In recent years, the village of Seyðisfjörður at the far reaches of East Iceland, has become something of a trendy place for musicians and artists. In summer, the colourful fishing village attracts visitors from all over Iceland and abroad, who come to partake of the popular Lunga Art Festival and the flourishing cultural scene.
While the 26 km paved road from Egilsstaðir to Seyðisfjörður is steep with a number of hairpin turns, the view to the fjord is absolutely magnificent and should not be missed. Photo opportunities abound and the immensity of the panoramic proportions will present a challenge for even the best professional photographers. Where to stay
Hotel Aldan is a small, upscale hotel located in what used to be the bank of Seyðisfjörður for almost a century. Elegantly furnished with antiques imported from Denmark and soft furnishings from India, the bedrooms are the picture of gentle relaxation in a historical setting. Several of the rooms boast adjoining sleeping quarters in a recessed alcove, which are sure to be a popular cosy nook for children. Immaculately clean rooms with quality linens and down duvets add a touch of luxury.
Hotel Snæfell offers an affordable hotel option in town, with a total of 9 rooms in a charming timber house from 1908 and located at the mouth of the Fjarðurá River with views across the fjord. Recreational highlights include midnight kayaking on the fjord (in summer only), attempting the challenging ‘Seven Peaks Hike’, mountain biking, sea angling and bird watching at Skálanes.
Skaftfell Cultural Centre and Bistro
Overseen by the well known Indian chef, Jasmine Olsen, Skaftfell Bistro is an informal artsy kind of place that serves possibly the best pizzas in Iceland. Enjoy the thin crust langoustine pizza with a glass of red wine, or the rich Thai vegetable soup with coconut cream and a plate of fresh tapas. The bistro’s interior design is inspired by the late German artist Dieter Roth and today serves as an artists’ residency and cultural centre. The upstairs gallery offers exhibitions by local artists.
Hotel Aldan’s reception centre at town’s entrance also houses the high class Hotel Alden Restaurant, featuring traditional lamb and langoustine dishes as well as fresh fish from the fjord. Many dishes are seasoned with mountain herbs, hand picked from the mountains above the fjord every summer. Collected specially for the restaurant, these fragrant flowers and herbs give Hotel Aldan’s signature dishes their distinctive flair. This classy restaurant is perfect for a romantic summer evening dinner in elegant surroundings on the edge of the fjord.