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Even if a picture says a thousand words it can do no justice to Ásbyrgi national park in northeast Iceland. Lush green canyon sheltered by awe inspiring cliffs is a must see place.PIC livingbroadly

S ome locals refer to Asbyrgi national park as the capital of elves in Iceland. Indeed, that could well be the case in this stunning horseshoe shaped canyon close to the northern coast of Iceland.

Asbyrgi would be best described as an oasis if there ever was one. The weird-shaped canyon is one of a handful of places in Iceland where trees and plants grow abundantly, sheltered by towering dark cliffs of up to a hundred meters in height.

But it is not so much the vista that makes this place so very special. It is the ambiance, the deep silence or the reverberating sounds from the cliff walls around when the place is crowded. Which, unfortunately, it is often during the summer months.

For those filled with energy and unwilling to chill among the trees or drink from the small but achingly beautiful Botnstjorn pond at the foot of the canyon there are many fantastic hiking routes around Asbyrgi. Fantastic does not even begin to describe it.

Sheltered from all directions except North makes Ásbyrgi one of the nicest place in the country. PIC Pavel Karaflat

Sheltered from all directions except North makes Ásbyrgi one of the nicest place in the country. PIC Pavel Karaflat

All necessary facilities are found here. Nice campground, RV accommodation and a visitor information center and even a small golf course.

We cannot recommend this place too much. But this will only be fabulous during summertime. In winter it is just stunning. Do make a detour if around these parts but keep in mind you will have to share this place with too many peoples in the summer months.

If you ever doubted the myth-laden stories of old you have proof right here in Ásbyrgi. It was none other than Sleipir, eight-legged horse of Odin, that made the weird looking canyon of this place. Believable enough except perhaps for the fact no other similar canyons are found around here.

De facto: Asbyrgi is repeatedly voted one of the major tourist draw of Iceland.

Getting here: Flights from Reykjavik to Akureyri/Husavik or bus from Akureyri or Husavik. Take either road 85 or road 864 from highway 1. Rougly 30 minutes away from Husavik or 60 from Akureyri.

Our humble opinion: Fancy rhetoric apart Asbyrgi is a place to unwind if there ever was one. Even on crowded days relaxation comes easily here. Spend a day and we guarantee you will want to stay longer.