The Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge in Iceland

The Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge, also known as the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, is located in the south of Iceland and is perhaps the most beautiful gorge in the whole country. It is therefore not surprising that almost everyone who is going to make a tour in Iceland has the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon on their to-do list. The gorge is perfectly on the route of all the highlights of South Iceland between the Svartifoss park, the basalt columns at Reynisfjara and the many waterfalls in this area.

The 2 kilometer long gorge with the difficult to pronounce name is one of the most spectacular places in Iceland. The gorge has something magical because of the combination of the rugged landscape in combination with the 100 meter high rocks that are almost completely covered with moss. The combination of the green walls, the clear blue water in the river and the waterfall make for a spectacular sight. A visit to the Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge is without a doubt one of the highlights of your tour in Iceland.

The Fjadrargljufur gorge in Iceland

Visit the Fjadrargljufur canyon

If you see the pictures of the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon you will be sold right away. It is therefore not surprising that the gorge is one of the most visited places in Iceland. Fortunately, the Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge is very accessible thanks to its location near Iceland’s ring road. The parking lot is just a few minutes’ walk from the gorge, so you quickly have an amazing view of the gorge from the car.

From the parking lot at the entrance of the gorge, a beautifully landscaped hiking trail leads up to the various viewpoints of the gorge. The largest viewpoint at the end of the hiking trail offers the most beautiful view of the gorge and the small Fjaðrá river that flows at the bottom of the gorge. At the end of the gorge at the large viewpoint you will also find the waterfall that plunges down from the wall into the river. The landscape is different at every corner in the gorge, so you can walk here for hours with a different spectacular view of the gorge every time.

The hiking trail is about 2 kilometers and passes through all the different platforms and viewpoints of the canyon. It will take you about an hour to walk the path. If you want to enjoy the view at the various viewing platforms, you will be on the road for more than an hour. From the parking lot you can walk in a few minutes to the first viewpoint where you get a magnificent view of the gorge, so even if you are short on time you can catch a glimpse of this amazing gorge. The starting point of the hiking trail is one of the most beautiful places to view the gorge, so don’t walk past it too quickly. Photos from this point often appear in travel brochures and publications when people talk about the Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge.

What is the best time to visit Fjadrargljufur gorge?

No matter what season you want to visit the Fjadrargljufur gorge, the gorge is always spectacular. In the spring and part of the summer the walls of the gorge are bright green, which contrasts nicely with the dark rocks that can be seen through the moss. In the autumn the grass turns from green to brown, making the atmosphere in the gorge a lot grimmer.

In spring, summer and autumn the gorge is always easily accessible, but in the winter months the road to the gorge may be closed due to snowfall and/or slipperiness. If you are at the Fjadrargljufur gorge in winter and the road is open, seize the moment and be sure to visit the gorge. The gorge is often covered with snow and ice in the winter months, which gives a spectacular view.

It is best to visit the gorge in the early morning or late afternoon. Then it is not so busy at the gorge and you have to share the amazing gorge with hardly anyone. Particularly in the summer months, the gorge can be busy during the day as day trippers and cruise passengers visit the gorge with buses on their day tour to South Iceland.

The Fjadrargljufur gorge in Iceland

Popularity of the canyon

The Fjadrargljufur canyon was not very well known to the general public for a long time, but that changed in 2015 when Justin Bieber filmed part of his video clip for the song “I’ll Show You” here. In the video clip, the pop star walks on the edges of the canyon, among other things. Since then, the gorge has become world famous and is on the bucket list of many tourists visiting Iceland.

The result of the music video was that a large group of tourists suddenly came to the canyon and imitated Justin Bieber by walking on the edges of the cliff for the perfect photo. This was not only very dangerous, it also damaged nature considerably. Entire pieces of essential moss were subjected to heavy wear from the large number of feet that walked over them. Therefore, the government decided to close the gorge for some time to make it suitable for mass tourism. Since 2019, the gorge has been reopened and hiking trails and viewing platforms have been constructed where warning signs and fences have been placed so that people can no longer walk right along the gorge. This gives the moss along the abyss time to recover. So don’t climb over the ropes and fences during your visit, they are there for a reason! You also have a good view of the amazing gorge from the hiking trails and viewing platforms.

In addition to Justin Bieber’s music video, the gap has also been featured in several scenes of Game of Thrones seasons 7 and 8.

The Fjadrargljufur waterfall

In addition to the special moss-covered walls and the river at the bottom of the gorge, you can also admire the Fjadrargljufur waterfall during your visit to the Fjadrargljufur gorge. The hiking trail along the gorge leads to the waterfall. The waterfall is best viewed from above, from the viewpoint you have a magnificent view of this small waterfall at the end of the gorge.

The Fjadrargljufur gorge in Iceland

Hiking through the Fjadrargljufur gorge

In addition to the hiking trail along the top of the gorge, it is also possible, if conditions allow, to hike in the gorge itself. That way you see the canyon in a completely different way. You will find more information on the spot about the possibilities to walk through the gorge.

It is recommended that you only take the hike through the gorge if the weather and conditions allow. In autumn and winter it is not possible to make the walk through the gorge due to the high water level and the low temperature of the water. Also in the spring and summer months you have to take into account that you have to walk through the water on some parts to get further. The water is also very cold in spring and summer. Therefore, always put on waterproof shoes or boots and dress warmly, as there is little sunlight in the gorge, which makes it feel a lot colder.

When the water is low and the weather permits, you can turn left from the parking lot and then walk into the gorge. You will also come back via this road when you leave the gorge. At the end of the gorge you cannot leave the gorge, there are only 100 meter long rocks where the waterfall thunders down.

How did Fjadrargljufur come about?

The canyon of Fjaðrárgljúfur was created in a special way. The entire formation was created about 2 million years ago. When the ice caps retreated at the end of the ice age, a deep lake was formed at the beginning of the current gorge in a valley carved out by the glacier. This water was held back by a sealing layer of rock. The excess water in the lake overflowed the edge of the carved valley and slowly began to erase the gorge.

As the retreating glacier continued to melt, more and more debris was carried into the lake, filling it with sediment. Until at one point the lake was so full of sediment that a powerful water current came out of the lake and further eroded the closing rock layer and the soft hyaloclastic layer in front of it. Eventually, the sediment in the filled valley was also worn away and the water flow gradually decreased to the current level of the river at the bottom of the canyon.

The Fjadrargljufur gorge in Iceland

How do I get to the Fjadrargljufur gorge?

The Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge (also known as the Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon) is located about 6 kilometers west of the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur in southern Iceland. The town of Vik with its famous black beaches is an hour’s drive from the gorge. The Fjadrargljufur gorge is located about 250 kilometers from the capital Reykjavik, about a 3.5-hour drive away. This makes it easy to visit the gorge on a day trip from the capital. You can easily combine your visit to the Fjaðrárgljúfur with some other highlights in this part of Iceland.

The gorge is close to Iceland’s ring road (route 1), making it easily accessible with a normal car. At the Eldhraun lava fields you turn towards Laki (F206). You only have to drive over a small piece of gravel path here, which is also passable in the rain and in the winter. So you don’t need a 4×4 to get to the gorge.

There are two parking spaces at the gorge, one for normal cars and one for 4×4 jeeps. The parking area for the 4×4’s is at the top of the gorge at the viewpoint, the parking area for normal cars is below at the visitor centre. The road to the parking area for the 4×4s is only accessible with a 4×4 car, so do not try to drive to this parking lot with your normal car. Parking at the Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge is free. The canyon entrance is a few minutes’ walk from the car park.

Spend the night near the Fjadrargljufur canyon

Are you looking for an overnight stay near the Fjadrargljufur canyon? Highly recommended is the Fosshotel Nupar hotel. This modern accommodation has spacious rooms with a luxurious bathroom. The hotel has its own restaurant and bar where you can relax after a day visiting the highlights of South Iceland. The hotel is surrounded by nature, making it the ideal place for spotting the unique northern lights in the autumn and winter months. The gorge is about a 30 minute drive from the hotel. Other hotels nearby are the Magma Hotel, Hotel Klaustur

If you prefer an apartment where you can cook for yourself, the Hunkubakkar Guesthouse or the Hörgsland Cottages complex is a good option. These spacious apartments are fully equipped and are a 35-minute drive from the canyon.

About admin

Check Also

Government plan to regulate Step scooter sharing senseless as cities look at bans

Government plan to regulate Step scooter sharing senseless as cities look at bans | Dutch …

Bir yanıt yazın

E-posta adresiniz yayınlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir