Fjaðrárgljúfur river gorge

The Fjaðrárgljúfur river canyon is a river gorge in the South East Iceland close to Kirkjubæjarklaustur.


The river is though to have carved the gorge over many thousands of years. Often the river would have been significantly enlarged by glacier melt water after a volcanic eruption. It looks as if a big zipper has ripped apart the gorge from above, because there is a very tight “S” curve. The river winds through the canyon and in good conditions it is possible to wade in the river. This should not be attempted after heavy rainfall, or alone. The best angle for light is a secret that only our photo guides know. But it becomes obvious when you visit the Fjaðrárgljúfur river canyon.


It might be possible to visit this location on a 2 day or 3 day Jökulsarlon photo tour.

Access to the river gorge

The Road to the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon is a rough track to a carpark. This is ok for regular cars, but uncomfortable. The road can be closed and also slippery after heavy snow. Then access is only possible over a Winter track which needs a 4x4. There are now marked walking routes up the East bank of the canyon. Visitors are encourage not to venture beyond the marked zones for flora protection. There are public toilets at the site, but we can’t guarantee they will be open for Winter tourism. There is a nice waterfall at the top of the hiking trail.

A tourist gets down to the river bank at Fjaðrárgljúfur river canyon in Iceland. The high walls present challenges for exposure control because regular grad filters just darken the higher rocks.



River gorge Iceland

Wading through the river after a December snow storm at Fjaðrárgljúfur river canyon is rewarding. Using a dark filter here can give you some impressive water movement. The Magic Cloth is challenging, but if you keep it simple, you can have nice results.

Included on our Iceland Photo Workshops.

Photo tours that could include Fjaðrárgljúfur

Four day Geysirs & Glaciers

This four day Photo Tour of the Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir, South coast, Jökulsárlón and Höfn offer a huge range of photo opportunities.

Five day Beautiful South

This photo tour combines the Golden Circle, Snæfellsnes Peninsular , South coast & Jökulsarlon photo tours to give a complete South Iceland experience.

6 day Diamonds & Dragons

This multi-day tour will take you around the best of South & West Iceland in six days. Touring from North West to South East with many top photo locations.

Seven day Full Circle

Iceland has a rich variety of landscapes and seascapes and this tour is designed to enhance that variety & capture Iceland’s full diversity.

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