Jul 31, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer
We awoke to a boisterous sea and spent a rare morning on board as we navigated the northeastern shores of Iceland en route to the remote East Fjords. The region’s coastline features more than a dozen fjords, numerous waterfalls, and small fishing communities. The morning at sea gave us the opportunity to enjoy presentations as the waves gradually calmed.
During lunch, we arrived at the colourful, little settlement of Seyðisfjӧrður, a small town of fewer than 1,000 souls that was founded by a Norwegian fishing company in 1895. The town thrived on herring until that fishery collapsed in the mid-20th century. Proximity to continental Europe gave the place a secondary function as a gateway to Iceland for ferry boats. Today, cruise ships—it only takes a couple to double the population of the small town for a few hours at a time—often tower over the Lego-like prefabricated townhouses brought in from Norway, nestled beneath the sharp cliffs of the fjord. Far from other Icelandic cities and towns, the high heathlands of Seyðisfjӧrður’s hinterland now attract ecotourists who walk a network of high trails that afford majestic views over the surrounding land and seascape. There are good opportunities to spot the best of Icelandic fauna—birds, seals, and whales—as well as native flora.
When the sky cleared, providing excellent visibility, some of us enjoyed a variety of graded hikes and walks, while others chose to explore the delightful community on their own.
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