Sitting at the heart of a beautiful bay in eastern Iceland is Eskifjordur, a peaceful and secluded port where fishing and farming dictate the way of life. Here the hills and mountains dwarf the town, which sits right by the still water of the bay at the foot of the colossal Mt Holmatindur. Beneath the ground here lies spar rock, a clear glassy crystal which once helped the ancient Vikings to navigate the seas.
Sitting at the end of the fjord and surrounded by hillsides, the peaceful village of Eskifjordur is an attraction in itself. Despite its tiny population of around 1,000 people this is still one of the most populous villages in the region – proof of the peaceful seclusion to be found on the eastern shore of Iceland, where the wild beauty of the surrounding countryside definitely takes centre stage.
Read More Tour of Eskifjordur
A shore excursion may allow you to take a guided tour of this charming fishing town, a quiet port where the brightly coloured buildings stand out in glorious fashion against the rolling tundra and dark, snow-peaked mountains in the distance. Eskifjordur boasts a host of sights, including a cultural centre, historic piers and buildings and a public swimming pool, heated by the geothermal energy that much of Iceland has harnessed as an eco-friendly way to generate power. Be sure to look over the spar mine of Helgustadanaman too if you get the chance, surrounded by walkways to get a better look at the partially open-faced site.
You may be able to take a look inside the village's maritime museum, which documents and celebrates the local way of life with a look at traditional sailing and fishing practices – part of the fabric of everyday life here since Eskifjordur's earliest beginnings. Look out too for the Randulfssjohus, a cheery fishing shed built in 1890 where you'll get an insight into how the fisher folk used to work, and still work today – as well as the chance to try some of the shark and dried fish.
Eskifjordur's landmark is the vast mountain of Holmatindur, covered in snow for much of the year and with the still water of the bay at its feet. Wander along the rocky shore opposite for some fantastic photo opportunities of this steep, rugged landscape, or journey further into town and look back for a fantastic view of the road, leading off to the misty peak in the distance.
Shopping in Eskifjordur
There are several shops in the village centre, where you may be able to pick up some locally produced art and craft pieces as reminders of your time in this peaceful port. Alternatively, be on the lookout for the locally mined spar crystals – the perfect souvenir to embody Eskifjordur.
Eating out in Eskifjordur
Being such a secluded community there are only a few places to eat in the village and the surrounding region – but with so many farms and fisheries, diners can rest assured that their meals are going to be as fresh as it's possible to get. If you're looking for a delicious fish dish in Eskifjordur, try a charming local fishery-turned-restaurant for fantastic views over the bay, or head into town for a quick snack whilst sightseeing.