#southernregion

How cool is a selfie inside the spectacular formation of a blue ice cave?

How cool is a selfie inside the spectacular formation of a blue ice cave?

 

In some unexpected places in Iceland, you can find a small spot that sticks out, even a small oasis.  One of these locations is Fossabrekkur near the turn to Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri and Dómadalsleið Highland road where two small rivers meet by the source of the river Rangá.  It is located at the root of the volcano Hekla not far from the waterfalls Tröllkonuhlaup.  The area is a vast spread of sand and volcanic ash with some creeks and rivers.  In the middle of nowhere as it seems, you will find this refreshing oasis, Fossabrekkur.  What makes it interesting is the beauty of this small spot.   At a small slope by the river, a collection of vegetation has found roots around a few small waterfalls leaking down the slope. Like many waterfalls in a horizontal position, not like Klifbrekkufossar in the East and Dynjandi at the Westfjords where the many waterfalls are in a vertical position.  And this is what makes it so interesting, the vegetation and the clear water.  On a good day, the blue sky only enhances the beauty and calmness of this spectacular place.

It is a good idea to stop at Fossabrekkur in summer

Although someone put a sign on the road pointing to this interesting place doesn’t mean that it is always interesting.  We can only recommend that you visit this place from the beginning of June until the end of August.  It is not a place you want to visit during winter even though some of the nearby places like Þjófafoss can be interesting during winter.  This is also a great place to stop for a picnic if you are driving to Landmannalaugar or starting your journey through the North Fjallabak road.

How to drive to Fossabrekkur

The road is more or less the same from Reykjavík as driving to the start of Landmannaleið or Nyrðri Fjallabak. When you drive from Reykjavík you look out for the road Landvegur Nr. 26 after you pass the bridge on the mighty river Þjórsá on the Ring Road Nr. 1.  You need to drive approximately 50 kilometers north, and by the mountain Búrfell, you will find the sign to Fossabrekkur.   When you have made your stop it is recommended to go on F225 and continue on Landmannaleið and along the way you can stop at some fascinating places like Rauðifoss, Ljótipollur and of course Landmannalaugar.  But remember that for this road we recommend a good 4X4 vehicle. 

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Fossabrekkur on the map of Iceland

In the middle of nowhere as it seems, you will find this refreshing oasis, Fossabrekkur.

Iceland is a paradise for photographers.  The motives and natural wonders all around the country are almost infinitive. But apart from the motives, there are also other important factors involved.

Capturing Hjálparfoss waterfall

 

The glacier Mýrdalsjökull is a very strange beast in the flora of natural wonders in Iceland. As the fourth largest ice cap in Iceland, approximately 600 square kilometers in size, it puts its mark on all its neighbors in all directions.  It is the ever- percent beauty seen from the south shore at Sólheimasandur. It is a dominating part of the landscape from at the east side at Mýrdalssandur. On the north side in the Highland, it is on your south side when driving on the Fjallabaksleið Syðri at Mælifellssandur.  On the west site, it contributes to the magnificent landscape in the oasis Þórsmörk.  It displays the stunning background of snowy white mountains for enjoyment and beauty of the landscape. But despite all the beauty and peace, the glacier throws at us from all directions it has a very dark side, it is the home of one of the most destructive forces in the Icelandic nature, the dangerous volcano Katla.

The beauty hiding the beast

With its 200-meter thick ice cap, the glacier has often, throughout the centuries and through Iceland’s geological history, transformed into a great force when Katla has erupted. When the glowing magma contacts the ice all hell breaks loose when the layer of ice starts to melt and glacial water loaded with ash, sand, rocks and lava goes out of control.  This odd unity of contrasting forces has often transformed and changed the landscape on all sides of the glacier again and again.  Sometimes forming vast canyons like Markarfljótsgljúfur on the west side or totally destroying the whole landscape for thousands of square kilometers on the east.  The most horrible thing is the fact that this could occur at any time and is not necessarily part of a long gone accent history.  Currently, it is even predicted by our leading geologists that Katla is about to erupt; it is actually overdue.

There are many interesting places around Mýrdalsjökull

Notwithstanding the danger, there are many captivating places to visit around the glacier Mýrdalsjökull.  Sólheimajökull outlet glacier being one. It is even an interesting place to visit to take a tour on a snowmobile. Mind you that today the glacier and the terrifying volcano Katla are monitored by some of the most capable geologists on the plant with state of the art technology.  Whatever the outcome might be when Katla starts to melt Mýrdalsjökull with its surfacing magma, we will know in time enough to run away under the supervision of Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management in Iceland.

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Mýrdalsjökull glacier on the map of Iceland

The glacier Mýrdalsjökull is a very strange beast in the flora of natural wonders in Iceland.

The mountain Lómagnúpur is among the most photographed mountains and natural wonders in Icelandic Landscape. The 690 meters high cliff at the southern end of the mountain stands tall. Something visitors driving the Ring Road approaching the mountain can not but admire as it lifts from the endless sand Skeiðarársandur south of Vatnajökull and Skaftafell.  The mountain is like a magnet for the eye, and with its small ponds, rocks and vegetation surrounding the cliffs is just a perfect item in the landscape to photograph.  On a beautiful calm day it is almost too easy to take beautiful photos of this magnificent mountain.

A cliff that has been around for a long time in Icelandic history

Stories related to Lómagnúpur have been around for a long time.  One of the oldest one is from the famous Saga, Njála.  One of the main characters, Flosi who originally came up with the idea to burn Njáls farm, lived at Svínafell farm near the Svínafell glacier. In one of his dream, he saw a giant walk out from the mountains as it opened and named 25 men out loud, that ended up putting the flames to Njal's farm. After that, he walked back into the mountain.  Possibly the story has its roots in the fact that the cliffs are so steep and high that people feel dwarfed in the presence of the mountain and gave it a supernatural force. 

An unstable mountain with history of landslides

One could argue that Lómagnúpur is one of few mountains in Iceland that have unexpected landslides, even loaded with large bergs and rocks.  One quite significant was documented around the middle of the 17th century on the west side. The landslide is still visible from the farm Núpstaðir.  Another smaller landslide, also visible today both as a scar in the mountain and also at the root of the mountain, occurred on the east side in 1988. It is an unstable creature and possibly as it is the home of large giants.

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Lómagnúpur mountain on the map of Iceland

The mountain Lómagnúpur is among the most photographed mountains and natural wonders in Icelandic Landscape.

Skálholt, the former Episcopal see, and farm, in the Southern Region in Iceland is one of the most important historical places in the country.  For ages, the Iceland was a rural agricultural society with almost no form of a significant urban area.  The Church was a powerful institution both socially and economically in addition to its main spiritual and religious role. Accordingly, Skálholt became a center and played the role of a capital of Iceland for centuries.

Skálholt, the former Episcopal see, and farm, in the Southern Region in Iceland

When you are driving the roads in Iceland, you can't avoid the feeling that you are on a long scenic drive journey. Sometimes on a road trip in almost any region, it feels like you are in a landscape painting.  It doesn't matter whether you are on the Ring Road or any other road in the countryside. On a bright and sunny summer day, the landscape seems to call out for attention everywhere. Mountains, waterfalls, rivers, glaciers, volcanos, fascinating animals and beautiful small villages with clear blue skies in the background. 

Take care when stepping out of the car

Although you are not places near a specific natural wonder or some well-known tourist attraction you often come across a place in the landscape that urges you to stop.  One such place is the river/waterfall Fossálar. Fortunately, there is a small parking space on the south side of the road so you can park there.  But keep in mind that it is very dangerous to stop a vehicle anywhere on the shoulder of the road and rush out, to take a photo, view the landscape or try to pet a horse or a cow by a fence. Another car can appear on a short notice and both the driver and people standing, walking or running on the road are in immediate danger.

Park your car in a parking lot, and you will enjoy Fossálar

If you park at the small parking space and walk with caution to the other side, you are in for a treat as the flowing water in this part of the river is gorgeous and the place peaceful despite the fact that the Ring Road is only a few meters away. Trout fishing is allowed by permission in the river, and it is a courtesy to be extra cautious when someone is fishing and avoid getting too close to the riverbank or the river.

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Fossálar on the map of Iceland

Fossálar waterfall/river

Few places that are popular tourist attractions in Iceland are photographed more than Seljalandsfoss waterfall. There are many reasons as anyone can see by doing a image search on Google. To begin with it is without doubt a beautiful waterfall and an astonishing creation of nature. It is located by the Ring Road in Iceland and is easily accessible for anyone who has a car.

Best time to photograph Seljalandsfoss

Less than an hour away from Reykjavík is a small town called Hveragerði. The name derives from the quantity of hot springs and hot water surrounding the town. Many locals make the mistake of driving right through the town, given its close position to the capital, missing out on the wonders and warmth of Hveragerði. One specific gem is the town’s public swimming pool, called Sundlaugin Laugaskarði. Until 1966 it was the only 50 meter swimming pool in Iceland and therefor the main training pool for the national swim team.

Sundlaugin Laugaskarði is perhaps the best swimming pool in Iceland.

 

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. 

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Þjófafoss waterfall on the map of Iceland

The waterfall Þjófafoss - thjofafoss - is part of the Þjórsá river

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