A large number of Icelanders love outdoor activities, and there is a reason behind it: the beauty of its nature. Who wouldn’t spend time enjoying stunning views, walking over mountains and glaciers, or reaching one of the tallest waterfalls in the country? If you are visiting Iceland, or even living here but never hiked before, this is something you should include in your agenda. It is fundamental to check the weather forecast before doing the hike. A pleasant sunny day is perfect and highly recommended if you are not that experienced when it comes to these activities. Let’s see what to expect from hiking Glymur.

 

About Glymur

You will find Glymur in the Western part of the country, just one hour up north from Reykjavík. For many years, Glymur was considered the tallest waterfall in Iceland. With a height of 198 meters, Glymur can’t be observed from the starting point, so a 3.4 km is required to reach it. The waterfall is located in the Hvalfjordur fjord.

Not so long ago, the title of the tallest waterfall in Iceland was taken away from Glymur. With the melting of the outlet glacier of Vatnajókull called Morsárjökull, a new waterfall of 240 meters tall was discovered.

Hiking in search of Glymur

 

Total Distance: 7 km Up and back down.
Elevation: 245 meters
Duration: 3 – 3.5 hours
Required clothing: Good hiking boots and a jacket
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

 

 

Put your boots on, take your things, and let’s start this hike! When you get to Glymur’s parking lot, you will see a big board with the map and some instructions for the trek. Read it very carefully. So, the path to Glymur has marked six stages or points. #1 is exactly where the parking lot is. The following are the stops to reach Glymur.

 

#2 Þvottahellir Cave (1.3km)
#3 Göngustaur – Walking Log (1.7km)
#4 Steðjasnós – lower viewpoint (2.4km)
#5 Hellupallur – higher viewpoint (2.6km)
#6 Glymur Waterfall (3.4km)

 

You might see the gate closed with a yellow sign. Don’t panic! They are just pointing out that it is private property, and that you are there under your own risk and responsibility. Open the small gate on the right, and begin walking. There are two main trails. You will see on the map the red path, which is easier and more steady. The black one going East of the waterfall has steeper slopes and more challenging obstacles. We will guide you through the East one.

During the walk, you will experience nature at its best, some rocky paths, and small rivers in between. Our first stop was Þvottahellir Cave. You enter the cave from the East and will need to go down a slight slope. With the big rocks besides, it can be very easy to come down. (Picture time! Let the light outside the cave take your dark silhouette for a fantastic photo.)

Continue your path. You will see the sign pointing where is Glymur located. And now the fun starts! At the third stop in Göngustaur, you will have reached 1.7km, and to continue to the waterfall you need to cross a log over a small river. There is a steady string tied from one side to the other, so it is very safe to cross. Just take your time to do it. You will continue to the lower viewpoint, Steðjasnós to reach 2.4 km. You start to see a small river coming from the waterfall on your left side.

One of the things we love about hiking Glymur is that it is not only about the waterfall itself. The whole experience of the area and the overall view is unbelievable. Here you should have reached Hellupallur, the higher viewpoint with 2.6km. Here we recommend you to sit for a while and appreciate the view of the waterfall. In less than 1km, you will get to the waterfall. The canyon view is fantastic from above the waterfall. If you are still in the East of the waterfall, to your right, it is a perfect panorama of greenish mountains. So here, you have completed the 3.4 km of the hiking activity, but it is time to go back down.

We highly recommend continuing walking towards the top of the waterfall. Here, you will have to cross the river to get to the west side. And now, we go back to our starting point. You can continue downhill on the west side bordering the waterfall (the one marked black on the map) or go through the red path down the Svartahryggur, which is more comfortable and you will have a different and more global view of the scenery.

Some additional information:

– The log to cross the river is not open during wintertime.
– To get to the cave (#2 stop) and back to the starting point, it is 1 hour approximately.
– From the starting point to #4 and #5 and back, it can be 3 hours.

It all depends on your walking pace or if you also stop or not for a while. But this hike is to be done between 3 and 3.5 hours. It’s a worth hike to do, and it can be easy and enjoyable with sunny and warm weather. Remember always to bring a jacket with you because on the top it can get very windy.

Enjoy a great hike and share your experience with us! Check our video here.

Reykjavik Attractions
Reykjavik Attractions