Hvítá in Árnesýsla (in the south) is the third longest river in Iceland, 185 km long from its source in Hvítárvatn under Langjökull and  from Kerlingafjöll at Hofsjökul, to the estuary in Ölfusá just west of Eyrarbakki. There is no river or creek in the country that has more people comming sight seeing than Hvítá, it is part of the golden triangle, Þingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss, which is the crown jewel of Hvítá. Þjórsá is the longest river in Iceland, rises north of Sprengisandur, and draws its water from both Vatnajökull and Hofsjökull like Hvítá. The estuary of Þjórsá is 25 km east of Ölfusá, west of Þykkvabær. Jökulsá á Fjöllum is the second longest, it emerges from the northern side of Vatnajökull and Kverkfjöll and then flows north along the plateau into Öxarfjörður. In Jökulsá á Fjöllum there is, of course, Dettifoss, the continent’s most powerful waterfall. Then there is the big question, which is more beautiful, more experience to see and explore, Dettifoss or Gullfoss. Shouldn’t we just settle for a grandmaster draw like in chess?


The source of Hvítá in Hvítárvatn under Langjökull

Brúarárfoss, in Brúará one of the many rivers that flow into Hvítá.


The one and only Gullfoss


One of three (5 if Ölfusá is included) bridges over Hvítá, this one is at Laugarás, just east of Skálholt.


Árnessýsla 2021/2022 : A7RIV, A7R III, FE 1.2/50mm GM / FE 1.4/85mm GM / FE 2.8/100mm GM

Photos & text : Páll Stefánsson