Mandalapa's Excursions

Travel experiences, itineraries, tips, rants and more!

Currently in: New York | Miles traveled: 450,000 miles | Countries Visited: 27

Seydisfjordur, Iceland – The Magical Town


It was just another day when I was traveling in Iceland. My friends and I wanted to find a sweet resting spot for Day 4 of our trip. We happened to find this place called Seydisfjordur in east iceland. Getting to this place is not easy. There is a road from the mainland that takes you over the mountains and passes through gorgeous mountains and huge waterfalls. This drive can be treacherous if its foggy. Once the fog lifted, we saw an amazing town with colorful roofs surrounded by mountains on three sides and a water inlet on once side and of course, its a fjord, a magical one. It is a tiny fishing town with about 600 people and has ferry services to Faroe islands and Denmark as well. I saw some cruise ships stop by when I spent the night there.

colorful house in seydisfjordur

A colorful house in seydisfjordur

Colorful rooftops

Colorful rooftops by the fjord



My initial thoughts about the place was “how hard is to quit my current job and move here?” haha. Every single house had different rooftop colors making the view even prettier. The town itself is small but has the necessary amenities like school, swimming pool, hospital, museums, galleries and a travelers hostel. We stayed in this place called Hotel Snæfell which was right by the water inlet overlooking the fjord with waterfalls on them. This hotel is a three story wooden house built in 1908 situated by the mouth of the river “Fjarðará”. It has beautiful views over the small bay in the center of town. This natural estuary is home to birdlife(especially puffins), trout and the occasional Atlantic Grey Seal. The house was first used as the local post office and then in 1943 it was turned into a hotel. All the items inside the hotel were old gothic style, including the furniture, candle holders and even the curtains.

Common area in Hotel Snaefell, Seydisfjord, Iceland

Common area in Hotel Snaefell, Seydisfjord, Iceland

Once we settled there, we decided to venture out and explore. One thing you will notice is the chill lifestyle there. Everyone seems to stroll at a slow pace and most of them smile at you. We walked to the harbor for a bit and took some pictures of the town from the other side of the inlet. There are several waterfalls in the town which you can see from anywhere in the town. A popular hiking path starts at the town center, following the east bank of the Fjarðará, the river that flows through the center of town. Further up the river there are about 25 beautiful waterfalls.


Gufufoss, seydisfjordur

Gufufoss, seydisfjordur – one of the falls

We walked up to a local store and bought a couple of sweaters. They were made from icelandic sheep wool and the owners mom knitted all of them. So it was pretty nice to buy some of them and support the local community. We had our dinner at Hotel Aldan which is another popular place to eat. I ate a trout and some veggies. Andrew opted for Steak and he regretted his decision the entire evening :). After our dinner, we walked up to the town center to check out the night scene. There weren’t many options but they had about 2 or 3 bars open.

Backside of Hotel Snaefell where we stayed

Backside of Hotel Snaefell where we stayed

Couple of days ago we met some Spanish travelers in Hofn and since we had similar travel itineraries, we kept bumping into each other wherever we went. They stayed in the hotel and they met us in the bar called “Bistro”. The bar was very chill, really nice interior decorations and locals love to hang out there. This place also serves amazing food and you may have to wait for a long time to get tables during dinner time. Fortunately, we just wanted to grab a couple of drinks and soak in the midnight sun. We chatted with the spaniards for about 2 hours, took some pics and left the place. As we were walking back, the only thing I could think was how beautiful this town is surrounded by snow capped mountains even in summer, picturesque waterfalls, water inlets and colorful houses. I know, I know, I keep saying the same thing, but I don’t know how else to stress the beauty of this place.  Really a magical town.

Jordan, Petee and Our Spanish friends hanging out

Jordan, Petee and Our Spanish friends hanging out at The Bistro

Like all towns in iceland, Seydisfjordur had a beautiful church. We stopped by and did our photo ops there. Petee has a thing for churches and she insisted on us hanging out there and take pictures of her by the church :p.

Big Blue Church, seydisfjordur

Big Blue Church, seydisfjordur

There are so many things to do around the town if you are there for more than one day. You can rent kayaks and kayak the inlet of the fjord and look at breathtaking sceneries. Take a whale watching trip from nearby Husavik, or take a boat from the harbor to see all the birdlife there. There are also many hikes which you can check out and of course take a ferry to the Faroes or Denmark if you have the money!.

If you liked my post check out my 7 day itinerary to see Iceland and how to travel Iceland on budget.


  1. Drew

    I am planning to take a trip to Iceland and just read your article about this town. Do you think it’s worth it if i only have 5 days to spend in iceland? I am also stopping at Hofn, akureyrie and Snaefells.

    • Rakesh Mandalapa

      Hey Drew, I think that might be pretty difficult to do all the places you just mentioned because they are all opposite to each other. Unless you are flying, then its different. But yeah, to answer your question, this is definitely an amazing place to visit IF YOU HAVE TIME. Don’t rush it. Just enjoy.

    • Rakesh Mandalapa

      Thanks Leslie. Did you do any hikes there? I was a little upset that it was cloudy and rainy the entire time I was there and couldn’t get any bright sunny pictures of the town.

      • lholland6365

        I did the hike only to Hengifoss Falls which I described in my blog post. It was uphill. Some of my other friends on the cruise did vatious other hikes there but I did not get any report of them. You will have seen the photos of the falls and the countyryside around them on my blog post. Also there was one picture looking down onto the town and harbour.


So, what do you think ?