Námafjall / Mývatn

We went to Myvatn today. Namafjall is closeby and is unique because of it´s geothermal activity. Bubbling mudpots, fumaroles and boiling springs are all over the area and the heavy smell of sulphur is no one´s favourite. But the colours are stunning! Behind that hill is the geothermal pool Jarðböðin.

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I recommend: A stroll, bath and a bike tour.

Distance from Egilsstadir: About 200 kilometres.

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Þingmúli

Yesterday we went hiking in sun and 17°C. We don´t often have that temperature so the choice was between hiking and ice-cream. Hiking it was. And ice-cream afterwards.

This mountain is Þingmúli. An old volcano. It´s not that high or dangerously steep so energic children are good to go.

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Our mission was to find a fossil. But we didn´t so we have to go back soon. Beautiful view and interesting rocks.

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I recommend: A geologist´s hammer, microscope and an exciting snack-pack.

Distance from Egilsstaðir: About 30 km.

Laugarfell

I often went there as a kid with my parents to dip my toes into the natural warm pool. Today Laugarfell is www.highlandhostel.is. Everything renovated but still natural. This summer they will start making hiking trails from the hut to Fljotsdalur valley and I am excited to explore that area. But a visit in the wintertime, enjoying the northern lights from the warm pool is on top of my winter to-do list.

The two pools last summer.

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I recommend: Bring swimming -, and hiking stuff.

Distance from Egilsstaðir: 72 km

Breiðavík

Breiðavík is a deserted inlet next to Borgarfjörður eystri. We went there for few days last summer working as hut wardens. No phone connection, no television, no computer and almost no people. We humans need more of this.

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I recommend: Sleeping bag and good hiking shoes.

Distance from Egilsstaðir: About 75 km.

Skriðdalur

In the valley where my parents live, Skriðdalur, the east mountains are mostly of multi-coloured rhyolite. The rivers from the mountains have dug small canyons which you don´t really see from the road. You should really step out of your car and take a walk into one of the small canyons. The colors and the strong basalt formations in between might sursprise you.

There I was one day at midnight. I couldn´t sleep so I took my camera and went for a drive and a walk.

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I took those when me and my brother went for a walk. We couldn´t get very far because of a gigantic basalt column that blocked our way up the river.

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I recommend: Wading boots, geologist´s hammer and a binocular.

Distance from Egilsstadir: About 25 km.

Sænautasel

This place is a heaven on Earth in the summertime. It´s a rebuilt farm in the highlands, far away from any civilization. In late 19th century there were many farms in the highlands but most of them were abandoned after the volcanic eruption of Askja in 1875.

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Paddling boats. Kind of odd up there, but who cares. Great for the kids.

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Highland cat sleeping.

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I recommend: To have coffee and waffles inside, take a walk to the nearby farm ruins, lay down in the grass and fall asleep.

Distance from Egilsstaðir: About 100 km

Hallormsstaður

Where to go, what to do? I often asked myself that question before I started working in the tourism business so I am not stunned when visitors walk in circles not knowing what to do in this little town of Egilsstadir. First hint is, contact traveleast@traveleast.is. They (we) are full of fun ideas 🙂

But this blog is not about Travel East. It´s just about my own ideas of enjoying life in East Iceland.

First favourite: Hallormsstadur.

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The perfect place for the local people. The trails in the woods make you feel you are somewhere on the continent. Not on the island of ice. We go there for a stroll, frisbee, picnic, dip in the lake (just the toes) or to play cards like my youngest and my friend are doing in the photo.

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I recommend: Snackpack, blanket, camera and cards/frisbee/ball/etc to play with.

Distance from Egilsstaðir: 25 km