Just an eight-hour drive from Reykjavic, the East Fjords make up one of the best areas for long distance hiking in Iceland. Crisscrossed with an extensive network of hiking trails called the Víknaslóðir, or "The Trails of the Inlets," this region remains one of the country's best-kept secrets. You would need more than a week to see it all, but you can cover a scenic 45-mile (74 km) route through majestic fjords from Seyðisfjörður to Borgarfjörður in just three days.
There are multiple ways to reach your starting point in the town of Hofströnd. By car, take the Ring Road (also known as Highway 1) from Reykjavik to Borgarfjörður Eystri 425 mi (684 km). Alternatively, you can take a domestic flight from Reykjavik Domestic Airport to the nearby town of Egilsstadir. This is a one-way trek; when you reach the end, you can take a bus from Seydisfjordur to Egilsstadir where it's easy to pick up a rental car or catch a return flight via the Egilsstadir Airport. Alternatively, the Norrona Ferry arrives in Seydisfjordur from Denmark by way of the Faroe Islands every Thursday during the summer.
If you're looking for a more streamlined experience, local companies do offer self-hiking tour packages that include transport from Egilsstadir and pick-up in Seydisfjordur. For an extra cost, there are options like porter services for heavy gear, as well as mountain hut accommodations along the route.
Day 1: Borgarfjörður - Breiðuvík
The trek begins in the eastern part of Borgarfjörður in the town of Hofströnd. Start by walking to Brúnavík, the first inlet of the day, taking in the stunning North Atlantic views along the way. From there, you'll head to Breiðuvíkur: a farmstead on the little cove of Kjólsvik that was active until the 19th century. Walk onward to Glettinganes - the trail isn’t long, but it is rocky, so exercise caution. The day ends with an evening at a cabin near the beaches of Breiðuvík.
Distance: 9.9 miles (15 km)
Duration: 5-7 hours
Day 2: Breiðavík - Húsavík - Loðmundarfjörður
The valley of Breiðavík, originally settled in the 13th Century, is a beautiful place to wake up, with sweeping views of the surrounding landscape. From there, head west across the Stóruá River. As the trail turns south you'll arrive at Húsavik, a large bay surrounded by three prominent mountain peaks: Hvíthnjúkur, Hvítafjördur, and Hvítkerk. Spend some time exploring a historic church, built in 1937, before starting your walk to Loðmundarfjörður, where the collapse of a mountain thousands of years ago still marks the dramatic landscape.
Distance: 8.7 miles (14 km)
Duration: 4-6 hours
Day 3: Loðmundarfjörður- Seyðisfjörður
Travel down through Loðmundarfjörður, a site consisting of multiple abandoned farmhouses and another weathered church, this one built in 1891. Head southward to the old town of Hjálmárströnd, where slippery snow can persist on the trail into the summer. At this point, you'll be enjoying magnificent views of the southern fjords, making the uphill sections of trail feel more than worth the effort. Then, hike down the steep, narrow slope at Kækjuskord, finally arriving at Seyðisfjörður.
Distance: 8.7 miles (14 km)
Duration: 6-8 hours
When to Visit
Though weather can be unpredictable throughout the year, you'll have the best chance of sunshine in the summer months, specifically July and August. Summer also brings long daylight hours, giving you plenty of time to reach your destination each day. If you're interested in visiting during the winter months, you'll face the challenges of cold temperatures, more extreme elements, and less hiking time each day - if you're interested in winter travel in Iceland, our local specialists can put together a guided tour that meets your needs. No matter when you decide to travel, wear waterproof layers and be prepared for quickly changing conditions, including significant wind and rain.
Before You Go
You can pick up any supplies you might need at Bakkagerði Village in Borgarfjörður, or in Seydisfjordur if you’re spending the night at the end of your trek. Make sure to register your hiking trip with ICE-SAR, Iceland's search-and-rescue association, well in advance, and check their website regularly for weather and hiking conditions.