At the edge of the central highlands is one of Iceland’s hidden pearls of nature, Gjáin. This beautiful natural phenomenon is a small canyon that formed thousands of years ago and is located at the bottom of Þjórsárdalur Valley about 2 hour drive from Reykjavík.
The scenery at Gjáin is spectacular with the astonishing nature, formed of waterfalls, ponds, lava caves and volcanic structure (basalt columns). The surroundings are amply vegetated and the river Rauðá cascades into and through the valley. The waterfall Gjárfoss is in the river, a small waterfall but very beautifully framed by stunning rock formation.
If you believe in elves this is the place to go. This magical land is home of many elves and sometimes they reveal themselves to humans so don’t be surprised if you see them, they are usually very nice.
Gjáin is about one and half hour from Reykjavik. Take Ring Road nr. 1 towards Selfoss, drive through the town and then take road nr. 30. Drive for 10 minutes and then turn right on road nr. 32, then drive for about 25 minutes and then turn left on road nr. 327. From there it's about 20 minutes drive to the historical farm Stöng.
From Stöng the hike to Gjáin is about 10-15 minutes and takes you to Gjárfoss waterfall. It is also possible to drive past Stöng little bit further to the parking lot on the south side of Gjáin and walk down steps into the valley. The road to Gjáin can be bumpy as it is a dirt road so a 4X4 might be needed to get there.
Please check weather and road conditions before travelling in Iceland especially during winter and read more about Driving in Iceland.