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Active volcanoes, enchanting waterfalls, formidable glaciers, the valley of Thor, as well as spectacular Aurora light shows are only some of many treats your eyes and feet can feast on when they find themselves in South Iceland.
Because let’s be honest, there are probably dozens of places to see in the southern region, however, this time around we have chosen the following 6, all of which are relatively close to our Eyja Mörk cabin.
Without further ado, we present to you the 6 hot spots to experience close to our cabin.
1. The hidden Nauthúsagil ravine
Translated to English Nauthúsagil means bull shed ravine, and it is a hidden treasure not many tourists know about. Nauthúsagil is just a 3-minute drive from the cabin, in the direction of Thorsmörk.
Native to Nauthúsagil is the rowan that grows on the rims of the ravine and in some places it creates a see-through roof, which covers the ravine from above and adds to the mystique. It is especially beautiful when the sun shines through the rowan and into the ravine.
There are several waterfalls in the Nauthúsagil ravine. To get to the first waterfall, at the end of the ravine, one has to wade a small river or jump on stepping stones. At one point there are chains available to help with climbing over a small waterfall on the way. It is relatively easy. The ravine is located behind the Stóra Mörk farm, and its name is believed to stem from an actual shed was built here for the bulls from the farm.
A smallholding Nauthús used to exist in the area but it was abandoned in 1777, due to reports of several haunting occurrences. To this day, it is still believed that this area is haunted!
In this terrain, we advise you to wear boots, as they will allow you to wade the river without having to step on the slippery stepping stones. Water-resistant sandals will also do the trick!
It takes about 20 minutes to reach the waterfall, with lots of photo-taking opportunities on the way. It is a short hike, so if you are not taking a lot of pictures, it will take you about 40 minutes in total to explore this ravine.
2. The enchanting Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi waterfalls
About 7 minutes due south by car from the Eyja Mörk cabin you will stumble upon the immensely popular waterfall Seljalandsfoss. It is quite unique as it is oddly easy to walk behind this waterfall.
Next to Seljalandsfoss lies the Gljúfrabúi waterfall, hidden away behind a big rock in a small gorge. Since not so long ago Gljúfrabúi, or the Dweller in the Gorge, was a hidden location in these parts of South Iceland but it has become popular in recent years. You can walk very close to the waterfall but most likely you will need boots since you will have to walk in a small river running from the waterfall. You can also climb a big rock next to the waterfall and look down this magical water spectacle.
3. The majestic Eyjafjallajökull glacier
Above the mentioned waterfalls hovers the dreaded Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Remember when it erupted back in 2010 and all air traffic became severely affected by the ashes which Eyjafjallajökull spouted high in the air?
The easiest way to see this monster is to hop on a Super Jeep adventure tour with Into The Wild. The tour begins by driving modified 4×4 super jeeps up the great Hamragarðaheiði mountain. You can drive on your own if you are in a big jeep, but never on the glacier itself. From there, the climb becomes a bit bumpy, as the terrain towards the glacier is quite rough.
Before reaching the glacier you will pass many ancient volcano craters. When you reach the Goðasteinn rock, you will be able to look down into the crater that erupted in 2010. The view there is magnificent and stretches to the south coast of Iceland, as well as to all the great volcanoes, such as the Hekla volcano.
4. The Thorsmörk adventure
About 23 kilometres or 15 miles east from the cabin, lies Thorsmörk - the favourite hiking area of Icelanders. To reach this area you can take a bus from Seljalandsfoss to Thorsmörk. Also, you can go on a tour with Into The Wild, as they do have a pick up from the Eyja Mörk cabin.
This adventure into the majestic Þórsmörk Mountain Range offers magnificent landscape, and it is a must-see for nature lovers. You start by driving on modified 4×4 Super Jeeps along rough mountain tracks and cross unbridged glacial rivers on your way into the Þórsmörk valley of Thor.
In Þórsmörk there are many marked walking paths, ideal for short hikes, and also views of the three glaciers: the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, the Tindfjallajokull glacier and the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, the home of Katla volcano. Should you like to add a bit of extra excitement to your day, a Quad bike (ATV) adventure is also a possibility.
5. The Golden Circle - Þingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir
Should you find yourself travelling to our Eyja Mörk cabin from Reykjavík or Keflavík - the international airport, use the opportunity to do the Golden Circle.
The Golden Circle is a route consisting of three major sites, easily reached within a day from Reykjavík City or directly from the Eyja Mörk cabin. It is one of the most popular attractions in Iceland, and for a good reason. The Golden Circle highlights history, geology and natural beauty and gives you an opportunity to visit important historic sites, stand between two tectonic plates, see an erupting geyser and a powerful waterfall.
This popular route is about 234 kilometres or 150 miles long if you take it from Reykjavík to the Eyja Mörk cabin, and it includes seeing Thingvellir, the great Geysir and the Gullfoss waterfall. Also, it will give you a chance to drive by the Seljalandsfoss and Gljùfrabùi waterfalls.
6. Vestmannaeyjar - The Westman Islands
Vestmannaeyjar is one of the best places to see Puffins. It is incredibly beautiful and has an interesting volcanic history. A ferry can transport you to the islands in the mornings and evenings, and the ride is cheap for Icelandic standards. It departs from Landeyjarhöfn, about 20 kilometres or 12 miles south-west from the cabin.
Vestmannaeyjar is an archipelago off Iceland’s south coast, formed by underwater volcanic eruptions. The youngest island, Surtsey, was formed in 1963. Heimaey is the largest and the only inhabited island. It has 2 volcanoes, Helgafell and Eldfell. Interactive displays at Eldheimar Museum, in Heimaey Town, chronicle Eldfell’s devastating 1973 eruption, when around 400 buildings were completely destroyed.
This is just our top 6 picks! However, all of these things are within 10 min drive from the IG Eyja Mörk, except for the Golden Circle and the ferry to the Westman Island which is 15 min from the cabin.
There is also Skógafoss which is within 20 min drive from the IG Eyja Mörk and Vik, Skogafoss, Gullfoss and Geysir are relatively close.
We hope this gives you a sense of what wonders of nature to expect when visiting our cabin and the area around it. Until next time stay safe and don’t be a stranger! We are always here for additional travel tips!