After visiting some of the iconic waterfalls along Southern Iceland, it’s time to meet the glacier lagoons like Fjallsarlon and Jokulsarlon of Vatnajokull National Park. But before that, I backtracked a little as I remembered seeing two good-looking waterfalls situated along the Ring Road yesterday. Yes, that’s right, more waterfalls! How does one get bored with natural beauties as such? How I wish to catch a glimpse of the many waterfalls in Iceland. It only took me around 10 minutes’ drive from FossHotel Nupar.
Foss a Sidu Waterfall in Iceland
The entrance to the first waterfall has a ‘Private’ and ‘Closed’ signages so it’s not possible to get closer without trespassing the privately-owned spaces. But I am contended to see it from a distance while respecting the owners’ rights. The name of this small and tall waterfall is mentioned as Foss a Sidu on Google Map.
Man, it’s so cool to own a property with a private waterfall as such!
The next waterfall is a mere 10 minutes’ drive from Foss a Sidu and it’s situated near to the Ring Road. I think it’s more like a rapid rather than a typical waterfall but still beautiful nevertheless. The cascading and gushing waters make a wonderful pair for photography. More so, with the rocky mountain as a backdrop.
Vatnajokull National Park
The impressive Vatnajokull National Park covers an extensive area with a diverse landscape that captivates its visitors. Vatnajökull which roughly translates to ‘Water Glacier’ in Icelandic is the largest national park in Iceland. The other two being Þingvellir and Snæfellsjokull. Together with the infamous Vatnajokull Glacier, well-known places within the park include Iceland’s highest mountain in Hvannadalshnjukur. The Svartifoss waterfall in Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Not forgetting Dettifoss Waterfall, Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and Crystal Ice Cave.
My first destination in Vatnajökull National Park involves a short 1.5km hike from the information centre to see the famed Svartifoss. There are 2 other waterfalls, Hundafoss and Magnusarfoss along the way as well.
Hundafoss and Magnusarfoss
I arrived at Hundafoss, the first waterfall, after 15 minutes of walking. The water plunges from the cliff and it looks quite good. But the thick foliage obstructed plenty of the views and makes it such a challenge to get a clear shot. This spoiler is probably the reason why nobody else bothers to stop by except me on that day. An alternative is to walk up to the gorge where the action starts.
The next is Magnusarfoss, which is even smaller than Hundafoss but with the same foliage problem.
Svartifoss and the basalt columns
After hiking for another 20 minutes, I can finally see Svartifoss aka ‘Black Falls’ from a distance. Soon enough, I am admiring Svartifoss from the footbridge which doubles up as a viewing platform. However, the platform’s position does not provide a good front view of Svartifoss. It’s possible to get nearer to the waterfall but the rocky terrain can be a potential ankle-twister.
Svartifoss looks impressive and unique together with the black geometrical basalt columns. The naturally created columns give a stunning frame to the waterfall and stand out from its surrounding. These unique columns found in a few places in Iceland are said to be the inspiration for Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik. The 45 minutes of walk (one way) was worthwhile after all!
Once I am back at the information centre, I head towards my second destination in the National Park – Skaftafellsjokull Glacier. Skaftafellsjokull is one of the glacier tongues of the humongous Vatnajokull ice cap and perhaps the most accessible one. It took me about 30 minutes’ walk on the rather levelled terrain until the rocky part towards the end. The temperature drops noticeably as I got nearer to the massive Skaftafellsjokull.
I am so amazed by the glacier and was tempted to get closer to this natural marvel. But I decided to heed the advice of the warning sign. More so when I am definitely ill-equipped while being alone that quiet afternoon. I stayed on to capture more pictures until the chilling wind decided it’s time for me to leave. And so I made my way to both Fjallsarlon and Jokulsarlon next.