The Glanni Waterfall on the Norðurá River is a waterfall with three side-by-side segments dropping through the Grábrókarhraun Lava Field, which was near the village of Bifröst.
Lava fields, which are prevalent throughout Iceland, have been known to yield interesting shapes and formations.
Therefore, this waterfall has also been said to be a dwelling place of elves and trolls.
The lava contains basalt because we noticed quite a bit of the telltale hexagonal columns adjacent to the falls as well as holding up some of its overall drop.
According to my Icelandic dictionary, the word glans was a noun meaning “gloss” or “brilliance”, and thus I suspect the waterfall might mean something like “The Shining”.
Our visit to Glanni was a real short and easy out-and-back jaunt to a lookout deck that was roughly 250-300m from the car park by a golf course (see directions below).
When Julie and I first visited this place in June 2007, this was one of the more obscure waterfalls as we were pretty much all alone and the signage for the falls was pretty non-existent.
Heck, there weren’t even lookout decks and we had to find the falls by listening for it while walking the bush-lined path (that eventually led to the Paradisarlaut, which was a pond that welled up from underground water-filled lava tubes).
When we came back in August 2017, Glanni wasn’t quite the obscure spot that it used to be because we saw a couple of big tour buses that used this spot as a Ring Road stop.
There were also more barricades and signage set up to help steer visitors to the waterfall instead of guessing like how we had to do it on our first visit.
Overall, we spent about 40 minutes away from the car on that August 2021 visit so I’d imagine it’s a pretty quick visit in general.
Glanni resides in the West Region near Bifröst, Iceland. It is administered by the municipality of Borgarbyggð. For information or inquiries about the general area as well as current conditions, you may want to try visiting their website.
Glanni was a short distance off the Ring Road just to the south of the small town of Bifröst.
From the small town of Bifröst, we’d drive south on the Ring Road for roughly 900m before turning left onto the Glanni-Paradis Road.
After the final 550m or so, we’d then park the car at a golf course roughly 550m after leaving the Ring Road.
If we were going in the opposite direction towards Glanni, then the turnoff would be on the right shortly after traversing through the Grábrókarhraun Lava Field.
For some geographical context, Bifröst was about 30km (under 30 minutes drive) northeast of Borgarnes, 68km (about an hour drive) northeast of Akranes, 126km (over 90 minutes drive) southeast of Stykkishólmur, 138km (over 90 minutes drive) southwest of Blönduós, 348km (over 4 hours drive) south of Ísafjörður, and 105km (under 90 minutes drive) north of Reykjavík.
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