Horse riding in Iceland is a national pastime. Come and experience the country-side and learn some of the fjord’s history on a short or long tour with Skorrahester and “tolt” your way through Nordfjordur.
Soak it up in a Hot Tub
Voted the best pool in the East, Sundlaugar is the perfect place to relax those aching muscles after a long hike or horse ride. Lie back in the open air and look at the mountains or, if you need a laugh take a ride down the water slides.
Culture on a Rainy Day
If you want to catch some of the local history, there is no better place than the local Museum House. Sitting on the old wharf in the centre of town the big red building houses three museums, art, fishing, and wildlife, so you’re sure to find something to intrigue.
Hikes and Walks
With such maginificent scenery we like to get out-and-about and if taking in the sights by foot is something you enjoy we can make it a pleasure. Not only can we pack a gourmet snack-pack, lunchbox or have a prepared meal waiting for you along your route, we also have walking sticks for hire. Should you require any other equipment please contact us with your enquiries.
THINGS TO DOThe Surroundings
WHAT TO SEE
Iceland has a reputation for northern lights, starting as early as September they can be spotted as long as the night turns dark. And Neskaupstadur is one of the best places to spot them, not just because of the location but also because of the lack of man-made light. You can look up as you walk home from Beituskurinn and see this wonder of nature blazing across the mountain ranges, or take a short drive into the valley, away from the soft glow of streetlights in town and watch their full glory of greens and purples. The joy of seeing northern lights never gets old and the pleasure of hearing them because the world around you is silent increases the magic ten fold.
Sheep herding happens twice a year, once in May when the wethers, ewes and new lambs are gently encouraged over the mountains and into summer grazing grounds. In September the more intense herding occurs. Farmers and friends traipse over the mountains to find and bring all the sheep back in for winter. If you like hiking off the beaten path and want to experience the tradition of sheep herding Icelandic style, there is always a farmer ready to accept another set of legs.
Austurland has created a chain of museums all focusing on different elements of East Iceland’s history. Neskaupstaður’s museum is in the old salt house; the big red building on the main wharf. On each of the three floors is a contrasting collection: art, fishing industry, and flora and fauna of the area.
The ground floor displays Tryggvi Ólafsson’s art collection donated to Neskaupstaður, the town where he was born. The second floor is a treasure trove of old smithy and fishing equipment, one of Iceland’s main industries since the days of oared boats. The equipment was collected and donated by Josafat Hinriksson –
TRY THE TREND
In Iceland there is a tradition of taking a quick dip in the sea on New Years day to wash away the past and begin the year afresh. Other than this there has been little growth in the trend of ocean swimming that has swept the rest of the world. The Atlantic Ocean is cold. On the East coast of Iceland it occasionally reaches 10 degrees Celsius in the summer. So maybe this is not really surprising.
Neskaupstadur is bucking this trend, with a growing number of cold-water enthusiasts regularly swimming off the small beach in the centre of town. On a bright sunny day you can see the group breast stroking around the bay, their heads, hands and feet encased in neoprene. By the way they chat and laugh and casually float it is easy to find yourself walking past thinking the water must be warmer than you think. As with ocean swimmers everywhere the group is always happy to welcome a newcomer.
For those still building up the ‘brown fat’ that insulates the internal organs and makes us impervious to cold, a quick run and jump off the wharfs around town is a much more reasonable and achievable activity on a sunny day.
HAVE SOME FUN
The night starts with the mix of locals and tourists shuffling into a space on the long wooden benches. If the sun is shining the doors are open to the light, otherwise we all huddle under blankets in the old baitshack, waves crashing below the floor, safe from the weather. On every table are neat lines of bingo cards and messy jumbles of drinks – with every drink you get a bingo card, so by the end of the night the neat lines tend to vanish…
The music stops and Bogga enters – aka Hakon’s alter ego – her hair is styled in a pink bouffant, her 6 foot height accentuated with rhinestone heels means she has to duck to get under the beams. Bogga’s face is a rainbow of artfully applied eye shadow and cupid bow lips in high gloss. Neskaupstadur’s monthly Bingo night is about to begin. Be prepared, Bogga is unafraid to say what she thinks.
The lottery wheel is the size of a teapot and the numbers the size of peas, so Bogga has helpers, as seeing the lottery balls through her false eyelashes has proven impossible. It is a fierce competition where enemies are made and friendships won, and at the end of the night the winners go home with prizes that were hurriedly dug from the back of a storage room we haven’t cleaned out in the past 20 years, or the stale beer room in the hotel.
The Golden Plover comes back sometime in April and is the first sure sign spring has arrived in Iceland – even if it is still snowing. Although its arrival is celebrated by all, it’s not the only bird in the area. In fact, Iceland has more birds than people and even the non-twitcher will find themselves mesmerized by the variety of feathered animals living in this mostly treeless environment…
Elusive owls haunt the mountains, whooting snipes startle as they leap from long summer grass, puffins return from winters on the North Sea, and arctic terns swoop and cry at anything that crosses their shore-side nesting grounds.
With the ease of access to nature Neskaupstaður is a great place to come and explore the plethora of Icelandic ornithology.
The town was originally built on a farm called “Nes”, settled by Egill rauði (“the red”).
The town’s fish factory, Síldarvinnslan h/f, operates one of the most advanced fish processing plants in Europe.
Tryggvi Ólafsson one of Iceland’s best known contemporary artists was born here in 1940.
The 2002 Icelandic movie “Hafið” (The Sea) was filmed almost entirely in and around Neskaupstaður.
Nordfjardarnipa (the mountainside area separating Nordfjordur from Mjoifjordur) and the surrounding area became Iceland’s first official national park in 1972.
Hildibrand is ideal for groups and remote workers looking for a longer vacation stays with spacious, fully equipped, self-catering apartments.
The Cliff is open from June to August. Offering budget accommodation with a view. Each double/twin room has a private bathroom and comes with daily breakfast.
Things to do
The perfect place for East Iceland Adventures
From hiking to horse riding, farm visits to hot tubs the area is filled with activities ready to give you an Icelandic adventure away from the crowds of Iceland’s ring road.
See further down for more detailed info
If you are on a short stay, or just don’t feel like cooking, Kaupfélagsbarinn on the ground floor of Hildibrand offers a varying menu of homely food. Or 5 minutes walk away you’ll find Beituskurinn, the perfect place to meet locals, have a casual meal and a drink on the deck in the summer sun.
+354 477 1950 / +354 865 5868
Hafnarbraut 2, 740 Neskaupstaður
Follow us on
+354 4771950 / +354 8655868
Hafnarbraut 2, 740 Neskaupstað
Every day 14:00-22:00
The Cliff, Self check-in:
Every day 14:00-22:00
Monday to Friday 11:30-14:00