When driving the main road, the Ring Road, in North Iceland, most of the natives are in a hurry. Mostly trying to get as fast as possible from Reykjavík to Akureyri or any other town or village in the Northern Region. As a result, they usually miss one of nature's most stunning sculptures, Kolugljúfur, also referred to as Kolugil. Kolugljúfur is a gorge in the river Víðidalsá river, a great salmon river running through the valley of Víðidalur. The canyon is one km long, approximately 25 meters deep and a stone's throw away from the main road. You'll find a few beautiful waterfalls in the gorge, the most impressive one being the majestic Kolufoss, of course. It is a spectacular sight and one of many impressive natural wonders in Víðidalur and Vatnsdalur valleys, in the west part of the Northern region, often referred to as Húnavatssýsla. It is a place you do not want to miss if you are driving through the area.
Named after a giantess
Kolugljúfur is actually the gorges name and is located in front of the farm Víðidalstunga. The river drops into the gorge in two scenic waterfalls named Kolufossar falls. Like many natural wonders in Iceland, the gorge has its own folklore story explaining its name and role in the past. Kolugljúfur derives its name from the giantess Kola, who lived on a ledge in the gorge where she had found a rather convenient place. Sometimes after a good night's sleep, she would throw her bare hand into the stream to catch salmon for breakfast that she would eat raw on an empty stomach. Sometimes though, she would also throw it into the nearby Koluketill Kettle, a hole in the ground with boiling water. There she would cook her catch for lunch or dinner. From the stories related to Kola she absolutely loved salmon. Her love for this place was a practical one and not specifically to enjoy the natural wonder like most of us today.
Finding Kolugljúfur and rembeber to take cautions
Kolugljúfur is located in Viðidalur valley west of the town Blönduós not far from Hvítserkur. When on the Ring Road keep your eye open for a turn south on Road Nr. 715 Víðidalsvegur. After you take the turn you drive around 6 kilometers an you are there. Keep in mind that the gorge is quite spectacular and caution is needed. The river is often quite forceful and the sight amazing.