On a local level the small town known as Bakkagerdi is generally known in Iceland as Borgarfjordur East due to the fact that the village is situated in the Borgarfjordur valley. The East part of the name is to differentiate this place from another valley under the same name in the western part of the country.
This tiny place, population 150 people at the best of times, has made giant strides in getting itself on the tourist maps and very justifiably so. Team Total Iceland has guided foreigners here for a number of years and all come away with feelings of intense pleasure and more often than not a feeling of tranquility. Not something easily described.
In terms of normal modern entertainment there is not much here at all. Even getting phone signals here can be difficult. But that is not why you visit such a place. You come because it is different.
Sure, there is the typical tourist shop here but even there you can buy stuff found nowhere else in Iceland. Products made from a special type of rocks found only in the nearby mountains. And yes, you can also get something good to eat but don´t expect any Michelin restaurant.
With souvenirs bagged and your stomach full you can begin to take in your surroundings. The first thing that happens is an intense feeling of wellbeing due to the laid-back atmosphere and a deep eerie but profound silence all around. Even as you see some people going about their daily business you feel something different.
Next, you probably stare in awe at the closeness of a number of pretty picturesque mountains all around. You already know these mountains are special because on your way over here you cross between them and you notice how drastically different they look. Some black as coffee while others have the color of Saharan sands. Some are a cross between those two.
These color variations have come about with time since a long time ago this place was an active volcanic spot. And time makes wonderful art given enough time to mold and sculpture the nature.
The mountains however are but appetizers. Apart from the highlands of Iceland and the Hornstrandir area in the Western-fjord part of the country around here is a vast space of uninhabited nature for you to explore. Indeed, you could walk for days without seeing anything but the midnight sun and untouched nature in its finest.
There is wildlife here also and a large gathering of puffins make this their home. Foxes abound and once in awhile reindeer find their way here from the highlands.
But there is still more to this place. Ancient legends, and new ones too, assert that many of the hills around Bakkagerdi village are home to a variety of hidden peoples. Elves especially are known to stay in these parts and these little fellows duly warn the people if there is danger lurking. As was the case a few hundred years ago when a vicious troll ruled a part of this landscape and made travelling around a living hell according to old stories.
Now, you might be thinking that Bakkagerdi and Borgarfjordur has nothing but old women´s scary tales and unbelievable sagas but there is still more. This is the home of one of Iceland´s most popular yearly music festivals. That incidentally takes place in the ruins of a fish factory and the festival has even drawn famous bands here from abroad. Nowadays, it is not as big as it once was but that is but a plus and not a minus since thousands of visitors over a weekend totally overshadow the nice local ambiance. Less is more.
Should you still require more to be satisfied there are hundreds of different trekking routes all around and some foreigners have been able to persuade local fishermen to bring them along for some angling.
All in all, we recommend a visit here and preferably not for a couple of hours on a scheduled tour trip. Take real time out for this place and we all but guarantee satisfaction and piece of mind.
PS: take care not to confuse this place to another Borgarfjordur in the west of Iceland. Which is why locals add the affix East to make the distinction.
Our humble opinion
View Village of Bakkagerdi in Borgarfjordur Iceland in a larger map