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Gluggafoss Waterfall in South-Iceland – the One with the …

Gluggafoss waterfall

Gluggafoss waterfall – the Window Falls is a stupendous roughly 44-meters tall waterfall in Fljótshlíð in South-Iceland, usually neglected by travellers.

It’s truly a sequence of waterfalls working in the small river Merkjá and collectively these waterfalls are referred to as Merkjárfoss Falls.

Gluggafoss waterfallHome windows in Gluggafoss waterfall

What makes Gluggafoss distinctive is its geology – the river has created a number of holes and tunnels within the comfortable palagonite bedrock, via which the water finds its method – we name them “gluggar” or home windows. 

Gluggafoss is effectively price visiting for this distinctive geology alone, but it surely’s additionally a really scenic waterfall in its personal proper. 

Seeing that the higher stage of the waterfall cascades via comfortable palagonite the waterfall has modified via the years.

I first keep in mind visiting it again in 1979 and again then it appeared just about the identical as at the moment, however from what I’ve learn on the Katla Geopark web site then again in 1947 Gluggafoss was solely seen via the three home windows, one on high of the opposite, which give this waterfall its identify.

The windows in Gluggafoss waterfall

One of many home windows in Gluggafoss waterfall

Then the water solely managed to return out via one of many home windows, forming an arch.

 What a reasonably sight that should have been! 

Gluggafoss waterfall

Gluggafoss waterfall

Whenever you go to it at the moment you’ll discover, particularly if the water stage is excessive, how the water forces itself via the home windows after which cascades into a grotto – it’s such a mystical and mesmerizing sight!

On the high of Gluggafoss, you’ll discover a stone arch via which the river runs – so fairly 🙂

Gluggafoss waterfall

Rainbow by Gluggafoss waterfall

Gluggafoss is positioned northwest of one other infamous volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, which erupted again in 2010, inflicting havoc in air site visitors around the globe.

Just a bit bit additional south the well-known Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi waterfalls are positioned.

Regína by Gluggafoss waterfallBy the decrease cascade

The higher waterfall plunges some 44 meters and broadens up within the decrease falls and plunges additional some 8.5 meters.

It’s attainable to stroll behind the decrease waterfall in a single location, and I did so as soon as and took some pictures, however the drizzle obtained me soaking moist.

Behind the lower Gluggafoss waterfall

Behind the decrease cascade

A brief hike from the car parking zone takes you straight as much as the waterfall, however some components of it have been closed off as a consequence of soil preservation.

After visiting the primary two waterfalls I took a path main up the hill, as I wished to see Gluggafoss from above.

Gluggafoss waterfall from above

Gluggafoss from above

From above I noticed the grotto (see my photograph above) which I hadn’t seen from beneath, so it’s effectively price mountaineering up the hill, though it’s a bit steep – and it will get even steeper if you wish to go to the waterfalls additional up. However it’s a grassy hill, so it’s not tough.

I adopted the trail additional up and encountered two different fairly waterfalls additional upstream of the river. And the view from up there of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier and the Fljótshlíð space is completely breathtaking.

A waterfall above Gluggafoss

A waterfall above Gluggafoss

Gluggafoss is positioned between Hlíðarendi and Múlakot farms, near Þorsteinslundur, the place you too can see a reasonably waterfall hidden behind a small grove.

Fljótshlíð is a Saga space and among the best identified Sagas, the Queen of the Icelandic SagasNjálssaga – the Saga of Njáll, occurred right here, however one of many principal characters, Gunnar, lived at Hlíðarendi farm, simply west of Gluggafoss.

I’ve written one other travel-blog about Fljótshlíð and the Saga of Njáll.

A waterfall in Þorsteinslundur grove

The beautiful waterfall in Þorsteinslundur grove

Folklore, which occurred at Múlakot and by Merkjá river, is written in Þjóðsögur Jóns Árnasonar – the Assortment of Folklore of Jón Árnason, which is a compilation of Icelandic folklore via the centuries, collected all through Iceland by Jón Árnason (1819-1888).

I attempt to embody folklore after I write about sure places in Iceland and seek for them within the 6 volumes of Jón Árnason’s books. I believe it provides extra substance to my travel-blogs and offers you a larger data of every space in Iceland.

Now, on with the story:

Múlakotsbræður – the Brothers at Múlakot farm

Eyjafjallajökull glaicer

Eyjafjallajökull glacier

“Within the first a part of the nineteenth century, two brothers lived with their mom at Múlakot in Fljótshlíð, Jón and Ólafur. One New Yr’s morning Jón went to feed the lambs within the lamb home.

A lady approached him, fantastically dressed, and slightly fairly. She began speaking to him in a comfortable voice and requested if he wished to stroll along with her for a brief distance.

He did not know this woman and refused in a dry method to accompany her. Seeing that her strategy did not work out the girl requested Jón to marry her.Rainbow by GluggafossGluggafoss

He refused as he suspected that she was an elf-woman – a girl belonging to the hidden folks of Iceland.

She then requested him to sleep along with her, however he promptly refused and walked away very offended and went house – and the girl did not observe him.

He did not inform anyone about this incident and the brothers went collectively on this identical day to the church at Teigur in Fljótshlíð.

They visited a number of farms on their method again and it was effectively after midnight once they reached the river Merkjá, which runs simply west of Múlakot farm.

Fljótshlíð South-Iceland

Fljótshlíð – Stóra-Dímon within the distance

There was virtually a full moon and nonetheless climate and thus not completely darkish. Simply as that they had crossed the river each of them noticed a girl approaching them, and as they meet, Jón seen that it was the identical girl he had met this identical morning within the lamb home.

The lady began asking Jón the identical factor she had this morning and pressed him exhausting.

Jón obtained offended and began reprimanding her and wished to jostle her, however his brother Ólafur prevented him from doing so and requested him to behave.

The old bridge over Merká river

The outdated bridge over the Merkjá river

The lady then informed him angrily that though he would not sleep along with her then it was not essential to reprimand her and rebut – and that he and his children ought to pay for this later, however Ólafur had been sort so he shouldn’t should endure. 

The lady then left and disappeared.

Someday later Jón obtained married and have become a farmer on one other farm

Hiking above Gluggafoss waterfall

Climbing above Gluggafoss waterfall

Little by little Jón began getting apoplexy – and certainly one of his daughters turned such a weakling that she was confined to mattress all her life, and had little or no sense or data of something – she by no means spoke and died when she was little older than 25.

After she died her sister turned severely mentally unwell, however she had been a very promising woman.

The above-mentioned  Jón Árnason final lived at Bakki in Austur-Landeyjum and died there. His son was Loftur, who lived at Þorlaugargerði within the Westman Islands and have become a Mormon and sailed to the New World. One other of his sons was Árni, who lived at Kirkjubær within the Westman island and died there.

The lower cascade of Merkjárfoss


His daughter Sigríður married Jón Oddsson from Síða, they lived at Bakki and had many youngsters.

Jón’s daughter, Guðrún, married Einar Bjarnason, district administrative officer, from Hrífunes in Skaftártungur and she or he was the one who obtained insane after her sister died – she was at the moment married to Einar”.

(Translated into English from the Assortment of Folklore of Jón Árnason)

Gluggafoss waterfall in autumnThe decrease cascade of Merkjárfoss in autumn colors

Now, these folks had been actual folks dwelling in Fljótshlíð. Within the olden instances, and possibly not so way back, it was slightly frequent for Icelandic folks to have encounters with the hidden folks of Iceland.

On the preserved Múlakot you’ll these days discover one of many oldest and most exceptional non-public ornate gardens in Iceland, the place Guðbjörg Þorleifsdóttir at Múlakot planted the primary timber again in 1897.

And the farm, which dates again to 1898, was one of many first nation inns in Iceland. Right here Icelandic painters and artists resided and painted many well-known work.

Gluggafoss waterfall

Above Gluggafoss

My grandmother informed me about her encounter with the elves in her birthplace within the Westfjords of Iceland and her sisters additionally talked to elves.

The folklore above exhibits us that we must always by no means mess with the elves or make them offended as they’ll both assist us or take revenge on us.

We Icelanders are introduced up listening to the tales of the elves, and I can let you know that the majority of us concern the wrath of the elves, and would by no means danger making them offended; whether or not we consider in them or not. 

Gluggafoss waterfall

The decrease cascade of Merkjárfoss in August

Gluggafoss is positioned some 117 km away from Reykjavík, however the closest village is Hvolsvöllur by ring-road 1 some 20 km away.

To succeed in Gluggafoss from Hvolsvöllur flip from ring-road 1 onto highway 261.

Additionally it is attainable within the summertime to take gravel highway 250, which leads from ring-road 1 and straight as much as Gluggafoss.

To go to Gluggafoss you may hire a automotive in Reykjavík and embody this lovely waterfall in your go to to the attention-grabbing sights on the south coast of Iceland.

Have a beautiful time by the gorgeous Gluggafoss 🙂



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