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Fáskrúðsfjörður is often called “French Town” because of its strong connection to France.
In Fáskrúðsfjörður, all street names are in both Icelandic and French.
Distance from Egilsstaðir
Examples of hiking trails
Sandfell, Vattarnes, Hafnarnes
Cultural centers / museums
Frakkar á Íslandsmiðum
Fáskrúðsfjörður dishes up a Gallic surprise in the middle of the Eastfjords: a strong historical connection to France that today is showcased and celebrated. The village road signs are even in French! The fjord’s town is called Búðir, but everyone calls it Fáskrúðsfjörður. It became a trading post in 1880, and from the latter part of the 19th century until 1935 it was the main hub for French fishermen working off Iceland’s east coast. The town is well known for its French heritage and has a strong connection to its counterpart in northern France, Gravelines (where most of the seafarers sailed from).
Just outside the town is a graveyard, the burial place of French (and Belgian) sailors. The town’s hub is the former French hospital, built in 1903. Today it is a beautifully restored hotel and restaurant, with an award-winning museum on-site that details the French seafaring life in East Iceland.
A tunnel connects Fáskrúðsfjörður and Reyðarfjörður, but the longer coastal route, along Road 955, delivers scenic views – look out for the legend-filled island of Skrúður, home to thousands of puffins and gannets in summer. The island is surrounded by high cliffs accessible only to the bold and the brave; it’s home to a sizeable cave that was occasionally used by sailors seeking shelter.
Walk: Feeling energetic? Climb Sandfell, a 743-meter rhyolite mountain on the southern side the fjord. With less ambition, it’s fun to stroll around town to see French connections in buildings, street names and monuments.
Taste: look for French influences in the menu of the Fosshotel restaurant, and dine with grand views over the fjord.
Road-trip: opt for the longer scenic route instead of the convenient Route 1 tunnel. Take Road 955 for sweeping views.