Possibly Iceland's most beautiful fjord
North of Reykjavík, separating Mount Esja from the town of Akranes, you’ll find the stunning Hvalfjörður (Whale Fjord), a 30 km long fjord surrounded by volcanic mountains and green terrain in the summer months.
Though the majority of travellers in the area cut across the fjord via the 5,762 metre long submarine tunnel that opened in 1998, it is also possible to drive around Hvalfjörður via route 47, a detour from the Ring Road that adds an hour to the drive. The scenery around Hvalfjörður is considered some of the most beautiful in Iceland.
During World War II, British and American troops built a naval base in Hvalfjörður, and the remains of the abandoned base can still be seen today. Also located on the fjord is Iceland’s only operational whaling station, operated by Hvalur ehf., which makes use of one of the piers that the US Navy had built.
If you opt to drive around Hvalfjörður via route 47, one of the highlights of the journey will be Glymur, a 198 metre tall waterfall along the Botnsá river, where the river falls down the side of Hvalfell mountain into a steep canyon.
Glymur long held the title of the tallest waterfall in Iceland until a new waterfall was created at the edge of Morsárjökull glacier in 2011 that measures 228 metres tall. Glymur can only be viewed from the South side of the Botnsá river. From a parking area off route 47 a marked hiking path takes visitors to a viewpoint distinguished by a large rock resembling an anvil.
The walk to Glymur is strenuous and the terrain is uneven and unpredictable, so it should only be attempted by those with sturdy hiking boots, water, and walking poles. The hike to the anvil and back will take approximately 3 hours, depending on conditions.View West Iceland