Sigöldugljúfur, also known as the Valley of Tears, is a canyon in the Icelandic Highlands. It is most renowned for and earned its nickname from its sheer number of waterfalls.
Visit this fantastic area on a tour of the Icelandic Highlands.
Considered one of Iceland’s hidden gems, Sigöldugljúfur is a fantasy-like space in the central Highlands of Iceland. It is renowned for its many waterfalls; vividly blue water; abundant vegetation; lava landscapes; and its incredible surroundings. Though by no means as large as other canyons in Iceland, it has still garnered attention for its unique, oasis-like beauty.
It is growing increasingly popular amongst hikers and avid photographers due to the small crowds it attracts; it is a still little-known site and relatively far from other major attractions. It is just north of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, a mountainous area with many hot springs on the popular Laugavegur Trail from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk, but this route passes through Fjallabak’s south.
Interestingly, Sigöldugljúfur was not always a canyon; it was once filled with the water from the Tungnaá river, before the instalment of the Sigala hydroelectric station which changed the geography of the area. Though controversial for many reasons, hydroelectric power provides over 70% of Iceland’s renewable electricity.
Getting to Sigöldugljúfur
Due to its location in the central Highlands, Sigöldugljúfur can only be visited in summer, usually from May to December, and requires a four-wheel-drive vehicle to reach.
From Reykjavík, drive Route 1 South passed Selfoss to Route 30, and turn right onto Route 32. This road will take you to the highland track of the F26; follow this to F208, continue down the gravel trail, and find Sigöldugljúfur on your left.
Please note there are no amenities on site. It is recommended to bring water and supplies with you (or purchase them in Selfoss) before driving to Sigöldugljúfur, and to fill up on gas.
Reaching the valley requires a short hike over uneven ground, so good hiking shoes are recommended, as are warm, waterproof clothing, as the weather can be temperamental in the Highlands of Iceland even in summer.