Iceland for Photographers: 10 Hidden Locations

Northern Lights in Iceland

Iceland is arguably one of the most photographed countries in the world and rightly so. With its picturesque landscapes, untamed nature and everything from ice to fire it is no surprise that photographers worldwide flock to Iceland. 

Whether you are a landscape photographer, wildlife photographer, wedding photographer or a hobby photographer, these are some of Iceland’s best hidden locations for avid photographers. 

 

10 x hidden locations for photographers:

 

The West

1. Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge

Tucked away on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland, this narrow canyon will have you in awe of its dramatic rock formations and even a hidden waterfall. This makes for a unique backdrop for editorial photoshoots or even a few one-of-a-kind wedding shots. In the summer, the canyon is quite easily accessible, but bear in mind that you need to be well-equipped and willing to get wet if you plan on getting closer to the waterfall. Rauðfeldsgjá Canyon is not accessible in the winter when the ground is icy.

2. Brynjudalur valley

In the Hvalfjörður fjord, you will find Brynjudalur valley. This paradise offers many opportunities for photographers. It has everything your landscape-photography heart desires, including various waterfalls, wide mountain scenery, rivers, and greenery. Take in the stunning landscape and create away.

 

Icy river in Iceland with a bridge crossing.
Photo: Signe. Barnafoss waterfall in the wintertime.

 

3. Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls 

In West Iceland, nestled in the Borgarfjörður region, you will find these bright blue waterfalls cascading through lava fields, creating a very unique and photogenic landscape. These waterfalls are very close together, and the drive from Reykjavík city takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes and is on route of the Silver Circle tour. The hike up to the waterfalls is very easy and only takes a few minutes from the parking space.

4. Hornstrandir nature reserve

For photographers, a trip to Hornstrandir Nature Reserve in the West is definitely worth it. The total area covers 580 square kilometres (220 square miles) of tundra, cliffs, flowering fields, and ice and is especially interesting for wildlife photographers seeing this is the home to Iceland’s only native mammal: the arctic fox. With more than 260 different species of flora, the hike through the wilderness can be challenging but absolutely worth it when capturing a cheeky portrait of a little fox or while letting the greatness of the fjords inspire your creativity.

 

Borgarfjörður eystri – photo by Golli

The North

5. Hvítserkur rock formation

In North Iceland, on the Vatnsnes Peninsula, the Hvítserkur rock formation rises from the sea, looking like a dragon. This distinctive basalt sea stack offers a surreal background for landscape photography.

 

The East

6. Hengifoss Waterfall

Hengifoss waterfall is the third-highest waterfall in Iceland. It is located in the East of Iceland and takes about two hours to hike up to it. Therefore, this location requires some commitment and good preparation. The waterfall is framed by vibrant red and black basalt layers, making for a stunning backdrop whether the waterfall is your main subject or you are photographing models.

7. Borgarfjörður Eystri fjord

This remote fjord in the East of Iceland provides endless possibilities for photography. It is known for its stunning landscapes, including rugged mountains, colourful cliffs, picturesque fishing villages, and a beautiful beach. This would be the perfect place for an elopement photographer to take their wedding couple or for some versatile landscape photography.

 

Hornstrandir – photo by Golli

 

The South

8. Þjófafoss waterfall

This waterfall is one of three major waterfalls on Þjórsá river, the longest river in Iceland. This milky waterfall is located in the South of Iceland, east of Merkurhraun lava field. The wide, bright blue waterfall with a giant mountain in the background makes for a stunning subject for every type of photography.

9. Brúarfoss waterfall

This hidden gem is perfect for photographers seeking lesser-known landscapes in Iceland. With its turquoise waters and picturesque surroundings, every type of photographer will be in awe of both the colours and the landscape. Brúarfoss waterfall is located near the Golden Circle route, making it easily accessible from Reykjavík city.

10. Nauthúsagil ravine

This stunning ravine is located on the South coast of Iceland and is definitely a hidden gem for photographers. This mystical ravine can be found behind Stóra-Mörk farm, and within it, you will find an amazing hidden waterfall. The hike through the ravine to get to the waterfall is not too advanced, but it is advisable to have good shoes on and expect to get a little wet along the way. When you’ve reached the waterfall – it will all be worth it.

 

These 10 hidden locations offer photographers the chance to capture the raw beauty and unique landscapes of Iceland away from the crowds, providing unforgettable experiences and stunning images.

 

Coalition’s Strength to Be Tested by Vote of No Confidence

Inga Sæland, leader of the People's Party

Inga Sæland, leader of the People’s Party, will submit a motion of no confidence directed at the coalition government next week. The cabinet of the Independence Party, the Progressive Party, and the Left-Green Movement was reshuffled last week following Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s announcement that she would resign as prime minister and leader of the Left-Green Movement to run for president.

“We’re planning a motion of no confidence against the government as a whole,” Inga told Mbl.is. “There are three ministers in this cabinet who are particularly skilled at evading the law in this country.”

Motion against Svandís on hold

Inga has discussed the matter with the other opposition parties in Alþingi, Iceland’s Parliament. Following meetings of the parliamentary groups on Monday afternoon it should become clearer whether Inga’s motion will have broader support.

Inga had pledged to submit such a motion against Svandís Svavarsdóttir before a reshuffling of the cabinet last week that saw Svandís move from the ministry of food, agriculture and fisheries to the ministry of infrastructure. The Parliamentary Ombudsman had found that Svandís had not acted in accordance with law when she temporarily stopped the whaling season last summer. Inga said it was unclear if she could refile the motion with Svandís now at a different ministry.

Bjarni under fire

The other two ministers Inga mentioned are Bjarni Benediktsson, the new prime minister and leader of the Independence Party, and Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, minister of social affairs and labour and interim leader of the Left-Green Movement. The Parliamentary Ombudsman concluded last year that Bjarni had not confirmed to guidelines as minister of finance during the privatisation process of Íslandsbanki bank. Nearly 40,000 people have signed an online petition expressing their lack of support for Bjarni’s leadership of the coalition government.

In Inga’s opinion, Guðmundur Ingi has broken his promise of establishing an office of an ombudsman for the elderly. “No opposition MP I’ve talked to has confidence in this coalition government,” Inga added.

The Blue Lagoon: A Guide

blue lagoon Iceland

In the middle of rugged lava fields on the Reykjanes Peninsula, you will find the most famous geothermal spa in Iceland, maybe even the world. We are of course talking about the Blue Lagoon. With its mineral-rich waters and beneficial properties, the Blue Lagoon offers its visitors an opportunity to unwind and soak in the middle of Iceland´s beautiful and raw nature. In this guide we will provide you with all the information you might need to make the most of your visit to Iceland’s most iconic retreat. 

How to get there

The Blue Lagoon is very conveniently located as it is just 30 km [18 mi] from Keflavík international airport, and 50 km [31 mi] from Reykjavík city. The lagoon is easy to reach by car but there are also many options for guided tours and shuttle buses. As with many popular activities in Iceland, it is highly advisable to book your tickets or tours in advance, especially during peak season. 

Experiencing the Blue Lagoon

When booking a ticket to the Blue Lagoon, visitors are able to choose between a comfort ticket, premium or signature. With a standard comfort ticket of ISK 9,900 to the Blue Lagoon you will have access to the main lagoon and get a towel to use. Additionally you will be able to choose a complimentary drink at the lagoon´s in-water bar and make use of the silica mud mask at the mask-bar. When booking your ticket you can choose if you would like to add some extras like massages, float therapy or more. 

Upon arrival leave your worries at the door and immerse yourself in a world of relaxation and indulgence. Here are some highlights to enjoy:

Soaking in the Geothermal Waters
First and foremost, enjoy slipping into the milky blue waters of the lagoon and feel your cares float away as you soak in the soothing waters. The water in the Blue Lagoon is 70% ocean water and 30% freshwater, enriched with silica, algae, and minerals and therefore has therapeutic benefits and leaves your skin feeling soft and rejuvenated. The presence of silica in the water is also the reason for its distinctive blue color. This is due to the fact that the silica that permeates the water, only reflects blue and absorbs all other colors.

Exploring the Facilities
There is more to experience than just relaxing in the warm water. Other amenities include steam rooms, saunas and a relaxation area. Treat yourself to a selection of beneficial mud masks at the mask-bar in the lagoon and have a refreshing shoulder massage at the lagoon´s little but powerful waterfall. 

Indulging in Spa Treatments
When purchasing your ticket you are able to elevate your experience with a range of luxurious spa treatments designed to pamper your body and soul. From float therapy and massages to facials and body scrubs, the spa menu offers plenty of options for you to indulge in and make the absolute most of your relaxing experience at the lagoon. 


5 x Practical tips when visiting the Blue Lagoon

  1. Book everything in advance; tours, tickets, additional services and dinner reservations. This way you will secure your preferred options and avoid disappointment.

  2. You need to bring swimwear and a towel with you. Other things that might come in handy are slippers and maybe even a robe. You are able to rent towels and robes at the lagoon but bringing your own is always good.

  3. Do not go with your hair in the water of the Blue Lagoon. Due to the minerals your hair will most likely get very dry and it can be a hassle to clean it properly after. Protect your hair by applying conditioner at the shower before entering the lagoon and leave it in. It is also advisable for those with long hair to put it up to protect it.

  4. Remember to remove any jewelry before entering the lagoon as the minerals in the water might cause damage.

  5. It is obligatory to shower before entering the lagoon. The locker rooms are equipped with good showers and they have soap, shampoo and conditioner at the facilities. 

 

Despite being a natural beauty, the Blue Lagoon is partially man-made. The water is in fact wastewater from a nearby geothermal power plant and is therefore, contrary to popular belief, not a natural hot spring. Despite this, the water in the Blue Lagoon is perfectly safe. It is self-cleansing due to the continuous stream into the lagoon and even beneficial, as we have mentioned before, due to the natural minerals found in the water. 

Visiting the Blue Lagoon will be a rejuvenating experience that takes you from the hustle and bustle of life for a hot minute. Nourish your mind, body and soul while experiencing the healing embrace of Iceland’s geothermal oasis. 

 

The Icelandic Flag

icelandic football fans

The Icelandic flag as we know it today was officially taken to use in 1915. When Iceland officially became a republic on the 17th of June in 1944, The Law of the National Flag of Icelanders and the State Arms, became the second law to pass in the new republic of Iceland. In the law the flag is described as such “The civil national flag of Icelanders is blue as the sky with a snow-white cross, and a fiery-red cross inside the white cross”. 

The flag’s creator, Matthías Þórðarson, drew inspiration from Iceland’s stunning natural beauty in crafting a symbol that would resonate with generations to come. The original flag was blue with a white cross but the Danish king preferred the three coloured version in order to avoid confusion as the Greek had a similar blue and white flag. 


What do the colours of the Icelandic flag mean?

Even though the colours of the Icelandic flag have no official symbolism, it is a popular interpretation that they represent the three elements that created the island: fire, ice and water.

  1. Blue:
    The primary hue of the Icelandic flag is a deep shade of blue. The blue is said to represent the mountains, the ocean and the sky surrounding the island.
  2. White:
    The pure white stripe is meant to symbolise the glaciers and the snow-capped mountains that adorn Iceland´s rugged terrain.
  3. Red:
    The striking red cross represents the elements of fire. It serves as a tribute to the fiery volcanic activity that has shaped the island’s landscape over the centuries.

 

The evolution of the flag

Þorskafáninn – The Cod flag

þorskafáninn

In 1809 a Danish adventurer named Jørgen Jørgenssen sailed to Iceland, declared the country independent and pronounced himself its ruler. He then went on to design a flag for the Icelandic nation to use. The flag was blue with three cod in the upper left corner and has ever since been referred to as Þorskafáninn or The Cod flag. 

Fálkafáninn – The Falcon flag

In 1873 an Icelandic artist named Sigurður Guðmundsson designed a new flag that he thought would be a better representation of Iceland than the cod. He wanted to replace the cod with a falcon to be used both as the flag as well as the national code of arms. The flag was never officially recognized, but it was widely used amongst Icelanders, both in Iceland as well as amongst the many Icelanders who moved to Canada in the late 1800s. 

Hvítbláinn – The White-blue

hvítbláinn

In 1897 a known writer and scholar, Einar Benediktsson, suggested that the Icelandic nation should have a flag more representative of its Christian state and that it would be more like the flags of the other Nordic nations. He suggested a blue flag with a white cross. In the early 1900s the Icelandic people started using the Hvítblái flag more and more instead of the Danish one. This continued until 1913 when the Danish king decided that Iceland should have its own flag. However, he found the white and blue flag of Einar Benediktsson too similar to the Greek flag and therefore he chose a three-coloured flag that Matthías Þórðarson suggested in 1906. 

The current flag

A flag committee was formed in 1913 to oversee the design of a flag for Iceland. The committee received a total of 28 designs. Finally on 19th of June 1915 the Danish king declared the blue, red and white flag the official flag of Iceland and when Iceland finally became a republic on 17th of June 1944 the use and look of the flag was passed in the law. Ever since, Iceland has proudly been represented by a blue flag, with a red and white cross. 

 

Eyjafjallajökull – The Eruption, Pronunciation and More Facts

A lady looks on Eyjafjallajökull

Eyjafjallajökull glacier is a symbol of both natural beauty and raw power and is one of many glaciers on the South Coast of Iceland. This majestic glacier-capped volcano famously captivated the world’s attention in 2010, both for its tongue-twisting name and for its volatile eruption that wound up affecting over 20 countries and as many as 10 million air travellers. 

 

Eyjafjallajökull eruption

Eyjafjallajökull´s volcano is a product of countless eruptions over the course of time, shaping its distinct cone and glacier-covered summit. Throughout Iceland’s history, Eyjafjallajökull has been a source of both awe and fear with Icelandic folklore often mentioning the volcano, attributing its eruptions to the wrath of mythical beings. 

More recently the glacier gained international attention with its eruption in March 2010, which disrupted air travel across Europe with plumes of ash ascending high into the sky. While this event was a reminder of the volcano´s power, it also highlighted the interconnectedness of global transportation systems and the need for effective risk management.

How to pronounce “Eyjafjallajökull”

News anchors around the world had their work cut out for them during the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull as it is a very hard word to pronounce for those who aren’t native Icelandic speakers. The internet soon filled with compilations of different pronunciations and everyone wondered: How do you pronounce the name of that Icelandic volcano?

The name can be split in three words: Eyja – fjalla – jökull, literally meaning Island – Mountain – Glacier. The phonetic pronunciation of the word is [eiːjaˌfjatl̥aˌjœːkʏtl̥] or something like Eigh-ya-fja-tla-yuh-cou-tl. Many have tried – and many have failed – but if you manage to master the pronunciation, you will certainly be able to show off a surprising party-trick for the rest of your life. 

Eyjafjallajökull eruption
Photo by Bjarki Sigursveinsson

 

Location of Eyjafjallajökull and how to get there

It can be an awe inspiring experience to visit Eyjafjallajökull and see some of Iceland’s most remarkable geological wonders with your own eyes. The glacier is located in the South of Iceland, approximately 160 kilometres [100 mi] from Reykjavík city. 

You can choose to drive the South coast, past landmarks such as Seljalandsfoss and Skógarfoss waterfalls or you can take the route of the Golden Circle before reaching Eyjafjallajökull. Once you arrive you can visit the Eyjafjallajökull Visitor Centre, located near the volcano, to learn more about the geological history and impact of past eruptions. 

Always prioritise safety and respect any warning signs or closures in the area. Dress according to weather conditions and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Plan your trip according to your own interest and preferences and decide if you want to explore the area independently or join a guided tour

 

Scientific and cultural significance:

After the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, scientists intensified their study and monitoring. Advances in technology have provided invaluable information on the volcano´s behaviour which enables better prediction for future eruptions. Understanding the dynamics of the volcano both enhances safety and contributes to our understanding of volcanic activity worldwide. 

Beyond its geological and scientific significance, Eyjafjallajökull has also impacted Icelandic culture. Its beauty has inspired artists, writers and filmmakers who have sought to capture its essence in their works. The volcano also serves as a symbol of Iceland’s nation’s deep connection to the land and its natural forces. 

 

Snowmobilers in Iceland pose in front of the Northern Lights
Photo by Private South Coast with Snowmobiling on Eyjafjallajökull volcano

 

Eyjafjallajökull facts

 

How many times did Eyjafjallajökull erupt?

Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in the years 920, 1612 or 1613, and 1821 and 2010.

Where is Eyjafjallajökull located?

Eyjafjallajökull volcano is located in the Eyjafjöll mountains in the South of Iceland, between Skógafoss waterfall and Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Its highest point rises to 1.666 metres (5.466 ft) above sea level.

Was Eyjafjallajökull silent or explosive?

The 2010 eruption in Eyjafjallajökull was explosive. 

When meltwaters from the glacier mixed with hot magma, an explosive eruption sent unusually fine-grained ash into the jet stream. It then dispersed over Europe.

What type is Eyjafjallajökull?

Eyjafjallajökull is a stratovolcano, the most common type. It is a conical volcano built by many layers of hardened lava, volcanic ash, tephra and pumice.

What makes Eyjafjallajökull special?

It is an 800.000 year old volcano with an unpronounceable name that became known worldwide during its 2010. The eruption caused an ash cloud that grounded over 100.000 flights all over the world at a cost estimated at £3 billion. 

 

Exploring Iceland’s Glaciers – South Coast

glaciers iceland

Iceland is home to many breathtaking natural wonders, including the glaciers that carve their way through the raw lava fields, providing the magnificent contrast Iceland is known for; fire and ice. 

In this guide you will find everything you need to know about the glaciers on the south coast of Iceland. We will provide essential information and tips for making the most of your icy experience.

Eyjafjallajökull glacier

Famous for its eruption in 2010, that disrupted air travel all across Europe, Eyjafjallajökull is a glacier with a big and well documented past. Eyjafjallajökull is the first glacier you will come across when travelling from Reykjavík city to the South Coast. It is not advisable to hike on Eyjafjallajökull itself without an experienced guide, but you can easily admire it while driving along the South Coast. If intrigued you can pay a visit to Eyjafjallajökull Visitor Centre to learn about the volcano´s history and its impact on the local environment. 

At the root of Eyjafjöll mountain you can also enjoy a relaxing, warm bath in Seljavallalaug nature pool before moving on to the next pitstop. 

glaciers iceland
photo by Golli

 

Sólheimajökull glacier

Sólheimajökull is a popular destination for glacier hiking and ice climbing adventures. From Reykjavík city it takes approximately two and a half hours to drive to the glacier, making it an ideal day trip for those looking to experience Iceland’s glaciers without venturing too far from the capital. Sólheimajökull glacier lies between two volcanos; Katla and Eyjafjallajökull and is close to the town of Vík. Its relatively easy to access the glacier but never venture on the glacier without proper preparation and equipment. 

Mýrdalsjökull glacier

Mýrdalsjökull is another impressive glacier worth exploring. This glacier is an ice cap covering the volcano Katla, which usually erupts every 40-80 years. Guided tours offer the chance to venture onto the glacier’s surface, where you can marvel at its ice formations and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Between Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull you will find the popular Fimmvörðuháls pass. The 24 km [15 mi] hike of Fimmvörðuháls is very popular and takes you from Skógar to Þórsmörk national park through the highlands. 

 

photo by Golli

Vatnajökull glacier

Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Iceland and one of the largest glaciers in Europe. Covering an area of approximately 7,900 km2 (3,100 sq mi), it dominates the southeastern part of Iceland. Within Vatnajökull National Park, you’ll find many opportunities for glacier exploration, including guided ice cave tours, glacier hikes and even private tours through the famous Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon.

Nestled beneath the glacier is Skaftafell, an oasis of greenery where you will find a beautiful camping spot with a view of the glacier, an array of hiking trails and a visiting centre. 


Langjökull glacier

Even though Langjökull glacier is not really one of the south coast glaciers, it is well worth the extra journey. Langjökull glacier is located in the remote highlands of Iceland and is the second largest ice cap in the country, with ice that is up to 580 m thick. Under the ice are two or more volcanic systems and during an Ice Age some volcanoes of this system covered the plains with lava. The lava field in question is about 7,800 years old and is called Kjalhraun lava field.

The access to Langjökull glacier may be limited during the winter months due to rough conditions. That being said, no matter the conditions, it is always advisable to visit the glacier with a guided tour as an experienced guide will know all safety precautions and be able to provide the necessary equipment. 

Tips for glacier exploration

  • 1. Safety first
    Glaciers can be unpredictable and dangerous so the safest way to enjoy everything the glaciers have to offer is with an experienced guide. Always make sure you have the right equipment and follow rules and guidelines. 
  • 2. Dress appropriately
    The weather in Iceland is known for its unpredictability, even during the summer. Before heading out for any adventures make sure you dress accordingly. This means layers and being prepared for sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions. 
  • 3. Respect the environment
    This is a good rule to follow no matter what kind of adventure you embark on. Help preserve Iceland’s pristine landscapes by following the “Leave No Trace” principle. Read and follow signs, don´t leave trash, do not vandalise anything in nature you stumble upon and stay on designated paths and roads. 
  • 4. Book in advance
    Glacier tours and activities can fill up quickly, especially during the busiest tourist season. Make sure you book your tours, activities and accommodations in advance. 
  • 5. Stay informed
    When travelling to Iceland the best thing to do in order to keep safe is to stay informed. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and road conditions, especially if you’re planning to venture into more remote areas or plan on longer hikes.

It is certain that exploring Iceland’s glaciers will be an unforgettable experience. Whether you´re taking it slow while hiking across the ancient fields, venturing into ice caves or racing across the glaciers on a snowmobile, make sure to take it in and you´ll be left in awe of the wonders of nature. 

 

photo by Golli

 

 

Day Hike to Glymur Waterfall: A Guide

Glymur Waterfall Iceland

Iceland is a hiker’s paradise with its dramatic and otherworldly landscapes. Among many stunning destinations, Glymur waterfall stands out as one of the country’s most spectacular waterfalls. Nestled in Hvalfjörður fjord, this day hike offers adventurous souls an unforgettable trip through picturesque sceneries. In this guide we will explore everything you need to know before hiking up to Glymur waterfall. 

 

How to get to Glymur waterfall

The waterfall is located approximately 71,6 kilometres (444 mi) from Reykjavík city, making it an accessible day trip for those staying in the city. The trailhead is situated near the entrance to Hvalfjörður, and reaching it requires driving along Route 47. 

There are two options to get to the waterfall. You can either hike to the highest point, turn back around and follow the same trail back to the parking lot or you can cross the river above the highest point and hike in a circle. Either way the hike offers amazing views and both trails are fine for non experienced hikers. Just remember to be careful. 

 

Glymur hike

The hike is moderate-level with the round trip being around 7 kilometres (4,4 mi). The trail will take you through diverse landscapes, including moss-covered lava fields, rugged cliffs and tranquil riverside paths. It is advisable to budget a minimum of 4 hours to complete the hike, depending on the pace and time spent enjoying the scenery. 

Before embarking on your hike up to Glymur waterfall, make sure you check the weather forecast and trail conditions. Pack a backpack with a bottle of water, some snacks and a dry pair of socks. Always dress appropriately with layers and wear sturdy hiking boots. When reaching the top of the waterfall it is possible to cross the river and descend on the other side. To do so it might be advisable to bring waterproof sandals and a small towel to dry off your cold and wet feet after. 

Note: The hike is quite dangerous to do during the winter months and it is advised not to do the hike when ice and snow covers the ground. 

 

Highlights Along the Way:

As you venture on there are several noteworthy sights that await you. 

Hvalfell mountain
The hike begins with a gradual ascend through the picturesque valley, offering a stunning view of Hvalfell mountain. 

Botnsá river
Approximately within 30 minutes from setting out, you will encounter Botnsá river, which flows from Glymur´s cascading waters. The trail follows the riverbank, providing a peaceful backdrop of flowing waters. Soon you will reach a river crossing. When weather conditions permit (usually spring until autumn) a log is placed to assist hikers cross the river. 

The gorge views
One of the most beautiful sections of the hike is traversing a narrow gorge carved by Botnsá river. Bridges offer hikers a thrilling viewpoint from which you can admire the roaring waters below. 

Glymur waterfall
The absolute highlight of the hike is when Glymur waterfall comes into view as you near the end of the trail. Plunging 198 metres (650 ft) into the rugged canyon, Glymur captivates everyone with its raw power and beauty. When reaching the highest point you can now choose whether you turn around and follow the same trail back or you cross the river at the top. Here there are no cables or logs to assist but crossing it is easy enough as long as you´re careful. After crossing the river you can descend on the other side and admire the views from a different angle. 

 

A day hike to Glymur waterfall is a great adventure through Iceland´s mesmerising landscapes and is just one of the many options for day hikes close to Reykjavík city. From tranquil riverbanks and wide valleys to thundering waterfalls, every step of the way has something to behold. Whether you´re an experienced hiker or just a nature enthusiast, the hike to Glymur waterfall beckons with its unparalleled beauty and serenity.

So what are you waiting for? Lace up the hiking boots and prepare yourself to be awed by one of Iceland’s most magnificent natural wonders. 

 

Record Number of Applications at Arts University

Tollhúsið Tryggvagata

Applications at the Iceland University of the Arts have nearly doubled since last year. The university announced in February that it would abolish tuition fees this fall following a decision by Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir that offered independent universities full state funding if they were to do away with tuition fees.

Positive effect of dropping tuition fees

Rector Kristín Eysteinsdóttir told Vísir that she was not worried about students dropping out, but rather that she welcomed the increased attendance and expected more applications next year. “We had 538 applications last year, but almost 1,000 now,” she said after the deadline for applications past last night. “Applications for arts education are still open, so I expect this to end at around 1,000 applications. That would be an almost 100% increase.”

She said that the school has never seen numbers like this and that they go above and beyond expectations. “We can’t accept everyone, but it’s incredibly positive that the abolishment of tuition fees has this effect,” she said. “In fact, this confirms what we thought, that the costs were prohibitive for a lot of prospective students.”

Acting programme most popular

The biggest increase is in architecture, design and visual arts, Kristín said. The acting department remains the most popular study programme, but only ten people are accepted each year from a group of 200 to 300 applicants.

She added that she expected more people to apply next year, especially to the masters programmes. “We get applicants there who have children and need to plan further ahead,” Kristín said.

Presidential Candidates Katrín and Baldur Neck and Neck

Bessastaðir, official residence of the President of Iceland.

The field of candidates for the office of president of Iceland is becoming clearer, with elections set for June 1. The frontrunners are neck and neck, according to pollster Gallup, with former Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir polling at 30% and Baldur Þórhallsson, professor of political science, at 26%.

Vísir reports that this survey shows that Katrín and Baldur are statistically equal. Comedian and former mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr is in third place with 18%, the only other candidate in double digits.

Political turmoil after Katrín’s announcement

The race was shaken up by Katrín’s announcement that she would resign as prime minister and leader of the Left-Green Movement to run for president, a mostly ceremonial position that comes with limited political powers. Independence Party leader Bjarni Benediktsson took over as prime minister as other cabinet positions were reshuffled. Katrín remains a popular politician, even though her coalition government has lost public support during this term.

Other candidates are polling at lower numbers. Halla Tómasdóttir, CEO of B Team, polls at 7%, with lawyer Arnar Þór Jónsson and Halla Hrund Logadóttir, director general of Iceland’s National Energy Authority both at 4%.

Age and gender divide

According to Gallup, older people are more likely to vote for Katrín, while Jón gets most of his support from younger people. Women are also more likely to support Baldur, Halla Tómasdóttir and Katrín, with men more likely to support Jón.

The deadline to confirm candidacy is in two weeks and the election takes place on June 1. The current president, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, announced on January 1 that he would not run again after serving two terms.

No Whaling This Summer

Hvalur, whaling company,

Update April 17: At the time of writing, the whaling license is still pending. Kristján Loftsson’s statement to the effect that whaling will not take place this summer is not to be perceived as their lack of intent to whale. Rather, his statements are a critique of government action. It is currently still undecided whether Iceland will resume whaling this summer. Iceland Review apologises for the misleading headline, but presents the original article below, unaltered.

Whales will not be hunted in Icelandic waters this summer, according to Kristján Loftsson, the CEO of Hvalur hf., Iceland’s only whaling operation. “As it stands right now, we have no hope of whaling this summer,” he told Morgunblaðið.

Opposition from the Left-Greens

The company applied to the ministry of food, agriculture and fisheries for a whaling license on January 30. The ministry has not responded and a new minister was appointed last week, Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir of the Left-Green Movement. Her fellow party member, Svandís Svavarsdóttir, had been the previous minister and was set to face a vote of no confidence in Alþingi, Iceland’s parliament, for temporarily stopping whaling last summer. The Parliamentary Ombudsman had found that her decision to stop whaling on animal welfare grounds had not been in accordance with the law.

“It’s clear in my mind that the ministry under the leadership of the Left-Greens is disregarding the conclusion of the Parliamentary Ombudsman and continues methodically on its mission of destroying this industry, even though it’s operating on legal grounds,” Kristján said. “When we don’t know if a license will be issued we can’t start hiring people and buying supplies, which is a necessary prerequisite for whaling.”

Controversial practice

Kristján added that the ministry had only been willing to issue a license for one year at a time and was asking the company to clarify if and how it adhered to certain stipulations in laws and regulations. The company has requested damages for the shortened whaling season of last summer.

Whaling remains a controversial practice in Iceland and is protested both domestically and abroad.