Glerhallavík

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Glerhallavík (Chalcedony Cove) is a small cove on the western coast of Skagafjörður in northern Iceland that gets its name from the pebbles and occasional larger pieces (I’ve seen one as large as a duck egg) of milky and green-flecked chalcedony that litter the beach. It is a protected nature area and picking chalcedony is forbidden, but some websites claim you can get permission to do so from the land-owner.

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It can be reached in three ways: by hiking along the very rocky shore from Grettislaug, by hiking along the grassy mountainside above the shore and then taking a perilous climb down into the cove, or by taking the sea route. The first takes about 40 minutes.

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You hike along the rocky beach with the island of Drangey on your right and on the left a near vertical bank of mixed rock and earth looming above you and occasional showers of small pebbles raining down from overhead. It can be quite scary, especially as the path which occasionally appears is right at the foot of the steep bank. However, the path makes for easier going than clambering over the rocks and boulders the whole way. At the end of the walk you come to a sharp turn and once you have made that, you can see this little gem of a cove with striking splashes of green, yellow and brown where trickling water feeds a growth of algae on the rock.

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If you enjoy beautiful nature the hike will be worth the effort even if you can’t collect chalcedony.

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