Things to do in Seydisfjordur. The most charming village in Iceland, located in a far east fjord of Iceland. Explore a fun blend of culture and nature.
My grandmother has been living in Seydisfjordur since I was little. Every summer I would visit her for a few weeks, picking berries in her garden and explore the beautiful fjord. Even after so many years the charm of Seydisfjordur still works its magic on me. Little in size but big in character!
Therefore Seydisfjordur is one of my top 10 places to visit in Iceland. Keep reading on and explore all the things to do in Seydisfjordur.
Things to do in Seydisfjordur.
For many people this town is the start of their Iceland adventure, coming by ferry from Denmark. So if you are already there, you might as well take it all in! Even if you are not coming in by boat, Seydisfjordur is worth taking a detour for.
Spend the day exploring all the art around town, the incredible nature in the fjord, and take a hike one of the many mountains. You might even spot reindeer, puffins, and perhaps a whale swimming in the fjord. End the day with a dance on the famous rainbow street, before heading into one of the cozy cafes for a coffee or a beer.
1. Dance on the rainbow street.
You probably recognize this wonderful street, it has become super popular on Instagram in the past few years. The cute light blue church at the end of the rainbow makes it so magical. Seyðisfjörður is a small town, but this rainbow street is where the main bars/cafés are and feels like a city center. There are also a few stores, one selling handicrafts (wool sweaters, jewelry made from reindeer horns, etc) made by the locals. If you want a truly unique and special souvenir from Iceland, this is the place to get it. You can see this store on the picture below in the red house with the sign “markaður”.
The rainbow street is also loved by the locals and has recently been repainted, making it super vibrant and alive again. Sit down, enjoy a great meal, or a nice cup of coffee at one of the cafés there.
2. Hike along Vestdalsfossar.
This is one of the best short hikes you can do in Seydisfjordur. The hike starts about 4km outside of the village. Check out the mapcarta website to find the exact location. The path is well marked with sticks along the way. You can drive to the parking spot.
At the parking spot, there are a few ruins there from old houses/farms that are quite interesting to see. You might also run into a few friendly sheep and horses grazing around.
The hike starts along the river and leading you towards the beautiful Vestdalsfossar. It only takes you a few minutes. Make sure the walk all the way up to get an amazing view over the fjord.
If you don´t feel like hiking, you can just return to the car. If you feel active, keep following the trail. The trail will eventually lead back to the road. From there you can walk back to the car or into the village. The whole walk will take you about 1,5 hours or so.
It might not be as big as Glymur, but its something you cannot miss out when in Seydisfjordur.
3. Sing in Tvísöngur.
Seyðisfjörður is home to many interesting and quirky art projects. Tvísöngur is one of them and has found a permanent place in the fjord. It is a group of 5 concrete domes, made to conserve and honor the Icelandic music tradition by artist Lukas Kühne.
You can go inside, sing and hear the effects yourself. The domes are very curious looking but blend very well into nature. They are placed on top of a mountainside, giving you amazing views as well! If you want to read more about them check out Atlas Obscura’s article about Tvisongur.
From the parking spot, it is only a 600m walk into the secluded spots where Tvísöngur lies. There are also a few hiking trails in that area that you can follow if you are interested. The location of the parking spot can be found on google maps or maps.me.
4. Spot Puffins at Skalanes.
Did you know that there are puffins and reindeer in Seydisfjordur? You can find both of them in the Skálanes nature reserve! It is a 1250 hectare nature reserve, protecting the wildlife and nature within it. Because it is closed off for traffic, herds of reindeer often hang out there. It is located on the very edge of Seydisfjordur, giving you amazing views of the vast ocean in front of you. This is truly a special place that gives you a chance to witness Icelandic nature in a very raw form.
There you can see a huge variety of wildlife and a few archeological sites. There is a research and education center there that assists a variety of research in a huge variety of studies. Check out the website of Skálanes to get more info about the projects.
It is possible to drive to the house, but then you have to cross at least two rivers. Unless you have a proper 4×4 it is best to park the car by the river and walk to the house.
I would recommend this, especially in the evening. The evening sun makes this area even more magical. From the parking spot, you can follow the walking trail towards Skalanes. One way is about 4 to 5 km, so it will take you an hour to get there.
During the walk, you go through meadows of lupine, down into beaches full of driftwood and through fields full of birds.
Now, the puffins! From the house, you follow a short path that leads to the very edge of the fjord. Walk up the platform by the cliff and you can witness, with both your eyes and nose, the wild birds living there. If you look close, you’ll see cute puffins hiding in holes and diving into the ocean to fish!
5. Spot Reindeer in the winter.
What’s more magical than seeing a herd of deer running across a mountain? During the winter months, the wild Icelandic reindeer come down from the mountains and into the fjords to find food. The East is the only place in Iceland where you can spot wild reindeer. Due to the climate there and the high mountains, they thrive very well. During the summers they retreat into the highlands.
If you want to see reindeer, then come to Seydisfjordur and go to the Skálanes reserve. There you have a high chance to spot them!
Being wild animals and not used to humans at all, they are very skittish. So be very careful when you see them while driving as they may run across the road without warning.
6. Go to the technical museum.
Did you know that the first telephone in Iceland was in Seydisfjordur? The first Icelandic telegraph station was set up in 1906 right in Seydisfjordur! The technical museum features many curious technical innovations dating from 1880 – 1950. Taking a look at the technical museum gives you a good insight into how life was in Seydisjordur and Iceland during that time.
If you like history and are interested in old technical things, then this museum is worth a visit! For more info go to Visitseydisfjordur.is, find opening times and contact info.
7. Hike Bjólfur.
Bjólfur is the tall mountain looming over Seydisfjorur and it is the reason why the sun always leaves around 19:00, summer, and winter. My grandmother always says that she wishes they could just shave off the peak to have the sun for a little bit longer!
Bjólfur is 1085m high and you can drive up to the avalanche protection walls (in high summer) and then hike up to the peak. From there you can see the giant man-made avalanche protection walls, protecting the small village below. The protection walls were put there after numerous avalanches fell over the village over the years. This is also the reason why the fjord is only inhabited on one side.
On top of Bjólfur, you have magnificent views over all of the fjord and into the ocean. It is definitely worth the drive or the hike.
If you’re into hiking, then check out our post about the day hike to Glymur from Reykjavik.
8. Visit Gufufoss – walk trail up the pass and see more waterfalls.
Gufufoss is a majestic waterfall in Seydisfjordur. Its name means steamy waterfall, due to the constant mist its cascade creates. It reminds me of a mini version of the famous Skógarfoss in the South. It’s a powerful waterfall bringing fresh water down from the mountains and into the village. Fun fact, the tap water you drink there is from this waterfall.
Gufufoss is one of the many little waterfalls streaming into Seydisfjordur. There is a walking trail following the river up to the pass, starting in Seydisfjordur.
9. Drive the mountain pass into Seydisfjordur
Well, this one is kind of necessary if you visit Seydisfjordur, but it is an experience. The only way to access Seydisfjordur (except boats) is by crossing this pass and is often impassable in the winters, closing the village off. The pass starts with a steep climb up the mountain. When you are up there, you can except any weather – no matter when you go. I have heard stories of snowstorms in the middle of July.
On top there is a small lake, that is frozen over most of the year. This is essentially a dam to create electricity for the village. The snow on top rarely melts during the summers. So it’s like going back in time when you’re up there, back to winter!
Be sure to check how the weather is on the mountain before you pass, the weather in Egilsstaðir might be sunshine and rainbows but snowing or very misty on the mountain.
The views on the other side are breathtaking. The village and the fjord open up in front of you, showing you that crossing this pass was well worth it!
10. Walk to Loðmundafjörður.
Loðmundafjordur is an inhabited fjord North of Seydisfjordur. Most of the year you cannot even get there by car, and if it’s passable you need a very proper 4×4. So, the best way to go there is to hike there from Seydisfjordur.
In 1973 the last person living in Loðmundafjörður moved away. Since then no one has lived there and only a small church and a hut for the ranger remain.
The hike is about 12km one way and goes up to 600m, starting just in front of the farm Dvergasteinn. Many people decide to spend the night in Loðmundafjörður and hike back the next day. Here is the starting location on Google maps. It is best to find the trail itself on the app Maps.me. Make sure to visit the information center in town and ask the local people if the trail is open.
We went there at the beginning of July and there was still too much snow on the trail so we couldn’t go. Usually, it’s open from mid-July and August.
11. Kayaking in the fjord
A great activity if you want to explore the fjord from the ocean, maybe spot whales, sail over the wreck of El Grillo. El Grillo is a sunken boat from WWII, shot down by German aircraft. The boat is also a famous diving spot in Iceland and you can kayak right above it!
A few different tours are offered into the fjord on Kayak, it is a super fun way to get to know Seydisfjordur from a different perspective. Check out visitseydisfjordur.is for info about the tours and pricing.
12. Visit Fagradagafoss on the way up.
Fagradagafoss – meaning beautiful day waterfall – is an amazing waterfall located on the way up to Seydisfjordur from Eigilstadir. There is a sign next to the road indicating where to park, From the parking spot, it is only about 1.1km hike up.
If you want to do a little hiking before going up the pass to Seydisfjordur, this waterfall is worth it. You can even walk behind it! Make sure to write your name in the guestbook up top!
Check google maps or maps.me for the exact location!
13. Visit the LUNGA festival.
Lunga is a big art festival held every summer in Seydisfjordur. The campsites and guesthouses fill-up of artists. The village transforms into one big canvas.
I was often visiting my grandmother during this festival and had so much fun walking through town seeing all the curious things being created all over the village. This festival has put Seydisfjordur on the map and made it into the town that it is today. Check out the LUNGA website for more info.
Things to do in Seydisfjordur.
Hopefully, this convinced you to visit the village of Seydisfjordur. It has everything, trendy cafés, quirky art, breathtaking nature, and wildlife. Only a small detour but gives you so much. If you have the time, then Seydisfjordur needs to be on your itinerary! If you don’t have the time, make time! I’ll promise you, you will not regret it!
More about Iceland:
- Why we didn´t visit the Blue Lagoon.
- Advice from a local: top 10 places to visit in Iceland.
- Day trip from Reykjavik to Heidmork
- Self drive the Golden Circle of Iceland.
- Glymur Waterfall day hike, a day trip from Reykjavik.