North of Egilsstaðir, a broad, waterlogged valley contains the last stages of the silt-laden Lagarfljöt and Jökulsá á Brú as they wind their final 50km to the coast at Héraðsfloí, an equally wide bay. The spread of ponds and heathlands along the way is strewn with wildflowers and liberally populated by wading birds, ducks, swans, geese, skuas and –
through winter – reindeer. With so much game, the area was settled early on in Iceland’s history; recent forensic tests on a local Viking-age grave suggested that the young woman buried here had been born in Britain around 900 AD. You’ll pass through this way en route to Borgafjörður Eystri, but if you fancy a few days among it – plus the chance to see seals and indulge in some horseriding – head for the beautifully isolated farmstead of Húsey, right up near the shore at the mouth of the Lagarfljöt.