Seydisfjördur is a town in Iceland that is named after the fjord it lies nestled against. It is located in the eastern part of the island. This quaint town attracts many visitors. Some enjoy the scenic drive to get there, while others come for the mountain and fjord views. There are also those who want to experience the town's rich history, vibrant atmosphere, and art events like the LungA Art Festival.
But for whatever reason you might have Seydisfjördur on your trip itinerary, we can assure you that the visit will be worth it. In this article, we tell you everything that’s happening in the town and give you all the info you need to make your stay here as memorable as possible.
Quick Facts About Seydisfjördur
Here’s a short summary and a few interesting facts about Seydisfjördur, one of Iceland’s most charming towns:
The population in Seydisfjördur is roughly 647 people.
It is fairly balanced between both men and women, with 324 men and 321 women making up the current population there.
The average age of those currently living in the town is 38.
The town is approximately 213 square kilometers.
The nearest big city to Seydisfjördur is Egilsstadir (27 kilometers away).
Seydisfjördur’s postal code is 710.
The very first settler in Seydifjordur was named Bjolfur.
You can catch a famous ferry called the Smyril Line from Seydifjordur to the Faroe Islands, Denmark, and Norway.
There’s a much-loved spot people go for photos called Rainbow Street. This street is precisely what it sounds like; a street painted in rainbow colors. It was created to celebrate the Gay Pride Parade, and then people loved it so much that it ended up staying.
Seydisfjördur has a locally brewed beer called El Grillo that you can enjoy during your visit.
The town has a canon that is fired once every year. This may seem like an odd thing to do (and probably is in a sense), but it does have an origin story. An oil tanker called El Grillo (sound familiar?) sank in Sydisfjordur during World War II. Residents rescued many items from the ship, including this cannon that is fired annually to commemorate this event.
Seydisfjördur has graced our screens on quite a few occasions. Locals know it by scenes shot for an Icelandic series called Trapped, whilst visitors are more likely to recognize it from the internationally acclaimed movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (the skateboarding scenes were shot in Seydisfjördur).
Is Seydisfjördur in Iceland Worth Visiting?
As you can already see, Seydisfjördur has quite a few things going for it. The fact that it’s one of the most picturesque towns on the island, as well as a pretty important port, should already warrant a visit. It also has plenty of attractions and activities one can enjoy in the town itself as well as its surroundings.
The fact that it’s so easy to get to the town (just a 27-kilometer detour off the main road, the Ring Road), makes it incredibly convenient when trying to squeeze into a trip itinerary. Although some spend just a few hours exploring the town, we recommend that you take a day and then spend the night to truly experience all this wonderful little town has to offer.
When is the Best Time to Visit Seydisfjördur?
There are many reasons to include Seydisfjördur in your trip to Iceland any time of the year, but you can take the following into consideration when planning your holiday:
Although Seydisfjördur can get pretty cold during the winter months and the mountain pass to get there can be extremely difficult to navigate, many do still make the effort to attend the festival of lights called List I Ljosi in February.
Between November and January, you can expect rain at least 50% of the time and temperatures are literally freezing with the max average constantly hovering around the -1 degree mark.
July and August are considered to be the perfect time to visit when it comes to the weather. Temperatures average around 12 degrees Celsius, and the harsher weather elements such as the wind and the rain have also subsided a bit. But since this is such a perfect time to visit, it is also considered peak season here, which brings with it peak season crowds and peak season prices.
A way to get around the crowds and enjoy a more affordable visit to the town, many opt to visit during one of the shoulder months such as April and May, or September, and October.
The 6 Best Things to Do in Seydisfjördur
The following are some of the things you can look forward to when visiting Seydisfjördur:
Visit the Skaftafell Art Center
It may not look like much from the outside, but the Skaftafell Art Center is a cultural treasure trove on the inside. This independent, non-profit center has been around since 1996 and has become an important meeting place for both artists and the rest of the Seydisfjördur community.
The gallery will blow your mind, and you might just bump into “the next big thing” in the art world, since the center has a very distinguished artist residency program for both local and international artists.
Check Out the Blue Church
If you plan on visiting Rainbow Street, the rainbow will lead you straight to the door of the cutest little light-blue church you’ve ever seen. But don’t let the cuteness fool you; this little church is extremely resilient. This was not its original location, and the church had to be moved from a local farm in 1882 to a hill overlooking Vestdalseyri.
There, a storm blew the church apart. It was repaired and rebuilt down on the peninsula, till it was finally moved to Seydisfjördur in 1920. Here it was once again put to the test when a fire severely damaged the building. But it was repaired and is still stealing the show all these decades later.
Take a Boat Ride
You will find quite a few boat tours that actually take you out on the fjord. Which tour you end up taking will depend on where your interests lie. You can generally choose from the following types of tours, and all are for small groups of no more than 8 people:
Go bird watching and caving.
Take the Viking route and visit some of their landmarks that go back to the Middle Ages.
Simply explore and enjoy the fjord with its breathtaking views and remarkable places.
Have a Soak and a Swim at the Swimming Hall
The Seydisfjördur Swimming Hall boasts a big indoor swimming pool along with a sauna and a bunch of hot tubs. Its operating hours heavily depend on the season, so we recommend that you phone ahead of time to ensure that you don’t end up in front of a closed door.
Take a Hike to Budararfoss Waterfall
Not only does this hike allow you to get close to these beautiful falls tumbling over the cliffs, but you’ll be treated to mesmerizing views of the town below.
Go Back in Time at Brimnes
Brimness is just 10 kilometers from the city center and once was one of the major fishing estates in the eastern part of Iceland. Today you’ll still find many old buildings here and even a pretty little orange lighthouse. Definitely a place not to be missed when the weather is in your favor.
How to Get to Seydisfjördur
There are essentially two ways to get to Seydisfjördur once you’ve arrived on the island:
Once you’ve arrived at Keflavik Airport, you need to get to Reykjavik Domestic Airport. This can be done by shuttle transfer, bus, or taxi. This trip will take you roughly 2.5 hours depending on the mode of transportation you choose. You will then need to catch an Air Iceland flight to Egilsstadir (there are multiple flights each day to choose from).
The only trick here is to coordinate your flight with the minibus traveling from Egilsstadir to Seydisfjördur (unless you’re planning on hiring your own car, of course). The minibus to Seydisfjördur runs twice every day, but doesn’t run at all on Sundays or public holidays. The trip via minibus will take you about 25 minutes.
Once you’ve arrived at Keflavik Airport, you need to get to the capital city of Reykjavik. This can be done by shuttle transfer, bus, or taxi. Once there you can catch a bus direct to Seydifjordur (this trip is about 14 hours long), or you can opt for splitting the journey and spending the night somewhere on route, before catching the next bus that’ll take you the rest of the way to Seydisfjördur.
Via Guided Tour
There are many guided tour multi-day holiday packages as well as day tours that include Seydisfjördur. If you don’t want any responsibilities and an experienced guide at the helm, this is the route to go. Just keep in mind that it can become pretty expensive fairly fast, and you won’t have much control over your itinerary or your time.
Getting to Seydisfjördur from Keflavik Airport with a rental car will take you anything between 8-10 hours. So, whilst we highly recommend you include Seydisfjördur in your trip itinerary, we do not recommend this as a self-drive day outing, but rather as part of your bigger road trip around the island (the best way to explore the country in our opinion).
As we already mentioned, it will just be a 27-kilometer detour if you take on the Ring Road. We also do not recommend a trip to Seydisfjördur during the winter months. Driving is treacherous and extremely slow, and you’ll need to contend with very few daylight hours as well. Not the ideal situation for exploring an area without any stress.
Where to Eat in Seydisfjördur
You’ll find plenty of places to grab a bite to eat and have a drink or two in Seydifjordur. If you’re planning on taking your time or staying over here in town, the following places come highly recommended:
Seydisfjördur; a Pretty Little Town With Plenty to Do and See
As you can see, Seydisfjördur is the very definition of “small packages that throws a punch”, and you will find plenty to do and see in the town itself and its surroundings.
As we already mentioned, we believe the best way to explore the island is via a road trip, so we highly recommend that you rent a car in Iceland and then add Seydisfjördur as one of the stops on your trip. Hope to see you soon in Seydisfjördur!