Borgarfjörður eystri – best place to see Puffins at East Iceland!
Hafnarhólmi in Borgarfjörður eystri offers visitors probably the easiest and safest place to watch puffins in Iceland. It’s only 1 hour drive from Egilsstaðir and its one of the best places in Iceland to see this cute birds. The facilities are excellent with a shelter and wooden platforms that allows birdwatchers to get up close and personal with put disturbing the bird much or damaging their burrows. The puffins come to nest here from mid-April to Mid-August. It is estimated that 10.000 pairs of puffins nest here. All species at Hafnarhólmi are protected by law during the breeding season.
The East of Iceland has a hidden treasure called Borgarfjörður eystri. With a total of around 100 inhabitants, the area, nonetheless, has plenty to offer, including some of the most populated elfin settlements in Iceland and a tremendous variety of hiking routes. In addition, the marina has by far the best access to puffins in Iceland, where you can observe the birds from a distance of two meters.
Not only does the area boast a spectacular landscape, a dream for every outdoor enthusiast, but also a good range of accommodation and services in the small town of Bakkagerði. Borgarfjörður Eystri, which is the northernmost of Iceland’s East fjords, is located an hour away from Highway No. 1, at the end of the road. There is great natural beauty in the area, as it is still untouched by mass tourism.
Going to Borgarfjörður eystri will also offer you a chance to experience a genuine Icelandic fishing village with a small boat fishery, which is quite different from the large-scale fisheries that are more prominent in Iceland. In addition, you will be in contact with a close community of people renowned for their hospitality. Their local cuisine consists of high quality ingredients from the region, such as the fish brought in fresh every day.
The fjord actually derives its name from the residency of the Icelandic elf-queen. Álfaborg (Elf Rock, Elf Hill) is a rocky hill right next to the village. Álfaborg is a reserved area, and an interesting place to visit, especially if you believe in the hidden people. They don’t mind passers-by as long as one respects their residence: the rocks.