Middle of the North
Eyjafjörður is a long fjord in the middle of North Iceland and its surroundings are simply stunning in summer and winter. At the bottom end of the fjord is Akureyri, the largest town in Iceland outside the capital region.
In winter, Akureyri is the outdoor sport capital of Iceland, and in summer—when the midnight sun sheds purple light on Kaldbakur, the fjord’s signature mountain—a paradise for hikers. But Akureyri has more than a great skiing area and the midnight sun; it also has good restaurants, a vibrant nightlife, many museums, and one of the best outdoor swimming pools in Iceland in the heart of the town.
Including Akureyri, there are ten villages and towns in the Eyjafjörður region, all of which are different and have their own charm. Grenivík is northernmost settlement on the eastern side of the fjord. Then comes Svalbarðseyri, and in Eyjafjörður valley, south of Akureyri, is Hrafnagil—which also has a lovely swimming pool.
On the western side of the fjord are five villages and towns. Closest to Akureyri, the hamlet Hjalteyri, then two small fishing villages, Hauganes and Árskógssandur. Next comes Dalvík, the second-largest town in Eyjafjörður, and the northernmost town in Eyjafjörður is Ólafsfjörður, surrounded by sky-high mountains.
In the middle of Eyjafjörður fjord is the island of Hrísey where around one hundred people live in the harmony with nature. Here, time seems to pass slower than on the mainland. From Hrísey you have the perfect panoramic view in all directions, across Eyjafjörður and of the mountains on either side.
Text and photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Caption: View of Hrísey island with Sauðaneshnjúkar peaks and Ólafsfjarðarmúli mountain on the left and the Látraströnd coastline on the right.