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HomeIceland TravelGluggafoss Waterfall in South-Iceland - the One with the Home windows

Gluggafoss Waterfall in South-Iceland – the One with the Home windows

Gluggafoss waterfall

Gluggafoss waterfall – the Window Falls is a gorgeous roughly 44-meters tall waterfall in Fljótshlíð in South-Iceland, typically ignored by travellers.

It’s truly a collection of waterfalls working in the small river Merkjá and collectively these waterfalls are known 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 smooth palagonite bedrock, by way of which the water finds its means – we name them “gluggar” or home windows. 

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


Seeing that the higher stage of the waterfall cascades by way of smooth palagonite the waterfall has modified by way of the years.

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

The windows in Gluggafoss waterfall

One of many home windows in Gluggafoss waterfall

Then the water solely managed to come back out by way of one of many home windows, forming an arch.

 What a fairly sight that will need to have been! 

Gluggafoss waterfall

Gluggafoss waterfall

Whenever you go to it as we speak you’ll discover, particularly if the water stage is excessive, how the water forces itself by way of 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 by way of 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 all over the world.

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 potential to stroll behind the decrease waterfall in a single location, and I did so as soon as and took some pictures, however the drizzle acquired me soaking moist.

Behind the lower Gluggafoss waterfall

Behind the decrease cascade

A brief hike from the parking zone takes you straight as much as the waterfall, however some components of it have been closed off as a result 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 under, so it’s nicely price climbing up the hill, regardless that 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 troublesome.

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 may as well see a fairly waterfall hidden behind a small grove.

Fljótshlíð is a Saga space and the most effective identified Sagas, the Queen of the Icelandic SagasNjálssaga – the Saga of Njáll, befell right here, however one of many essential 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 gorgeous waterfall in Þorsteinslundur grove

Folklore, which befell 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 by way of the centuries, collected all through Iceland by Jón Árnason (1819-1888).

I attempt to embrace folklore after I write about sure places in Iceland and seek for them within the 6 volumes of Jón Árnason’s books. I feel it provides extra substance to my travel-blogs and provides you a larger information 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 12 months’s morning Jón went to feed the lambs within the lamb home.

A lady approached him, superbly dressed, and fairly fairly. She began speaking to him in a smooth 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 individuals of Iceland.

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

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

They visited a number of farms on their means again and it was nicely 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 nearly 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 observed that it was the identical lady he had met this similar morning within the lamb home.

The girl began asking Jón the identical factor she had this morning and pressed him laborious.

Jón acquired 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 previous bridge over the Merkjá river

The girl then informed him angrily that regardless that 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 mustn’t should undergo. 

The girl then left and disappeared.

Someday later Jón acquired 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 grew to become such a weakling that she was confined to mattress all her life, and had little or no sense or information of something – she by no means spoke and died when she was little older than 25.

After she died her sister grew to become severely mentally in poor health, however she had been a extremely 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 kids.

Jón’s daughter, Guðrún, married Einar Bjarnason, district administrative officer, from Hrífunes in Skaftártungur and she or he was the one who acquired 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 individuals have been actual individuals dwelling in Fljótshlíð. Within the olden occasions, and possibly not so way back, it was fairly frequent for Icelandic individuals to have encounters with the hidden individuals of Iceland.

On the preserved Múlakot you’ll these days discover one of many oldest and most outstanding 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 lodges 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 reveals us that we should 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 inform you that the majority of us worry 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 achieve Gluggafoss from Hvolsvöllur flip from ring-road 1 onto highway 261.

Additionally it is potential within the summertime to take gravel highway 250, which leads from ring-road 1 and straight as much as Gluggafoss.!1m14!1m8!1m3!1d3468.519461862084!2nd-19.893715!3d63.721026!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x0percent3A0xd99afc023c3e111d!2sGluggafosspercent20(alsopercent20calledpercent20MerkjpercentC3percentA1rfoss)!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sis!4v1633088661253!5m2!1sen!2sis

To go to Gluggafoss you may lease a automotive in Reykjavík and embrace this lovely waterfall in your go to to the fascinating sights on the south coast of Iceland.

Have a stunning time by the gorgeous Gluggafoss 🙂



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