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Between Stöðvarfjörður and Fáskrúðsfjörður there is a unique natural phenomenon: it is the sea geyser Saxa (the Grinder). When the eastern winds blow, Saxa attracts kelp and driftwood with the sea, grinds it to little pieces and blows it high into the air.
The Fish Factory Creative Center is a unique art center that combines most artforms.
Stöðvarfjördur is the only Eastfjords town that the Ring Road travels directly through, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the unsung treasures of the location. The locals here sustain themselves with fishing, tourism and art, and as with many villages in the Icelandic countryside, there is a creativity that bubbles away – likely fueled, in part, by the spectacular surrounding nature.
As with most of the Eastfjords, mountains loom over the coastline. On the north side of Stöðvarfjördur is the towering peak Steðji and nearby Hellufjall. To the fjord’s south is the majestic mountain Súlur. The area’s geology is rich, and the best way to witness the astounding variety of stones and minerals found in East Iceland is to visit the dazzling stone collection amassed by local woman Petra Sveinsdóttir over her lifetime. Petra’s home and garden is now the setting for all sorts of wondrous treasures that will leave a lasting impression.
Natural forces in the area include waterfalls, rock formations, and Saxa, a unique sea geyser. Creative forces can be seen in the small art galleries and the souvenir-perfect arts and crafts created by locals, offered for sale in the summer market known as Salthússmarkaðurinn. The town’s old fish freezing factory has been reborn as a center for creativity, home to artist studios and residencies, workshops, and much more – even a recording studio. Come and be inspired.
Walk: Jafnadalur is a valley at the head of the fjord, and trails here to lead to a beautiful rock arch on the slope of Álftafell. On the way you’ll pass Einbúinn (The Hermit), a huge solitary rock in otherwise flat surroundings.
Taste: homemade cakes and soup from the café kiosk out front of Petra’s Stone Collection.
Soak: It may be small, but the town has a swimming pool (of course!).
Road-trip: As you head north out of town, stop to admire the coastal rock formation called Saxa (The Grinder). This is an impressive perforated cliff where the sea erupts into the air.