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Glymur, Akranes

(4.6/5 based on 160+ reviews on the web)
The waterfall Glymur, with a cascade of 198 m, is the second highest waterfall of Iceland. It was long regarded as the tallest waterfall in Iceland until being surpassed with a new falls by Morsárjökull in 2011.It is situated at the rear end of the Hvalfjörður. Since the opening of the tunnel under this fjord, most people bypass the area. However, it is a very beautiful part of the Hvalfjörður with some tall mountains and forests.The river Botnsá runs from the lake Hvalvatn and after a short distance the water falls down alongside the mountainHvalfell into a steep canyon. The waterfall can be accessed from parking area at the end of the road. On good walking boots one can hike on a marked paths to get a view of the waterfall. The waterfall can only be viewed from the east side of the river Botnsá. Hikers need to take extra care of themselves because the trail can be strenuous and potentially hazardous, passing along the edges of steep dropoffs.From the parking area, the trail begins by passing through a gate and walking on a road marked by rocks blazed with yellow paint. A few hundred meters up the road, the trail drops over a small cliff face and descends through a cave down to the river. In the summer there is a small wooden pole over the river with an adjacent cable for a handhold, where travelers can cross to the eastern side.After crossing the river, the trail climbs steeply with various muddy, rocky and loose areas. At times it skirts steep dropoffs. After walking a good 1–2 km. hikers should reach the best viewing area which can be recognized by a large rock resembling an anvil. From this point one can turn back the same way or head further upwards and cross the river Botnsá from above the waterfall and trail down from the western side. One has to cross the river barefooted since there is no bridge or pole over this part of the river. The round trip takes around 2–4 hours. The trip to the anvil and back takes 1–2 hours depending on conditions.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • In a beautiful country being quickly deformed by inconsiderate tourism any tour bus hostile location is a godsend. Glymur handles this in 2 ways - 1) Its perfectly located away from Route 1 on a road ...  more »
  • We went there when it was snowing for the first time in Iceland. We did not see Glymur because we were alone and did not have the equipment. But also without seeing Glymur it was a nice trip there and...  more »
  • Beautiful hike, although not for the faint-hearted. The scenery was stunning -- deep cliffs, waterfalls, gorgeous vistas. Parts of this hike were quite steep and the terrain varied. We walked over a s...  more »
Google
  • This is an amazing hiking taking you up and around the Glymur water fall. Early stages of the trail you will find a log across a river, you then proceed up a steep embankment, however trail conditions aren't too rough. Once you're past the steep embankment it's smoother slopes along a gorgeous canyon. Be sure to stop along the side for photographs. I'd suggest hiking boots , water and a small lunch.
  • Fantastic hike! The route is very interesting and involves crossing a river on a log and hanging onto ropes on the side to climb up steep sections. It is not necessarily hard but it is interesting that it is not a stroll in the park either. I would recommend leaving 3-4 hours to thoroughly enjoy this site and hike up and down without being nervous. The views up top are amazing! (Don't forget your water and snacks. Also you can fill up your water bottles there from the fresh and cold waterfalls along the way.)
  • Pretty good 3 to 4 hours hike with a marked trail and some obstacles (river, cave and steep hill with ropes). The view up the cliff is amazing! I recommend going early since there are tours with lots of people coming during the day. Also, hiking boots should be mandatory.
  • Fantastic landscape and dramatic waterfall with high cliffs. :) Beautiful. Due to lots of rain the log crossing is not possible without getting your feet really wet. Above your knees deep now and one of two logs has been swept away by the river. So up and down on the western side for now until someone fixes the crossing.
  • It's a 5.5 km round trip treacherous hike from the parking lot at the end of the unsealed road to the waterfall. There are ropes to help you along the way but you need very good shoes (hiking boots, not sneakers). There's also a single log river crossing before the ascent which some people decide not to risk. The views of the waterfall are absolutely incredible though. I've never seen such a beautiful waterfall and surrounds before. Highly recommended!