#iceland

Yet another stunning waterfall in Iceland. Aldeyjarfoss is situated in the north of Iceland, north of the highland road Sprengisandur (Road F26). Therefor the waterfall is almost on the boarder of the highlands. It is an overwhelming sight to see the powerful river, Skjálfandafljót drop 20 meters down next to the majestic basalt columns in Aldeyjarfoss. Besides the basalt columns the lava field it is a part of contains a broad variety of rock formation. Although bit of a hassle to get to since a 4WD vehicle is needed a pitstop by Aldeyjarfoss is completely worth it.

Yet another stunning waterfall in Iceland, Aldeyjarfoss.

There are many natural wonders worth seeing in Iceland.  Among the best known are waterfalls, hot springs, lagoons, basalt columns, geothermal pools, craters, and cliffs to name a few.  Although not many mountains are on the list of natural wonders there are a few clusters of mountains that are very interesting.  Most of the mountains are quite colorful as they are rhyolite mountains.  One of the reasons that the Laugavegur hiking trail is so popular is the fact that on a large part of the trail, you walk through some very colorful rhyolite mountains.  Actually, the starting point in Landmannalaugar is exceptionally colorful as well as most part of the first day. 

The result of an interplay of hot springs and rhyolite

Ljósártungur is a name for a rather large area east of the hiking trail Laugavegur near Hrafntinnusker.  Although Ljósártungur mountains seem tempting the area is quite difficult to walk as it has many ravines, gullies, and ridges.  It also has many hot springs and here you can even find some ice caves.  The whole area is extremely colorful and in some respect, almost unreal. The mountains are at an altitude of 800 to 1000 meters and like most places in the Icelandic highland covered with snow during winter.  In summer it usually doesn't get warm enough to melt all the snow from winter, so the small snowdrifts from the winter do no melt adding the white color to the magnificent rhyolite color, the smoke from the hot springs, the mountain vegetation and the blue color of the sky.  Almost a perfect recipe for a great photo.

A difficult place to visit, part of the Syðri Fjallabak highland road

Ljósártungur mountains is a fascinating but difficult place to visit. Like almost all parts of the Icelandic highland, the area is only accessible in July until the middle of September.  Driving the mountain road Syrðri Fjallabak you will drive on a ridge that gives a great view of the Ljósártungur rhyolite mountains.

Ljósártungur is a name for a rather large area east of the hiking trail Laugavegur near Hrafntinnusker.

For all those cave curious travellers, Iceland having quite a collection of diverse caves, might be the perfect place to go. Here is a photograph of the entrance to the biggest one of those caves, Víðgelmir. Situated in the Hallmundarhraun lava field (West Iceland), Víðgelmir is a 1585 meter long lava tube. An expedition to the cave is interesting both for historical input as well as geographical. Traces of human habitation, most likely from the Viking Age have been found in Víðgelmir.

The biggest cave in Iceland, Víðgelmir.

Located in the heart of Vatnsfjörður fjord one of the most beautiful small fjords in the southern coast of the Westfjords, Flókalundur is a joy to visit and also a service center for tourists.  The landscape is beautiful as well as the view out to the ocean and the Breiðafjörður bay.  At Flókalundur you will find a restaurant, a good camping site, and accommodation.  It is a great place to stop if you are driving the Westfjords, both for a scenic stop and if you want to stay overnight.  It is located at the intersection of the Barðastrandarvegur road on the southern part of the Westfjords and the road leading up to Dynjandisheiði mountain road.  This road up to Dynjandisheiði is a kind of a shortcut when traveling the Westfjords as it bypasses the southwest part of the Westfjords.  If you take this road and leave out the southwest part, you are on the other hand, missing a very interesting and important part of the Westfjords, so it is not recommended. 

Hiking trails and wonderful landscape

At Flókalundur you will also find some wonderful short hiking trails and walk by the river Penna, and the canyon is a great evening walk during the bright summer nights. A hiking tour to the wonderful Hellulaug geothermal pool nearby is also a great evening storll by the shoreline and quite relaxing if you dip into the small pool. Vatnsfjörður fjord, as well as Flókalundur area and the surrounding area north up to the hills, is a nature reserve. The area was put on a protection list in 1975 for many reasons connected to geology as well as culture and history.  It is a significant place as Vatnsfjörður was the first place anyone tried a settlement in Iceland over a thousand years ago.

At Flókalundur you will also find some wonderful short hiking trails and walk by the river Penna

In many corners in every part of Iceland, there is a place connected to folklore.  Even in places that are very popular tourist attractions. Stories of trolls, elves, ghosts, mysterious creatures, demons, and zombies.  Stories of communication between humans and all kinds of beings, creatures and entities from another dimension or another world.

In many corners in every part of Iceland, there is a place connected to folklore.

Iceland has approximately 70 towns and villages around the island. Some are tiny hamlets or just a cluster of houses and barely fit into the definition of a village. Most of the towns do not have a long history, as Iceland was an agricultural society for centuries. The first indication of towns traces their beginning to a trading post or a fishing post.

Iceland has approximately 70 towns and villages around the island. This is our top 10 list.

The waterfall Þjófafoss is part of the Þjórsá river that stretches from the Icelandic Highland all the way to the south shore in the Southern Region in Iceland.  It is the longest river in Iceland 230 kilometers from Bergvatnskvísl the northernmost source at Srengisandur.  According to folklore and history, the waterfall got its name from practice in the old judiciary system in Iceland, as thieves were thrown into the waterfall to finish their sentence. Almost without exception, none have ever been seen again. The waterfall is south of the beautiful mountain Búrfell. The river is a "tamed beast" as the water flow is controlled and supervised by Landsvirkjun, the main producer electricity in Iceland. As a consequence sometimes the river dries up, and the powerful waterfall almost disappears. A bit strange, but would probably have been welcomed by some of the criminals who were thrown into the waterfall ages ago.

We recommend the south side

The waterfall is accessible from both sides although there is a considerable distance between access to the north side and the south side as it is impossible to cross the river by the waterfall.  Access to view the waterfall Þjófafoss the south side is easier and also more impressive.  For those interested in photography having the mountain Búrefell as a background is also more impressive than the flatland background from the northern side. But then again you need to view the waterfall when the water is not being utilized by the power company.

Access is quite easy

If you are driving on the Ring Road Nr. 1 in the southern region in Iceland you take a turn on Landvegur Road Nr. 26 between Selfoss town and the village of Hella. You drive approximately 45 kilometers north, and you will see a sign for Þjófafoss waterfall.  The drive to the parking lot by the waterfall is about 4 kilometers. 

The waterfall Þjófafoss is part of the Þjórsá river
Nov 23 2016

Yet again we want to encourage visitors to pay extra attention to the various details, hidden in the overwhelming landscape of Iceland. This photo is taken, on a hike we went on in Nýidalur (New Valley) in the heart of the Icelandic highland. Muddy layers next to the turquoise coloured water form an organic pattern that could almost be mistaken for car tier traces, although this bay-mud is much more beautiful. These soil layers of soft, unconsolidated clay, saturated with water are normally in temperated regions that have experienced cyclical glacial cycles.

Muddy layers next to the turquoise coloured water form an organic pattern.

Throughout the centuries Icelanders have been very efficient and almost pedantic in giving names to every small piece of item in the landscape throughout the whole country.  Wherever you go, everything from a high and mighty mountain to a low hill seems to have a name.  Every creek and every river have a name.  Every waterfall in our extensive variety of small and large falls has a name.  And believe me, we have hundreds of waterfalls.  Every cliff, lava field, every lake, every cave, every hot spring and basically every place in the country has a name. 

The river Kaldaklofskvísl (Cold crotch distributary) and Klámbrekka is between the hill in the background and the mountain Stóra Grænafjall.
Nov 16 2016

Here we have the second highest waterfall in Iceland, which is how it deserves its name, Háifoss or The High Waterfall. Since it is so high, it feels relevant to show it in parts, although you can also see beautiful photographs of the whole waterfall here. This photo shows the very start of it, zoomed in, to also be able to enjoy the detailed layers of different rock and mud around it, including tiny basalt rock formations. Háifoss is situated close to the volcano Hekla, as well as the famous glacier river, Þjórsá making it one of many worthy stops on your way through the south of Iceland.

Here we have the second highest waterfall in Iceland

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