5 reasons to visit Seydisfjordur
1. One of Lonely Planet’s top “must visit” destinations in Iceland, Seydisfjordur is the biggest town in East Iceland, inhabited by 653 people (yes 653 only, Jan 2015), and we were marvelled by how surreal it felt when we finally landed in the town in the evening. The scenic route 93 we took leading into Seydisfjordur was spectacular, one of Iceland’s most spectacular routes during this trip.
The tranquility of the town had this calming effect on me, after traveling for more than 8 hours on the road. Say hello winter wonderland!
We did not plan to stop by Seydisfjordur as it was a favourite summer spot for the Icelanders. We were visiting in March, which meant the town was possibly very quiet.
Another shot from an almost similar angle, for comparison.
However, the bad weather conditions had us changing our plans to be ahead of the storm on Day 3.
The original plan was to travel to Hotel Smyrlabjörg from our Day 2 night stop, Vik.
If we were to stop at Hotel Smyrlabjörg, it may mean that we would not be able to travel out on Day 4 due to the extremely strong winds and rain. As such, we would not be able to go up to Akureyi, and subsequently not complete our round-the-island trip.
It also meant that we will have to head back to Reykjavík on Day 5 such that we do not miss our flight back to Amsterdam on Day 8, unless we wanted to drive non-stop all the way through the East and the North of Iceland. Not ideal too.
Hence, we decided to drive all the way to the East (see the complete road trip map here), where Seydisfjordur was. We also called up Hotel Aldan to get a night’s stay on our way there.
As part of Route 1 was closed due to harsh conditions through the mountains, we took a longer coastal route and went down to Route 96 linking to Route 92. This also meant another extra 50km of travel, so an important thing to do in Iceland, is to make sure you carry extra fuel or top up your tank when you get the opportunity to.
After a night’s rest in Hotel Aldan, we woke up to a glorious day in Seydisfjordur 🙂
2. Sunny Seydisfjordur! The town is regarded as one of the most picturesque places in Iceland and it was not hard to see why.
Multi-coloured wooden houses, surrounded by snowcapped mountains and lovely fjord. This community of old wooden buildings is the probably the most well-preserved in Iceland.
Spot the art around the town, and friendly folks. Looking like a dwarf here, with the iconic Seydisfjordur blue church.While checking out the town, we found an awesome spot by the river to take some pictures. 3. Exploring the fjord was the top thing on our mind after breakfast at Hotel Aldan (I will cover the service @ the hotel in another post). We drove out in the sun, and extremely strong winds. The town shelters beneath Mt. Strandartindur (below) and Mt. Bjolfur. Repeat: It was extremely windy. I was trying hard to be still, and couldn’t open the car door at some point of time. Sheeps out grazing.
4. The town has lots more (such as museums, hiking trips) to offer in summer, so check out the Seydisfjordur website for full information.
5. Climb the seven peaks! You can get the chance to earn a badge as a ‘Seydisfjordur Fjord Mountaineer’ if you complete climbing the seven mountain peaks near Seydisfjordur fjord, taller than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet). Apparently, the guest books and stamps are on top of each mountain so there’s no way to cheat. To start, make your way to the harbour to pick up a leaflet to collect stamps.
Given the crazy March weather, I was really glad to have 2 nights in Seydisfjordur as a pitstop, and to recover. Again, I would love return to experience the famous summer town in it’s full buzz.
More on the roadtrip.