Located in the heart of Iceland’s East Fjords, Eskifjordur offers tranquility among the towering mountains and rugged wilderness. Eskifjordur was the first in the region to be granted a town charter in 1786, and it’s a charming seaside village that’s evolving into a favorite destination for Icelandic itineraries.
For centuries, the sea has defined this area. Historic and modern structures combine with scenic nature offer to create a special ambiance that can be felt with a simple walk through town. Eskifjordur is home to one of the finest rare stone collections in Iceland and although private, it can be visited. Over 1,000 stones now dot the home of the original collectors, Soren and Sigurborg, who have been collecting since 1976. Petra’s Rock and Mineral Collection would also make for an interesting stop.
There’s a lot to explore in Eskifjordur so spending the day here is a good investment of time. If hiking is on the list, the surrounding mountains offer plenty of choices. The pride and joy of the fjord is Holmatindur Mountain. This 985-meter high peak is worth the demanding climb to see the view over the fjords. Those who make it to the peak can sign the guestbook waiting at the top. Eskifjordur offers a unique outdoor musical experience. Visitors can hike up to the Tvisongur sculptures, a grouping of interconnected concrete bubbles that use the wind blowing off the cliff to create music. This installation has been on the cliff since 2012 and pays tribute to the Icelandic musical tradition of quintal harmony. Finally, explore the fishing trade that made this town in Randulf’s Sea House. This remote museum and traditional eatery are a preserved time capsule of the old fishing town. The restaurant on the first floor serves traditional dishes such as shark and reindeer. The second floor houses the museum, created out of perfectly preserved fisherman’s quarters. There are still personal items that belonged to the former fishing tenants of the building.
If you want to branch out, Eskifjordur is surrounded by quaint towns with a lot to offer. Stodvarfjordur is a cozy village that includes a local market and an art gallery run by the featured artists. In Neskaustadur Town, visitors can take a tour that will cover a number of interesting and iconic sights; the historic lighthouse, a three-story museum, the avalanche-defense structures, and the country park along the coast. Located nearly at the easternmost point of Iceland, it makes for an easy and great day trip. In Faskrudsfjordur history seekers can visit a perfectly preserved village that includes a cemetery and other relics that tell the story of the French fisherman who lived here during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
History, scenic views, hiking and a lovely town surrounded by equally lovely towns and villages are all experiences Eskifjordur delivers. Itinerary planners can be confident that including this gem in their Icelandic itinerary will be a hit with guests.
Image credit: cruiseiceland.com