64 ° 55’33 “N 23 ° 18’44” W
Kirkjufellfoss (church mountain waterfall) is located just outside Grundarfjörður village on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Just across the road is Kirkjufell mountain ( 463 meters height), known for its particular church-like appearance it is easily recognizable, these sights are a must see, along with a series of waterfalls scattered around the area. There’s a small carpark close by and a well-maintained path leading to the waterfall. The waterfalls are on private property, but the owner invites visitors to enjoy the scenery.
64 ° 23’27 “N 21 ° 15’5” W
Glymur waterfall, at 196 meters high, is the second-highest waterfall in Iceland. Located at the bottom of Hvalfjörður in a spectacular region in Iceland that is both beautiful and quiet and is often bypassed by people since the tunnel opened under the fjord in 1998, leaving the possibility for travelers to cross the fjord in ten minutes instead of an hour.
Glymur waterfall is accessible from the carpark Botnsá and then on to a well-marked path. When hiking to the waterfall, it’s best to walk along the east side of the river Botnsá. The journey includes crossing the river on a tree trunk if it’s in place but not always easy to pass; travelers must be well-equipped for hiking. It takes a good half a day to hike the trail to Glymur.
N64 ° 42 ‘10,076 “W20 ° 58’ 39.780”
The Hraunfossar in Borgarfjörður, western Iceland are a series of small waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming over a distance of about 900 metres. Small underground sources of cold water seeped through the lava and created tiny waterfalls and rapids along the river Hvítá. There is a viewpoint that is located near the parking area, offering a beautiful view of Hraunfossar and Hvítá river. In the summer, there is a small cafe near the falls.
N64 ° 42 ‘5.569 “W20 ° 58’ 21,630”
Next door and upstream from Hraunfossar is Barnafoss, meaning “waterfall of the children.” You will find there the explanation of the name, which comes from a passage from an Icelandic saga. The story goes that the children of the Hraunsás family stayed at home while their parents went to Christmas mass. When their parents returned home after mass, they discovered their children missing, and so, the parents traced their toddlers’ footprints in the soil until they disappeared near a small stone bridge over the waterfall. The mother concluded that the children fell into the waterfall and drowned and, so had the stone bridge destroyed to prevent further misfortune to other kids.
65.7328 ° N, 23.1998 ° W
Dynjandi is the best known of a series of Waterfalls in the Westfjords of Iceland and is a landscape that reveals the beauty of Icelandic nature. The waterfall series is composed of seven waterfalls, each with a name; the waterfalls flow on a total height of one hundred meters. To access the information board and washrooms that are near the waterfall, you have an easy walk for another ten or fifteen minutes. Several protective panels have been installed to ensure visitors do not trample on the delicate plant life in the region.
Word of advice for travelers in love Icelandic waterfalls
Because of growing tourism, 2015 marked an increase of accidents around waterfalls by visitors unaware of safety precautions. Icelandic nature is a wonder, but it is also powerful and sometimes fragile. The sites we listed above are lacking infrastructure. Few paths, few barriers and cascades of several tens of meters high, this means Caution! No barrier by a waterfall is not an invitation to get too near. Take in the fantastic view but don’t let the view take you!
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