Gljúfrabúi, also known as Gljúfurárfoss, translates to Canyon Dweller. Such an appropriate name for a hidden waterfall right next door to one of Iceland’s most popular attractions, Seljalandsfoss. Literally, Gljúfrabúi is around a 5-10 minute walk from Seljalandsfoss, yet most visitors will pass on this equally beautiful waterfall.
Despite being so close, Gljúfrabúi and Seljalandsfoss do not share the same river source. The Gljúfurá river forms Gljúfrabúi by flowing into a small cavern, where the water streams down nearly on all sides. The stream carves interesting channels into the cavern’s walls. While not nearly as powerful as its sister, Gljúfrabúi is still an impressive 130ft (40m).
The most appealing part of the Gljúfrabúi waterfall is that you can stand in the cavern center and be surrounded by the gentle waterfall. Of course, you will be soaked, but if your visiting Gljúfrabúi, then be prepared for a shower. It isn’t much you can do to avoid this. Gljúfrabúi’s entrance is a small 5-foot slot in the cliffside, which Gljúfrabúi’s stream it creates runs through. So you will be walking through water and mist to get a glimpse of Gljúfrabúi. Don’t worry, the walk is short, and the stream is gentle.
History of Gljúfrabúi
Like Seljalandsfoss, there is is not a lot of common history or folk tales surrounding Gljúfrabúi. If you have any information regarding this, please let us know at [email protected]!
hiking to Gljúfrabúi
The trail listed above is the Seljalandsfoss – Gljufrafoss Waterfalls trail, provided by AllTrails. It’s a 1.2-mile loop that takes you around Seljalandsfoss and includes the path to Gljúfrabúi.
As mentioned before, prepare to get wet. Both Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi are very moist. Sorry if that term made you cringe, but bring a raincoat and waterproof everything!
All you need to do is head east on HWY 1 from Reykjavík and look for Seljalandsfoss.
- Gljúfrabúi is well marked and easily accessible with Google Maps.
- Gljúfrabúi is not visible from HWY 1, but Seljalandsfoss is.
- The drive is around 1 hour and 45 minutes from Reykjavík.
Don’t forget there are plenty of things to see in this area! You obviously have Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, a crashed American WWII fighter plane, and the quaint town of Vík.