Stórifoss waterfall in Elliðaárdalur Valley
The Hidden waterfall in Reykjavik
Did you know that you can find a beautiful waterfall in the middle of Reykjavik? You don’t necessarily have to go far to see the beautiful nature of Iceland. This waterfall is located in Elliðarárdalur valley an is probably not more than 10 minutes away from your accommodation in Reykjavik.
If you are staying in Reykjavik and looking for something extraordinary from the Icelandic spectacular nature you should visit Stórifoss waterfall, the hidden waterfall in the middle of Reykjavik. There are many green areas in Reykjavik which provide an oasis for city dwellers looking for a moment of peace outside in nature, yet close to home. This beautiful valley right in the center of Reykjavik is not very well known by travelers, but popular among the locals.
Ellidaárdalur Valley – The Green Valley in Reykjavik
Ellidaárdalur valley is one of the green recreational areas of Reykjavík. It is a paradise for those who want to jog, walk or cycle. You can stay on the main paved track that runs through the valley or you can go into the woods and immerse yourself in a little peace and quiet. I would definitely recommend going into the woods. If you like running we can highly recommend to go to Elliðarárdalur for your run. This valley is located close to where I grew up and I have been running around the woods since I was a child. One of the thing that I loved the most about my childhood home was that it took me only around 5 minutes to walk to this valley where you can be alone with the nature, something I would recommend for anyone to try.
The valley is beautiful both in the summer and winter time. During the summer time everything is green and colorful while during the winter time you might see snow covered trees all over the place. It’s simply a very peaceful place all year around.
Elliðaá River – Jump into the waterfall
The river Ellidaá is a popular salmon fishing river and runs through the six kilometer long valley. The river cascades over several small waterfalls. The biggest waterfalls are Selfoss and Stórifoss. On a good day during the summer time, when the sun is shining and the temperature is above 10°C, you can take your bathing suits and jump into the smaller waterfall. It is a popular activity for the kids during the summertime but the adults tend like it just as much.
Bird Watching in Reykjavik
Elliðarárdalur is also the perfect place for those who are interested in bird watching. Here you can find some different species of birds, either in the woods or swimming at the gentle Elliðaár river. The valley is home to the Greylag Goose, The Mallard, The Golden Plover, The Common Snipe, The Gold crest, Blackbird, The Common Redpoll and The Eurasion Siskin. If you are really lucky you may even see an owl or a falcon although that is very rare. There are also thousands of wild rabbits in Elliðaárdalur that you can feed.
The Hydroelectric Power Plant in Elliðarárdalur
One interesting building at the bottom of the valley is the old hydroelectric power plant in Elliðaárdalur river. It was completed in 1921 and used the river to generate power for the growing town of Reykjavik. It is still functional and is in use during winter. Many consider it to be the best looking house in Reykjavik and if you take a peek inside you can see the original machinery inside.
The Perfect Family Activity in Reykjavik
Taking a trip to Elliðaárdalur is the perfect idea for your family and something that is very popular among locals. This green area is the perfect playground for children. Take a walk through the woods, explore the birds on the river, take a sip at the clean water that runs through the valley and feed the cute little rabbits that you can find everywhere. If the weather is good enough you can also take a jump in the waterfall for some adrenaline kick.
During the summer time, Leikhopurinn Lotta, a theater group from Iceland, sets up a show for the children in Elliðaárdalur. The show is every Wednesday at 18.00 and this summer (2019) they are showing the Little Mermaid show. The show is in Icelandic but it might still be a lot of fun for the kids.
It is pretty unique to have wild berries, salmon fishing, wild rabbits and a hidden waterfall all within the city limits but Elliðaárdalur has all that and more. It’s the perfect place to escape the city of Reykjavik, while still being in Reykjavik (hope that makes sense).
Have any of you been to Elliðarárdalur and would like to share your experience? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.
More things to do in Reykjavik
- Go on the Icelandic Food Tour
- Go on the Reykjavik Walking Tour
- Stroll around downtown Reykjavik
- Visit the Icelandic Artist Tolli and see some magnificent Icelandic Art
- Go Whale Watching
- Take a cooking class and learn to cook Icelandic food
- See how Icelandic Chocolate is made
- Check out the bars in Reykjavik on the Reykjavik Bar Crawl