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Fjaðrárgljúfur

Must See Places Around Iceland

December 3, 2019

Fjaðrárgljúfur

Must See Places Around Iceland

December 3, 2019

What to do in Iceland?

With so many beautiful attractions in Iceland, it can be hard to pick what unique natural wonder to visit. A proper introduction to Iceland and a great place to start any journey is the Golden Circle, but to help you navigate onwards from there, we made a short list of must-see places in Iceland.

Fjaðrárgljúfur

In Southeast Iceland, not far from the village Kirkjubæjarklaustur, is Fjaðrárgljúfur ("the canyon of Fjaðurá"). The beautiful canyon was formed during the Ice Age when the glaciers started melting and dug their way down the palagonite mountain. Today the canyon is up to 100 metres deep.

The canyon has been growing in popularity in the last few years and Justin Bieber's video to I'll Show You made it even more popular. The canyon had to be closed for a couple of months this spring, so landowners and the Icelandic Environmental Agency could fix the walking paths and let the area heal because people kept walking outside the paths. As for the name, Fjaðrárgljúfur, we recommend steering clear of trying to pronounce this one. Even Icelanders get tripped up after losing their focus half way through.

Lakagígar

Lakagígar ("craters of mt. Laki") in Southeast Iceland are a series of volcanic fissures which erupted near the end of the 18th century. The eruption is one of the deadliest in recent history, pouring out around 42 billion tons of basalt lava and clouds of poisonous gas, including hydrofluoric acid and sulfur dioxide. This deadly combination killed about 50% of all livestock in Iceland and 25% of the Icelandic human population. The poisonous gas went into the atmosphere which caused a drop in temperature around the Northern Hemisphere.

Despite its catastrophic history, the area is now known for its breathtaking beauty and a visit is well worth the trip.

Kerlingarfjöll

In the Highlands of Iceland is Kerlingarfjöll. The mountain range is 1,477m tall, made of red rhyolite and needless to say, it looks extraordinary. There is volcanic activity in this area which is evident by the many hot springs and rivulets in the surroundings. Minerals from the geothermal water have coloured the ground green and yellow in some places.

The area was once a summer ski resort, but is now operated as a highland resort, with accommodation and a restaurant for guests. It's an ideal place to stop when driving Kjölur road that crosses the Highland from south to north.

Eldgjá

Not far from Lakagígar is Eldgjá ("ravine of fire"), the largest volcanic canyon in the world. Stretching along a 40 km area, Eldgjá is up to 270 metres deep and 600 metres wide in parts. The volcano erupted in 934, producing an estimated 18 km3 of erupted lava, making it one of the largest effusive eruptions in the world in historical times.

Even though Iceland had already been settled by then, not a lot of historical information about the eruption has survived. However, it is believed it hastened the Christianisation of Iceland and that Völuspá might have been written during the eruption. The beautiful Ófærufoss waterfall is in the canyon.

Eldgjá is situated between Lakagígar and Landmannalaugar, and there is no reason to leave this destination out of your travel plans.

Hveravellir

Not far from Kerlingarfjöll are Hveravellir ("fields of hot springs"). As the name suggests, there are quite a few hot springs there, and there is even a natural pool you can take a dip in. Just know that there is no formal changing area so you either need to change in front of everyone or change in the toilets a few hundred metres away and then walk to the pool.

The area is famous in Iceland because the outlaws Fjalla-Eyvindur and his wife Halla lived there for a while in the 18th century. You can still see the ruins of a small hut they lived in and in one hot spring are remnants of cookware they used for boiling. The haunting and beautiful lullaby Sofðu unga ástin mín was written as part of a play by Jóhann Sigurjónsson about Fjalla-Eyvindur and his small family.

The area is filled with mud pools, fumaroles and hot springs. The minerals have seeped into the ground making it extremely colourful. Most of the hot springs are bubbling with water between 70-100°C so tread carefully around them.

A campsite, indoor accommodation and a service centre can be found in Hveravellir.

Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar ("lava waterfalls") are a beautiful series of waterfalls that can be found in West Iceland. They span almost a kilometre in width, and the water runs underground, through the Hallmundarhraun lava field, into the waterfalls. It is a sight to behold and is thought by many Icelanders to be Iceland's most beautiful waterfall, and that is saying something.

Just a few metres away is Barnafoss ("children's waterfall"). It's a beautiful waterfall with a tragic folk story. Two children, trying to follow their parents to church, fell into the waterfall from a natural stone bridge trying to cross it, and drowned. After a curse their mother put on the bridge, where she vowed no one would be able to cross it without falling in, the bridge collapsed.

Gjáin

Gjáin ("the ravine") is a canyon in Þjórsárdalur, a valley which many believe is the most beautiful in Iceland. Gjáin has glorious basalt columns and palagonite and the river Rauðá ("red river") runs through the ravine. The reconstructed farmstead Stöng, where a few scenes from Game of Thrones were shot, is situated not far away from Gjáin.
Hjálparfoss waterfall is also nearby as well as the famous Hekla volcano.

We realize this blog is full of superlatives, but we're really just being honest.

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Fjaðrárgljúfur

Must See Places Around Iceland

December 3, 2019

Fjaðrárgljúfur

Must See Places Around Iceland

December 3, 2019

What to do in Iceland?

With so many beautiful attractions in Iceland, it can be hard to pick what unique natural wonder to visit. A proper introduction to Iceland and a great place to start any journey is the Golden Circle, but to help you navigate onwards from there, we made a short list of must-see places in Iceland.

Fjaðrárgljúfur

In Southeast Iceland, not far from the village Kirkjubæjarklaustur, is Fjaðrárgljúfur ("the canyon of Fjaðurá"). The beautiful canyon was formed during the Ice Age when the glaciers started melting and dug their way down the palagonite mountain. Today the canyon is up to 100 metres deep.

The canyon has been growing in popularity in the last few years and Justin Bieber's video to I'll Show You made it even more popular. The canyon had to be closed for a couple of months this spring, so landowners and the Icelandic Environmental Agency could fix the walking paths and let the area heal because people kept walking outside the paths. As for the name, Fjaðrárgljúfur, we recommend steering clear of trying to pronounce this one. Even Icelanders get tripped up after losing their focus half way through.

Lakagígar

Lakagígar ("craters of mt. Laki") in Southeast Iceland are a series of volcanic fissures which erupted near the end of the 18th century. The eruption is one of the deadliest in recent history, pouring out around 42 billion tons of basalt lava and clouds of poisonous gas, including hydrofluoric acid and sulfur dioxide. This deadly combination killed about 50% of all livestock in Iceland and 25% of the Icelandic human population. The poisonous gas went into the atmosphere which caused a drop in temperature around the Northern Hemisphere.

Despite its catastrophic history, the area is now known for its breathtaking beauty and a visit is well worth the trip.

Kerlingarfjöll

In the Highlands of Iceland is Kerlingarfjöll. The mountain range is 1,477m tall, made of red rhyolite and needless to say, it looks extraordinary. There is volcanic activity in this area which is evident by the many hot springs and rivulets in the surroundings. Minerals from the geothermal water have coloured the ground green and yellow in some places.

The area was once a summer ski resort, but is now operated as a highland resort, with accommodation and a restaurant for guests. It's an ideal place to stop when driving Kjölur road that crosses the Highland from south to north.

Eldgjá

Not far from Lakagígar is Eldgjá ("ravine of fire"), the largest volcanic canyon in the world. Stretching along a 40 km area, Eldgjá is up to 270 metres deep and 600 metres wide in parts. The volcano erupted in 934, producing an estimated 18 km3 of erupted lava, making it one of the largest effusive eruptions in the world in historical times.

Even though Iceland had already been settled by then, not a lot of historical information about the eruption has survived. However, it is believed it hastened the Christianisation of Iceland and that Völuspá might have been written during the eruption. The beautiful Ófærufoss waterfall is in the canyon.

Eldgjá is situated between Lakagígar and Landmannalaugar, and there is no reason to leave this destination out of your travel plans.

Hveravellir

Not far from Kerlingarfjöll are Hveravellir ("fields of hot springs"). As the name suggests, there are quite a few hot springs there, and there is even a natural pool you can take a dip in. Just know that there is no formal changing area so you either need to change in front of everyone or change in the toilets a few hundred metres away and then walk to the pool.

The area is famous in Iceland because the outlaws Fjalla-Eyvindur and his wife Halla lived there for a while in the 18th century. You can still see the ruins of a small hut they lived in and in one hot spring are remnants of cookware they used for boiling. The haunting and beautiful lullaby Sofðu unga ástin mín was written as part of a play by Jóhann Sigurjónsson about Fjalla-Eyvindur and his small family.

The area is filled with mud pools, fumaroles and hot springs. The minerals have seeped into the ground making it extremely colourful. Most of the hot springs are bubbling with water between 70-100°C so tread carefully around them.

A campsite, indoor accommodation and a service centre can be found in Hveravellir.

Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar ("lava waterfalls") are a beautiful series of waterfalls that can be found in West Iceland. They span almost a kilometre in width, and the water runs underground, through the Hallmundarhraun lava field, into the waterfalls. It is a sight to behold and is thought by many Icelanders to be Iceland's most beautiful waterfall, and that is saying something.

Just a few metres away is Barnafoss ("children's waterfall"). It's a beautiful waterfall with a tragic folk story. Two children, trying to follow their parents to church, fell into the waterfall from a natural stone bridge trying to cross it, and drowned. After a curse their mother put on the bridge, where she vowed no one would be able to cross it without falling in, the bridge collapsed.

Gjáin

Gjáin ("the ravine") is a canyon in Þjórsárdalur, a valley which many believe is the most beautiful in Iceland. Gjáin has glorious basalt columns and palagonite and the river Rauðá ("red river") runs through the ravine. The reconstructed farmstead Stöng, where a few scenes from Game of Thrones were shot, is situated not far away from Gjáin.
Hjálparfoss waterfall is also nearby as well as the famous Hekla volcano.

We realize this blog is full of superlatives, but we're really just being honest.

fjadrargljufur
lakagigar
kerlingafjoll

The RE blog

vaskur
Golden-Circle-and-Fontana-Steam-bath
Fjaðrárgljúfur
Into the Glacier
Eistnaflug_EydisKlaraThorleifsdottir
iStock-1151150610
RE63
JRJ09685-min Dress the Part
Thorsmork Panorama
Nature Pool
BlueLagoon1
Skógafoss waterfall Iceland hero mynd
RE05-Reykjavik Panorama
kirkjufell-12x7
Reykjanes

Drinks are on us!

Did you know that Iceland has some of the purest tap water in the world?

Read more