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A bird and aluminum smelter in Reydarfjordur fjord. One of those does not belong here. Pic tristanf

L ike everywhere in this world there are good places and there are less good places. The town of Reydarfjordur in the East of Iceland fits comfortably into the latter category.

Located at the end of the longest fjord in the Eastern part of the country this fishing village slash industrial place sits right by the old Ring Road route. Nowadays, this has changed a bit and to happen upon Reydarfjordur you´ll need to follow either road 92 from Egilsstadir town or coming from the South road number 96.

Once upon a time, or rather a few years ago, the Icelandic government was keen to harness our wilderness for the benefit of foreign companies and one of the results was a giant smelter right by the side of this town. But when you put a giant factory next to a small town you naturally take away any whiff of local charm along with it.

Truth be told this place was never very interesting at all but the smelter factory didn´t exactly help. It certainly didn´t better the air quality in the otherwise tranquil valley.

The village in the summer dress. The view around is quite scenic. PIC Fjardabyggd

The village in the summer dress. The view around is quite scenic. PIC Fjardabyggd

The deep valley itself is not bad at all. Surrounded by high mountains and creating a great shelter against the harsh winds from the sea. One could easily hike in most directions from here and find interesting and mostly untouched nature.

Should you take a liking to this place there are a few options for staying overnight. Guesthouse and restaurant Tærgesen is probably the most impressive located in an old building at Budargata road. Also here is Fjardahotel at Budareyri road and lastly Hja Marlin guesthouse. Although no one from team Total Iceland has stayed in any of those places the last place without a doubt the most cozy for a night or two. Also here is a nice campsite with all the requirements for caravan owners.

For cultural experiences here you are limited to visiting the World War 2 Museum at Spitalakampur road. Bit weird perhaps since that war never reached Iceland in any significant way. But Reydarfjordur was a base for British soldiers for a while and German fighter planes did a few times make a run over this area. The museum is interesting with lots of old photographs and memorabilia and it is housed in what was an army barrack at the time. The museum is only open during summertime between 13 and 17. A special festival in town is held each year to mark this occasion on July 1st.

Reydarfjordur has been getting some unusual exposure recently due to the television serious Fortitude. Those are supposed to take place near the Arctic but the show was mostly filmed here.

Most basic services are found here if a bit lacking in regular shops.

» Reydarfjordur is both the name of the town and the fjord in which it sits. The fjord is 30 kilometer long and the longest in the whole of East of Iceland

» Road no.92 from Egilsstadir town or coming from the South by road number 96. The village is clearly visible and marked.

» For locals Reydarfjordur is neither worse nor better than any other village or town building its existence on fishing. Some say the large aluminum smelter nearby has made this place better while others disagree completely. For a foreign visitor smelters rarely entice and it is a fact there is more smog here than in neighboring towns and villages.