During my research about Iceland I came across a canyon that looked highly impressive. I found it to be located quite far in the north east of the island and placed it on my point-of-interest list for my trip planning. So it happend that I passed the beautiful Ásbyrgi Canyon.
There are different theories how the canyon was created. One is that the canyon is the result of a massive flood after enormous amount of glacier ice was melted by a volcanic eruption and then washed out the rocks. It must have been unbelievably much water, but when seeing the glaciers extension nowadays, it gives a feeling of the forces of nature. Of course there are also other stories of mythology explaining Ásbyrgi Canyon. So maybe it was Sleipnir, Odins horse, which stepped on the ground here. By the way, according to the blog of my icelandic friend Regina, Ásbyrgi Canyon is the capital of the Hidden People (“Huldufólk”). I haven’t seen any, but that is obvious as then they wouldn’t be the hidden ones.
Arriving to Ásbyrgi Canyon I recommend to also stop by the Visitor Center located in the opening of the canyon. Here you can get information about the beautiful nature. But let me show it to you at the end. Let us first have a look a the canyon…
From the Visitor Center driving southwards we pass this massive rock formation called ‘Eyjan’. It is the same road we will have to come back. Actually the photo was taken on my return.
After a short while we reach the parking and now will cross something very unusual on Iceland… a forest.
In particular this very dense one.
It was hard to believe that nature wasn’t further as this… My holidays were in second half of May and leaves only started to grow! It gives a good feeling how short the periods are in which plants can actually grow. Therefore it is important to protect the nature and keep on the trails.
Then at some point the massive wall of rocks could be seen. This is the southern end of the canyon.
Looking at the pictures it is not so easy to get a feeling of the sizes, but I can assure it is an impressive sight. One photo a little later shows you the platform from which I took this picture. There you get the dimensions.
As you can see, there still was some snow left.
The tiny waterfall. I am sure in the high times of melting snow, it will be much more impressive than what you see here.
I changed the viewing platform to have a better view from a higher point. At the back you can see the wooden platform that I used before to take the first photos. You see, it is a huge wall.
This is the exhibition in the Visitor Center. There is also personal that can help you to answer your questions and who sells maps and some souvenir.
I hope you enjoyed that look into Ásbyrgi Canyon. Here below the view from above within Google Maps…