Exploring Djúpivogur, East Iceland: A Town Off the Beaten Path

The east fjords of Iceland are quiet and calm. Long fjords are surrounded by high peaks that snake up the east coast of Iceland. With small towns being few and far between there are long distances with just a few homes and farms scattered along the sloping shores of the fjords. Djúpivogur is located at the southernmost end of the region, where the landscape transitions from wide expansive beaches to jagged cliffs.

Djúpivogur is located on the Búlandsnes peninsula. It is home to the iconic glacier-carved horn, Búlandstindur, and is surrounded by beaches, wetlands, and numerous islands and skerries. These habitats provide a home for a diverse range of birdlife, including seabirds, waders, waterfowl, and birds of prey.

There are several marked hiking routes in the area, some of which lead to the vast black-sand beaches near the tip of the peninsula. The single-runway airport is the starting point for many of the hikes and is a good place for birdwatching.

One of the unique features of Djúpivogur’s landscape is the numerous, elongated rock formations running in a northeast-to-southwest direction. These are long-solidified magma dykes formed in volcanic eruptions millions of years ago that have been exposed by the erosion forces of the Ice Age glacier. These volcanic events may have been similar to those now occurring on the Reykjanes peninsula in the Fagradalsfjall volcano and surroundings.

This article contains links to products and services that I think you will find useful. I may earn a commission on any purchases you make at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read more HERE

Djúpivogur Village

This small town sits on the shores of Berufjörður at the southernmost end of the fjord. It has a small community that has grown from its origins in 1589 as a small port tied up in the Danish colonial trading ventures.

In the 18th century, there were just four homes in the village but over time this has increased. The original timber-framed buildings were rebuilt in about 1850 and these remain the centre of the town. Langabúð built in 1790 is the oldest building and is now a museum and small cafe.

The town is the only Cittaslow town in Iceland working to enhance the lives of the residents by introducing a sense of community and slow living. It certainly has a different feel.

Behind the town rises the 1069-metre-high peak of Búlandstindur. A beautiful peak with a unique and impressive pyramid shape.

“Eggin í Gleðivík” (The Eggs of Merry Bay)

Iceland is a country of unique things and nothing can be more striking than the eggs that line the shoreline just outside Djúpivogur. Installed in 2009, 34 enormous eggs sit on labelled concrete plinths as a tribute to the native birds of the area.

Each egg is the right shape and colour for the species and although enlarged all except for the Lómur or red-throated diver, the official bird of Djúpivogur are to scale with each other. The egg for the red-throated diver sits at one end and is much larger than the rest.

This unique idea was the work of artist and photographer Sigurður Guðmundsson. He lives part of the time in China and used Chinese granite as the basis for his work.

These eggs certainly make you think about the local birdlife and are a lesson in pronunciation as well as the variations in egg size. The eggs shine in the summer sunlight and you can’t help but be fascinated by their cool, smooth surfaces.

Djúpivogur Lighthouse

From the end of the Eggs of Merry Bay is a small jetty and from here you can see the small orange and red Djúpivogur Lighthouse.

Surrounded by harsh black rocks at the entrance to fjord Berufjörður it helps with vessels moving up the fjord. It has a complicated range of lights for its 5.5-metre height but can guide ships from 11 miles away.

Built in 1922 and originally white it was painted orange in 1962. In 1995 it was electrified. It is small but certainly earns its keep in this exposed and remote spot.

Papey Island and Lighthouse

A short distance by boat from Djúpivogur is the island of Papey. This is home to seals and seabirds as well as having its own small lighthouse. This island is home to a summer colony of puffins and guillemots and can be visited in the right weather and sea conditions from Djúpivogur.

Djúpavogskörin Geothermal Pool


Hidden just off Route 1 is a beautiful and secluded treat. Not visible from the road this beautiful geothermal pool is perfect for escaping the road before reaching Djúpivogur. The only clue to its presence is the green-encrusted spring and bog cotton trails that lead from a small parking place to the pool, tucked behind a large rock.

From here you can watch the sunlight bounce off the Atlantic Ocean. Even in winter, it is magical, coated in snow, the water the only warmth from the extremes. No payments needed, no showers and nothing more than a tin tub constantly overflowing with hot spring water, a clothes stand and amazing views.

Djúpivogur Black Sand Beach

A gentle hike from the centre of Djúpivogur to the black sand beach of Úlfseyjarsandur follows a rough gravel track passing small lakes, a haven for birds and wildlife.

This hike starts in the centre of the town where the trail is clearly signposted to Hringsjá. The trail starts before the swimming pool and goes across low-lying mossy land with two lakes, one on either side of the path.

Just after the lakes, the tracks join the gravel road towards the beach. Follow this to the end where the beach with its coarse black sand will be found. There are alternative trails down to the beach and others along the coast which break off the main track if you prefer to navigate small paths and trails.

It is also possible to drive out to the beach but vehicles are not allowed beyond the runway of the small airport.

Birdwatching and nature around Djúpivogur

As well as being good for walking to the black sand beach, the area around the airport and the coastal marshes at Bulandsnes are great for birdwatching and wildlife. There is a bird-watching information point at the final parking area by the airstrip.

Birds will be seen around the parking area and the lakes are alive with ducks, Slavonian grebe, red-throated divers and red-necked phalarope. If you look carefully you may also find northern green orchids along the tracks.

At the end of the airstrip, the trail heads out into the marshes where there is a bird hide and beyond this the trail heads out to the coast and the tidal mudflats where you will find oysterplants and shelduck.

From the black sand beach, it is possible to spot seals pottering around and in the distance, Papey Island with its puffin colony will be visible.

When is the best time of year to visit Djúpivogur?

The best time of year to visit Djúpivogur is during the summer, from June to August. The weather is mild during this time, with average temperatures ranging from 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 15 degrees Celsius). There is also plenty of daylight, with the sun setting around midnight. This is a great time to go hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the town’s many natural attractions.

However, if you are looking for a more unique experience, you may want to consider visiting Djúpivogur during the shoulder seasons (May and September). The weather is still mild during these months, but there are fewer tourists. This is a great time to experience the town’s natural beauty without the crowds.

It is possible to visit the town in the winter, but the weather is unpredictable, daylight hours are short and many of the reasons to visit will not be open or accessible.

Getting to Djúpivogur

The town is just a short distance off Route 1. It is 552km from Reykjavík and is about 7 hours driving time without stops. It can be reached in half a day from Höfn, but stops can mean you reach here later in the afternoon. The Eggs of Merry Bay are signposted from the main road through the town and from the eggs a short walk to the end of the jetty will reveal the lighthouse.

Parking in Djúpivogur itself is easy with various small parking areas and at the Eggs of Merry Bay, there is a large pull in so parking is safe. Do not be tempted to park as soon as you see them as this seems to be a busy little road.

Staying in Djúpivogur

The town is a great place to stay with a lovely atmosphere. There are a number of options including Hotel Framtid with views across the fjord. If you want to get a little more remote then Fossardalur Guesthouse to the north or the rugged Krákhamar Apartments to the southwest of the town are good options.

Places close to Djúpivogur

  • Úlfseyjarsandur and Hríseyjarsandur – There are a number of beaches nearby that are great for walks from the town
  • Stokksnes and Vestrahorn Mountain – An iconic mountain in Iceland with a black sand beach, lighthouse and reconstructed Viking village
  • Breiðdalsvík – A small fishing village with a lovely craft brewery and campsite
  • Streitishvarf – Black and white lighthouse above a rugged stretch of coastline with sea stacks

Djúpivogur FAQs

What is Djúpivogur known for?

Djúpavogur is known for its beautiful natural scenery, including its long fjord, Djúpið, and its black sand beaches. The town is also home to a number of historical sites, including the Djúpivogur Museum, which tells the story of the town’s history.

What is the best time of year to visit Djúpivogur?

The best time to visit Djúpivogur is during the summer when the weather is mild and the days are long. However, the town is also a popular destination in the winter, when the snow-capped mountains and glaciers are truly breathtaking.

What are some popular activities in Djúpivogur?

Some popular activities in Djúpivogur include hiking, fishing, whale watching, and visiting the Djúpivogur Museum. The town is also a great base for exploring the surrounding area, which is home to a number of other natural wonders, and is fairly close to the Vatnajökull National Park.

How do I get to Djúpivogur?

Djúpavogur is located in the Eastfjords of Iceland, and the nearest airport is Egilsstaðir. There is also a ferry service that runs from Reykjavík to Djúpivogur. It is 552km from Reykjavík along the south coast on Route 1.

Where can I stay in Djúpivogur?

There are a number of hotels, guesthouses, and B&Bs in Djúpivogur. There is also a campsite located near the town centre.

Djúpivogur summary

Djúpivogur is a small town in the Eastfjords of Iceland. It is known for its beautiful natural scenery, Berufjörður where the town is located, and its black sand beaches. The town is also home to a number of historical sites, including the Djúpivogur Museum, which tells the story of the town’s history.

One of the most popular attractions in Djúpivogur is the Eggin í Gleðivík, or Eggs of Merry Bay. These are a group of concrete columns that have a large granite egg on the plinth. Each egg represents the egg of a native bird.

A gentle hike from the centre of Djúpivogur is the black sand beach of Úlfseyjarsandur. The route follows a rough gravel track passing small lakes, a haven for birds and wildlife and then goes out across the salt marshes to the beach.

Djúpivogur is a charming town with a lot to offer visitors. If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy the beauty of Iceland, Djúpivogur is the perfect destination.

Planning a road trip to Iceland? Read all my Iceland Travel Guides

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *