Tiny? Yes. Uninteresting? Nope. PIC East.is

O nly 184 folks call this place home nowadays and as a result it takes but 30 seconds to drive right through the whole village. But that would be a mistake.

We are speaking of the tiny village of Stodvarfjordur, Stöðvarfjörður in the local language, the East of the country. Naturally in a fjord by the very same name.

Apart from pretty jagged and impressive mountain range surrounding most of this fjord the village itself, from afar, does not seem too impressive. Even in close-up most buildings here seem a little run down, services are quite obviously limited to the extreme and most often not too many people about, if any.

Now, to be clear, most traveling folks will not enjoy many days here unless peace and quiet is the major thing. But in spite of its small size it is fairly easy to enjoy a day here and even two days without going nuts with boredom. As always in Iceland the nature plays a huge part and is easily the biggest attraction but there is more. Even if it takes you awhile to discover it.

First off, there is the only nationwide phenomenon in Stodvarfjordur, which is Petra´s Stone Mineral Collection. Sounds almost like a museum but in reality it is just weird and wonderful stones collected over a lifetime by one particular person. Petra was her name and all she did, except to collect the stones from different places around here, was to neatly place all her collection in the small garden of her home and later on, when the garden was full, she filled her small home too. Petra passed away a few years back but enterprising relatives soon realized the value of the collection and started charging an entry fee thereafter. The place is well worth a visit and many rocks here will absolutely blow your mind. Entry fee at time of writing is 1500 ISK / 12$ / 11€.

Less than a minute away from Petra´s place on foot, down by the small harbor, you´ll find a large but very dilapidated white building decorated with artwork on most sides. This used to be the only local fish processing plant many years back when fishing kept this place alive. That place shut down completely in 2005 and as a result almost half the locals lost their jobs and moved away. Fast forward to 2011 when enterprising and artistic locals along with some friends from abroad took over the abandoned building and turned it into a artistic center which still runs strong today. Known as Sköpunarmiðstöðin in Icelandic (Creative Center) but abroad this place is known as the Fish Factory – Creative Center. It is, as the name suggests, a haven for artistic minded people of all kinds and open events are pretty regular here over summertime. At the time of writing a real coffee shop is being set up in the place and you´d be well advised to check this place out before heading away in a haste. Usually no entry fee unless there is a concert going on.

If you think the village is tiny you should really check out the village´s former church Kirkjubær. Among the most beautiful buildings in this place and nowadays a guesthouse you can stay in. The old church is old-school as hell and too small to even change your mind in there but a real beauty of a building. We could tell you where it is exactly but if you cannot find it on your own in such a tiny place you do not deserve to visit 😉

That, pretty much, is all she wrote about Stodvarfjordur. There is but one little shop in the whole place, Brekkan, which offers coffee and some basic menu items as well as souvenirs for sale. Lastly there is the three-star Saxa Guesthouse which offers accommodation and food. Nothing to write home about and prices are rather steep but if you need to lay down your hat for awhile…

And don´t worry if we don´t include a map of these places. It takes you all of two minutes to locate them all by using basic eyesight 🙂

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