Picture yourself standing in one of the most breathtaking canyons in Iceland’s remote wilderness. Múlagljúfur Canyon is an awe-inspiring natural wonder located in a not-so-off-the-beaten-path location that you won’t want to miss when visiting this stunning country! With its winding trails, dramatic cliffsides and sweeping views, a visit to Múlagljúfur Canyon is sure to be an unforgettable experience as you explore some of the oldest geologic formations on earth. This travel guide will delve into everything you need to know for how best to plan your excursion including tips on where to stay and what activities are available so you can make the most out of your trip!
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Múlagljúfur Canyon is a hidden gem located in the rugged and spectacular landscapes of Iceland. This magnificent canyon, reaching up to 2 kilometers in length and over 400 meters in depth, is notable for its cascading waterfalls and towering cliffs, creating a captivating scenery that truly showcases the power and beauty of nature. Within the depths of the canyon, you'll find Múlafossur, a spectacular waterfall that plunges from the edge of the Oxi Plateau, making for an awe-inspiring sight that visitors won't soon forget. The canyon is also home to a wealth of flora and fauna, providing a haven for nature enthusiasts who are keen to explore Iceland's diverse ecosystem.
Where is Múlagljúfur Canyon?
Múlagljúfur Canyon is located in the southeast region of Iceland, nestled between Hofn and Djúpivogur. It lies near Route 1 (the Ring Road), which circumnavigates the entire island nation, making it relatively easy to reach from nearby towns or cities. Although it may not be as well-known as other Icelandic attractions, its relative seclusion is part of its charm.
How to get to Múlagljúfur Canyon
Getting to Múlagljúfur Canyon is an adventure in itself, offering scenic views along the way. From the town of Höfn, head west on Route 1 (the Ring Road) for approximately 2 hours. As you make your way along this route, you'll be treated to beautiful landscapes of rugged mountains and expansive coastlines.
Reykjavík to Múlagljúfur Canyon: 368 km | 4 hr 40 min | Google Maps
Höfn to Múlagljúfur Canyon: 49 km | 1 hr 17 min | Google Maps
Diamond Beach to Múlagljúfur Canyon: 15 km | 17 min | Google Maps
Vík to Múlagljúfur Canyon: 181 km | 2 hr 17 min | Google Maps
Hiking around Múlagljúfur Canyon
There is one main trail that runs the rim of Múlagljúfur Canyon simply called the Canyon Rim Trail. It's a relatively easy trail that follows the rim of the canyon, providing spectacular views of the landscape. This trail is approximately 2 miles long and is a great option for those looking for a quick, scenic hike.
Remember, safety is paramount when hiking, so be sure to bring the appropriate gear, including sturdy hiking shoes, warm clothing, and plenty of water. Also, always adhere to the posted signage and stay on marked trails to prevent erosion and protect the delicate ecosystems in the area.
Best way to experience Múlagljúfur Canyon
The best way to experience Múlagljúfur Canyon is by exploring its many offerings on foot. The canyon's hiking trails take you up close and personal with the dramatic landscapes, offering unparalleled views of the cascading Múlafossur waterfall and towering cliffs. Ranging from easy strolls to more strenuous hikes, these trails cater to all fitness levels. The well-marked paths meander through the area's unique flora and fauna, providing ample opportunities for breathtaking photography and wildlife spotting. Remember to wear sturdy footwear and bring along your camera to capture the awe-inspiring beauty.
Other things to do in the area
While you're in the area, don't miss out on these additional attractions in the vicinity of Múlagljúfur Canyon:
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: Just a short drive from the canyon, this stunning lagoon is filled with large chunks of ice that have broken off from the nearby Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier. Boat tours are available for a closer look at these floating icebergs.
Diamond Beach: Adjacent to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, this black sand beach is dotted with glistening icebergs that have washed ashore, creating a dramatic contrast that's a favorite among photographers.
Vatnajökull National Park: Home to the largest glacier in Europe, this national park offers numerous hiking trails, ice cave tours, and stunning views of the glacier and surrounding landscape.
Fjallsárlón Iceberg Lagoon: A quieter alternative to Jökulsárlón, the serene Fjallsárlón lagoon offers views of towering icebergs against the backdrop of the Vatnajökull glacier.
Skaftafell Nature Reserve: Located in Vatnajökull National Park, Skaftafell is a paradise for hikers with a variety of trails leading to glaciers, waterfalls, and stunning views over the park.
Where to stay near Múlagljúfur Canyon
When visiting Múlagljúfur Canyon, there are a variety of accommodations nearby to choose from. Below are four options that will keep you conveniently close to the canyon while offering a comfortable place to rest after a day of exploration:
Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon
Just a short drive from the canyon, this hotel offers modern accommodations with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The hotel has an on-site restaurant and bar, and all rooms offer free Wi-Fi.
Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon: Hnappavellir, 785 Öræfi, Iceland | Google Maps
For those seeking a more authentic Icelandic experience, this guesthouse located near the Vatnajökull National Park offers clean and cozy rooms with shared bathrooms. It's an excellent option for travelers on a budget and for those who enjoy a more local experience.
When packing for your visit to Múlagljúfur Canyon, consider the unpredictable Icelandic weather and the activities you plan to engage in. Here are some essentials to include in your packing list:
Warm clothing: Icelandic weather can be unpredictable, so layers are key. Include thermal underwear, a fleece jacket, and a waterproof and windproof outer layer.
Hiking boots: Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots are a must for canyon's trails and uneven terrain.
Camera: Múlagljúfur Canyon offers breathtaking views, so make sure to bring a good camera to capture them.
Binoculars: For wildlife spotting and taking in the distant vistas.
Water and snacks: Keep yourself energized during your hike with some snacks and remember to stay hydrated.
Backpack: A sturdy backpack to carry all your essentials during your hike.
Hat, gloves, and scarves: It can get chilly, especially in the morning and evening, or at higher altitudes.
Sunglasses and sunscreen: The sun can be strong in Iceland, especially in the summer, and the reflection off glaciers can intensify its effects.
Swimwear and towel: If you plan on visiting any of the geothermal pools or hot springs in the area.
Map or GPS: While the trails are generally well-marked, having a map or GPS can be helpful in navigating the area.
Garmin Mini InReach 2: Whether you're near or far off the grid, we always recommend traveling with a Garmin InReach 2. Yes they're pricy, but it can literally save your life!
To put it simply, Múlagljúfur Canyon is a natural wonder—a place both beautiful and wild that deserves to be explored. Located in Iceland, this majestic canyon offers adventurers the perfect getaway, with a generally accessible hiking trail for the avergage hiker to explore and lots of other activities to partake in the nearby areas. The best way to experience Múlagljúfur is on foot, and there are several great accommodation options nearby for an overnight stay. To make sure you have all the essentials for your visit, be sure to pack some warm layers, extra snacks and drinks, rain jacket, and water—just in case! With its breathtaking landscape and wide array of activities perfect for nature lovers and thrill seekers alike, taking a trip to Múlagljúfur Canyon should definitely be at the top of your travel bucket list. So strap on your hiking boots and hit the trails—it will surely be an amazing journey that you won't soon forget!
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We're Chris and Sara
A creative husband and wife duo from a small-town in Tennessee with passion for all things travel. Checkout the links below to join us on our past, present, and future adventures!