France Meets Iceland in Faskrudsfjordur
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Approximately 3 Hours
If you find yourself shouting, "Vive la France!" you must be in Faskrudsfjörður. This small fishing village is the easternmost settlement of Iceland and was once the main service center for French fishing vessels. Its French heritage is quite noticeable -- many of its French settler buildings date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and have been beautifully maintained and renovated ever since.
A 30-minute transfer brings you to Faskrudsfjörður, where you will set out on foot to explore with your guide. The most famous building here is the French hospital, built in the early 19th century. Iceland's House Preservation Society has renovated and restored the house to its original form. It is now part-museum, part-hotel and is dedicated to the French history in Iceland. The Consul/Doctor's House is another impressively-restored specimen.
Visit the French cemetery, where a monument stands listing the names of the fishermen who never made it home. The graves are well tended and preserved even today.
Continue into the small downtown area to visit the Faskrudsfjörður Museum. You'll see remnants of the French era along the way and you'll notice that the signage all over town is in both Icelandic and French. Learn more about this town's quite unique history once you enter the museum.
France and all things French play a substantial role in the local culture and social calendar -- French holidays are observed here and a weekend festival annually celebrates the town's French history.
Before you return to the ship, you will drive to the Holmanes Peninsula, overlooking Eskifjörður, to take photos.
Wear comfortable walking shoes. The downhill walk from the graveyard to the museum is quite steep. Not advisable for guests with mobility limitations except with a companion to assist.This area is very remote, not all guides are professional but all have excellent knowledge of the area. Parents traveling with children under the age of 3 must rent a child's car seat from the tour operator. Please see the EXC Tours staff on board. You cannot use a car seat from the USA or elsewhere as it will not meet the stricter European safety standards.