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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Take your time
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.
Some places are so isolated, and it amazes me that there are people living in these surroundings. Tiny tranquil bays and remote harbour towns.
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…..
Up and away
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.
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.
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.
Where is everyone?
So, we left the Ring Road for a gravel road bypass, once again the backdrop was breath-taking.
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.
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After our 30 miles’ detour, we were back on the Ring Road again and heading to Egilsstaðir, our base for the evening.
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).
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.
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 small fishing port has such character, the beautifully kept homes and shops encircle the fjord and create such a picturesque sight.
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.
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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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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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