Eskifjörður (Eskifjordur), Iceland

Boudicca in Eskifjordur, Iceland

Introduction to Eskifjörður (Eskifjordur), Iceland

Named after the fjord on which it sits, Eskifjörður is a beautiful, charming town located in the middle of Iceland’s Eastern Fjords.

The charming seaside town of Eskifjörður is located in the middle of the East Fjords and takes its name from the fjord on which it is sits. Eskifjörður has a long tradition as a fishing port and its culture has been shaped by the sea. A gentle stroll around this peaceful town will enable you to embrace this tradition with historic buildings, piers and the Maritime Museum providing further insight.

Eskifjörður town faces the magnificent Mount Holmatindur, one of the most prominent mountains in the area and considered by locals as one of the most beautiful. From the summit you get superb views across some of the tallest mountains in Iceland. For those wanting to explore, travel a short way east along the coast and you’ll reach one of the most famous Icelandic spar mines, where some of the world's largest spar crystals have been found.

The village of stodvarfjordur is home to Petra' Stone Museum, which boasts a magnificent rock collection gathered locally by Petra Neskaupstaður. This cosy little village is also home to a local market and a gallery run by local artists.

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HELGUSTADANAMA QUARRY EXPLORATION

·         Head off the beaten track on this unusual tour

·         Enter the mining cave and quarry at Helgustadanama

·         Learn about the Icelandic Spar mined here

Price£30.00 - £40.00
DurationApprox. 2.25 hrs
LimitationLimited capacity per departure
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking

Embark on an exciting historical exploration of what used to be the world’s largest Icelandic Spar mining cave and quarry at Helgustadanama.

Icelandic Spar was a vital component in early microscopes, and also used in telescopes, and large quantities were exported to some of Europe’s top scientists from the 1600’s. It was mined until 1924 and the mine was declared a national monument in 1975. The Icelandic Spar found here was known for its size, purity and clarity. The largest specimen taken from this site weighs 230 kilograms and is displayed in the Natural History Museum in London.

A short coach transfer will take you to Helgustadanama where you will have a steep uphill walk to reach the mining cave and quarry. Hard hats and torches will be issued and after a safety briefing you will enter for a guided visit.

Another stop will be made at Útstekkur where your guide will explain the history and geology of this beautiful area, the former town and the mining culture of the past. You will have some lovely views over the fjord from here.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2014 NORWAY & ICELAND CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: Due to the nature of this tour, it is not recommended for guests who suffer from claustrophobia or have a fear of the dark – you will be underground for approximately 30 minutes. This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility as there is approximately 400 metres of walking, over steep, uphill and uneven terrain to reach the mine. There is a low ceiling to enter the mine, and also once inside, as well as uneven and loose stones underfoot – please take care as it can become slippery when wet. Walking inside the mine will be up to 70 metres. Sensible shoes are a must and warm clothing is recommended. Please note that there will not be toilet facilities on this tour.


HIKE TO HENGIFOSS WATERFALL

  • Visit Hengifoss – Iceland’s second highest waterfall!
  • Hike  to the falls and marvel at the wondrous view
Activity Tour
Price£65.00 - £75.00
DurationApprox. 5.5 hrs
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking

Visit Iceland’s second highest waterfall, Hengifoss, on foot and see the fantastic falls from below.

A coach ride will take you past Lagarfljot - Iceland’s third largest lake which lies 330 feet below sea level and is home to a legendary creature along the same lines as the Loch Ness Monster.

Your walk will commence close to Hengifoss Waterfall - Iceland’s second highest at 419 feet. The steep path ascends for approximately one and a half miles to the base of the falls, travelling through a basalt gorge. A white water stream tumbles towards the lake below while the red striped cliffs are laced with smaller waterfalls - a truly lovely scene. From the base of the falls you can take in views of Lagarfljot and the Hallormsstadarskogur Forest.

Your return journey travels past a government forestry station that is home to more than 40 different species of trees, including Iceland’s tallest tree. 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2014 NORWAY & ICELAND CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: Guests participating in this tour – which involves a large amount of walking over rough and steeply inclined ground – must be in good health. The walk to Hengifoss takes approximately two and a half hours (one and a half hours up and one hour down) and the route consists of grass and gravel. The walk is at height so it may not be suitable for guests who suffer from vertigo. Appropriate sturdy footwear, ideally hiking boots, should be worn and clothing in layers (including a windproof jacket) that you can remove if necessary. It would be advisable to bring a bottle of water with you.


IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE FISHERMEN

·         Revisit the heyday of herring fishing in Iceland

·         Step back in time at Peter Randulf’s fishery Museum

·         Taste some local fish specialities

Price£45.00 - £55.00
DurationApprox. 3 hrs
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Follow in the footsteps of the herring fishermen from the early 20th century as you pass picturesque scenery and waterfalls and learn about the local fishing industry.

A short drive will take you to Randulf’s sjóhús, or sea house, which is a beautifully preserved shore side building located at the eastern end of Eskifjordur. Built by Norwegian Peter Randulf in 1890, it provided a station for landing and processing herring caught in the fjord until 1930. At this time there was no longer enough herring coming into the fjord to sustain the fishery. The sea house’s doors remained closed for 75 years and reopened as a museum in 2008.

Today it houses many artefacts and offers an authentic atmosphere from the days when herring fishing led to the first real growth of the fjord towns of east Iceland. Enjoy stepping back in time for this insight into the bygone industry. 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2014 NORWAY & ICELAND CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: You will be at the sea house for approximately one hour. There is a narrow staircase to reach the first floor. There will also be photo stops at Utstekk mine, a seafarers memorial, Bleiksarfoss Waterfall and a black sand beach - walking is optional at each. A taster of dried fish, shark meat and Icelandic schnapps is included at the Museum – there will not be an alternative option.  


MEET THE LOCALS

  • Meet some of the residents of Eskifjordur on this walking tour
  • Learn about the Icelandic life of the locals
  • Enjoy some traditional refreshments
Price£25.00 - £35.00
DurationApprox. 2.5 hrs
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Take this opportunity to explore the small town on foot and visit a local family in their home to learn about their way of life in Iceland.

Eskifjordur, situated in the fjord of the same name, depicts all the charm and character of a typical Icelandic fishing village. A trading post since the 18th century, one of the town’s oldest houses, Gamlabud, was built in 1816 and now houses the Maritime Museum.

The town’s strong Norwegian influences are clearly visible throughout this interesting walking tour. The line of the waterfront structures and colourfully painted houses give the town an appealing character and offer plenty of photographic opportunities.

Enjoy tales of the town’s historic past and pay a visit to a local home to hear first hand from the locals themselves just how it is to live in Iceland’s somewhat remote eastern fjords.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2014 NORWAY & ICELAND CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking and is not suitable for wheelchair users due to some uphill walking and the home visit which also involves steps. Approximately three kilometres will be covered in total. Refreshments will be coffee and Icelandic pastries. Please note that the Maritime Museum is not visited, but the tour will conclude in front of it – if you wish to go inside there is a local charge.  


REYDARFJORDUR & WORLD WAR II

·         Travel back in time to Reydarfjordur

·         Learn how the locals saved British soldiers during World War II

·         Visit the graves of those that lost their lives

Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApprox. 3 hrs
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Take a poignant visit to the fjord town of Reydarfjordur, and learn how the inhabitants saved dozens of British soldiers during the Second World War.

Iceland was under Allied occupation for much of World War II and Reydarfjordur was occupied by around 3,000 British troops. The reminders of this time are fairly visible, ranging from an airport and old barracks to small gun shelters. In 1995 a Wartime Museum was founded in the old barracks.

The Museum portrays life in Iceland during the war as well as the harrowing tale of the journey by the ill-fated Kings’ Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) in January 1942. The platoon were marching over the mountains from Reydarfjordur when, just two kilometres from their destination of Eskifjordur, they got into trouble near a small farmstead called Veturhus. A young man inspecting his family’s modest property for weather damage, came across a KOYLI soldier, barely alive, and realised he would not be alone. He and his younger brother searched through the night for the remaining platoon members on the slopes of Eskifjardaheidi and, over several hours and in blizzard conditions, they rescued 48 soldiers and took them into their home. Four soldiers found their own shelter but eight soldiers lost their lives that night – the greatest loss of life sustained by British troops in east Iceland during World War II.

Following the moving visit to the Museum you will make a short stop at the town’s cemetery where flowers will be laid on the graves of the eight young servicemen who lost their lives. This is a fitting end to this interesting and emotional tour which has given you an insight into 1940’s rural Iceland during wartime.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2014 NORWAY & ICELAND CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour is suitable for most guests as the museum is wheelchair accessible. There are three steps with a handrail, or wheelchair ramps, and you will be at the museum for approximately one hour. There is a flat gravel path at the cemetery with walking of approximately 100 metres required. Refreshments of coffee, tea and Icelandic pastries will be served at the museum – please note that the area is quite small so there are limited seats. 


Tour BX - Eskijordur On Foot

  • Enjoy a walk around the charming town of Eskifjörður
  • Visit the Maritime Museum
  • Savour some Icelandic treats

 

 

Price£50.00-£60.00
DurationApproximately 2 1/2 hours
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking

The little town of Eskifjörður lies between majestic mountains and the sea. On this tour you will take a walk around the town and discover what makes Eskifjörður such a charming place.

Eskifjörður was a trading post during the Danish colonisation and in the 18th century a Danish trading company built a small shop in the town. The house is still in use and houses the Maritime Museum. The town has always relied on fishing and fish processing for its survival. The museum contains enlightening exhibition showcasing the lives and methods of fishermen in the past. Life in Eskifjörður was not always easy as commodities were often insufficient and difficult to get, especially during the winter months.

You will walk along the shore to visit Randulff's Sea House. Norwegian herring fishermen that were stationed here around the turn of the 20th century built the house. The fishermen seem to have left abruptly, locked the doors and never returned. The house was reopened a few years ago and now houses an exhibition of their living quarters (where hardly anything has been moved) and the downstairs houses a unique restaurant that is one of its kind in Iceland. Here you will get the exciting opportunity to taste some locally sourced Icelandic food - shark, dried fish and Icelandic schnapps. 

As you walk around the town and admire the colourful houses and the town's majestic surroundings the guide will recount the history of the town and point out geologically interesting places in the landscape. You‘ll also see a monument dedicated to those who have lost their lives at sea.

Ducks and other seabirds are abundant in the calm fjords and a number of them can be spotted during a walk like this one. If you are lucky maybe a whale will be scanning the ocean for food in this quiet fjord. 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISES

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a strenuous amount of walking and is not suitable for wheelchair users due to some uphill walking and some steps. Approximately three kilometres will be covered in total. We cannot guarantee the sightings of wildlife listed as they will be in their natural, free environment.

 


Tour CX - Treasures of the Eastern Fjord

  • Learn how the isolated villagers once lived
  • Admire an impressive avalanche breaker
  • Visit the Icelandic Wartime Museum

 

Price£70.00-£80.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

There is an ebb and flow in the history of communities and this is especially true of the Eastern Fjords of Iceland. This tour aims to give you a comprehensive picture of how these isolated villages were at one time self-sufficient and at another time connected internationally.

Your journey commences with a drive up a high mountain and through a tunnel over the Oddskard pass. On the other side is the town of Neskaupsstaður where you will visit a lovely old house that contains three interesting museums – an art collection, an exhibition of tools and machinery and a museum of natural history. The town has been hit hard by avalanches through the ages but now man has pitted his intelligence against the forces of nature and built an avalanche breaker which you will have a chance to examine.

You’ll then continue to the Icelandic Wartime Museum, a memorable venue which recounts the history of the town of Reyðarfjörður from the moment when the huge battleship Andes sailed into the calm and peaceful fjord on July 1st, 1940. The town’s population went from 300 to nearly 3300 in an instant and this museum displays in a lively way how the interaction between the local and the soldiers developed during the occupation.

Your return drive to Eskifjörður, will include a brief photo stop at Hólmanes Peninsula where the majestic mountain looms above, and on clear days the view over the tip of the peninsula and the seemingly endless ocean are sure to impress. On days when the notorious East Fjord fog obscures the view, the place becomes a mystical land between the mountain and the sea.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISES

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There is a moderate amount of walking involved some of which is over uneven terrain with many steps to encounter. We do not recommend this tour to guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users.

 


Tour DX - The Mystery of the Eastern Fjords

  • Admire the astonishing views from the Hólmanes Peninsula
  • Visit the Foreign Sailor Museum
  • Visit Petra’s rock museum

 

Price£80.00-£90.00
DurationApproximately 4 1/2 hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

The East Fjords are a mysterious place brimming with history. On this tour you can explore two very different museums and admire the quiet beauty of the fjords.

 

Your journey commences with a short drive along the coastline of the Eskifjörður fjord where you will reach the viewpoint at Hólmanes peninsula. The majestic mountain looms above and on clear days the view over the tip of the peninsula and the seemingly endless ocean are sure to impress. On days when the notorious East Fjord fog obscures the view, the place becomes a mystical land between the mountain and the sea.

 

Your tour continues to the quiet seaside town of Fáskrúðsfjörður. This unassuming town was home to many French sailors that were based here in earlier centuries. Hardships and difficult conditions were large factors of their everyday life. The town still honours its foreign connection with a stunning new museum that you will have the opportunity to visit. The museum is partly housed in the old hospital that catered to the sailors.

Next, you will then continue on your way to Stöðvarfjörður where you will visit a museum that has to be seen to be believed. For decades Petra collected rocks and minerals from the nearby mountains and brought them home. Her residence has become one of Iceland’s most unusual museums and bears witness to her untiring passion.

After your visit to Petra’s lovely home and peaceful gardens you’ll return to Eskifjörður and your awaiting ship. 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? There is a moderate amount of walking on this tour, including approximately 20 steps to encounter at the Foreign Sailor Museum. We therefore do not recommend this tour to guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users.

 


Tour EX - Nordfjordur Hike

  • Enjoy a walk through the idyllic Icelandic countryside
  • Learn how the Icelandic people have adapted to their environment
  • Discover the mighty avalanche breaker

 

Price£80.00-£90.00
DurationApproximately 3 hours
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking

Upon leaving Eskifjörður, head over the impressive mountain-pass of Oddskarð, passing through one tunnel en route to Norðfjörður and the village of Neskaupstaður, where you will start your hike.

During this tour you will have a chance to experience the vulnerability of man against nature whilst you hike around the area and listen to the many local tales passed on through the years.  

The town has been hit hard by avalanches through the ages but now man has pitted his intelligence against the forces of nature and built an avalanche breaker which you’ll get a chance to examine.

On the 20th December 1974, two big avalanches hit the town and claimed twelve lives. Rescue was difficult to manage for those who looked tirelessly for those trapped under the heavy snow. All roads to the small town were closed and the only help available was that which could be brought in by ships and snowmobiles.

The danger of avalanches is always there but it wasn’t until 2002 that the first part of the avalanche breaker was built, the second part was built in 2015 and the third is on the drawing board.

Although the breakers don’t draw attention while driving around the town, they are magnificent structures that merge with nature, as you can see clearly while you hike around the area.

Before you head back to Eskifjörður you will have a short refreshment stop in the town’s hotel.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves approximately two kilometres (one and a half miles) of walking over partly rough terrain. We recommend wearing comfortable sturdy shoes and warm, rainproof clothing. 

 


Tour FX - The Tiniest Town by 4x4

  • Discover Eskifjörður by 4 x 4
  • Admire the breath taking Klifabrekkufossar Waterfall
  • Visit the smallest town in Iceland

 

Activity Tour
Price£230.00-£250.00
DurationApproximately 3 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Visit Mjóifjörður (‘Narrow Fjord’) and its attractions during this half-day tour in a specialised 4x4.

Mjóifjörður Fjord is known for its tranquillity and history. During this tour you will visit some of its highlights and acquaint yourselves with its history. You will stop by the waterfall of Klifabrekkufossar, where clear water tumbles down a tiered hillside by the roadside. Continuing on you will make a stop in the tiny village of Brekka, which has less than 40 inhabitants. You will also see the remains of a Norwegian whaling station at Asknes, it was the largest of its kind when it was built by the Norwegians in around 1900, providing employment to approximately 200 workers.

As you drive to the edge of the fjord you can admire the solitary lighthouse at Dalatangi. The first lighthouse in Iceland was built here in 1895 and the old building can still be seen to this day.

You will then drive back to the pier, enjoying the beautiful and imposing scenery that this small but impressive fjord offers en route.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISES

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking at each stop. Guests will be required to negotiate a deep step in order to board the vehicle; therefore this tour is regrettably not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. You will be travelling off road so please be prepared to be bumped around. We do not recommend this tour to guests suffering from neck or back injuries, or pregnant ladies. This tour may operate in a different order to that described, and some sites may be substituted for similar natural attractions. Please note each 4x4 holds 9 guests, so we cannot guarantee a window seat for everyone.

 


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