One beautiful hike is the one that will lead you to Glymur, Icelands highest waterfall. It is a gem, and the going
is not too rough. You will be rewarded by the unforgettable landscapes you cross, and the unique panoramic
views you will see if the weather is clear. It takes about 4 hours to get to Glymur and back to the car.
Heres what you do: you drive to Hvalfjörður, and instead of going
through the tunnel, you follow the steep coast road until you come to Botnsá. The drive is quite long (around
70 km from Reykjavík), but it is worth the while, as this long and narrow fjord is really beautiful. The name
means whale-fjord, and this is where the whaling station is
On your way to Botnsá, you will pass many graceful cascades and
stretches of land grown with birch. Park your car, put on your hiking shoes, and dont forget the water
bottle, raincoat and camera.
There are several trails leaving from here, one is called Leggjabrjótur
(literally: Leg Breaker), but that is not the one we are dealing with here.
There are two main paths that lead to Glymur, the west one and the
east one. The former is easier going. It takes 40 minutes to walk from the parking to the cascade following an
ancient car trail that leads you to the mountains edge. The trail is easy to follow and makes for a
You will have to do some climbing among rough rock formations, but it is worth your
while. The landscape is surprisingly pleasant to the eye, and the lava takes on unexpected forms if you go for
that sort of thing...
At one point, you must go underground - literally. There is a cave you must cross, and
this is what you see on the other side: a glimpse of paradise, a clear and joyous stream running among moss
and tall grass.
This is the other side of the cave, a kind of solemn and sphinx-like lava giant resting
on a grassy slope.
You can also follow the eastern bank of the rivers canyon, that
would be easier, and you
have to cross the river just before the cascade. It is shallow, but you might wet your feet. Then the path gets a bit rough as
you have to cross several small canyons, but you get a beautiful glimpse of Glymur.
The fulmar likes it here. This is a young just out of its egg. Beware, the cliff is
brittle and the edges slippery.
This is what you see. Water streaming down a steep slope, a giant's white hair, grassy
rocks and the stark canyon.
The canyon is eerily beautiful, but you must be careful, as there have
been several accidents that have occurred when the edges have broken and rock fallen into the canyon.
When you stand by the waterfall, you are literally on top of the world, and this is what
Time to get back to the car. A conveniently positioned log will serve as a bridge. This
is a beautiful, clear stream, its banks grassy and grown with low birch trees.
An unforgettable hike.
Back to Nature