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THE WATERFALL CIRCLE

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2 THE WATERFALL CIRCLE

One of Iceland’s most popular attractions are waterfalls. The Waterfall Circle leads you to waterfalls of all shapes and sizes, and some of them are among the best known in the country. Here you can see Iceland’s tallest waterfall Glymur, the unique Hraunfossar (Lava Waterfalls), the legendary Barnafoss (Children´s Waterfall) and many more. The Waterfall Circle also leads you to many of the most beautiful sites of West Iceland, like The Hvalfjörður (Whale Bay), Skorradalur Valley and The Borgarfjörður district.

Hvalfjörður-Borgarfjörður-Borgarnes-Akranes

Waterfalls on this route

The Itinerary

You can follow the itinerary below to visit the most significant waterfalls in the area.

Þingvellir national park

Drive from Reykjavík on road nr.36 to Þingvellir national park. The ,,Althing“ at Þingvellir was Iceland’s supreme legislative and judicial authority from its establishment in 930 until 1262. Major events in the history of Iceland have taken place at Þingvellir and therefore the place is held in high esteem by all Icelanders. At Þingvellir you will find the waterfall Öxarárfoss.

Hvalfjörður

If you have nice weather then you can take road nr. 48 to Hvalfjörður. If you have snow and ice it is better to go back to road.nr 1 and then take road nr. 47 in to Hvalfjörður. During World War II, a naval base of the British and American navies could be found in this fjord. One of the piers built by the United States Navy was later used by the Hvalur, a whaling company. In the end of the fjord you have the highest waterfall in Iceland Glymur. It takes about 4 hours to get to Glymur and back to the car.

Borgarfjörður

When going to Borgarfjörður take road nr. 50 it is gravel road in the beginning so be careful. Some of Iceland´s most beautiful nature wonders can be found in Borgarfjörður. Hraunfossar waterfalls “lava falls”, are unique and picturesque waterfalls that come from underneath the edge of a lava field and spill into the glacial river Hvítá. Deildartunguhver is Europe’s most powerful hot spring. It provides at the moment 200 l/sec of 100°C hot water. There are two famous caves in Borgarfjörður, Víðgelmir and Surtshellir. Much has been written about Surtshellir and it is told that in earlier centuries a group of outlaws lived in the lava tube. Viðgelmir lava tube is the largest of all lava tubes in Iceland. If you are looking for hikes, it is nice to take a short hike to the Glanni waterfall and explore the Grábrók Volcanic Crater. Hafnarfjall Mountain is 804 meters and it takes 4 hours to hike up and down. From Hafnarfjall Mountain you have great view over Borgarnes and Borgarfjörð.

Borgarnes

Borgarnes is the centre for trade and services in the Borgarfjörður area and has been so since the late 19th century when the town began to be built. In Borgarnes, there are three museums; Edduveröld, Settlement Center and Borgarfjörður museum.
Borgarnes thermal pool is nice place to visit all year. In Borgarnes is an old style playground, “Bjössaróló”, built by man that lived in Borgarnes. Bjössaróló is a great place to visit for kids. Borgarnes has good accommodations and great places to grab a bite.

Akranes

Akranes is the largest town in the west of Iceland. Grate outdoor area is the small forest at Garðalundur and facilities improved for outdoor activities. There is a playground for kids, a beach volleyball court and a grill area. Thermal Pool, Golf Course and the two kinds of beaches, black sand beach and white. Langisandur is white sand beaches which is rear in Iceland. Langisandur is a nice place to take a walk and if you are brave, you can go for a swim. The Lighthouse in Akranes is open for people in summer and you can go up to the top and enjoy the view. Akranes Museum area exhibits from former times, bearing witness to farming, housekeeping and social conditions in and around Akranes. Akranes offers good resturants and accommodation.

Iceland Winter Break, Winter in West Iceland, is a cooperative project in West Iceland, spearheaded by the West Iceland Marketing Office, that aims to show travellers everything the area has to offer during winter. 

Activities
Restaurants and cafés Accommodation
Bjarteyjarsandur Bjarteyjarsandur Akranes Hostel
Brilliant tours Ensku Húsin Borgarnes Bed & Breakfast
Culture and craft Galito Ensku Húsin 
Grenigerði Gamla kaupfélagið Fosshótel Reykholt 
Háafell goat farm Hótel Húsafell Hótel Bifröst 
Hespa Hraunsnef  Hotel Glymur 
Into the glacier Iceland guesthouse Hvítá Hotel Hafnarfjall
Ljómalind The settlement centre Hotel Húsafell
Snorrastofa Hotel Glymur  Hraunsnef country hotel
The Settlement centre Icelandair hotel Hamar  Iceland guesthouse Hvítá
Wild West Tours Hótel Bifröst  Icelandair hotel Hamar 
Wool centre Hvanneyri Fosshótel Reykholt   
The Circle
  • Glymur
    Iceland's tallest waterfall, is located in Botnsdalur valley, Hvalfjörður. Leading up to it is a fabulous hiking path that should only be attempted ...
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  • Lava Waterfalls
    Hraunfossar - Lava Falls - are beautiful and unusual natural phenomena. Clear, cold springs of subterranean water seep through the lava and run as tin...
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  • Troll Waterfalls
    The Troll Waterfalls of the Grimsa river. There is a clear formation in the form of a troll face in the cliff by the river bank. Take the troll walk a...
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  • Barnafoss, Children's Falls
    The meaning of this waterfall translates into "Children's waterfall", but the signs here indicated that there was a saga describing why it got this na...
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  • Glanni Waterfall
    The Glanni Waterfall on the Norðurá River is said to be the dwelling place of elves and trolls. However, during our visit, we noticed that this wate...
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  • Borgarnes
    Borgarnes lies in the middle of West Iceland about 75 km from Reykjavík City Centre.In Borgarnes you can create an unforgettable holiday: breakfast a...
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  • Akranes
    Akranes is just a stone's throw away from the capital largest town in West Iceland with the population 7.421. The Museum Area at Gardar is without a d...
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West Iceland

Towns & Villages

The population centres in West Iceland are as varied as they are many. Ten places have over 50 residents and Akranes is the most densely populated with 6,500 inhabitants. 

All of the larger communities put ever-increasing emphasis on dynamic tourism where a wide selection of recreation and services are offered.   

Explore map by categories

Map Hellissandur, Rif Grundarfjörður Stykkishólmur Búðardalur Dalir Arnarstapi Hellnar Snæfellsnes Bifröst Húsafell Reykholt Borgarfjörður Hvanneyri Borgarnes Hvalfjörður Akranes Ólafsvík