Gljúfurárfoss, Iceland

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Gljúfurárfoss in June 2012

If you’re visiting Iceland looking for waterfalls, then you have to visit Seljalandsfoss (and a bunch of other waterfalls too!). Seljalandsfoss is one of my favorites in Iceland, but it ends up that there are three other waterfalls right next door to Seljalandsfoss. (Actually, there’s a fourth just around the corner!)

The one that has a name is Gljúfurárfoss. I won’t even take a stab at how that’s said, but it apparently means “Canyon River Waterfall”, which makes sense when you realize that part of the waterfall is blocked off by some time of slot canyon. I have read about others who have tried to walk through the slot canyon to get a better view, but I didn’t even remotely think about trying. I was already somewhat wet from Seljalandsfoss, and didn’t really want to get any wetter.

Because it’s not as scenic as Seljalandsfoss, you will actually have a better chance of getting the falls without people in the view. You may notice there was a car parked right near the opening of the canyon. While it’s not one of my favorites, it’s still worth stopping to take a few shots because it’s so close to these other falls.

Directions:

  1. Gljúfurárfoss is found off of the southern portion Ring Road, right next to Seljalandsfoss.  It is found east of Arborg.
  2. If you are heading east, you will turn left onto Road 249 (Þórsmerkurvegur), and head just a short distance to the parking area for the falls.  It’s pretty hard to miss, as there are signs indicating the road to Seljalandsfoss, and then drive just a bit further down the road.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: roadside, can try to walk to the falls
Height: ~ 200′

Where in the World is Gljúfurárfoss?

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Ægissufoss, Iceland

Ægissufoss (or Ægissíðufoss) is one of the tamer waterfalls in Iceland. Anywhere else, this waterfall might turn in to the main attraction, but here in Iceland, there are a number of taller, more vociferous waterfalls.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t visit it, but I don’t know if it would be the highest on the list. Luckily for me (and you), it isn’t that far off of the Ring Road. I was already driving circling the island around the Ring Road, and stopping to view the falls took at most 20 minutes of extra time, and that’s if you decide to rush. You could stay and enjoy the peaceful setting, realizing that you may be the only person there! (There was a family on the other side of the river, and I’m not really sure how they arrived at the falls.)

Directions:

  1. This waterfall is in the southern portion of the island, east of Reykjavík and west of other waterfalls, including the amazing Seljalandsfoss. As you’re driving along the Ring Road, turn onto Route 25 heading south.
  2. Drive for about 2 miles along Route 25. You’ll see a sign on your left for the “road” to the falls.
  3. Turn left onto this unpaved road, drive the few hundred feet to the end, where there’s a parking area.
  4. From the parking area, follow the sounds to the river. You’re only a few hundred feet from the falls, and there are a few different easy-to-identify trails leading down to the shore of the river.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy, you can see it without following any trail down to the river)
Height: ~20′
Length of Hike: negligible

Ægissufoss in June 2012

Where in the World is Ægissufoss?

Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

Seljalandsfoss in June 2012

There are a LOT of waterfalls in Iceland, so it’s pretty difficult to decide on a favorite…But Seljalandsfoss “falls” into being one of my favorites (top two or three). Seljalandsfoss is just one truly stunning waterfall!

Let me start by saying it is extremely easy to visit. It is right off of the Ring Road. There is a very short drive down road 249, which ended up being much easier than I originally expected. Parking is just a few hundred feet from the falls. The waterfall is right in front of you, and it is truly stunning, but it becomes even more amazing as you get closer and closer!

In June, this was one powerful waterfall, with the spray being pretty intense. But expect to get at least a little bit wet from the falls…because you can walk behind the falls. There are a few other waterfalls that I’ve been able to do this for, and each time, it’s pretty impressive. I think what was special about Seljalandsfoss was all of the different angles you could view the falls from. You might be able to notice in the picture that a rainbow had formed because of all the spray. I really had a lot of fun exploring Seljalandsfoss. A raincoat definitely helps the experience be even more enjoyable (and it obviously wasn’t raining).

Directions:

  1. Seljalandsfoss is found off of the southern portion Ring Road.  It is found east of Arborg.
  2. If you are heading east, you will turn left onto Road 249 (Þórsmerkurvegur), and head just a short distance to the parking area for the falls.  It’s pretty hard to miss, as there are signs indicating the road to the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles to get behind the falls!
Height: 200′

Where in the World is Seljalandsfoss?