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 In the Footsteps of Elves - 6 days / 5 nights 7 Jun 2015 -
20 Sep 2015

Borgarfjörður Eystri (Starts from Reykjavík)

Trip difficulty: 3 of 5 possible.

Incredible hiking in East Iceland & visit to Mývatn lake.
We will spend our five days hiking exploring Iceland's awe-inspiring east fjords and the hidden gems of Víknaslóðir, or the “Deserted Inlets” in and near the Borgarfjörður Eystri. There the imposing and colourful mountains meet the ocean creating deep fjords littered with secluded alcoves along magnificent coastlines. Among Icelanders the vicinity of Borgarfjörður is known for its great natural beauty and incredible hiking routes but it is still untouched by mass-tourism. This isolated region is also considered to be a central province of the elves. In the Álfaborg fortress (Elf-hill) their queen has long resided, governing and watching over her realm.
Your visit to Borgarfjörður is not soon forgotten; the amazing views, the deep fjords, the mystic elf sites and the picturesque fishing village and it surrounding farms will stay with you for years to come. Don’t forget your camera!

Included in price:  Accommodation in a twin/double room with shower and WC facilities, made-up beds, full board, free WIFI at Álfheimar, museum admissions, a local guide and all transport included.
Groups: minimum 2 to maximum 14 participants.
Age limit: 12 years. See detailed itinerary below.

Rough itinerary:
Day 1: Morning flight from Reykjavik to Egilsstaðir, drive to Borgarfjörður and a hiking tour
Day 2 to day 5: Hiking in the Borgarfjöður Eystri area.
Day 6: Sightseeing and hiking in Möðrudalur and Mývatn lake. Evening flight from Egilsstaðir to Reykjavik.

Local Culture and knowledge:
Along the way we will enjoy the hospitality of local people through their services, their knowledge of the area and its culture and their fresh food at their local restaurants. Bird watching is a frequent pastime on our routes, and sidetracks will take us to deserted inlets that tell us the story of a past far removed from mobile phone contacts.

Difficulty of the hikes:
The walks are rather medium, so that anyone able to go for 3-4 hours Brisk walk can join the tour. On the other hand we recommend that you exercise during at least the week or two before your tour, for example by taking brisk walks of 1-2 hours, 3-4 times per week. Please read the following brief description of the daily program.

Price with pick up: 215.990 ISK from Egilsstaðir (domestic flight included)
Price: 175.990 ISK per person from Egilsstaðir (domestic flight NOT included)
Add 30.000 ISK for single supplement

Special price ISK 199.990 per person on the following departures: 7 June, 14 June, 13 September and 20 September.

Guaranteed departure dates on the following Sundays 2015: 

7th June
14th June
21st June
28th June
5th July
12th July
19th July
26th July
2nd August
9th August
16th August
23rd August
30th August
6th September
13th September
20th September

All departures with an English and German speaking guide.

Please e-mail us for prices for individuals arriving via their own car or ferry.

Day-by-day program, ( Could change because of weather and nature) :

Day 1 / Sunday
A flight from Reykjavík to Egilsstaðir in the morning. One hour drive to Borgarfjörður to our locally owned Elf guesthouse where we will stay next 6 nights. A hike in the afternoon.

Brúnavík Bay
Info: walking about 16 km and traversing 700 m of elevation.
We start the day after transport to the environmentally friendly harbour of Borgarfjörður, Hafnarhólmi, to visit the puffins and other birds nesting there. Next we hike up from the coast through vegetated mountain screes to Brúnavík pass, at 345 m, and down to Brúnavík inlet. There we visit another beach of black sand, with lots of beautiful stones lying on it, and listen to the waves. After taking our shoes off to ford the small stream, we enjoy a relaxing barefooted walk to the other end of the beach. On our way back we hike over Hofstrandarskarð pass, 321 m high, and walk beside Helgárgil colourful canyon towards Bakkagerði village.

Day 2 / Monday
Stapavík to Njarðvík
Info: Hike around 11 km, traverses 415 m.
We 15 minutes drive from Borgarfjörður and stop at Unaós farm. We hike along Selfljót river to the seashore and to the Stapavík cove, a former unloading place for ships. From Stapavík we take a rather easy hike along Gönguskörð pass largely along an old riding trail. This was the main route between Borgarfjörður and Fljótsdalshérað valley for 1000 years, until the road over Vatnskarð pass was finished in 1955. Pick up at Njarðavík farm and drive to Borgarfjörður.

Day 3 / Tuesday
Beauties of Breiðavík 
Info: Easy hike of about 15 km. Traverses 400 m of elevation.
Transport to Afrétt and then an easy hike over moors and gravelly ground, including the light brown rhyolite around Urðarhólavatn, and farther on to Gæsavötn and Víknaheiði, before reaching Breiðavík inlet. The rhyolite mountains along the way display an incredible range of pastel colours. After a short stop on the black sands of Breiðavík beach with its Siberian driftwood, we hike up to Gagnheiði ridge (479 m), which has a viewpoint indicator and fabulous panorama. Then it is back to Bakkagerði after an eventful day with wide views over many of the area's amazing mountains. 

Day 4 / Wednesday
Borgarfjörður valley
Info: Rather easy day, walking about 12 km and traversing 400 m of elevation.
We start the day with 3 hours hike in the village, Old turf house, concert hall, local fish factory, from rock to art, and many interesting stops are on our way. After a light lunch we hike on unmarked trails in the valley of Borgarfjörður. From the village, we take sheep trails up to Dimmidalur (the Dark Valley) and Jökuldalur (Glacier Valley) to see their rugged, beautiful landscape, right under the Door Mountains. Not only do we walk on our way through the elf community of Lobbuhraun, but come to their home in Dimmidalur valley. When we return to Bakkagerði village, we walk through it, noticing its many interesting aspects and of course also visiting the queen of the elves at Álfaborg (Elf Hill).

Day 5 / Thursday
East Iceland's best-kept secret - Stórurð (Boulder Hollow)
Info: a somewhat difficult hike because of gravelly areas and screes on about 15% of the way.  Around 16km.  Traverses 500m of elevation.
From Vatnskarð pass (431m), we start the day's hike by going up and crossing the mountai Geldingafjall (640m), then continuing inland west of Súlur peaks.  There are excellent views over Njarðvík, Fljótsdalshérað valley, the black sandy beach of Héraðsflói bay and perhaps even to Vatnajokull glacier and Mt. Snæfell in the eastern part of the central highlans.  We then go down into Stórurð, an expanse of enormous rocks intersected by a small river.  Calm turquoise-coloured basins of icy water lie hidden among the huge boulders, often with flat banks of short, tender, green grass.  Returning from this mysterious place, we can opt either for the hike along to Dyrfjöll (Door Mountains) or the easy way down the valley below Rjúpnafell peak.

Day 6 / Friday
Mývatn and Icelandic nature treasures.
Info: Driving about 5 hours, Easy hike.
After a good breakfast we will say good-bye to the peaceful Borgarfjörður and the local people. We drive towards Mývatn area and on our way we will stop at a newly rebuild turf farm in the highland Sænautasel. After a visit and refreshment we go further to Möðrudalur farm in the open space of eastern highland. Before we reach lake Mývatn we will visit the powerfull Dettifoss waterfall and hike in the smoking lava of Leirhnjúkur last active 30 years ago. From Leirhnjúkur we drive to the Hverir area with bubbling mud and smoking steam. We go over to the Mývatn Lake and enjoy their local food and visit their geothermal nature bath after an interesting day. 
In the afternoon we will drive back to Egilsstaðir village where we'll catch an evening flight to Reykjavik.

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