Exploring Seydisfjordur: Full Guide – 2023

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After visiting the Bruarfoss waterfall, and the Hrunalaug Hot Springs, it’s time to explore Seydisfjordur.


We’ll talk about what you can do in Seydisjordur and give you some travel tips.


Let’s get started.

Vibrant city

Seydisfjordur’s Location and History

Encircled by towering mountains and overlooking a tranquil fjord, this quaint village has become a sought-after destination for travelers seeking both cultural experiences and breathtaking landscapes.


Seydisfjordur’s history dates back to the 19th century when it was settled by Norwegian fishermen who were drawn to the area’s abundant fishing opportunities.

Old norwegian fisherman

Over the years, the village has evolved and expanded, gradually transforming into a vibrant artistic hub.


Today, Seydisfjordur is renowned for its thriving creative scene, attracting artists, musicians, and art enthusiasts from around the world.

Road to Seydisfjordur

Natural Wonders

Seydisfjordur is truly a treasure trove of natural wonders.


At the heart of this enchanting village lies the fjord that shares its name, providing a serene backdrop for various outdoor activities and breathtaking vistas.


One of the most mesmerizing features of Seydisfjordur’s surroundings is its waterfalls, such as the impressive Gufufoss and the equally captivating Fardagafoss.


These cascading waters, surrounded by lush vegetation and dramatic cliffs, create a magical atmosphere that lures nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.


The soothing sounds of the waterfalls, combined with their stunning surroundings, make for unforgettable experiences that will leave you in awe of Iceland’s natural beauty.

Gugufoss Waterfall
Gugufoss Waterfall


For those who enjoy hiking, Seydisfjordur offers numerous trails that lead into the nearby mountains, providing panoramic views of the fjord and the surrounding landscapes.


As you trek through the diverse terrain, you’ll be rewarded with ever-changing scenery, ranging from lush forests to rugged mountain peaks. These hikes not only offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature but also serve as a reminder of the immense beauty and power of the Icelandic wilderness.


Some popular hikes in the area include:

  • Vestdalur Hike: This moderate hike takes you through the beautiful Vestdalur Valley, leading to a series of picturesque waterfalls and a mountain lake. The trail offers stunning views of the Seydisfjordur fjord and the village below.
Vestdalur Hike
Vestdalur Hike
  • Fardagafoss Hike: A relatively easy hike that leads to the enchanting Fardagafoss waterfall. The trail starts just outside Seydisfjordur and takes you through lush forests and along a cascading river before reaching the waterfall.


  • Tvisongur Sound Sculpture Hike: This short and easy hike takes you to the Tvisongur Sound Sculpture (more on this later). The sculpture is located on a hillside overlooking Seydisfjordur, offering panoramic views of the village and fjord.


  • Bjolfur Mountain Hike: For more experienced hikers, the Bjolfur Mountain trail offers a challenging climb with rewarding views of the Seydisfjordur fjord and surrounding mountains. This steep hike requires a good level of fitness and proper hiking gear.
Hiking close to Seydisfjordur
Hiking close to Seydisfjordur

Seydisfjordur’s Unique Architecture

One of the most striking features of Seydisfjordur is its distinctive architectural charm, characterized by an array of colorful wooden houses that line the village’s narrow streets.


These vibrant buildings, steeped in history and tradition, provide a glimpse into the town’s origins and its transformation into the thriving cultural hub it is today.

Seydisfjordur drone shot

Seydisfjordur’s beginnings as a trading post in the 19th century greatly influenced the architectural style seen today. The Norwegian settlers who established the village brought with them their distinctive building techniques, which focused on using locally available materials such as timber. As a result, the charming wooden houses, painted in a variety of colors, became a trademark of Seydisfjordur’s architectural landscape.


In recent years, the Seydisfjordur Art Center has played a significant role in revitalizing historic buildings and fostering a vibrant cultural atmosphere within the village.


By repurposing these structures to house art exhibitions, workshops, and cultural events, the Art Center has not only preserved Seydisfjordur’s architectural heritage but also provided a space for creative minds to flourish.

Seydisfjordur Art Center
Seydisfjordur Art Center

Cultural Experiences

Seydisfjordur’s cultural heritage is deeply rooted in its history, with connections to the Icelandic sagas and folklore that have shaped the village’s identity over the centuries.


Visitors to Seydisfjordur can immerse themselves in the local culture through various experiences that celebrate the town’s unique traditions and stories.


One fascinating example of Seydisfjordur’s cultural offerings is the Tvisongur Sound Sculpture, an art installation that pays homage to ancient singing traditions.


Created by German artist Lukas Kühne, Tvisongur features five interconnected concrete domes, each designed to resonate with a different tone inspired by traditional Icelandic music. Perched on a hillside overlooking Seydisfjordur, this intriguing sculpture offers visitors a unique sonic experience that merges art, history, and nature.


To further explore Seydisfjordur’s cultural heritage, a visit to the local museum is a must. Housed in a charming old building, the museum provides a glimpse into the town’s history, traditions, and the lives of its inhabitants.

Through various exhibits, visitors can learn about Seydisfjordur’s origins as a fishing village, its connections to the Icelandic sagas, and the various customs.

Tvisöngur Soundsculpture
Tvisöngur Soundsculpture

Culinary Delights

The food scene in Seydisfjordur is blossoming, offering visitors a delightful array of dining options that showcase both Icelandic and international cuisines.


With an emphasis on using local and seasonal ingredients, the village’s restaurants and cafes provide a true taste of the region’s culinary culture.


Seydisfjordur’s unique location and natural resources contribute to its rich culinary offerings.


Fresh seafood, caught in the nearby fjord, features prominently on many menus, while lamb from the surrounding farms and wild berries foraged from the area add distinctive flavors to various dishes.


The use of these local, seasonal ingredients not only ensures the highest quality and taste but also supports sustainable practices and the local economy.


Some notable dining establishments in Seydisfjordur include the following:

  • Nordic Restaurant: Located within the Hotel Aldan, this restaurant offers a menu that combines Icelandic cuisine with international influences. Their dishes emphasize locally sourced ingredients, such as fish, lamb, and seasonal vegetables.


  • Kaffi Lára – El Grillo Bar: This cozy cafe and bar is housed in a historic building and offers a variety of light dishes, including soups, sandwiches, and burgers. It’s also a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee or a cold beer while listening to live music.


  • Heimabyggd: A charming cafe situated in a beautifully restored house, Heimabyggd offers homemade cakes, pastries, and light meals. Their outdoor seating area is perfect for enjoying a leisurely brunch or afternoon tea.


When visiting Seydisfjordur, be sure to sample some local specialties, such as the hearty Icelandic fish soup or the traditional lamb dish called “kjötsúpa.” And don’t forget to indulge in some wild berry desserts, like the popular skyr with blueberries, for a sweet taste of the region’s natural bounty.


Where to stay?

Seydisfjordur offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences.


Here are three suggestions for luxury, mid-budget, and budget-friendly stays:


Luxury: Hotel Aldan

  1. Hotel Aldan is a charming boutique hotel located in the heart of Seydisfjordur, offering elegantly designed rooms and suites that blend modern comfort with historical charm. The hotel’s Nordic Restaurant serves delicious meals made from local ingredients.


Mid-budget: Hafaldan HI Hostel – Old Hospital

  1. Hafaldan HI Hostel is situated in a renovated historic building that was once the town’s hospital. The hostel offers private rooms and dormitories with shared facilities, providing a comfortable and affordable stay.


Budget: Camping in Seydisfjordur

  1. For those looking for a budget-friendly option, camping is a popular choice in Seydisfjordur. The town’s campsite is located near the fjord and offers facilities such as restrooms, showers, and cooking areas. Note that camping is only available during the summer months.
Hotel Aldan
Hotel Aldan

The Art Scene

The village’s burgeoning art scene has attracted creatives from around the world, making it a flourishing haven for artistic expression and exchange.


One of the key institutions contributing to Seydisfjordur’s thriving art scene is the Skaftfell Center for Visual Art. This renowned art center is dedicated to showcasing contemporary works by local and international artists, fostering dialogue, and promoting artistic collaboration.


Through exhibitions, artist residencies, workshops, and various events, the Skaftfell Center for Visual Art plays a crucial role in nurturing Seydisfjordur’s creative community and enriching the cultural experiences of its visitors.


Another highlight of Seydisfjordur’s art scene is the annual LungA Art Festival. This week-long celebration of creativity brings together artists, musicians, performers, and art enthusiasts from all over the world.


The festival offers a diverse program of events, including concerts, performances, workshops, and exhibitions, providing an opportunity for participants to immerse themselves in a dynamic and collaborative environment.

annual LungA Art Festival.
Annual LungA Art Festival.

Nearby attractions!

Here are five amazing things to do near Seyðisfjörður:

Hiking in Stórurð

  • Embark on a thrilling hiking adventure in Stórurð, a picturesque valley located near Seyðisfjörður. Marvel at the unique landscape characterized by gigantic boulders and vibrant vegetation. The hike offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in Iceland’s untouched natural beauty.


Visit Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss Waterfalls

  • Head to the nearby area of Hallormsstaður to witness the majestic Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss waterfalls. Hengifoss is one of Iceland’s tallest waterfalls, standing at 128 meters, and features stunning red layers of rock that add to its charm. The hike to reach the falls is also memorable, passing by the impressive columnar basalt rock formations of Litlanesfoss.
Litlanesfoss Waterfalls
Litlanesfoss Waterfalls

Explore Djúpivogur

  • Take a short drive south to Djúpivogur, a charming fishing village known for its unique egg sculptures by Icelandic artist Sigurður Guðmundsson. Stroll along the harbor, visit the local museum, and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of this coastal town. Djúpivogur also offers opportunities for birdwatching and boat tours to nearby islands.


Discover Egilsstaðir

  • Visit Egilsstaðir, the largest town in eastern Iceland, which is located approximately 30 kilometers west of Seyðisfjörður. Explore the local shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, such as the East Iceland Heritage Museum. Take a walk around Lake Lagarfljót, where you might catch a glimpse of the legendary Lagarfljót Worm, a mythical creature said to reside in the lake.


Relax in the Vök Baths

  • Treat yourself to a relaxing and rejuvenating experience at the Vök Baths, situated near Lake Urriðavatn. These geothermal baths offer a tranquil oasis where you can unwind while surrounded by stunning views of the surrounding nature. Immerse yourself in the warm waters and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the mineral-rich geothermal springs.
Hiking in Stórurð
Hiking in Stórurð


In conclusion, we hope that we have been able to convince you to spend a day in Seydisfjordur!


It is a must-visit destination in Iceland, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, artistic spirit, and rich cultural heritage.


From its breathtaking landscapes and exciting hiking trails to its thriving art scene and delectable culinary delights, this charming village has something for everyone.


Explore the town’s fascinating history, connect with its creative community, and indulge in the flavors of its local cuisine. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a passionate art lover, or a curious traveler seeking new experiences, Seydisfjordur promises to leave a lasting impression.

Camping in Seydisfjordur
Camping in Seydisfjordur


What does Seyðisfjörður mean?

Seydisfjordur is a combination of three Icelandic words: “seyði,” which means “marsh,” “fjörður,” which means “fjord,” and “ur,” which is a suffix used to denote a place name.

So, the literal meaning of Seydisfjordur is “the fjord of the marsh.” The name likely refers to the fact that there was once a large marsh or wetland where the village now stands, which has since been drained to make way for the settlement.


Is Seyðisfjörður worth it?

Yes, Seydisfjordur is widely regarded as a beautiful and unique destination in Iceland. With its stunning natural scenery, rich cultural heritage, and thriving art scene, the village offers visitors a wealth of experiences that are sure to leave a lasting impression. So for travelers seeking adventure, culture, and natural beauty, Seydisfjordur is definitely worth a visit.


What is Seyðisfjörður known for?

Seydisfjordur is known for its stunning natural surroundings, including the fjord that it is named after and the mountains that surround it.

The village has a rich cultural heritage, with ties to Icelandic sagas and folklore, which can be explored at local museums and cultural centers. Seydisfjordur is also famous for its vibrant art scene, with a thriving community of artists and musicians who showcase their work through exhibitions, festivals, and performances.

Additionally, Seydisfjordur is known for its culinary delights, featuring locally sourced ingredients such as fresh seafood and wild berries in its cuisine.


How do I get to Seyðisfjörður Iceland?

Seydisfjordur is located in the eastern part of Iceland, and it’s not directly accessible by air. The closest airport is Egilsstaðir Airport, which is about 27 miles (44 km) away. From there, you can drive or take a bus to Seydisfjordur.

If you are driving, you can reach Seydisfjordur via Route 93, which connects Egilsstaðir to Seydisfjordur. The drive takes approximately 30 minutes and offers stunning views of the mountains and fjords.

If you prefer to take a bus, there are regular public transportation services operated by Strætó that run between Egilsstaðir and Seydisfjordur. The journey takes about 45 minutes.

Another option is to take the ferry MS Norröna from Denmark or the Faroe Islands, which docks at Seydisfjordur’s harbor during the summer season. This is a scenic and unique way to reach Seydisfjordur, allowing you to admire Iceland’s spectacular coastline from the sea.


Where can I see puffins in Seyðisfjörður?

While Seydisfjordur is known for its stunning scenery, there are no puffin colonies directly in the village itself. However, there are several locations nearby where you can see these adorable seabirds up close and personal.

One of the best places to see puffins in Seydisfjordur is Papey island, which is located a short boat ride away from the village. This charming and remote island is home to a large puffin colony, as well as other bird species like guillemots and kittiwakes. Papey can be visited on a guided tour or by renting a boat.

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Laura & Alexander

Laura & Alexander

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