking your plans out the old fashioned way the night before your next adventure.




Hvalnes Lighthouse

A short hop along the quiet Ring road of about 50km (31 miles) from Höfn, we came across Hvalnes lighthouse on a craggy outcrop.

Along this coastline there are so many inlets and unforgiving rocks.
It’s no wonder Iceland has its fair share of lighthouses.

Our favourite travel reads

Our Advice

Go for a 4×4 for the reasonable ground clearance it affords you. You can, of course, hire a 2-wheel drive vehicle, but you are not permitted to drive on ‘F’ roads and other tracks.

Our experience was that even access to certain Points of Interest along roads a regular 2-wheel drive wouldn’t get you there. Trust us.




Take your time

The Eastern Iceland Coastline

The scenery is so stunning you just can’t help pulling over and admiring it. Particularly as it is so peaceful other than the sound of waves and birds.

The coastline of Eastern Iceland, looking south.
Route One in Eastern Iceland

Some places are so isolated, and it amazes me that there are people living in these surroundings. Tiny tranquil bays and remote harbour towns.

Teigarhorn Natural Monument and Nature Preserve, Iceland
The bay at Teigarhorn Natural Monument and Nature Preserve, Iceland




Sveinsstekksfoss

We found the waterfall we were looking for Sveinsstekksfoss. However, it was a bit obscured from view, so there was only one thing for it, launch the drone…..

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Keep Charged

If you've hired yourself your wheels for your Icelandic adventure, then why not pick up a cigarette USB charger.  A great way to keep your devices charged as you're on the move.

Up and away

Just outside Breiðdalsvík, Iceland

As this area of Iceland was so quiet and very few people were around, we decided to fly the drone again.

It gives an incredible perspective of the scenery.

On a need to know basis

If you are planning a road trip around Iceland particularly over the winter months you need to be very aware of the ever-changing road and weather conditions.

During winter, parts of the Ring Road may be impassable, and you may not get to areas of the country you intended to.

Regularly check the conditions by using these useful websites and apps, believe me, they will come in handy.

Icelandic Met Office
The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration – Vegagerdin also has an app.




A little detour

Our timing was going well, so we decided to take a little detour onto the 955 around the peninsula by the village of Fáskrúðsfjörður. Before heading, on we grabbed some sustenance from a supermarket and sat and admired the view across the bay.

Fáskrúðsfjörður, Eastern Iceland

While here we found out that this village was also an outpost for French seaman fishing in Iceland during the late 19th and early 20th century. Unfortunately, this was an unforgiving occupation, and a little French Cemetery is dedicated to the seaman who lost their lives.

Route 955 in Eastern Iceland




Where is everyone?

So, we left the Ring Road for a gravel road bypass, once again the backdrop was breath-taking.

Heading around Vattarnes on route 955

Before we took the detour, we saw signs for falling rocks. So, expecting to see small rocks or stones along the way, but no these were boulders in the road. Keep moving was the name of the game, perhaps we could outrun them.

The view over the entrance to Reyðarfjörður, Iceland

Something to make your travels easier?

In search of

If you are Northern Light hunting, you need to be aware of the sunset & darkness times and the KP Index for the evening. It also requires dark and partly clear skies.

KP Index scale ranges from 0 to 9;
0-2: Low
2-3: Moderate
4-6: A big solar storm is coming
7-9: Highly unusual

You can monitor this via the Icelandic Met Office which is updated around 6 pm.




Mountain Pass

After our 30 miles’ detour, we were back on the Ring Road again and heading to Egilsstaðir, our base for the evening.

Route One just outside Egilsstaðir, Iceland

However, as we still had time to discover more of eastern Iceland we took the 93 towards Seyðisfjörður (I haven’t got a clue how to pronounce that).

Route 93 towards Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Heading high over mountains we now have bright skies and the sun glistening on the snow. We weave our way into town passing skiers and snowmobiles.

Why not?

Start creating your own Icelandic adventure and discover the Northern Lights yourself, easyJet & British Airways are just a couple of options.




What a find

We arrive at Seyðisfjörður, and it such a delightful town, nestled at the mouth of a fjord of the same name.

The view over the bay at Seydisfjordur, Iceland

The small fishing port has such character, the beautifully kept homes and shops encircle the fjord and create such a picturesque sight.

Reflections at Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Tempted to?

Discover Iceland’s enchanting Ring Road with its rugged landscape or the waterfalls and geysers around the Golden Circle for yourself.

You can do it all on a road trip, SIXT car hire covers all budgets and only a five-minute shuttle bus from Keflavik airport.




Our route

The route that we took today was once again predominantly along the Ring Road, with a few detours and stops along the way. So, in total, our journey was about 343km (213 miles) and with all the stops took us about 8 hours.

* This post may contain links to affiliated sites where we earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.

A Bright Idea?

It's those little things that can make the difference.  In Iceland you're in the midst of nature and we found just a simple USB rechargeable torch to be very useful.  You can't always rely on your phone. 

Where we stayed

For the one night, we were based in Egilsstaðir; we stayed at Hótel Valaskjálf. It wasn’t quite as we’d hoped as we were informed on arrival that we couldn’t use their in-house restaurant, as they were catering for a conference.

We were directed elsewhere in town, which wasn’t ideal as we had just had a long day driving.

Since our return, I have contacted the hotel and explained my displeasure and they said we should have reserved a table in advance.




Highlight of the Day

Every trip Gary and I go on, whether it’s a mini-break near or far or a road trip we chose a ‘Highlight of the Day’, here they are for day 5.

Janis; The whole route today was beautiful. However, I particularly enjoyed the little harbour towns and villages along the way.


Gary; Now this is difficult. On one hand it has to be getting the drone airborne to capture some different views of the beautiful landscape, but I think the detour from Egilsstaðir to Seyðisfjörður was stunning.

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Inspired to visit Eastern Iceland?

Tour the rugged coastline and visit the little harbour towns along the way, Egilsstaðir is an ideal place to stay with all your essential amenities.

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Höfn to Egilsstaðir: Iceland’s road less travelled

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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