Gjáin
About
Located in southern Iceland, this small valley contains breathtaking waterfalls and volcanic formations.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Gjáin and nearby attractions

The area
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
Attractions
2 within 6 miles

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles98 reviews
Excellent
91
Very good
7
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

c00pertravel
New Jersey143 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Couples
First - a warning: you NEED a 4x4 SUV to get there! There's a sign on the road advising that 4WD vehicles are allowed, and that regular sedans are not. If you don't heed that warning, you (and your car!) may regret it later. A part of the road leading to the park is a very rough gravel. Once you get to the park though you are rewarded with a beautiful view, of waterfalls and a few paths among them where you can wonder around and enjoy the scenery. If you have time and ability to visit this off the beaten track place, I highly recommend it!
Written June 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrea
Fishers, IN40 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Family
Stunning lush beauty with multiple waterfalls. The road to get there is 4 miles of gravel through barren land, but well worth it. Hike is easy. Make sure to cross the stream and take in the waterfalls on both sides
Written June 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kasejason
Chicago, IL357 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Friends
On our recent trip to Iceland, my friends and I were undecided about whether or not we should visit Gjain. It seemed so far out of the way that we weren't sure whether or not it would be worth the trip. At the end of a drive around the Golden Circle we still had a little time, so we decided to check Gjain out. Boy are we glad we did! This place cannot be described accurately in words. It's like something you would only expect to see in a movie!

There seem to be two different ways to get to Gjain. You can park at Stöng and hike in from there, or you can drive directly to the valley itself. We opted for the later option and had a little trouble finding the place. If you choose to drive, head towards Landmannalaugar on route 32. After Hjalparfoss, drive up the hill for about 10 kilometers and look for a sign on the right of the road for Holaskogur. Just after this sign, turn left onto the dirt road (look for more signs for Holaskogur and also for Laxargljufur). If you get to a long wooden bridge over the river, you've gone too far. Once on the dirt road, follow it until you reach a T and make a left turn. Stay on this bumpy gravel road for another 5 kilometers or so and you will come to a gate. Open the gate and drive through (making sure to close it again behind you) and you will soon see a couple of roads leading off to the right. Take any of these (they make a loop) and they will lead you to the top of the Gjain valley. There are steps leading down into the valley from here. Google maps will provide you with directions to this parking area if you search for "Gjáin, Stangarvegur, Iceland."

Once you get into the valley, you will feel like a little kid at a playground. There are waterfalls everywhere accompanied by rocks, bridges, and caves that you can climb on/ in. From the parking area mentioned above, you can explore a good part of the valley without getting your feet wet. If you are interested in seeing a little more, you can cross the streams a few times to get to other waterfalls and different parts of the valley. Plan to bring waders if you intend to cross the streams as the water is cold and will easily run over and into even the most waterproof of boots.

If you are planning to visit Landmannalaugar or are simply in this area, you should not hesitate to stop and see the Gjain. It is even worth a special trip just to see the valley itself. If you're like us and can't decide whether or not to visit, it's an easy choice. Just go see it and you won't regret your decision!
Written July 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sean F
West Hartford, CT61 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Family
This valley is something you would never expect to see. Water comes out of everywhere! It was one of the most unique things we did in Iceland. It reminds me of something you'd see in a Disney animated movie, but it exists in real life. The entire valley is really green and surrounded by volcanic rock and basalt columns. You could easily spend 2-3 hours here to get to every part of the valley in order to take it all in. The water comes out of every direction and is a deep blue in color, really making it look unique when it falls into the river from the various waterfalls. Note that it was used in a Game of Thrones episode briefly when

The valley is along a road that is for 4WD only (the road did not look like you needed a 4WD though, a normal passenger car could do it - but the entrance had some very blatant signs that said that you needed a 4WD). We did not have a 4WD and parked at the Northeast end of unpaved 328 and we walked from there. The GPS said that it was about a half mile shorter to get there from this end than the other. It was about a 2 mile walk on this road to the valley where there was a parking area. The parking area was right at the rim of the valley. There is a really easy walk to the bottom of the valley and paths to get you just about everywhere on the southeast side of the valley. In order to see it all, you have to cross some wide rivers that aren't really that deep. There are rocks to use to get across, but some are small. If you have waterproof hiking shoes, that would be best (crossing the rivers my shoes slipped in a few times and they were fine, until my shoe went in a deeper part where the water level was above the rim of my shoe).

The GPS coordinates of the parking area are the following 64°08'58.9"N 19°44'14.8"W (or 64.149688, -19.737438).

My recommendation would be to go later in the day where the light is less harsh (makes photographing the numerous waterfalls a lot easier).
Written August 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christie R
Vienna, VA280 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Family
Not sure why trip advisor has a snow/glacier photo associated with this place. It is a waterfall valley in the middle of nowhere and it is strikingly beautiful. We had a private guide with a 4x4, otherwise it would be impossible to get here over the gravel and dirt roads - and it's not marked either. You will be driving through a desolate landscape - looks like wind whipped, gray dessert up here in the highlands. When our guide pulled over, we thought he was nuts. But one walk to the edge of the canyon and the view down almost knocked me over. I thought I was in Hawaii (but only momentarily). There are stairs to the canyon floor and waterfalls. They are pretty well maintained. I will say that the bottom is squishy and wet, with many trails include 1x6 pieces of plywood over little culverts and streams. I'd most definitely wear your waterproof hiking boots here and DON'T FORGET YOUR CAMERA. At the back of the canyon is a waterfall - fairly tall coming over the edge. There are also multiple other falls coming out of the canyon walls in other areas. They are smaller falls, but beautiful. Think clear glacier streams flowing over walls of moss covered rocks. Clear blue water and rivulets. Caves in the canyon walls. Places to climb, hike and wonder around. Literally - the only thing that was missing from this fairytale landscape was a unicorn.
Written July 10, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tarostra
Bangkok, Thailand255 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Friends
We were going towards Landmannalaugar on route 32 but the weather turned bad so we turned off down the rough gravel road on the left to the Stöng archaeological site and the Gjáin waterfalls. A 4WD is useful but we did see normal cars too. We parked at Stöng and walked 15mins through the beautiful, hidden valley to the waterfalls, but if you're in a hurry or hate walking you can drive further (I think you'd be missing part of the mystery of the place though)

The lush green and many flowers of the valley, the tumbling waterfalls and the weirdly twisted basalt formations really feel special in the midst of the bleak, severe beauty of the surrounding area. We loved it, even in the rain.

Two tips. One, stick to the paths as it's easy to get lost if you make your own trail (and you'll be damaging plants that struggle to survive in the difficult conditions). Two, after heavy rain some parts of the path are more difficult as you need to cross the stream. If you don't want wet feet, waterproof boots would help
Written July 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ayca L
Oslo, Norway66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
A must when visiting this part of Iceland. Park your car at Gjain, walk the path to Stöng and up on the other side. Expect to use 3 hrs. Almost elvish landscape in the middle of the lava fields.

A note on getting there: some people claim the road is doable in a 2wd. That may very well be, but the road is restricted to 4x4. It is not an F road, but you will void your car insurance by going with a 2 WD. If you want to take the risk, chances are it will be ok. Otherwise be prepared to pay.
Written August 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

stefandreas
Frankfurt, Germany158 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Family
As everybody says: this is just soooo nice, especially when the sun is shining. If my family raves about Iceland they think of Gjain. Not very big, a good hour is ok to explore, but pure paradise. I would recommend to do the whole 327 for everyone with a SUV (Duster etc.): its really not that bad and hey, its also fun to drive on bad roads. And these rustic roads keep the busses away, which are present in Hjalaparfoss for exemple and ruin the experience there. So, visiting the Porsa valley with Stöng, driving up to Gjain (as I said: no problem at all), than continue to Haifoss (easy but bumpy as well, but also no problem for a SUV) : thats a pretty perfect day in iceland.
Written August 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ken W
Vancouver, Canada754 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Friends
First of all, access is via road 32. If you are coming from Selfoss, it is about 70 km. It is better to take the second access road into Gjain. You will cross a bridge then go up a hill with a switchback ( the only one on the whole trip). About 6 km further, a gravel road, Haafossvegur, goes to your left. It is a gravel road in the middle of a gravel plain. After 200 m turn left. A regular car can handle this road if you take it slow in places. It is best to come back out the same way unless you have a higher clearance vehicle. As for the little valley, it is a delight. It is very easy to wade or cross the river just below the falls. Trails throughout give you all sorts of nice views
Written June 7, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cecilia y
37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016 • Couples
This place is magical; when we got there, we couldn't believe our eyes. This is where they filmed a scene in Game of Thrones (Arya and the Hound), but looks like the Shire if it had waterfalls and rivers. We found directions to this place on an Iceland blog. The directions are pretty straightforward and you can plug the place in the GPS. However, there is a section where it's off road and goes up and down a small hill. We rented a VWGolf and we were ok. The only minor downside is that there were a lot bugs, half our pictures were us trying to shoo flies from attacking us. If you have a truck, you can just drive to the place without doing the hike. The hike was around 25-30 minutes from the parking lot.
Written June 26, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 59
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Gjáin - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

FlightsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars