Day 7- Kolugljufur Canyon, Kolugljufur Waterfall, Borganes, Hraunfossar, and Barnafoss

We woke up the next day in Akuyeri, and I took a relaxing shower in the outdoor shower. It was cold at first, but the water was really hot, and once the water was hot, I really didn’t notice the cold. I personally enjoyed taking an outdoor shower while being surrounded by mountains, but Justin had no interest.

Our destination for today was to head towards Borganes, which was our last stop before we spent the end of our trip in Reykjavík. It was a decently long drive to Borganes, it was about 3.5 hours. Still, that doesn’t really seem that long to me when it takes 10 hours just to drive out of Texas on a road trip.

Our first stop en route to Borganes was Kolugljufur Canyon and Kolugljufur Waterfall. It is one of the few places in Iceland that was NOT in a Justin Bieber music video. It wasn’t that far off from Ring Road either so we really didn’t have to tweak any part of our itinerary to get there. The road to Kolugljufur Canyon, however, was pretty much a dirt and rock road, so we were both glad that we had rented a car with four-wheel drive. The canyon is said to be named after the female troll Kola, who is said to have dug the canyon to live there. I think the canyon is pretty much off the beaten path because it’s really hard to find any additional information about it. For example, if you google Blue Lagoon, you’ll find pages upon pages about information, as well as personal accounts of Blue Lagoon. You don’t find nearly as much information about Kolugljufur Canyon or its waterfalls.

Back when Justin and I were near Vík, we had contemplating visiting Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon, which is one of the more popular destinations in Iceland, mostly due to Justin Bieber floating in the river in his underwear in the music video “I’ll Show You”, which I HAVE NEVER SEEN.  (Interestingly enough, in 2018, 21 Pilots filmed their song Jumpsuit there as well. I know that song at least]. After the Justin Bieber video, the canyon actually had to be closed for a while because the traffic from all the Bieber fans caused massive environmental damage to the canyon. However, we didn’t have time to go there because we ended up doing too much that day with our hike to Svartifoss and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon on top of our drive to our lodging that night. Then when we were in Egilsstaðir, we contemplated going to Stuðlagil Canyon, but to get the most beautiful part of that canyon, it would have been a two to three-hour hike, and with so much packed into our schedule, we just could not fit it in. However, Justin REALLY wanted to see a canyon, and Kolugljufur Canyon fits the bill quite nicely. The canyon is 40-50 meters deep and a little over 1 km long.

We could’ve hiked some of the canyon, but since we had quite a drive to get to Borganes, we just stopped and took some pictures. It was beautiful, and we almost had the whole place to ourselves.

[DSLR pics]

[phone pics]

After we took our pictures and explored a tiny bit of the canyon, we spend maybe thirty to forty minutes here, at the most, we headed onwards to Borganes.

We stayed in a cabin on a farm in Borganes. There were animals on the farm including Icelandic horses and lots of sheep.

The cabin was cute and comfortable. The shades in the bedroom did a really good job of blocking out the midnight sun. Justin and I walked around the farm for a little while and pet some of the animals. The horses were much friendlier than the lambs and sheep. The lambs and sheep wanted nothing to do with us.


After we explored the farm a bit, Justin was tired and wanted to nap. I read some stuff on my kindle and browsed the internet. After he woke up, we had dinner from our collection of food we had bought at Bónus the night before, and around 10:30 pm or so, we decided to check out Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, which were about a twenty-minute drive from where we were staying.

Barnafoss is near Hraunfossar, which I think is the more well-known waterfall. Barnafoss has a history from Icelandic folk tales, however, and the story goes that there were two boys, who lived on a farm near the waterfall. Their parents went to church and told their children to stay at home. The boys grew bored and decided they wanted to follow their parents to church. They decided to take a shortcut that crossed over a river. The shortcut was made from a natural stone bridge and it was above the waterfall. On their way to church, the boys felt dizzy and sick and fell into the water and drowned. Their mother found out what happened and cursed the bridge so that nobody would ever cross it again and drown in the river. Shortly afterward an earthquake destroyed the bridge. Barnafoss translates to “Children’s waterfall.”

Barnafoss didn’t really look like a typical waterfall? It looked more like really narrow serpentine rapids.

I don’t really feel like I got very good pics from my camera or cell phone of both Barnafoss and Hraunfossar mainly because of where the sun was at 11:00 pm, and the light interfered with the pictures somewhat with shadows, but I tried. On the bright side, getting to a waterfall at 11 pm meant we had it to ourselves for the most part.

Here is Barnafoss:


[cell phone]

Hraunfoss is probably the better-known waterfall. It is a series of waterfalls that cover a horizontal distance of about 900 meters. They originate from Hallmundarhraun, which is a lava field that formed shortly after Iceland’s settlement, in the 10th century. The lava field was created from an eruption from a volcano under the glacier Langjökull, which is the second-largest glacier in Iceland.  The waterfalls of Hraunfoss pour into the river from ledges of less porous rocks in the lava. It was absolutely beautiful, but again, the shadows and the sun interfered with my ability to take what I consider to be good pictures of the falls.



After looking at the falls, we ventured back to the farm. I decided to see if I could get better pictures of the farm animals, and Justin decided to research Glymur Falls because we were contemplating doing that hike the next morning. [Spoiler alert: We did and it was torture]


It was after midnight when I decided to take pictures of the animals and it was still light out, however, there was a little bit of color in the mountains in the distance from the farm, which sort of looked like the beginning of a sunset.


After I finished taking pictures, I went back to the cabin, and we went to bed.

It was hard to believe we only had a few days left of our trip before we went back to the states.





2 thoughts on “Day 7- Kolugljufur Canyon, Kolugljufur Waterfall, Borganes, Hraunfossar, and Barnafoss”

    1. Thank you, and one day I will get around to writing about the rest of our trip. Most likely after this semester of grad school ends. I made the mistake of taking two courses while teaching and do not know what free time is anymore.

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