#norherniceland

 

Kálfshamarsvík is a small cove on the northwest shore of Skagi Peninsula in the north region in Iceland. The main attraction is the unusual and stunning formation of basalt columns at the bay as well the surrounding area.  The Cove is a spectacular sight, where the ocean meets the amazingly shaped rocks and small cliffs. The Cove Kálfhamarsvík is of particular interest to photographers as the area offers many angles with interesting views, foregrounds, and backgrounds.  Mind you, though, like in so many places by the shore in Iceland, how the high and low tides play a role as well as the time of day when photographing.  In the afternoon and the bright summer evening, the sun shines on the cliffs from the ocean side but reverse in the morning.

Kálfshamarsvík could have developed into a village

Among the premises that most towns and villages in Iceland have in common is the fact that they lie near rich fishing grounds in addition to a good landing place for small boats.  This was in a time period before motorboats arrived and when the deprived and less fortunate part of the population were finding new options in employment in fishing while leaving the compulsive obligation of domestic service in agriculture. Kálfshamarsvík became a small fishing station and formed a tiny hamlet.  This was in the late 19th century and lasted only until the great depression and decline of markets in the middle of the 20th century. The premise was very much the same as applies to many towns and villages around Iceland and could have developed into a village.  At Kálfshamarsvík you can still see ruins of houses and items from that history.

Easy access but a long drive to Kálfshamarsvík

Kálfshamarsvík is easily accessible from the Ring Road in northern Iceland or the North Region of Iceland. From that road, you take a turn north on Road 74 and the drive is approximately 36 kilometers.  So if you are a great fan of Basalt Columns the 72 kilometers to Kálfshamarsvík and back is well worth it.  

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 Kálfshamarsvík on the map of Iceland

The main attraction at Kálfshamarsvík is the unusual and stunning formation of basalt columns at the bay as well the surrounding area.

 

Dettifoss is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe. You will find this beast of a fall in North Iceland; in the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum, which flows from the magnificent Vatnajökull glacier. The falls are 100 meters wide and have a drop of 45 meters down to advance its flow down the mighty Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. It is indeed powerful in volume, having an average water flow of 400 m3/s during summers.  The origin of the water is south of the waterfall and can be traced to the many outlet glaciers and glacier tongues on the northern side of the large icecap/glacier Vatnajökull.  Dettifoss is on many lists of most spectacular waterfalls in Europe and even in the world.  It is no. 4 on our list of most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. 

Dettifoss and the Canyon is one of the most spectacular sights in Iceland

Standing by the thundering waters cascading into the wide canyon is an experience you are not likely to forget. But, you better take care. The footpath down to the falls on the eastern bank is rough. On the western bank, the slopes are grassy and can thus be slippery in wet weather. But, like the saying goes: "Feel the fear and do it anyway."

Dettifoss is the largest of a series of waterfalls in the Jökulsá river. A little downriver you will find Hafragilsfoss, smaller indeed but just as geologically interesting. A little further upriver there is Selfoss, a nice place to sit down and contemplate after the whirling (and rather wet) experience of Dettifoss.

Dettifoss waterfall

Dettifoss is often listed as one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Europe

Dettifoss is easily accessible from the Ring Road

You will be able to spot Dettifoss a mile away, spraying its waters high up in the atmosphere, thus creating a rainbow bridge across the fall. Dettifoss is easily accessible from both the east side and the west side of the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. When driving on the Ring Road in Iceland coming from the east you can thus either choose road 864 or road 862.  The main parking lot for Dettifoss in on the west side and an asphalt road.  Road 864 is a gravel road and often in a rather bad condition. 

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 Dettifoss waterfall on the map of Iceland

Dettifoss is indeed powerful in volume discharge, having an average water flow of 400 m3/s during summers.