Part bucolic farm and part open life-science lab, Skálanes is a 1,250-hectare (3,089-acre) nature reserve perched above Seyðisfjörð. Puffins, arctic terns and 45 other bird species make their nests in the reserve’s many habitats, alongside a colony of eider ducks that are sustainably farmed for their down. The scientific arm of Skálanes brings in students from all over the world to learn about the area’s geography, wildlife and conservation efforts, plus archaeology—there are 90 sites in the area with evidence of human activity that date back more than 1,000 years. The reserve is 19 kilometers (12 miles) east of Seyðisfjörð and is reached by crossing three rivers on a rough track; the final stretch is passable only by four-wheel drive or on foot. Along the way, you may see reindeer and arctic foxes.