The east fjords of Iceland are quiet and calm. Long fjords are surrounded by high peaks that snake up the east coast of Iceland. With small towns being few and far between there are long distances with just a few homes and farms scattered along the sloping shores of the fjords. Djúpivogur is located at the southernmost end of the region, where the landscape transitions from wide expansive beaches to jagged cliffs. It is located at the tip of Búlandsnes, between Hamarsfjörður to the south and Berufjörður to the north.
This small town sits on the shores of fjord Berufjörður at the southern-most end of the fjord. It has a small community that has grown from its origins in 1589 as a small port tied up in the Danish colonial trading ventures. In the 18th century there were just four homes in the village but over time this has increased. The original timber framed buildings were rebuilt in about 1850 and these remain the centre of the town. Langabúð built in 1790 is the oldest building and is now a museum and small cafe.
The town is the only Cittaslow town in Iceland working to enhance the lives of the residents by introducing a sense of community and slow living. It certainly has a different feel.
Behind the town rises the 1069 metre high peak of Búlandstindur. A beautiful peak with a unique and impressive pyramid shape.
"Eggin í Gleðivík" (The Eggs of Merry Bay)
Iceland is a country of unique things and nothing can be more striking than the eggs that line the shore line just outside Djúpivogur. Installed in 2009, 34 enormous eggs sit on labelled concrete plinths as a tribute to the native birds of the area.
Each egg is the right shape and colour for the species and although enlarged all except for the Lómur or red-throated diver, the official bird of Djúpivogur are to scale with each other. The egg for the red throated diver sits at one end and is much larger than the rest.
This unique idea was the work of artist and photographer Sigurður Guðmundsson. He lives part of the time in China and used Chinese granite as the basis for his work.
These eggs certainly make you think about the local birdlife and is a lesson in pronunciation as well as the variations in egg size. The eggs shine in the summer sunlight and you can’t help but be fascinated by their cool, smooth surfaces.
From the end of the Eggs of Merry Bay is a small jetty and from here you can see the small orange and red Djúpivogur Lighthouse. Surrounded by harsh black rocks at the entrance to fjord Berufjörður it helps with vessels moving up the fjord. It has a complicated range of lights for its 5.5 metre height but can guide ships from 11 miles away. Built in 1922 and originally white it was painted orange in 1962. In 1995 it was electrified. It is small but certainly earns its keep in this exposed and remote spot.
Papey Island and Lighthouse
A short distance by boat from Djúpivogur is the island of Papey. This is home to seals and seabirds as well as having its own small lighthouse.
Djúpivogur town presents the usual photography options with old buildings and small corners. Wandering around the town will provide inspiration for photography whatever your style.
The eggs are quite difficult to photograph, especially in bright sunlight as they reflect the sunlight. I found the best options were to either shoot with one in the foreground with others in the background or to isolate individual eggs with the sea behind. Given their position it is best to photograph them in the afternoon when the sun is behind the town and the eggs are not being viewed ‘into the sun’.
The lighthouse is a fair distance from the jetty and there are various comments on access. It can be seen really well from a distance, in fact it is probably nicer in context within its surroundings. Photographing the lighthouse from this distance will require a longer lens but its position means it is good at most times of the day.
Getting to Djúpivogur
The town is just a short distance off the main route 1. It can be reached in half a day from Höfn, but stops can mean you reach here later in the afternoon. The Eggs of Merry Bay are signposted from the main road through the town and from the eggs a short walk to the end of the jetty will reveal the lighthouse.
Parking in Djúpivogur itself is easy with various small parking areas and at the eggs there is a large pull in so parking is safe. Do not be tempted to park as soon as you seen them as this seems to be a busy little road.