Seyðisfjörður, Iceland


Seyðisfjörður at a Glance

The town and municipality of Seyðisfjörður is located at the head of a 16 km fjord with the same name in Iceland's Eastfjords region. Surrounded on three sides by snowcapped mountains, the most notable being the 1085 meter-high Mt Bjólfur on the west and the 1010 meter-high Strandartindur on the east, the town is linked to the rest of Iceland by a road over Fjarðarheiði mountain pass, along which there are 25 large waterfalls. This is possibly the nicest town in the region, set in the most picturesque surroundings with lovely brightly-painted timber houses and a welcoming atmosphere.

Seyðisfjörður is certainly worth a visit and staying overnight is not a problem because there is plenty accommodation here, including a hotel, guesthouse, youth hostel, and camping facilities. Seyðisfjörður has developed into something of a music and arts hub, and several artists and musicians have settled here. Summer is a good time to visit when the á Seyði Festival is underway. Additionally, concerts are often hosted at the Blue Church. Those who want to immerse themselves in local culture should visit the Tækniminjasafn Austurlands historical museum, comprised of two buildings, where old photographs and machinery are displayed. The Skaftafell Cultural Center is another good place for relaxing and/or meeting local people - works of art are exhibited on the second floor, occasionally it is the scene of poetry readings and concerts, and local artists and musicians often meet here. There are also guided kayaking tours of the fjords available for water lovers, varying from a couple of hours to two days duration. In good weather, the scenic drive along Route 93 is delightful, ascending to a high pass then descending along the river Fjarðará with its many waterfalls.

The first settlers in Seyðisfjörður, mainly Norwegian fishermen, can be traced back to around 1848. It was these early settlers who built some of the current timber houses now seen in the town. The first submarine telephone cable, linking Iceland with mainland Europe, was also brought ashore at Seyðisfjörður in 1906.