This five-day hiking tour takes you to the east fjords of Iceland for a hiking adventure in a magnificent landscape. The deep fjords where colorful mountains meet the ocean are filled with history and folklore that your local guide is sure to share with you along the way. Some say that this area has some of the biggest Elf population in Iceland and may place names in the region reflect that, e.g. Álfaborg (Elf-fortress) where the Elf queen is said to live. Although Borgarfjörður Eystri is widely known for its breathtaking beauty the area is still mostly untouched by mass- tourism, providing us with plenty of peace and quiet to enjoy. We will have our base in Borgarfjörður Eystri where the serenity is ubiquitous. The hikes will be between 11 and 16 km each day with an elevation between 400 – 700m.
Your visit to Borgarfjörður Eystri will be an unforgettable experience; the amazing views, the deep fjords, the wildlife, the stunning lake, the fishing village and its surrounding farms will stay with you for years to come. Don’t forget your camera!
Day 1: Sunday A flight from Reykjavík to Egilsstaðir in the morning. One hour drive to Borgarfjörður to our locally owned Elf guesthouse where we will stay next 5 nights. Hike in the afternoon to Borgarfjörður valley Info: Rather easy day, walking about 12 km and traversing 400 m of elevation. We start the day with 3 hours hike in the village, Old turf house, concert hall, local fish factory, from rock to art, and many interesting stops are on our way. After a light lunch, we hike on unmarked trails in the valley of Borgarfjörður. From the village, we take sheep trails up to Dimmidalur (the Dark Valley) and Jökuldalur (Glacier Valley) to see their rugged, beautiful landscape, right under the Door Mountains. Not only do we walk on our way through the elf community of Lobbuhraun, but come to their home in Dimmidalur valley. When we return to Bakkagerði village, we walk through it, noticing its many interesting aspects and of course also visiting the queen of the elves at Álfaborg (Elf Hill).
Day 2: Monday Brúnavík Bay Info: walking about 16 km and traversing 700 m of elevation. We start the day after transport to the environmentally friendly harbour of Borgarfjörður, Hafnarhólmi, to visit the puffins and other birds nesting there. Next, we hike up from the coast through vegetated mountain screes to Brúnavík pass, at 345 m, and down to Brúnavík inlet. There we visit another beach of black sand, with lots of beautiful stones lying on it, and listen to the waves. After taking our shoes off to ford the small stream, we enjoy a relaxing barefooted walk to the other end of the beach. On our way back we hike over Hofstrandarskarð pass, 321 m high, and walk beside Helgárgil colourful canyon towards Bakkagerði village.
Day 3: Tuesday East Iceland’s best-kept secret… Stórurð (Boulder Hollow) Info: A somewhat difficult hike because of gravelly areas and screes on about 15% on the way. Around 16 km. Traverses 500 m of elevation. From Vatnskarð pass (431 m), we start the day’s hike by going up and crossing the mountain Geldingafjall (640 m), then continuing inland west of Súlur peaks. There are excellent views over Njarðvík, Fljótsdalshérað valley, the black sandy beach of Héraðsflói bay and perhaps even to Vatnajökull glacier and Mt. Snæfell in the eastern part of the central highlands. We then go down into Stórurð, an expanse of enormous rocks intersected by a small river. Calm turquoise-coloured basins of icy water lie hidden among the huge boulders, often with flat banks of short, tender, green grass. Returning from this mysterious place, we can opt either for the hike along the Dyrfjöll (Door Mountains) or the easy way down the valley below Rjúpnafell peak.
Day 4: Wednesday Beauties of Breiðavík Info: Easy hike of about 15 km. Traverses 400 m of elevation. Transport to Afrétt and then an easy hike over moors and gravelly ground, including the light brown rhyolite around Urðarhólavatn, and further on to Gæsavötn and Víknaheiði, before reaching Breiðavík inlet. The rhyolite mountains along the way display an incredible range of pastel colours. After a short stop on the black sands of Breiðavík beach with its Siberian driftwood, we hike up to Gagnheiði ridge (479 m), which has a viewpoint indicator and fabulous panorama. Then it is back to Bakkagerði after an eventful day with wide views over many of the area’s amazing mountains.
Day 5: Thursday Stapavík to Njarðvík Info: Hike around 11 km, traverses 415 m. We drive 15 minutes from Borgarfjörður and stop at Unaós farm. We hike along Selfljót river to the seashore and to the Stapavík cove, a former unloading place for ships. From Stapavík we take a rather easy hike along Gönguskörð pass largely along an old riding trail. This was the main route between Borgarfjörður and Fljótsdalshérað valley for 1000 years, until the road over Vatnskarð pass was finished in 1955. Pick up at Njarðavík farm and drive to Borgarfjörður. In the afternoon, we will drive back to Egilsstaðir village where we´ll catch an evening flight to Reykjavík.
Book this incredible trekking adventure tour in East Iceland with comfortable country hotel accommodation.
Local culture and knowledge Along the way, we will enjoy the hospitality of local people through their services, their knowledge of the area and its culture and their fresh food at their local restaurants. Bird watching is a frequent pastime on our routes, and sidetracks will take us to deserted inlets that tell us the story of a past far from the buzzing everyday life.
Difficulty of the hikes The walks are easy to moderate so that anyone able to go for 3-4 hours brisk walk can join the tour. On the other hand, we recommend that you exercise during at least the week or two before your tour, for example by taking brisk walks of 1-2 hours, 3-4 times per week. Please read the following brief description of the daily program.
Stóraurð (Storaurd Hallow)
Gönguskurð (Gonguskurd Pass)
Breiðuvík (Breiduvik Bay)
Borgarfjörður (Borgafjordur Valley)
Brúnavík (Brunavik Bay)
Rated: Moderate. Duration: 5 days. Departure time: 09:00 from Reykjavík Airport if you book flights and 10:00 from Egilsstaðir airport if you are not arriving on a domestic flight. Minimum age: 10 years. Included: Accommodation in a double room with private toilet facilities, made-up beds, full board, museum admissions, a local guide and all transport included. Flight from Reykjavík domestic airport to Egilsstaðir airport and back can be added. Remember to bring: Please check our detailed equipment list. Please note: Borgarfjördur is 680 km from Reykjavik. Maximum number of participants: 12 persons per guide.
Included in price: Accommodation in a double room with toilet facilities, made-up beds, full board, museum admissions, a local guide and all transport included. Flight from Reykjavík domestic airport to Egilsstaðir airport and back can be added.
What do I need to bring?
Luggage, Clothing & Travel AccessoriesTry to pack as light as possible and take only essentials. Keep in mind that there are limits on how much your duffel bag can weigh because the weight restrictions on international and domestic flights is usually around 20 kg.Luggage for overland journeys and trekking with assistance vehicle• Extra bag clearly marked with your name can be kept at your Reykjavik accommodation..
• Day pack (30 to 50 liters)You will need to bring comfortable and adequate clothing to protect you from cold and wet weather. Wool, synthetics and wool/synthetic blends are good. We discourage the use of cotton, as this does not insulate against cold or wet conditions.When layering, the innermost layer should be long underwear. The middle layer can be a synthetic turtleneck or wool shirt, and pants. The outermost layer should be a synthetic jacket, and/or a good quality Gore-Tex wind/rain parka and over-pants.For quantities for each item listed, use your own judgment, based on the expected weather conditions and overall packing/weight restrictions for your luggage.• Regular underwear. Synthetics are easier to wash and dry.
• Synthetic or wool thermal underwear
• Long-sleeved, synthetic or wool shirt
• Short-sleeved synthetic or cotton/synthetic T-shirts
• Medium-weight synthetic fleece sweater or jacket
• Full-length pants, quick-drying synthetic fabric
• Down jacket from mid-August to September (optional)
• Hiking shorts, quick-drying synthetic fabric
• Pile/fleece pants, ideal for around the camp
• Sun & rain hat
• Woolen hat
• Gloves (wool or pile)
• Waterproofed shell gloves
• Medium weight synthetic socks
• Gore-Tex rain/wind parka
• Gore-Tex rain/wind pants
• Hiking boots, medium-weight, all leather, with padded ankle, good arch support, and a lug sole traction. Your hiking boots should be waterproof, well broken in, and suitable for rocky terrain or possibly snow.
• Comfortable shoes to wear when not hiking. Optional. Teva-type sandals for river crossing. Gaiters. Highly recommended!Travel Accessories• Swimsuit and towel for hot springs bathing and swimming pool
• 1-to-2 liters capacity unbreakable water bottle or thermos
• Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries (from August only)
• Swiss Army-type pocket knife (Must be kept in duffle bag, not in hand luggage, when flying!)
• Toiletry kit, toothbrush, toothpaste and so on.
• Moisturizing lotion. (The air in Iceland is very dry.)
• There are no mosquitoes in Iceland, just midges.
• Spare pair of prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses, or contact lenses (but not only lenses)
• Sunscreen and lip protection (The sun in Iceland is much more intense than you probably imagine)
• Personal first aid kitOptional Travel Accessories• Hiking poles. Highly recommended
• Repair kit with needle, thread, and safety pins
• Reading and writing material
• Your favorite snack food such as raisins or chocolate
• Protein supplements for vegetarian
• 1 or 2 good bottles of wine or a bottle of something strongerFind more tours and packages in Iceland.