Vattarnes East Iceland Coastline

East Iceland coastline

Eastfjords of Iceland

A trip around the East Fjords of Iceland can be rewarding for the photographer with many coastal coastal scenes and gentle mountains inland.  It is not a great place for drivers in a hurry.  Every road is winding and going in and out of the fjords takes some time. 

Most Fjords have towns on their Northern shores.  I guess this is to get sunlight  during the shorter Winter days.  Maybe it also protects from the Norwegian winds coming from the North.

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Fáskrúðsfjörður

About half way up the East coast is Fáskrúðsfjörður.  Most visitors to the area will welcome the tunnel which takes you through to Reyðarfjörður in about 15 minutes, but if you want the best from the area, avoid the tunnel and continue through Fáskrúðsfjörður.   

The fishing village has an Old connection with France and you will see French and Icelandic flags fluttering together.  The streets have French/Icelandic names.

East Iceland Coast
Facing South at the end of the Fáskrúðsfjörður Coastline

Shortly after leaving Fáskrúðsfjörður Village, you will find some opportunities to get close to the coast before the road goes uphill.  The volcanic coastline bears the scars of both glaciers and the ocean.  After driving up hill there is a chance to stop. 

There is a nice view from here across to the mountains of the fjords North and South and out to the several islands that sit in the ocean like sunken mountains.  On the tip of the peninsular, the road becomes quite high with steep drop as it winds its way around the cliff edge. 

After the cliffs, the roads goes downhill with a view of distant mountainous landscape to the North.

When you reach a plateau, you will see some large boulders which you can hike through to the sea cliffs.  The cliffs here are about 20 meters and this is probably the best view of Skrúður (the volcanic island that sits 1 km off shore).

Reyðarfjörður

This little bit of Iceland is a fabulous Coastline in the Eastfjords.  The land divides Reyðarfjörður and Fáskrúðsfjörður.  Reyðarfjörður is an even more beautiful fjord, but unfortunately the town of the same name is large and neighbours one of Iceland’s big Aluminium Smelters. 

The huge aluminium plant is quite shocking to see after so much untouched natural scenery.  The Smelter is powered by hydroelectric power that is so abundant in this part of Iceland. 

Because of the industry, Reyðarfjörður has grown to be the largest town on the East coast.  There is a grill, pizza restaurant and luxury hotel in the town and a good road to Egilstadir (the Capital of East Iceland).

Despite the metal works deep in the Fjord, Reyðarfjörður still offer plenty of opportunities for Landscape and Nature photography.  There are interesting geological features and even waterfalls along the coast and a perfect winding road.  This can all be photographed before the Aluminium Smelter comes into view.

Vattarnes Coastline

The next view is from the tip of Vattarnes towards the North.   Sea mist covers the land across Reyðarfjörður .There is a tiny lighthouse in the picture.  The lighthouse is on private property and cannot be accessed.

Reyðarfjörður sunset
Reyðarfjörður sunset
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By Tony Prower

Tony Prower spent over 15 years photographing the landscapes of Iceland. Tony Prower is a pioneer of the Magic Cloth Technique and ran thousands of photo tours in Iceland over 10 years.