One step to Stapavík – mysterious harbour


Oh yes, Iceland is a place with quite a reputation. When we think about this magical island, we tend to think of a place filled with wonders, a place where you can feel the power of nature. Wonderfully, everything is not only a catchy tourist slogan but true and a spot called Stapavík certainly will give you this feeling. Stapavík is located in the eastern part of Iceland a few kilometres from the road to Borgarfjörður Eystri. Definitely, it’s one of our favourite small hikes in the East.


Stapavík is an inlet with a rich history, once used as a harbour. There is an absolutely stunning trail along the river Selfljót and down the sea, which starts from the farm Unaós. You are walking with a great view on a black beach and the endless, splendid ocean. Along the fabulous trail you will pass the ruins of a hut of 15th-century fishermen and of a shelter for pasturing sheep. More ruins await above the spectacular banks at the mouth of the river, where an official trading harbour was located in 1920. Now it’s just a picturesque relict because it turned out to be too dangerous to work there. Years ago, in 1940’s there was a tragic accident during an extremely stormy day and several people died trading the packages. Thanks to the ruins of a crane, the end of the trail has very special atmosphere, there’s something very mysterious about this place.


The surroundings are magnificent, the scenery so dramatic with high cliffs and soaring rocks. Walking there is such a pleasure! Once in the summer, we decided to spend there a night and it was an extraordinary experience. Only us, amazing nature, calming sound of the sea and several sheep curious of our unexpected presence – well, there is nothing more indulging. In the evening, dense fog came and put a huge, white cape on the whole shore. Stapavík looked really creepy then. Grrr! And we loved it! We will stay under its charm for a long time. That’s for sure.

Have a nice walk or a fantastic camp in this fascinating remote place!


Practical info:

  • Distance – 8 km

  • Time – 4 hours

  • Best time to go – May-October

  • Start / Finish – close to Unaós farm. The trail starts next to the road to Borgarfjörður Eystri, about 20 km before Borgarfjörður. When you drive in the direction of Borgarfjörður, just when the road becomes a mountain road, look on the left for the signpost „Stapavík”. You can park here.

  • Trail description – The trail is marked and very easy to navigate (even in dense fog), so don’t worry, there’s no possibility to get lost. You have to go through the farm and then just straight ahead along the river to the hill, which you can see in the distance.

  • Difficulty – Very easy walk, flat almost all the time.

Iceland map Borgarfjordur

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