View of Ellidarárdalur and its waterfall, with thury sitting in front on a stone
Iceland - Experiences,  Locals Favorite,  Reykjavík - Experiences

Elliðaárdalur – Jewel in the city of Reykjavik

Elliðaárdalur is a perfect place to get away from the hassle of the city. Walk beside the river and watch the birds and rabbits who have made the valley their home. It is an ideal spot to reconnect with nature.  Allow it to calm your mind and unwind the stress of the day.

Me enjoying this wonderful valley by the waterfall in Elliðaá.

The valley runs through Reykjavik and the river Elliðaá is its centerpiece. It has its origin at lake Elliðavatn that belongs both to Reykjavík and the neighbor community Kópavogur.  The valley has held its looks through time. Even though one of the first power stations were built there.

The river Elliðaá is one of Iceland’s many salmon rivers, but it is the only one in the world that runs through a capital in its country.  So if you happen to want to go fishing, you can buy a fishing license and enjoy the nature at its best.

It is wonderful to fish in the river Elliðaá.

My rediscovery of Elliðadalur

You can forget places that are close to your heart. It isn’t until you, for some reason, return to the place that you realize how much it means to you. When I revisited Elliðaárdal last summer memories came pouring down. Memories of a happy and turbulent time while I was a teenager.

During that time horses were my main interest. I had my horse in the old stables by the edge of the valley across the big road Reykjanesbraut. We would ride through a tunnel beneath the road and coming out of it, this beautiful valley opened up to us.  I didn’t pay much attention to the surroundings at that time. A fourteen-year-old teenager isn’t so aware of the nature around them.


When I went back to this oasis in the roaring city last summer, I found out how much it means to me. I knew the surroundings and the riverbed like the back of my hand. The familiar buzz of the river along with every hill and bend. A warm feeling settles in your heart and the memories of old friends become alive. Remembering being a teenager and sharing your hopes and dreams in this landscape so dear to you.

The valley offers wonderful biking trails.

The valley hasn’t changed much since I rode my horse through it. The biggest changes are that the trees have grown considerably and the paths have been paved. It is still the same beautiful valley that I enjoyed my teenage years in.


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