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Borgarfjörður Eystri is one of Iceland's supreme hiking areas, but recognition has been slow in coming. Road access is bumpy and limited; some of the best trails are free of snow for only 2 months, from early July to early September; and the scenery lacks immediate, overwhelming visual impact. It's the second-biggest rhyolite area in Iceland, with mountainsides draped in silky swaths of mineral color, but can't compete with Landmannalaugar. The fjords, inlets, and coastline are lovely but cannot match the majestic grandeur of Seyðisfjörður or the staggering cliffs of Hornstrandir. The flowering plants may be the most beautiful and diverse in all of Iceland, yet the vegetation does not overtake the senses as it does in Þórsmörk. Put all of its assets together, however, and the comparisons fade away. Most hikers here are Icelanders, ahead of the tourist curve.

Borgarfjörður Eystri means "East Borgarfjörður," to distinguish it from Borgarfjörður in the west. The main village in the area, Bakkagerði, is in the fjord Borgarfjörður, and is sometimes itself referred to as Borgarfjörður. Borgarfjörður Eystri can refer to the village, the fjord, the village and the fjord, or the entire municipality, north to Njarðvík and south to Loðmundarfjörður.

Getting the best of Borgarfjörður Eystri requires venturing far from the village of Bakkagerði and ideally spending two or more nights by the abandoned inlets of Breiðavík and Húsavík, which have mountain huts with Jeep access. Trails are well-marked and signposted, and organized tours of the area are excellent.