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6 Hidden Gems in Iceland

I bet you didn't know that there are some hidden gems located around Iceland that many tourists don't know about? There are a number of gorgeous destinations in Iceland that are still relatively hidden and are off the beaten track (as Iceland is described as to some tourists). 

1. Aldeyjarfoss

This Iceland off the beaten path location is a mighty waterfall that flows into Lake Myvatn, which, like Studlagil Canyon, is surrounded by black basalt columns. Getting to Aldeyjarfoss involves driving past the bigger and more well-known Godafoss, so it is possible to see both magnificent waterfalls on the same day. 

In order to get to the secret waterfall in Iceland, though, you must drive a bit farther past Godafoss onto Route 842. It is suggested you use a 4WD vehicle since the last couple of miles are an f-road. After parking in a nearby lot, you will then have a short walk to the waterfall.

 

2. Reykjanesviti & Valahnukamol

On the southern point of the Reykjanes Peninsula are a couple more of the hidden gems in Iceland only about a 30-minute drive from Keflavik International Airport. 

This gem is near the Reykjanesviti Lighthouse. This looming white and red building is the oldest lighthouse in Iceland and appears to be the only man-made structure as far as the eye can see.

 

3. Hrunalaug Hot Springs

If overcrowded hot springs are not your idea of relaxing than make sure to check out this secret spot in Iceland. While it won’t fit a lot of people, this hot spring is perfect for couples looking for an intimate and secluded location.

Hrunalaug is a small hot spring close to the town of Flúðir in the south-west of Iceland. This natural spring is an old stone-walled pool, very small but warm and cosy to relax and enjoy the nature around you. There is also a small shelter next to the pool that can be used to change.

The hot spring is on private property and it is very important to be respectful to nature by not leaving stuff lying around and no camping there. 

4. Kvernufoss Waterfall

In a walking distance, east of the famous Skógafoss waterfall in the Southern region in Iceland is a beautiful waterfall that few people visit. This waterfall is called Kvernufoss waterfall and is 40 metres high.

Although the waterfall is visible from a narrow-angle from the main road, it is almost hidden in a beautiful gorge. The path to the waterfall is only about 600 metres and it is a joy to walk as the whole surrounding becomes isolated and quiet as you approach the waterfall.

The waterfall bears many similarities to the famous Seljalandsfoss because you can walk around the waterfall in Summertime (although still quite slippery, and attention is needed in good hiking shoes). But, for serious photographers, it is an excellent challenge. 

5. Hraunfossar Waterfalls

Hraunfossar (Icelandic for 'lava waterfalls') is a series of waterfalls in the west of Iceland. The total length of this series of waterfalls is around 900 metres which plunge into the Hvita river which originates on the Langjokull glacier and later plunges down Gullfoss Waterfall.

The lava fields that Hraunfossar trickles through flowed from an eruption of one of the volcanos lying under the nearby glacier of Langjokull, the second largest ice-cap in Iceland. The waterfalls pour into the Hvita river from ledges of less porous rock in the lava. 

The waterfalls, Barnafoss and Hraunfossar are usually during the same stop in tours that cover the west of Iceland.

6. Þjófafoss Waterfall

Þjófafoss is in the river Þjórsá, to the east of Merkurhraun lava field. The name of the waterfall translates as "thieves' waterfall", as thieves used to be executed by drowning in its pool. 

The waterfall is one of the three main waterfalls in Þjórsá. The Þjórsá river forms the boundary between Rangárvallasýsla and Árnessýsla and is the longest river in Iceland.

According to folklore and history, the waterfall got its name from practice in the old judiciary system in Iceland, as thieves were thrown into the waterfall to finish their sentence. The river is a 'tamed beast' as the water flow is controlled and supervised by Landsvirkjun, the main producer of electricity in Iceland. 

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