Information about Fjaðrárgljúfur

Photo by Jörunn Guðlaugsdottir

Fjaðrárgljúfur is a beautiful, dramatic canyon in South Iceland, close to the historic town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

Though the valley was only formed at the end of the last ice age approximately 10,000 years ago, the bedrock here is much older, dating back two million years. The ravine was created by the runoff from a glacial lake, which wore away the soft stone and left only the more resistant rocks behind.

Geography of Fjaðrárglúgur

Fjaðrárglúgur is about 100 metres deep and two kilometres long, with sheer walls dotted with many waterfalls. 

It is possible to walk along the ridges above, or in the valley itself. The site is popular amongst hikers and photographers for the contrasts between the dark rocks, foaming waters and verdant moss. If taking the former route, look up as well as down, as, in clear weather, you will attain great views of the South Coast, Highlands, and surrounding glaciers.

If taking the latter route, know that the river Fjaðrá runs through the canyon, and though its waters are often shallow, those exploring may have to wade through it. This tributary runs into the greater Skaftá river. 

Fjaðrárglúgur’s Surroundings

The closest settlement to Fjaðrárglúgur is Kirkjubæjarklaustur, often nicknamed Klaustur by locals. This is a place with a long religious history, behind home to the country’s first convent. Many local sites are named after the nuns who once lived in the area, such as Systrastapi (Sister’s Rock) and Systrafoss (Sister’s Falls).

Fjaðrárglúgur is a great place to stop for those travelling the South Coast as they make their way from Reykjavík or Vík towards Skaftafell and the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. The South Coast itself is lined with other features to visit during your travel, such as the waterfalls Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, the beach Reynisfjara, and the Dyrhólaey cliffs and arch.

Services near Fjaðrárgljúfur

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Fjaðrárgljúfur


Systrastapi (“Sister’s Rock”) is a historical rock hill and natural attraction west of the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, in ...



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