Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon (What To See - North East)

Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon (What To See - North East)
Jökulsárgljúfur canyon is a part of Vatnajökull National park. This spectacular and amazing canyon was created during repeated volcanic eruptions beneath the Vatnajökull Glacier, which is the largest glacier in Europe, several thousand years ago causing devastating megafloods, that have in the course of thousands of years, carved the deep canyon along its course. The name of the canyon literally means Glacial river canyon.



The waterfalls



Jökulsargljúfur is 25km long and 120 meters deep and forms several breathtaking waterfalls – one of them Dettifoss, Europe´s most powerful waterfall. There are two other waterfalls located in the same river close to Dettifoss, Selfoss Waterfall and Hafragilsfoss Waterfall.



Places of interest



The canyon has many other interesting sites to offer, such as Hljóđaklettar which means Echo Cliffs that are basalt columnar rock formations. In the canyon close to Hljóđaklettar, you will also find Kirkjan or The Church, basalt cave as well as the horse shoe shaped Ásbyrgi canyon to name only a few. In folklore, Ásbyrgi was believed to have been formed by Odin's eight-legged horse Sleipnir by putting his foot down and pressing the earth down. Jökulsárgljúfur offers plenty of hiking trails of various lengths and difficulty levels. Before heading out on the hiking trails it is a good idea to visit Gljúfrastofa visitor center, which is located in Ásbyrgi for a map of the trails and ask about their condition which can change from time to time.



Access



Generally, Jökulsárglúfur sites are best experienced in summer when all the trails are open and passable but a visit to Ásbyrgi, which is the lowest section of the canyon is possible pretty much all year, although services may be limited during the winter months. There is a good campsite with facilities in Ásbyrgi. Other parts of the canyon are at higher altitudes and a visit there during winter may be quite challenging due to snow and harsh weather conditions.

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