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Southwest of Egilsstaðir, the Lagarfljót River widens into a 38km-long (24-mile), narrow lake known as Lögurinn -- or still Lagarfljót, as "fljót" implies a very wide river. A round-the-lake drive is a popular and agreeable day trip, though much of its appeal derives from forestation projects and social campground retreats, both of which usually attract Icelanders more than visitors. Locals are especially fond of their fall foliage, but New Englanders might just take a pass and head for the Eastfjords instead.

Roads from Lögurinn branch off into the interior highlands, where reindeer roam through ruggedly beautiful scenery. Serious hikers are lured by Snæfell, the tallest Icelandic mountain not underneath Vatnajökull. A paved road leads to Kárahnjúkar dam, part of a controversial hydroelectric project.