Djúpivogur – the quiet fishing village on Iceland’s east coast
Djúpivogur is known as a quiet fishing village on the east coast of Iceland, one of the most sparsely populated regions of the island. However, due to its short distance to other countries, the history of trade goes back to the 16th century. A total of almost 400 inhabitants live in the place with the colorful wooden houses and the main industries are fishing and tourism. In the west is the largest glacier in Europe, the Vatnajokull.
The place has some small cafes, museums as well as local handicrafts. It’s especially nice in the small and idyllic harbour, where you can experience the tranquility of Iceland. The place is also known for the Búlandsnes bird sanctuary in Djúpivogur.
Six kilometers north of the village of Djúpivogur is the landmark, the pyramid-shaped mountain Búlandstindur with a height of almost 1070 meters. However, this is often shrouded in dense surroundings and is therefore difficult to photograph.
Sights in Djúpivogur and the surrounding area
The sights in the region are rather unspectacular or too far from the port. Nevertheless, there is a lot to visit:
- Langabud, a log cabin which houses the local folklore museum
- Eggin i Gledivík, the stone eggs in cheerful Gleðivík Bay ( Merry Bay) – 34 giant granite eggs are said to represent bird eggs of migrating birds that sneezed
- Papey Island, home to thousands of seabirds and colorful puffins
The Cultural Center of Djúpivogur is a beautiful red painted wooden house called Langabud. It is also the oldest house in the entire town and houses some wood carvings. It is considered one of the oldest trading establishments in Iceland and also houses a museum with stones, minerals, sculptures and many other attractions of the Icelandic landscape.
Eggin i Gledivik
An outdoor artwork by artist Sigurður Guðmundsson consisting of 34 giant granite eggs. The name of the artwork is Eggin i Gledivik, which means eggs in the happy bay. The eggs are intended to represent bird eggs of the nesting migratory birds in the region. The eggs are approximately the same shape and size, but are an exact replica of the nuance and color of bird eggs. However, one of the works of art is significantly larger than the others. To this day, the work of art is considered the main attraction in the town. Small casts of it can also be bought locally as a souvenir and are a popular gift and souvenir.
The pillars of the artwork used to be the supports of a ribbon that led from the landing areas of the fishermen and fishing boats directly to the fish factory.
Papey Bird Island
During the summer, local fishermen also offer daily boat trips to Papey Island (Monk’s Island), which is named after Irish monks. Due to the natural and untouched nature, the birds can nest here in peace. In addition to the puffins, there are often seals on the island. Another highlight is the smallest wooden church in Iceland.
Viewing wheel on Bóndavarða
On the small hill of Bóndavarða near the harbor there is a viewing disk that shows the outlines and names of the surrounding mountains. From the top you also have a good overview of the small, idyllic village.
Sights outside of Djupivogur
Below are the most popular attractions outside of Djúpivogur. You can reach many of them on the outward journey or onward journey from or to Djúpivogur. Note that these are mostly day trips as long as the small village is the starting point and destination.
- Vatnajokull Glacier, magnificent scenery in southeast Iceland at the foot of Europe’s largest glacier
- Vatnajokull Glacier Lagoon / Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon, boat trip through the icebergs of the largest glacier in Europe with icebergs of all shapes and sizes
- Sveinsstekksfoss waterfall / Nykurhylsfoss: a beautiful waterfall, which has not yet been conquered by tourists with a drop of 15 meters
- Lighthouse Aeoarstein
Vatnajokull Glacier and Fjallsárlón Glacial Lake
The glacier is not only the largest in Iceland, but also the largest in Europe. This is a plateau glacier in the south of Iceland with an area of around 8100 square kilometers. Fjallsárlón is a glacial lake at the southern end of the glacier. On this beautiful ice lake it is possible to take a boat through the floating icebergs and enjoy the beautiful landscape.
Cruise to Djupivogur
Few cruise ships call at Djupivogur port in Iceland as it has no ship terminal. The area is rough, characterized by glaciers and the most sparsely populated. In addition, the possibilities for excursions are very limited. This may also be the reason why usually only 10 to 20 ships stop a year – and mostly anchor in front of the place. The maximum size for ships is only 75 meters with a draft of 9 meters. Maps of the town and the region are usually issued at the pier.
The port is often used for excursions to the Vatnajökull glacier, although that is at least a 3 to 4 hour (one-way) drive away. Most of the time is pure travel time, which means that only long stays in the harbor can be used for the glacier. In addition to viewing the glacier, a trip in the glacier lagoon is often offered.
For shorter stays, excursions are usually only offered to Höfn, a place on the edge of the glacier. With a travel time of 6-7 hours and a stay of one hour there, however, it is a rather unpopular trip.