Landscape View of the Beach Located in the East of Iceland | Iceland with a View

East Iceland is a land of beauty, myths, and legends—yet it remains undiscovered by many travelers. 

After visiting this region many times, I can’t for the life of me understand why it’s so underrated?! So, my goal is to show you how worthy it is of being explored. 💪

Okay, so what am I going on about?

The Ring Road (Route 1) might be the main artery through the area, but the real magic happens when you detour into the quaint little East Iceland towns like Seyðisfjörður.

Picture yourself walking the streets of enchanting villages between towering fjords and lush forests, which look like they inspired the settings of the most beloved fairy tales.

Hike trails to some of the most beautiful waterfalls and canyons in the country, all the while enjoying a less crowded experience. 

Soak in the beauty – without the tourist rush!

If you’re looking for hidden gems, East Iceland is scattered with them, making it an ideal spot for a road trip. And when it comes to arts and culture, despite being a quieter region, East Iceland hosts several cultural events every year. 

So, if you’re searching for an authentic Icelandic experience with fewer stops and more time to breathe in the scenery, East Iceland should be a very big blip on your radar! 😉

Trust me, you’re going to love it!

Let’s get into it!

Table of Contents:

Best Time of Year to Visit East Iceland

East Iceland and the Eastfjörds are accessible year-round. 

The best time to explore it is typically in summer from June to August because conditions are more pleasant and you have many more daylight hours to explore. 

However, if you want to catch the Northern Lights and take advantage of the winter activities in the area such as skiing, the shoulder seasons and winter would be best. 

You’ll find that, even in the peak season, this area remains calm and less crowded than the usual tourist spots in Iceland and the Ring Road.

The best way to explore East Iceland is to take a road trip and drive yourself. It gives you the freedom to stop whenever you want to, take photos, stay overnight, and be more spontaneous in discovering hidden gems.

You can get to most areas with a 2WD in the summer, but I always suggest a 4WD in Iceland in the winter. And if you plan on tackling the F-Roads, you NEED a 4WD!

The Eastfjörds may have more challenging road conditions in the winter because of the snow.

If you want some driving tips for Iceland, this video is really helpful.👇

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The Weather in East Iceland

East Iceland has the typical Icelandic blend of cool summers and cold winters. It’s generally windy, even in summer.

In Egilsstaðir, the largest town in the region, July is the warmest month, with daytime temperatures around 57°F (13°C) and nighttime lows of 44°F (6°C). 

January is the coldest, with temperatures between 23°F(-5°C) and 34°F (1°C) . 

It tends to be rainy most of the year, especially in September, except for a drier period from May through July. For the least rain, visit in April, and for the most sunshine, May is your best bet.

When you’re headed to a place like Iceland, knowing what to pack and what to wear can make or break your trip!

In my Ultimate Iceland Packing Guide I’ve included top packing tips, layering advice, seasonal packing lists,  and essential equipment recommendations you absolutely need for your trip.

✅ Download my FREE Ultimate Iceland Packing Guide here.👇

Top 7 East Iceland Attractions

This region is full of twisty roads with views so beautiful around every bend.

The Eastfjords is the coastline area stretching from Berufjörður to Borgarfjörður Eystri, and most of these stops fall within this area.

1. Seyðisfjörður

Definitely one of the best things to see in Eastern Iceland are the charming little villages. There’s nothing quite like it. 

Simple and beautiful, they offer a glimpse into authentic Icelandic culture.

To be honest, the village of Seyðisfjörður is a must-see, I just love it so much!  

Iceland is a popular filming location and if you watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the skateboard scene down the long road was filmed in Seyðisfjörður.

Famous sites like Seyðisfjarðarkirkja church and Rainbow Road are also found here. It’s also close to natural landmarks like Gufufos and Tvísöngur. 

This is also a popular place to stay overnight, so I recommend you book your place well in advance.

Other small towns worth mentioning for your East Iceland Itinerary are Reyðarfjörður, Neskaupstaður, Mjóifjörður and Höfn. The mountain roads to these sleepy little villages are often closed off or difficult to drive through until June.  

Check out Seyðisfjörður excursions below.👇

➡️ TAKE A TOUR: East Iceland Nature and Culture – Seyðisfjörður

2. Waterfalls 

No Iceland trip is complete without visiting some waterfalls. 

With over 10,000 estimated falls across the country, you’ll be happy to know that a few in East Iceland top my personal favorite list! Let’s check them out!

Hengifoss Waterfall, Iceland

Picture of the Breathtaking Hengifoss Waterfall in East Iceland | Iceland with a View

This is definitely one of the most popular waterfalls to visit in East Iceland.

So, if you’re up for a bit of adventure, Hengifoss is a gem worth a visit. 

There’s a free parking area but you’ll have to trek about an hour to reach the waterfall because it’s pretty remote – but that’s part of the fun.

You’ll find it wonderfully peaceful, away from the crowds.

On the way you’ll get views of Lagarfljót lake – but more on that in a little bit.

At the end of the Hengifoss waterfall hike, there it is – a platform with great views of the waterfall!

As one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland at 420 feet (128m), it is surrounded by striking layers of black and red rock.

In the winter, this hike can be quite challenging, so I would only recommend coming from May through to October.

P.S. About halfway into the hike, you’ll find Litlanessfoss waterfall. Despite being smaller, it’s still pretty impressive!


Gufufoss waterfall is tucked away in the East Iceland fjords, fed by the River Fjarðará.

The location close to some of the area’s most popular attractions, such as Seyðisfjörður and Stuðlagil Canyon makes it a convenient site to visit.

It’s located on Road 93 between Seyðisfjörður and Egilsstaðir. So, if you’re looking for a scenic drive this one is really pretty.

3. Stokksnes

Landscape View of a Big Mountain in Stokksnes in the East of Iceland | Iceland with a VIew

I’m totally smitten with this place!  

On a clear day, it’s the perfect place to visit for views of a black sand beach with rolling green hills and a gorgeous view of ​​Vestrahorn mountain in the background. 

Even though the fishing town of Höfn is a 25-minute drive away, it’s a little out of the way so you can expect even fewer tourists here. 

You can follow a dirt road that leads to a quaint coffee shop known as The Viking Café.

Here you’ll pay a fee to gain access to the beach and the Vestrahorn Viking Village Museum where you can see the remains of an old movie set.

4. Hallormsstaðaskógur & Lagarfljót Lake  

Landscape View of the Lagarfljót Lake in Egilsstadir in Iceland | Iceland with a View

Hallormsstaðaskógur is Iceland’s largest forest and is right next to Lagarfljót lake, just outside Egilsstaðir. 

The road can be difficult, (but not impossible) to drive in the winter.

Locals love heading there for a nature fix, and it’s the perfect place for camping and hiking.

Remember I told you that East Iceland is steeped in folklore and legend? Well, this lake is said to be home to the Lagarfljót worm, it’s kind of like the Loch Ness Monster!

As for activities, you can fish for trout here but you’ll need a license to do so.

5. Stuðlagil Canyon

Picture of the the Bassalt Columns in the Stuðlagil Canyon in Iceland | Iceland with a View

Situated in the Jökuldalur Glacier Valley, this place has huge basalt columns and beautiful bright blue-green water.

If you’re visiting Iceland between April and November, this is the perfect time to see it. 

There are two viewing point options, one from the East and the other from the West side. 

The west side is better if you’re short on time or if the weather isn’t too great. The downside is that there’s a limited view that obstructs some of the natural beauty.

If you’re blessed with good weather then I’d suggest the east side. You’ll get the best viewpoint but you’ll need to hike about 45-minutes to get there. 

What’s nice is that you’ll see Stuðlafoss waterfall along the way. And who doesn’t love waterfalls?!

➡️ TAKE A TOUR: Stuðlagil Canyon – Private tour

6. Hot Springs East Iceland

It’s no secret that Icelanders have a huge pool culture. You can also experience this in the east at some of the most popular hot springs and geothermal pools in the region.

Vök Baths

These baths are only a short 5-minute drive from Egilsstaðir. 

There are three pools where you can relax and there’s even a swim-up bar serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

If you’re brave, you can also take a refreshing cold plunge into the lake!

➡️ TAKE A TOUR: East Iceland Experience

Djúpavogskörin Geothermal Pool. 

This geothermal pool is about 1.2 miles from the town of Djúpivogur, Iceland – not far off the Ring Road route.

It’s small so only about eight people can fit in it at any given time. But, its proximity to the Ring Road makes it a convenient stop on your road trip.

You won’t be able to see it from the road, but it’s only a short walk from the parking area.

Laugavallalaug Hot Spring

Another hot spring worth checking out is Laugavallalaug. You can find this all the way in the Laugavalladalur Valley in the Eastern Highlands and it’s definitely a hidden gem.

A geothermal stream runs down a little waterfall, creating a shower effect, and the water falls into a dammed area that looks like a pond. 

You can also relax in the stream above the waterfall.

➡️ READ: Top 10 Free Hot Springs in Iceland: Unwind & Discover These Hidden Gems

7. The Borgarfjörður Eystri Puffins

This fjord is a detour off the Ring Road.  

Remember that there are a lot of wonderful hiking trails in the area such as the Stórurð hiking trail.

This is also my favorite place in the country to see puffins because you can get up close, and Hafnarholmi harbor is renowned for being one the best places on the planet to spot them. 

If you love wildlife and would like to see these little guys for yourself, check out this video below.👇

Festivals & Events

The Eastern region of Iceland is home to some pretty big art and music festivals that happen yearly.

Hammond Music Festival: This is one of the country’s oldest music festivals and takes place on the first day of summer. This always starts on a Thursday and it’s a whole weekend event in Djúpivogur.

Bræðslan Music Festival: Borgarfjörður Eystri isn’t just renowned for puffins; they also host an annual music festival. It’s held in an old fishing factory, which I think is pretty cool!

Dining & Accommodation in East Iceland

There are plenty of great places to stay overnight in this area, and many of them also have restaurants

Höfn: This fishing town in the southeast provides the perfect place to stop over in East Iceland. Nearby attractions include Stokksnes and Djúpavogur.

Accommodation: Berjaya Iceland Hotel

Dining: Íshúsið Pizzeria 

Egilsstaðir: As the biggest village in this region, it’s conveniently located between the north and south and perfect for spending the night. Nearby attractions are Hengifoss, Vök baths, and Lagarfjlót Lake.

Accommodation: Gistihúsið – Lake Hotel Egilsstadir

Dining: Nielsen Restaurant

Seyðisfjörður: Don’t let the fact that Hostel Hafaldan was converted from an old hospital deter you. It’s cozy and inviting and an excellent accommodation option here.

Accommodation: Hostel Hafaldan 

Dining: Cafe Lara

Camping: The spacious campground at Fossárdalur in Djúpivogur is open all year round. You’ll also find campsites at Hallormsstaðaskógur and Stuðlagil Canyon. It’s great if you’re choosing a camper van experience. Stuðlagil campsite is open in the summer months.

Planning to camp in Iceland? I highly recommend renting a campervan from Happy Campers! They’re my go-to company for their spacious vans and awesome customer service. 

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Iceland Ring Road Map + Guide

Are you planning your Iceland trip but drowning in too much information?

It’s so easy to drive past incredible sights or miss the best spots on the Ring Road if you don’t have the right guide. 

Imagine passing by a stunning waterfall or a perfect café without even realizing it! That’s where my 👉Iceland Ring Road Map + Guide swoops in to save the day. 💃 

This guide is packed with detailed itineraries, hidden gems, and top tips for where to eat, stay, and explore – yes, even in East Iceland!

You’ll also get exclusive discounts and save big on your trip. 

Plus, there’s a detailed Ring Road map with over 500 pinned locations of hidden gems, and must-see sites – even including essential stops like grocery stores and restrooms.

Planning a trip shouldn’t be stressful, so I carefully crafted this guide to make sure your trip is nothing short of amazing. 

So, grab your guide and get ready to make the most of every moment on Iceland’s iconic Ring Road!

Mockup of a Tablet with the Ring Road Travel Guide Cover for the PDF, and a Phone with the Iceland Digital Map | Iceland with a View

Iceland Ring Road Map + Guide

This easy-to-follow route circles the entire country, giving you a chance to explore Iceland’s most stunning attractions – from glaciers to thunderous waterfalls, rejuvenating hot springs, and more.

  • Travel Guidebook
  • Digital Map of Locations
  • Money-saving discounts

Happy planning!

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