Asbyrgi is definitely the most beloved pearl of nature in Iceland. It represents an enclosed canyon, situated in the west of the Jokulsa a Fjollum River, in Keldehverfi district. The canyon is 3,5 km long and 1.1 km wide, surrounded by cliffs that have a height of about 100 metres. It extends from its opening till the center reaching a wide cliff of about 250 metres, called the island, which ends with a tall and narrow stern of a ship.
The legend of the place relates a very interesting story about how the horse of odinn, the God of Norse Mythology, stepped down on this territory and left his foot print. This was the explanation for the past centuries, for this horseshapped giant print that gave the enormous form of the canyon. Later, some more stories appeared about Asbyrgi, one of them sustaining that it formed from the devastating floods of the Jokulsa river. These floods happened 10 thousand years ago, the second happened 3 thousands years ago. The clear evidences of the floods can be seen nowadays along the river, all the distance till the Vatnajokull glacier. All these floods run straight across the field, chiseling the great canyon, called now Asbyrgi.
In 1978 Asbyrgi became a significant part of the Jӧkulsargljufur National Park, now a part of the Vatnajӧkull National Park, which was inaugurated in 2008. Coming to Asbyrgi you will certainly feel and see a new world, a hidden paradise on the Earth, starting with the sand sides of the Jӧkulsa river delta. These amazing places are really charming, with picturesque sightseeings . Passing through the surrounding walls you will get to delight your eyes with unique bushes and trees, specific for this region, which includes birch, that is the dominating specie, but there also are rowans and other beautiful species. The birch forests are protected by law, and they are included in the protection of the Iceland Forest Service.
At the main entrance of Asbyrgi an old granary stands which was renovated and redesigned in a modern Gljufrastofa Visior center. The entrance was completely transformed to house the center which offers facilities and infomation about the National Park. It also offers an exhibition wich relates to the nature and the history of the Jӧkulsarglufur Canyon. The valuable exhibition is made to attract and intrigue the visitors of the canyon. Browsing around this spectacular place, admiring exhibits and remarkable areas, the tourists will get to feel the real value of the Asbyrgi. This place provides the guest with campground facilities, and other good services to make their visit a pleasant one, including bathing and washing facilities and playground. Along the canyon marked walk ways and sevelar trails for walk are managed, transforming the spot in a truly fascinating place, with wonderful attractions, leaving you deeply excited. At the extreme point of the Asbyrgi is located an incredible small pond beautified by birdlife and spectacular vegetation. There a wooden platform was built from where the visitors can delight their souls and eyes with the beauty and the silence of the place. One more platform was installed up in the rocky slopes, that is situated on the west of the pond, which opens a great view over the pond and over the entire canyon, offering stunning sightviews.
Asbyrgi is the perfect place for an unforgettable trip, and has attracted visitors from all the parts of the world. It is one of the most beloved destinations for the locals. The surroundings are deeply extraordinary, with dramatic and historic sights, that include some curious and wonderful moments, where the visitors can spend a pleasant time, in a peaceful ambiance. Asbyrgi represents a precious geological place, taking several years to assume its present shape, impressing everybody with enigmatic legends. Getting into this impressive canyon is an unforgettable experience.