Rjúkandi Waterfall in the Valley of Jökuldalur


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Iceland is a place that is sure to make you feel the power of nature. The calm and serene environment of Iceland attracts tourists, travel enthusiasts, nature lovers, and environmentalists across the world. It is nearly on every traveler’s bucket list. When you visit Iceland, you will witness spectacular creations of nature – the mesmerizing sights, backdrop of cloud-covered mountains, arched-shaped bay with mysterious rocks, diamond beach, waterfalls, hot springs, and geysers. It is indeed a place of Fire and Ice! The first thing that comes across our mind when we visit Iceland is Waterfalls.  There are numerous waterfalls in Iceland, few of them are easy to reach while others require you to hike or wadding through caves as well. Amidst the many, there is one extremely beautiful waterfall – Rjúkandi Waterfall. Though not many people stop by the site, it is still a place that captivates the onlookers and creates a majestic experience for the visitors.

Rjúkandi waterfall in East Iceland

Know About the Destination: Rjúkandi, East Iceland

Though, much closer to Egilsstaðir, Rjúkandi Waterfall is located in between the towns of Akureyri and Egilsstaðir. It is listed amidst those few waterfalls that are in the north of Iceland and is visible directly from the main ring road (Road nr. 1). Not many people know about this and tend to leave it unexplored. However, we definitely think that this waterfall should be one in your travel itinerary, especially since you will most likely drive past it on your self driving trip around Iceland. Many road side waterfalls are running down the mountains and slopes along the way at lower Jökuldalur valley between Egilsstaðir and Akureyri, in the east. So, Rjúkandi waterfall too seems like the others if not seen or explored properly. It is a beautiful waterfall with its commendable geological uniqueness that you would have never imagined. Rjúkandi Waterfall is fed by the river Jökulsá á Brú. There are two main drops in this waterfall and makes a picturesque view. The total height is 305 feet (93 meters), while 196 feet being the tallest drop (in a leap with 2 channels sliding over the bedrock and then forming a free-fall) and the other one is 109 feet (in a horsetail style drop). The power of this waterfall and the river is a fraction as compared to the other waterfalls, since Jökulsá a Brú river has been harnessed in the massive Kárahnjúkar Dam project (Iceland’s largest power plant).

Rjúkandi waterfall in East Iceland

How to Reach Rjúkandi Waterfall?

Rjúkandi Waterfall is in the eastern region of Iceland and is just less than one hour drive away from Egilsstaðir, on the Ring Road 1. From Egilsstaðir, take Highway 1 west towards Myvatn, which is about 49 kilometers and takes you towards the bridge, which is over Ysta-Rjúkandi – this indicates that you are near Rjúkandi. Just when you are about to reach Skjödólfsstaðir, on the ring road, you will find a parking lot and the waterfall is also visible from the road. There is a path that directly leads you to the base of the falls (300 meters upstream).  The walk up to the waterfalls will only take a few minutes. If you are an adventure freak, then you can surely climb up to view the upper and the lower parts of the waterfall.

Apart from this, do not forget to carry the hiking boots or a pair of reliable shoes that seem perfect for the slippery and rocky bed of the waterfall. Do carry warm clothes and raincoats. So, dress up smartly, carry a set of clothes along as the weather could be unpredictable. Though the power of the waterfall is not that much, ensure that you cover your cameras and smartphones perfectly to avoid any mishap.

Rjúkandi waterfall in East Iceland

Rjúkandi waterfall on a map

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