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  • Einar Páll Svavarsson

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon


Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon
Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon

Fjaðrárgljúfur, in the south region of Iceland, is a 100 m deep and 2 km long spectacular canyon close to Kirkjubæjarklaustur. With steep palagonite walls, the river Fjaðrá snakes its way along the canyon from Geirlandshraun Mountain to the large Skaftá River. The bedrock is mostly palagonite from the "cold" period of the Ice Age, some two million years ago. Ever since, the river has been pottered about, carving this beautiful canyon for everyone to admire. The river's current water level is rather low and is fed by a spring-fed river.


Fjaðrárgljúfur is in the South Region on the map of Iceland
Fjaðrárgljúfur is in the South Region on the map of Iceland

A wonder world from above as well as from the river banks

Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon a view from the south
Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon a view from the south

Due to the water level, hikers can safely walk inside the canyon, although having to do some wading now and then. It is a high adventures hike, and the deeper into the canyon you walk, the more exotic it becomes. The canyon's deepest part is a wonderful world of water, cliffs, vegetation, and adventure forms. Most visitors prefer to walk along the hiking trail along the edge of the canyon to get the best of both worlds, observing the fantastic rock formations in the canyon itself while enjoying the mountain view from the top. To spend a bit of time and do both is the best option and the most rewarding.


A natural wonder discovered by tourists

Inside the canyon
Inside the canyon

Although Fjaðrárgljúfur is only a short distance from the Ring Road Nr 1 in Iceland, it has never been particularly popular among Icelanders. Most of the Icelanders traveling the Ring Road before the tourist explosion began skipped this magnificent natural wonder when driving the Ring Road. It is one of the places tourists and visitors discovered and showed much more interest in than Icelanders ever did. When traveling the ring road in a rented car or your vehicle, you take a turn on the Ring Road Nr. 1 near Kirkjubæjarklaustur north to Road Nr. 206, and you only need to drive approximately 3 kilometers to reach the parking lot at Fjaðrárgljúfur.


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