#traveltoiceland

The canyon Jökulsárgljúfur is one of the most spectacular and stunning natural wonders in Iceland. The canyon is usually underrated as it is in the northeastern region of Iceland, almost as far as possible from the capital Reykjavík.  But also to being a great place to visit it is furthermore the home of many other spectacular attractions, like waterfalls and places you won't see anywhere else in Iceland or on the planet for that matter.  Although the waterfall Dettifoss is the big attraction in Jökulsárgljúfur, there is another beautiful waterfall Hafragilsfoss a short distance north of Dettifoss in Jökulsárgljúfur.  Although not in a walking distance the drive is quite short.

A great place to view Jökulsárgljúfur canyon

The waterfall Hafragilsfoss is one of the spectacular waterfalls in the mighty river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. The river is one of the largest and most powerful rivers in Iceland and an inseparable part of the canyon Jökulsárgljúfur. The falls approximately 30 meters high and about 90 meters wide is surrounded by cliffs.  Proximity to the waterfall is quite steep on the west side and not so convenient on the east side either, so a telephoto lens is recommended if you want to take a closeup photo.  In addition to being a great waterfall the parking lot for Hafragilsfoss and the path to the panel, is also one of the best places to view the canyon Jökulsárgljúfur.  You can see the canyon almost all the way south to Dettifoss and also north where you have a view of part of Hólmatungur.

Access is quite easy

Like most of the Jökulsárgljúfur and the Natural wonders in the canyon, we recommend highly viewing it from the east side. Although the road is a bit more challenging and a gravel road the view to Hafragilsfoss and the parking lot on the east side is much more impressive. So if you are coming from Myvatn lake on the Ring Road Nr. 1 you must go over the bridge on the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum and take a turn left almost immediately after you pass the bridge north on Road Nr. 864 Hólsfjallavegur. The parking lot by Hafragilsfoss is about 32 kilometers drive.

Hafragilsfoss waterfall in Jökulsárgljúfur

To be on your own placed in a large landscape with no sound other than the waves on the beach and the songs of birds looking for food in the sand or beneath the surface of the sea is an experience of a lifetime. A sanctuary from all the noises you recognize so well from constantly living in a large city with its traffic, disturbances, threats, intimidation and unclean air.   You are surrounded by beauty and stillness at the same time overpowered by the magnitude of the landscape.

You are surrounded by beauty and stillness at the same time overpowered by the magnitude of the landscape.

The waterfall Faxi in the river Tungufljót in South region in Iceland is only twelve kilometers from the famous Geysir hot spring area and twenty kilometers from the famous waterfall Gullfoss. The origin of Tungufljót river is in the lake Sandvatn or Sandlake quite visible if you visit Jarlhettur and Hagavatn nearby.  Faxi has been described as a small version of Gullfoss but of course not as powerful. The waterfall is 80 meters wide and seven meters high.  It is a beautiful waterfall placed in a wonderful and peaceful landscape.  It is also possible to walk quite near the waterfall on the lower level and feel the drizzle from the water.  A photo option to capture the waterfall from the upper level is also a good idea.  Although never lacking water the waterfall has also been named Vatnsleysufoss meaning the waterfall with no water or the waterfall with shortage of water.

Faxi waterfall is part of the Golden Circle Drive

Many visitors in Iceland prefer to drive the golden circle road trip. It is a simple all year round day trip from Reykjavík with many interesting stops and impressive historical spots and natural wonders.  The interesting thing about adding Faxi waterfall to that trip is the possibility to be in proximity to the flowing stream of water.  The waterfall is also wide and high enough to be quite impressive.  For people that have rarely seen a waterfall, it is a joy both sight and sound.

Access to Faxi waterfall Faxafoss is easy all year round

If you are driving from Reykjavík the capital you take the road Vesturlandsvegur Road Nr. 1 through the town Mosfellsbær.  On the edge of Mosfellsbær you take the Road Nr. 361 Þingvallavegur.  When you are passed the lake Þingvallavatn you take a turn west on Road Nr. 365 Lyngdalsheiðavegur. When you come to the small village Laugarvatn you continue on Road Nr. 37 Laugarvatnsvegur until you turn on Road Nr. 35 that will take you to the Faxi waterfall.

 

Faxi waterfall is part of the Golden Circle Drive

Sometimes we get questions through our Facebook or Google+ or even direct through e-mail, and people ask about various things like driving in winter in Iceland, driving on gravel roads in Iceland, when to travel in the highlands, how to cross rivers and much more.  A few days ago we got a question regarding a trip on the Ring Road in the winter. 

Driving in winter in Iceland is often very difficult and can be dangerous

The 20-meter high waterfall Aldeyjarfoss in the river Skjálfandafljót is a powerful stream of glacial water forcing its way from the Icelandic Highland between stunning basalt columns cliffs.  Proximity to the waterfall is almost intimidating as its power, and the muddy color is somehow threatening.  The river and the waterfall are carrying tons of soil and dirt from under the glacier Vatnajökull ice cap determined to deliver it to the northern shore where the river meets the open sea.  But this company of a beautiful basalt column cliffs and the mighty stream of dirt and water is a breathtaking combination.  And the nature of it is more like a beast than beauty.

Very photogenic but quite difficult to grab

Some of us consider the waterfall to be a photographic gem. Mainly because of its stunning basalt column surrounding in addition to the so-called Skessukatlar formation that is also characteristic for the cliff around the waterfall. Skessukatlar or “Giantess Kettle” are potholes in the surrounding walls formed by small stones in a whirlpool in the powerful stream. But you rarely see a photo of the waterfall that is stunning.  Not as stunning as standing in front of the beast. It is simply difficult to capture. 

Access to Aldeyjarfoss waterfall

The waterfall Aldeyjarfoss is located at the end of a long valley Bárðardalur in northern Iceland. On the Road Nr. 1 by another famous waterfall in the river Skjálfandafljót, Goðafoss, you turn south on Road Nr. 842 to the south.  The drive to Aldeyjarfoss is 40 kilometers, and at the end, you turn to Road F26, Sprengisandsleið, and just drive about 3 kilometers. The F road is a mountain road accessible only for 4WD vehicles. The 3 kilometers are on the other hand quite easy to drive for any vehicle, but if you decide to go farther on F26 you need to a 4WD.

The 20-meter high waterfall Aldeyjarfoss in the river Skjálfandafljót is a powerful stream of glacial water forcing its way from the Icelandic Highland

If you only have a day to drive around the countryside in Iceland and are interested in some of the spectacular sites and natural wonders Iceland has to offer, the Reykjanes Peninsula Drive is a great option. This is especially true if you are staying in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, or near the International airport at Reykjanesbær or the small fishing town of Grindavík.

The many reasons Reykjanes Peninsula day tour is a perfect road trip for stopover and short stay passengers who visit Iceland

In the Highland northeast of the glacier Langjökull, and between the two glaciers Langjökull glacier and Hofsjökull glacier, is a fascinating geothermal area Hveravellir right on the Highland Road F35 Kjalvegur. Kjalvegur is a route that Icelanders used for centuries to travel between the north region and south region.  So Hveravellir is a place with a long history and probably one of the best-known spots in the Highland. Probably because during summer you could travel on a horse in one day to Hveravellir from Skagafjörður in the north and the second day south to the area around Gullfoss.  It is a place most Icelanders know, and many have visited.  Another reason is, according to folklore, the highly admired outlaw couple Eyvindur and Halla had their home in Hveravellir for a short time.  It is also a beautiful area with a variety of hot springs that have interesting names and an endless spectrum of activity and colors.  And we should not forget that Hveravellir has one of the most famous natural geothermal pool in Iceland.

Kjalvegur is the best option to travel in the Highland in Iceland

For anyone planning to see and visit Hveravellir, one of the best options is to driver Kjalvegur.  Here you need to keep in mind while preparing a trip to the Highland that the road is only open from the end of June until the middle of September. In the winter it is covered with snow.  Although possible to drive the road in a small vehicle it is not recommended.   The road is often tough to drive and the road usually not maintained to standards.  It is a rough gravel road, so a 4X4 vehicle is highly recommended. The route is enjoyable with a magnificent view of glaciers, mountains, and highland lakes.

Access to Hveravellir is easy both from the south and the north

The Highland Road F35 practically runs from Gullfoss and Geysir, two of the most famous landmarks and natural wonders in Iceland, to the Ring Road in the north.  The whole drive is about 170 kilometers, but the drive from Gullfoss to Hveravellir is approximately 80 kilometers. This is the easiest way to drive to Hveravellir, from the South to the North.

And we should not forget that Hveravellir has one of the most famous natural geothermal pool in Iceland.