Eskifjordur

This tiny fishing village with a population of less than 800 is located on a stunningly beautiful fjord and is worthwhile for those who want to see a typical coastal town in Iceland that is off-the-beaten path. Established in the 1700s as a trading post and commercial center, the community and local economy still revolve around the fishing industry as it did when herring, ‘the ocean’s silver,’ was at its peak.

The colorful village sits under the shadow of Holmatindur Mountain and boasts a reputable ski resort in Oddskard. There is also a Maritime Museum housed in the town’s oldest building exhibiting the fishing and whaling industries of the East Fjords.

Eskifjordur offers some great outdoor and hiking opportunities. Hiking in Holmanes peninsula is popular among the locals, since over 150 species of vegetation have been found there and many of wich are characteristic for East Iceland. Bird life in Hólmanes is also very rich and sea birds, wading birds, moa’s, ducks and geese have their habitat in the area. While there you should also pay the White Witch a visit. Just above the Hólmaháls road at its highest point over the peninsula, there is a picnic table. Nearby, under a pile of rocks, rests a white witch also known as Völva (or “the Seeress” in Norse mythology) who promised to protect this fjord from invasion as long as her bones were undecayed. She saved it both from a raid by North African marauders in the 17th century and from a German bombing plane in World War II, making it crash at the fjord’s entrance.