22.12.2009 | Eva Rún Michelsen

7 nights | 8 days 


Day 1 | Saturday

Arrival from Reykjavík to Egilsstaðir airport on an afternoon flight. 
One hours' drive to Borgarfjörður to our locally owned
Guesthouse Álfheimar where we will stay for the next 6 nights.


Day 2 | Sunday

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 3 | Monday

Stapavík to Njarðvík

Info: Hike around 11 km, traverses 415 m.

15 minutes' drive from Borgarfjörður with a stop at Unaós farm.
We hike along Selfljót river to the seashore and to 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 1,000 years, until the road over
Vatnskarð pass was finished in 1955. Pick up at Njarðvík
farm and drive to Borgarfjörður.


Day 4 | Tuesday

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 farther 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 a fabulous panoramic view. Then
we head back to Bakkagerði after an eventful day with wide views
over many of the area's amazing mountains.


Day 5 | Wednesday

Borgarfjörður valley

Info: Rather easy day, walking about 12 km and
traversing 400 m of elevation.


We start the day with a 3 hours' walk around the village; an old turf
house, concert hall, local fish factory, From Rock to Art gallery, and
many other interesting stops on the 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 through the elf community
of Lobbuhraun, but we visit the elves' home in Dimmidalur valley too.
When we return to Bakkagerði village, we walk through the village,
noticing its many interesting aspects including the elf queen at Álfaborg

(Elf Hill).


Day 6 | Thursday

Brúnavík Bay

Info: Walking about 16 km and traversing 700 m of elevation.

After transport we start the day at 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 its plentiful beautiful stones,

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, a colourful canyon towards Bakkagerði village.


Day 7 | Friday

Lake Mývatn and Icelandic nature treasures.

Info: Driving about 5 hours, easy hike about 4 hours.

After a good breakfast we say good-bye to peaceful
Borgarfjörður and the local people.  We drive towards Mývatn
area and on our way we will stop at a newly rebuilt turf farm
in the highlands, Sænautasel. After a visit and refreshment we
go further to Möðrudalur farm in the open space of the eastern
highlands. Before we reach Lake Mývatn we will hike in the
smoking lava of Leirhnjúkur, last active 30 years ago. From
Leirhnjúkur we drive to the Hverir area with its bubbling mud and
smoking steam. We go over to the Lake Mývatn to enjoy
the local food and visit the geothermal Nature Baths after an
interesting day. We will get a good nights' sleep at a nearby farmer's


Day 8  | Saturday

Akureyri – Departure.

Info: After breakfast we drive to Iceland’s
second largest town, Akureyri.


From Akureyri we fly to Reykjavík or if you like you can of course continue your travels in Iceland from here on your own. The flight from Akureyri can be in the
morning or evening, it is up to you if you want to use the day to explore
Akureyri, or head straight to Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik.

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