On some of the routes in Iceland, there aren't many natural wonders like waterfalls, hot springs or lagoons, but mountains and valleys which make these routes quite scenic. They are first and foremost pleasant drives, and any stop you make is to view spectacular surroundings rather than a particular place. The fjord Álftafjörður in the East Region in Iceland is one such place. It opens up on the Ring Road, Road Nr. 1 in Iceland, soon after you pass the spectacular Eystrahorn, it is a joy to drive and a place to stop for a picnic while leaving the South Region and entering the beautiful Eastern Region.
Put yourself in the middle of a natural wonder
The fjord is a natural wonder in itself, quite shallow with its sand bottom and sand reef and small islands closing it from the forces of the Atlantic Ocean, making it a perfect calm resting and living place for large birds like the Icelandic Whooper Swan. Probably the reason that the name of the fjord is Álftafjörður or The Whoopers Swan Fjord. The fjord has a perfect lowland for a short hike if you park your car and wander out towards the shore on the south side of the fjord. Here you most likely will find the kind of peace, and quiet anyone traveling to Iceland should look for. Especially if you are not in a rush to go between natural wonders and check your list. Álftafjörður is more like a place to find relaxation, a place to put yourself in the middle of a vast natural wonder rather than to view it and document with one camera shot. Although quite photogenic it is more like a place for the mind.
West of the fjord in the mountains surrounding the four valleys
Up from the fjord are two valleys, Hofsdalur Valley and Geithelladalur Valley, where Hofsdalur also splits into tow valleys. So there is a lot to see and sense in addition to the spectacular view from the shore. The fjord is also surrounded by many stunning mountains which some are accessible to gain a better view, especially on the southern side. The mountains on the northern side are all quite high and steep.
Nearby places of interest
Beljandi - Blábjörg cliffs - Eystrahorn - Fardagafoss waterfall - Flögufoss - Hallormsstaðarskógur - Helgustaðanáma - Hengifoss waterfall - Klifbrekkufossar waterfall - Mjóifjörður fjord - Papey island - Streitishvarf - Stuðlafoss waterfall - Stuðlagil canyon