Looking back, Eskifjörður has the second oldest tradition as a trading post in East Iceland (after Djúpivogur), having received its certification at the same time as Reykjavík, when the Danish monopoly in Iceland was relaxed in 1786.
Art on a freezing plant
A mural by the artist Balthasar on the wall of the freezing plant, which is one of Iceland’s leading fish-processing firms, shows the village’s main industry, which has long been connected to fish.
Maritime museum in Eskifjörður
Deeper insight into that industry comes from visiting the local maritime museum, which in the system of East Iceland’s museums places special emphasis on the sea.
Helgustaðir farther along the shore east of the village Eskifjörður, is world-famous. Polarizing light with Iceland spar from here, the 17th century Dutchman Huygens published discoveries on light as a phenomenon of waves. Evidence of former mining, Helgustaðanáma, makes a visit worthwhile, note all relics of the area are protected.
The peninsula of Hólmanes
On the north shore of Reyðarfjörður fjord, at the peninsula jutting out from the towering mount Hólmatindur, stand two low peaks – cooled lava intrusions – called Hólmaborgir.
This peninsula is preserved for public recreation and a refuge, partly because of its shoreline attracting both children and grownups, along with plenty of eider ducks nesting in May and June. Please watch or walk by them quietly.
Just above the road at its highest point over the peninsula, there is a picnic table. Nearby, under a pile of rocks, rests a white witch who promised to protect this fjord from invasion as long as her bones were undecayed. She saved it both from a raid by North African marauders in the 17th century and from a German bombing plane in World War II, making it crash at the fjord’s entrance.