Rauðfeldsgjá

  • Although entering the ravine Rauðfeldsgjá is a bit of a clamber it is worth it when you come into the main entrance.
  • Seen from the road, it looks like a small crack in the berg
  • Although entering the ravine Rauðfeldsgjá is a bit of a clamber it is worth it when you come into the main entrance. It is almost like a small and wonderful temple.

Rauðfeldsgjá is a deep, high and narrow ravine in the cliffs south of the glacier Snæfellsjökull with a dramatic story and family tragedy attached to its name. The location is near the tiny hamlet of Arnarstapi. Seen from the road, it looks like a small crack in the berg that slid just a bit, enough for people to enter and observe. There is a parking lot by the road and a five to ten minutes walk to the entrance of the ravine.  Rauðfeldsgjá is part of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula road trip.

A narrow path for those who dare

Although entering the ravine Rauðfeldsgjá is a bit of a clamber it is worth it when you come into the main entrance. It is almost like a small and wonderful temple. For those who dare, a further clamber into the narrow crack following the water is possible. It will lead you to a rope where you can pull yourself up a small waterfall, and even go further into the ravine. A very narrow path with cliffs all around you and a view high up to the open air. Those who take this challenge will possibly sense the spirits of the brothers Rauðfeldur and Sölvi, who met their fate in this place about twelve hundred years ago as is documented in a true story the Icelandic Sagas.

A dramatic event that had tremendous consequences

Rauðfeldur and Sölvi came with their father Þorkell, the half brother of Bárður Snæfellsás who was half man half troll to Iceland as children and lived at Arnarstapi. They often played with Bárðurs many beautiful daughters.  One day they lured one of the girls Helga out to an iceberg in an innocent game and pushed her on the iceberg out to the open Ocean. Unfortunately, high winds blew the iceberg quickly from shore and out to the open sea, and she disappeared. The news of her fate and journey on the ice never reached her father as communication were different at that time.  In everyone's mind, she was lost and deceased. Apparently, as the story in the Saga Bárðar Saga Snæfellsás, she reached Greenland seven days later and lived a good live with the family of Erik the Red, father of Leif the Lucky, for many years.  In a poem, she wrote and had been preserved in the Sagas; one can sense that she missed her father, family, and country.  

A life changing event for Bárður Snæfellsás, the half troll half man

When Bárður Snæfellsás learned of the disappearance of his daughter he completely blew up in anger, to put it mildly.  He grabbed the two brothers, one at the age of eleven and the other twelve, and climbed to the cliff above the ravine.  In his uncontrollable anger, he threw Rauðfeldur into the ravine and to enhance the madness he threw the other brother Sölvi of the cliff. Needless to say, both boys lost their lives, but their names have lived as the ravine, and the cliff bears their names; Rauðfeldsgjá and Sölvahamar. After this incident, Bárður lost his mind and eventually walked up to the glacier where he built an ice cave where he has lived for many centuries and according to popular believe, still does to this very day.

 

Tours and things to do in the West Region in Iceland

Find an interesting tour in the West Region. A Snæfellsnes Peninsula tour or a tour to some of the natural wonders and historically important places in Borgarfjörður.

Snæfellsnes Peninsula day tour from Reykjavík

The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is one of the Regions in Iceland that offers an impressive scenic drive, many exciting attractions and natural wonders.  At the end is the Snæfellsjökull glacier towering over the landscape and dominating the view with its mystical power. A power sensed by many locals and visitors alike and inspired literary giants like Jules Verne and our Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxnes. 
3 persons minimum 

Viking Sushi

Have you ever tasted fresh scallops straight from the sea? If not then the "VikingSushi Adventure" is the right boat tour for you - seafood simply doesn´t come fresher than this! Operating from Stykkishólmur town on the northern side of Snæfellsnes Peninsula.  In all the growing flora of tours and entertainment for visitors in Iceland, this spectacular tour has been around for more than thirty years and is among the most interesting things you can do in Iceland. It is a very original tour based on an idea only someone local can come up with.  A Bird & Nature Watching Tour for everyone all year around. It is a combination of sailing, viewing small islands and spectacular landscape, birdwatching and tasting seafood as fresh as it gets.