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Discover Hidden Waterfalls and Ravines in Iceland

|June 30, 2020
Hjalti Björnsson is a certified tourist guide and chairman of the Reykjavík Air Ground Rescue Team. He is a true mountain man and glacier aficionado. Hjalti was born and raised in Reykjavik but is a mountain boy at heart.

Nauthúsagil, Iceland is just waiting to be explored. Walk along a hidden narrow canyon until you end up at an amazing waterfall that is almost roaring directly on top of you. This is the place to explore for travelers who want to get off the beaten path.

Hidden places in Iceland are out of this world. One of them is the mystical Nauthúsagil ravine in South Iceland. Translated in English, the name means Bull Shed Ravine. The site is especially beautiful when the sun shines through the rowan and into the ravine.

Nauthusagil Waterfall (Hvolsvollur)

Nauthúsagil ravine is nice to visit any time of year. In May the vegetation is still a bit wilted and yellow, in summertime the rowan sheds over the ravine, and in winter the area transforms into a frozen wonderland. 

Nauthusagil Waterfall bottom view

To reach the waterfall at the end of the ravine, you need to wade across a small river or jump across stepping stones. At one crossing point, you can use available chains to climb your way across the small streams.

How to get to Nauthusagil?

Nauthúsagil is located in South Iceland, not far from Seljalandsfoss  and Gljúfrabúi waterfalls. Drive east from Reykjavik on Ring Road 1 for 120 km, then turn left onto Route 249, pass Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi waterfalls, and drive along that road for a while.

Nauthusagil Waterfall Sign

The road becomes a gravel road and changes into F-249, meaning a mountain road, but the rivers to cross are further on in the direction of Þórsmörk. 

Nauthúsagil ravine is much less known than its famous neighbors, Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi waterfalls. It remains hidden and few people know about it and visit it. It is located behind Stóra-Mörk farm and the name is believed to stem from an actual bull shed that was built there.

Nauthusagil Waterfall Canyon in Iceland

You will find information signs on Nauthúsagil by Katla Geopark just before you enter the ravine. Katla UNESCO Global Geopark has put up very useful information signs at interesting locations in the Geopark. Nauthúsagil is point 16.

How long does it take to visit Nauthusagil?

Father with kid in the Icelandic forest

It takes some 35-45 minutes to fully appreciate this ravine. At the end of the tree-covered ravine there is a lovely waterfall that makes you feel like you are on another planet. Some of us even believe that elves live here and could be spotted at any moment – but you won’t see the elves if you don’t believe in them!

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