Are you planning a trip to Iceland? If so, don’t miss the chance to visit the stunning Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, a natural wonder that’s not only easy to reach but also incredibly beautiful.
This serene and picturesque canyon is a must-see for anyone traveling in Iceland. Let’s dive into what makes Fjadrargljufur so special and how to visit by a car.
What is Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon?
Fjaðrárgljúfur is a majestic canyon located in the southeastern part of Iceland. It stretches over 2 kilometers and dives as deep as 100 meters. The canyon is known for its unique, serpentine shape and towering walls, which have been carved out over thousands of years by the flowing water. The result is a landscape that looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale.
How Did Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon Form?
This magnificent canyon was created during the last ice age, about 9,000 years ago. A glacier river carved through the land, creating the deep canyon we see today. With walls made of palagonite, a type of volcanic rock, the canyon showcases the power of natural forces over time.
Why is Fjaðrárgljúfur Famous?
Recently, Fjaðrárgljúfur has become a popular spot for travelers, thanks in part to being featured in a music video by Justin Bieber. Its breathtaking views and easy accessibility make it a favorite among visitors. Whether you’re a nature lover or just looking for a beautiful place to take photos, this canyon is a fantastic choice.
Visiting fjadrargljufur with a rental car
When planning to visit Fjaðrárgljúfur, the first thing to consider is your mode of transport. Renting a car gives you the flexibility and comfort to explore at your own pace. For the drive to Fjaðrárgljúfur, a standard car is generally sufficient, especially during the summer months.
The roads leading to the canyon, including the ring road, are well-maintained. However, if you’re visiting in winter or prefer extra stability, consider a 4×4 car, especially since parts of the route can include gravel roads.
Journey to Fjaðrárgljúfur from Reykjavik
The canyon, located about a 3-and-a-half-hour drive from Reykjavík, is accessible via the famous ring road. To reach the parking lot of Fjaðrárgljúfur, you’ll turn off the ring road onto Road Nr. 206, Holtsvegur, a well-signposted route. The road includes a section of gravel road, but it’s well-maintained and navigable in most vehicles.
Parking and Starting Your Adventure
Upon arriving, you’ll find a convenient parking lot. From there, a short walk will take you to the main attractions of the canyon. The Fjaðrá River, which runs through the canyon, has shaped its stunning landscape over millions of years. You’ll witness the results of progressive erosion since the last ice age, creating a depth of nearly 100 meters in some areas.
Once you’ve parked, follow the marked paths leading to various viewing platforms end up leading to the top of the canyon. These platforms offer spectacular views of the canyon and are ideal spots for capturing memorable photos. The beauty of the canyon, with its dramatic cliffs and green vegetation contrasting against the running water of the Fjaðrá glacial river , is truly a sight to behold.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Safety First: Always follow safety signs and stay on marked paths.
- Respect Nature: The canyon has faced challenges due to increased visitors. Let’s do our part to keep it beautiful by not littering and following guidelines.
- Check Conditions: Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable. It’s a good idea to check the weather and canyon conditions before you go.
Best Time to Visit:
Summer and Autumn (late May to October) is a great time to visit Fjaðrárgljúfur, thanks to the milder weather and longer daylight hours. However, if you’re visiting in winter, the canyon offers a mesmerizing snowy landscape. Just be prepared for possible road closures due to snow.
What Else is Nearby?
While you’re in the area, explore other attractions like :
- Kirkjubæjarklaustur: A charming small village, ideal for a relaxing stop and to learn more about local culture.
- Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park: Known for its stunning landscapes, hiking trails, and the famous Svartifoss waterfall.
- Eldhraun Lava Field: The largest lava flow in the world from a single eruption, offering a unique and otherworldly landscape.
- Systrafoss Waterfall: A beautiful waterfall located in Kirkjubæjarklaustur, known for its twin falls that cascade into a serene pool.
- Lómagnúpur Mountain: A striking and photogenic mountain, famous for its sheer cliffs and featured in many photographs of Iceland.
- Foss á Síðu waterfall: Another picturesque waterfall nearby, known for its scenic beauty and tranquil surroundings.
- Dverghamrar (The Dwarf Rocks): Unique basalt column formations that are steeped in local folklore.
- Lakagígar Crater Row: A row of volcanic craters formed in one of the world’s largest mixed eruptions.
- Diamond Beach and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: A bit farther away, but these are must-visit locations for their stunning icebergs and crystal-clear ice on the black sand beach.
Visiting Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photographer, or just someone looking to explore the unique landscapes of Iceland, this canyon offers something for everyone. Rent the right car, drive along the ring road, and prepare yourself for an adventure that encapsulates the essence of Iceland’s natural beauty.
Pack your bags, start your engines, and get ready for an incredible experience visiting Fjaðrárgljúfur in Iceland!