Ásbyrgi is a magnificent horseshoe-shaped canyon, rich in history and natural gems. It’s about 2.2 miles long and 0.7 miles wide, rich in vegetation and the home of a nice campsite. Asbyrgi is actually a part of the Vatnajokull National Park, so you will find nice facilities in the area. At the bottom of the canyon, you will find a small serene pond, where you will usually see some interesting birds.
According to mythology, Odin had an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir. Occasionally, Odin would ride Sleipnir to monitor the universe but one time, he accidentally got too close to the earth and Sleipnir’s hoof is what formed Asbyrgi. This is what explains Asbyrgi’s horseshoe shape.
The area has many great hiking trails that offer great opportunities for breathtaking views, so make sure to bring your camera. It’s a very popular recreation area, especially for families, and it holds a special place in my heart. I spent many summers at Asbyrgi summer camp as a young boy and had the privilege to get to know the area.
Ásbyrgi is only 38 km (24mi) from the Húsavík. If you are coming from Dettifoss, keep driving north until you reach road 85. If you are on the western side of Dettifoss (road 862), turn right onto road 85 and then you will see Asbyrgi soon on your right. If you are on the eastern side of Dettifoss (road 864), turn left onto road 85 and then you will see Asbyrgi soon on your left.
Do some hiking, check out the visitor center, explore that vegetation and birdlife in the area.
At the top of the cliffs (be careful), at the campsite by your camper, or by the pond (Botnstjörn).