#traveliceland

 

Skógar is a tiny hamlet on the south shore of Iceland right by the Ring Road.  Although best known in Iceland for most of the 20th century for its regional primary and middle school serving the surrounding rural area, today it is mostly recognized for the stunning waterfall Skógafoss. The waterfall is one of the best-known landmarks in Iceland and one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country. Skógar also was one of the first places in Iceland offering a hotel accommodation for tourists during summer like most district schools, at that time.  It was quite common that the dormitory was used as a hotel during the summer season. Like the building at Skógar, the School buildings and dormitory were beautiful well designed and good buildings. It is still a hotel, but now an all year round as both communication and the educational system has changed in Iceland.

A one of a kind museum and another waterfall

For many reasons the small hamlet Skógar and Skógafoss waterfall has developed into a large-scale tourist attraction in Iceland.  The whole area is stunning with the waterfall, green hills and the glacier in the background. Skógar also has a long history of interest among visitors and tourists offering accommodation long before others in the rural area in Iceland.  The popular hiking trail Fimmvörðuháls, leading between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull glacier and Mýrdalsjökull glacier to Þórsmörk, starts at Skógar.  There is also another waterfall Kvernufoss in the neighborhood becoming increasingly popular. But last but not least is the Skógar cultural and heritage museum where you can see local artifacts related to the living conditions in Iceland for many centuries.  It is one of the most interesting museums in Iceland and opens all year round.

Access to Skógar is as simple as it gets in Iceland

If you are driving on the Ring Road Skógar and Skógafoss is almost impossible to miss.  The waterfall and the hamlet are quite visible from the Road Nr. 1.  It is located between the village of Hvolsvöllur and Vík at the west end of Sólheimasandur.  Anyone visiting Skógar should take the time to visit Kvernufoss waterfall and the museum.  Skógar also has excellent accommodation, a great camping site and wonderful hiking trails up the hill by Skógarfoss waterfall. 

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 Skogar on the map of Iceland

Skógar is a tiny hamlet on the south shore of Iceland right by the Ring Road

 

This waterfall is sometimes described as a treasure in the Icelandic landscape and the flora of natural wonders. It's nearby sibling Seljalandsfoss waterfall, only in a short walking distance away, is one of Iceland's most renowned attractions. Gljúfrabúi is, on the other hand, gaining more and more attention and most of the visitors viewing Seljalandsfoss also take the time to look at Gljúfrabúi.  Although coming from the same cliff, there are some striking differences between the two waterfalls.

A beautiful name and stunning waterfall

There is something wonderful about the Icelandic name Gljúfrabúi. It means Gorge Dweller.  It conveys the feeling of a peaceful being living in this cave-like place with water falling from the 40-meter cliff. The name is not very old and is believed to originate in a poem by Iceland's most beloved poets Jónas Hallgrímsson who was also a natural scientist.  And this is the reality of the waterfall rimmed in a narrow gorge producing its drizzle and this cold damp like a cold sauna. You need to be prepared to enter this wet world of the Gorge Dweller.  The crack is narrow and the open cave is muggy. It is not an easy entrance but once inside you might think of a cathedral for creatures from another world. Although mostly dark inside and under the waterfall there is a lot of vegetation on the rocks because of the constant moist. In addition to the inside viewing you can also climb the narrow path on the outside and up to the cliff in front of the waterfall and view it from above.  Both places require extreme caution and good hiking shoes.

Access to get there is easy

This waterfall, like Seljalandsfoss, is conveniently located a short distance from the Ring Road, Road Nr. 1, in the southern region in Iceland.  It is only one and a half kilometer from the intersection of Road Nr. 1 and Road Nr. 249 Þórsmerkurvegur, the road leading to Þórsmörk in the Icelandic Highland.

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 Gljúfrabúi waterfall on the map of Iceland

The crack is narrow and the open cave is muggy.

 

Háifoss, The high waterfall,  is one of the Highest and also one of the most striking waterfalls in Iceland. Placed in a magnificent but relatively narrow gorge leading into the Icelandic Highland from the valley Þjórsárdalur it is one of the major waterfall attractions in Iceland. It is part of the river Fossá or Waterfall River. The height is impressive as it falls the 122 meters down the two million years old cliff. It is a beautiful sight from top to bottom including the geologically rich background in the cliffs.  It is not a lonely waterfall as it lives in the bottom of the gorge with its dear friend and companion for thousands of years, the waterfall Granni or Neighbour.

When discovered it was thought to be the highest waterfall in Europe

The waterfall wasn't actually discovered until the first decade of the 20th century and was at that time believed to be not only the highest waterfall in Iceland but the highest in Europe. It was a natural scientist and geologist Dr. Helgi Pjetursson, the first Icelander to obtain a Ph.D. in geology, who wrote an article about the waterfall in a local paper Ísfold in July 1910 and named the waterfall Háifoss.  Since then the name has stuck.

Access is not complicated but might be an effort

Access to this beautiful natural wonder is quite easy considering the location on the edge of the Highland. If you are traveling from Reykjavík, you take the Ring Road nr. 1 east.  After you pass the town Selfoss, you turn left road nr. 30 after approximately 16 kilometers.  After 17 kilometers on road 30, you turn right and east on Road 32 and enter the great valley Þjórsárdalur; a place that is both rich in natural wonders and history.  Ahead of you is a 45-kilometer drive to the mountain track that leads to Háifoss. Unfortunately, this seven-kilometer track is not a road for small vehicles. Here you need a good 4X4 vehicle.  If you have a small car, you can aways take a walk to enhance your health of fourteen kilometers back and forth and gain a great hiking tour with a spectacular view.            

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 Háifoss waterfall on the map of Iceland

Háifoss waterfall in Iceland

 

Kerlingarfjöll “The old woman's mountains, ” is an exciting place to visit in Iceland and a must, if you are planning to travel in the Highland and looking for things to do in the Highland. Positioned in the middle of the Icelandic Highland Kerlingarfjöll is a cluster of rugged mountains.  Most of the mountains are steep and around 800 to 1500 meters high. Although all of the mountains in the cluster have their individual names they are usually referred to by their common name, which is rare in Icelandic landscape, as most mountains have their own strong identity. This is probably due to the fact that the mountains were barely visited and feared for centuries, as they were believed to be the hiding place of outlaws.

A feast for photographers and a joy for hikers

The mountain cluster Kerlingarfjöll is a paradise for both hikers and photographers.  There are many convenient and scenic hiking trails leading from the camping ground and accommodation at Ásgarður.  Most of the mountains are rhyolite and this the colors vary along the track depending on the weather, mostly the sun, to a point where it almost comes unreal in Hveradalir, and you can quickly feel like nature hypnotizes you. Although the altitude of most of the trails is about 1000 meters there is a surprising amount and variety of vegetation.

How to find and go to Kerlingafjöll

For years the road to Kerlingafjöll was a 4X4 trail with two to three rivers to pass. You could only drive there on a modified 4WD vehicle.  Today the rivers have bridges, and you can turn to Ásgarður the camping site on a small 4WD vehicle. The best way to drive to Kerlingafjöll is to take the F35 Kjalvegur Highland Road from Gullfoss and drive the approximately 55 kilometers to the highland road to Kerlingafjöll. You turn to the east on F347 and the distance to Kerlingarfjöll is only 10 kilometers.  We recommend an overnight for at least one night and an early morning hike for a few hours.  Here you must keep in mind that the Highland roads are only open from early June until late September.  So the window to enjoy this magnificent landscape is only about three to four months each year. 

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 Kerlingarfjöll on the map of Iceland

Kerlingarfjöll “The old woman's mountains, ” is an exciting place to visit in Iceland and a must, if you are planning to travel in the Highland and looking for things to do in the Highland.

 

Stuðlafoss (Basalt Column Waterfall) is a beautiful waterfall in the East Region in Iceland that few have visited.  If you are traveling the Ring Road in Iceland or planning your list of things to do, Stuðlafoss is a place you should visit.  It is one of the hidden gems in the Icelandic landscape and has been more like a secret place for local outdoor enthusiasts.  Although it is possible to see Stuðlafoss from road 923, on the other side of the river Jökla near the farm Grund, it is a waterfall you need to see up close if you want to enjoy this magnificent natural structure, especially true for photographers. It is a similar waterfall as the famous waterfall Svartifoss in Skaftafell park, falling from a basalt column cliff.

Surrounded by rocks and covered with vegetation

One of the exciting features of this waterfall is the formation of the basalt columns and how the lower columns of the waterfall are shorter and stack in front of each other like seats covered with almost neon green vegetation. Interestingly this is the complete opposite to Svaritfoss where the shorter columns are above and form a small overlay. Both the vegetation and the rocks surrounding the basalt column enhance the waterfall.

How to get to Stuðlafoss

After turning south on Ring Road nr. 1 by Skjöldólfsstaðir to road nr. 923, you drive to the farm Klaustursel about 14 kilometers.  Here you find a bridge on the river Jökla by the farm Klaustursel that is on the other side.  By the bridge, there is a parking lot on the west side, and driving over the narrow bridge is not allowed.  After walking over the bridge to the east riverbank, you take a hike on the track about two kilometers to the Stuðlafosss.

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 Stuðlafoss waterfall on the map of Iceland

Stuðlafoss waterfall is one of the hidden gems in the Icelandic landscape and has been more like a secret place for local outdoor enthusiasts.

 

In Iceland, you can find many small geothermal pools. Something a lot of visitors and tourists are both interested in seeing and willing to dip into.  Some of the pools only fit four to five people.  Some are even so small that they only fit two persons.  But you can also find pools that are big enough for you and a few of yours friends. The pool Hellulaug in the southern shore of West Fjords is a warm and delightful pool.

Right there on the West Fjord Ring Road

Located only a few hundred meters from the camping site Flokalundur in the famous Vatnsdalur, where the first settler in Iceland stayed for a winter.  The small pool is always open with its endless flow of warm water all year long. Anyone passing by can take a dip in the comfortable water. The water in the pool is 38 degrees centigrade and the pool is around 3 to 4 meters in diameter.

No admission fee and no service

You need to walk down a small cliff from the small parking lot by road Vestfjarðarvegur nr. 60 which is the southern part of the West Fjord ring road.  A road that is part of the West Fjord scenic route that takes you through some magnificent landscape. There is no admission and also no place to change from your cloth to your swimming suit. There is no service, just the very nice natural bath.  

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 Hellulaug on the map of Iceland

The pool Hellulaug in the southern shore of West Fjords is a warm and delightful pool.

 

Reykjanes peninsula has many interesting places and several natural wonders. In fact, one could easily spend a few days in Iceland and only visit interesting places on the Reykjanes peninsula. One of those beautiful places is Lake Djúpavatn, less than an hours drive from Reykjavík. It is a bit difficult to visit since the road is a kind of a Highland gravel road for 4X4 vehicles only. But that makes visiting the place just a bit more exciting and adventures. There are also a few interesting hiking trails in the are that take up two to four hours to hike. It is an advantage and a privilege in life to be able to drive such a short distance and enjoy peace and quiet in such beautiful places.

A small lake ideal for fishing and hiking

There is one sure way of getting your children away from the computer. Take them fishing.  Find a nice lake and it doesn't matter if it has salmon, trout or sand lance. Children simply love a trip including a fishing rod and a picnic. Djúpavatn (Deep Lake) is a popular family destination in Iceland and a perfect place for a family destination. This beautiful and tranquil lake is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, a mere half an hour drive from Reykjavík.
In spite of its name, the lake is not at all deep, a mere 16.7 meters and its size is only 15 square meters. In fact, you can rent the whole lake if you don't want to be disturbed.

A road for a 4WD vehicle only

There was no fish in Lake Djúpavatn until 1960 when a stock of char was transferred to the lake from Þingvallavant (Lake Þingvellir), possibly because the two lakes share similar geological environments. The fish, though rather small, has now been thriving in Lake Djúpavan for 55 years.  Having a picnic by the lake is ideal, of course, but in Iceland, the weather can't always be relied upon to suit your needs. But, not to worry. There is a fishing lodge by the lake where you can have your picnic indoors.

Access to Djúpavatn is quite easy from Krýsuvíkurvegur Road Nr. 42.  A few kilometers before you come to the lake Kleifarvatn you turn to Road Nr. 421 Vigdísarvallavegur.  Here you need to keep in mind that this is one of the many roads in Iceland where you need a 4X4 or a 4WD vehicle. This is not a road for a small car.

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

Below is the location of Djúpavatn on the map of Iceland

Djúpavatn a beautiful and tranquil lake is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula

Hit Iceland is an information webpage about Iceland. The web page covers information regarding Iceland, towns and villages, places and people, that might be of interest to people around the world who want to travel to see many of our natural wonders.