#southernregion

 

The waterfall Faxi in the river Tungufljót in South region in Iceland is only twelve kilometers from the famous Geysir hot spring area and twenty kilometers from the famous waterfall Gullfoss. The origin of Tungufljót river is in the lake Sandvatn or Sandlake quite visible if you visit Jarlhettur and Hagavatn nearby.  Faxi has been described as a small version of Gullfoss but of course not as powerful. The waterfall is 80 meters wide and seven meters high.  It is a beautiful waterfall placed in a wonderful and peaceful landscape.  It is also possible to walk quite near the waterfall on the lower level and feel the drizzle from the water.  A photo option to capture the waterfall from the upper level is also a good idea.  Although never lacking water the waterfall has also been named Vatnsleysufoss meaning the waterfall with no water or the waterfall with shortage of water.

Faxi waterfall is part of the Golden Circle Drive

Many visitors in Iceland prefer to drive the golden circle road trip. It is a simple all year round day trip from Reykjavík with many interesting stops and impressive historical spots and natural wonders.  The interesting thing about adding Faxi waterfall to that trip is the possibility to be in proximity to the flowing stream of water.  The waterfall is also wide and high enough to be quite impressive.  For people that have rarely seen a waterfall, it is a joy both sight and sound.

Access to Faxi waterfall Faxafoss is easy all year round

If you are driving from Reykjavík the capital you take the road Vesturlandsvegur Road Nr. 1 through the town Mosfellsbær.  On the edge of Mosfellsbær you take the Road Nr. 361 Þingvallavegur.  When you are passed the lake Þingvallavatn you take a turn west on Road Nr. 365 Lyngdalsheiðavegur. When you come to the small village Laugarvatn you continue on Road Nr. 37 Laugarvatnsvegur until you turn on Road Nr. 35 that will take you to the Faxi waterfall.

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Below is the location of Faxi waterfall on the map of Iceland

Faxi waterfall is part of the Golden Circle Drive

 

In a walking distance, east of the famous waterfall Skógafoss in the Southern Region in Iceland is a beautiful waterfall that few people visit. The name of the waterfall is Kvernufoss, and it is about 40 meters high.  Although the waterfall is visible from a narrow-angle from the main road, it is almost hidden in a beautiful gorge. The fall is in the river Kverná tracing its origin to the south slopes of Eyjafjallajokull, and the gorge also bears the name Kvernugorge or Kvernugil.  Not only is the waterfall beautiful but also the narrow gorge. The path to the waterfall is only about 600 meters.  It is a joy to walk as the whole surrounding becomes a bit isolated and quiet as you approach the waterfall. It is a combination of palagonite cliffs, rocks, and vegetation. 

Seljalandsfoss little sister

The waterfall bears many similarities to the famous Seljalandsfoss and could easily be its little sister. Like the famous Seljalandsfoss, you can also walk behind this waterfall although everything is smaller and more narrow. The walk behind and near the waterfall is quite slippery, and attention is needed along with good hiking shoes.  It is not an easy walk and might not be wise in the winter unless equipped with ice spikes.  But for serious photographers, it is an excellent challenge. Because of the narrow gorge, the best time of day to take photos would be in the middle of the day if the sky is clear.  This way you get rid of the sharp shadow. 

Access is easy and simple

Access to Kvernufoss is quite simple as it is located a few hundred meters from the Ring Road Nr. 1. If you drive to Skógar and Skógafoss, the best option is to skip the turn to Skógafoss after turning from the Ring Road north towards Skógar and head to the Skógar museum. From the parking lot at the museum, you walk to the east over the fence and onto an almost unclear path as this is not a mainstream tourist attraction.  This route will take you to the gorge and from there it is impossible to miss the waterfall Kvernufoss.

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Below is the location of Kvernufoss on the map of Iceland

Kvernufoss bears many similarities to the famous Seljalandsfoss and could easily be its little sister

 

Háifoss, The high waterfall,  is one of the Highest and also one of the most striking waterfalls in Iceland. Placed in a magnificent but relatively narrow gorge leading into the Icelandic Highland from the valley Þjórsárdalur it is one of the major waterfall attractions in Iceland. It is part of the river Fossá or Waterfall River. The height is impressive as it falls the 122 meters down the two million years old cliff. It is a beautiful sight from top to bottom including the geologically rich background in the cliffs.  It is not a lonely waterfall as it lives in the bottom of the gorge with its dear friend and companion for thousands of years, the waterfall Granni or Neighbour.

When discovered it was thought to be the highest waterfall in Europe

The waterfall wasn't actually discovered until the first decade of the 20th century and was at that time believed to be not only the highest waterfall in Iceland but the highest in Europe. It was a natural scientist and geologist Dr. Helgi Pjetursson, the first Icelander to obtain a Ph.D. in geology, who wrote an article about the waterfall in a local paper Ísfold in July 1910 and named the waterfall Háifoss.  Since then the name has stuck.

Access is not complicated but might be an effort

Access to this beautiful natural wonder is quite easy considering the location on the edge of the Highland. If you are traveling from Reykjavík, you take the Ring Road nr. 1 east.  After you pass the town Selfoss, you turn left road nr. 30 after approximately 16 kilometers.  After 17 kilometers on road 30, you turn right and east on Road 32 and enter the great valley Þjórsárdalur; a place that is both rich in natural wonders and history.  Ahead of you is a 45-kilometer drive to the mountain track that leads to Háifoss. Unfortunately, this seven-kilometer track is not a road for small vehicles. Here you need a good 4X4 vehicle.  If you have a small car, you can aways take a walk to enhance your health of fourteen kilometers back and forth and gain a great hiking tour with a spectacular view.            

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Below is the location of Háifoss waterfall on the map of Iceland

Háifoss waterfall in Iceland

 

The waterfall Urriðafoss in the mighty river Þjórsá is the waterfall in Iceland that has more volume than any other waterfall.  One reason is the river Þjórsá that is the longest river in Iceland and thus collects a lot of water from its many origins in the highland and lowland until it exits to the ocean.  Anorher reason is the location of the waterfall only a few kilometres from the mouth of the river and thus carries all the water the river can possibly collect. With all its water it is an impressive wide waterfall although not a very high fall. It is a waterfall with impressive volume.

Easaly accessble from the Ring Road in Iceland

Urriðafoss is one of the natural wonders in Iceland that is easily accessible from the Ring Road, or Road nr. 1, as it is only a short drive from the road.  When driving east from Reykjavík you turn to you right on Urriðafossvegur nr. 302 and the viewing panel is only one kilometre from the main road.  If you are lucky you might catch a moment of someone fishing for salmon, as the river Þjórsá is a salmon river. 

Onec a part of a hydroelectric dream

On the first half of the 20th century the famous icelandic entrepreneur and poet Einar Benediktsson had big dreams about Hydroelectric power plants in Iceland.  One of the places Einar wanted to build a dam was in the river Þjórsá by the waterfall Urriðafoss.  Fortunately for us those dreams have not seen reality yet.

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Below is the location of Urriðafoss waterfall on the map of Iceland

The waterfall Urriðafoss in the mighty river Þjórsá is the waterfall in Iceland that has more volume than any other waterfall.

Skógafoss (Forest waterfall) is often referred to as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland.  It has all the ingredients of a great natural wonder.  The amount of water is excessive, the form of the waterfall is almost perfect in its rectangular shape, the 60-meter drop makes it impressive, and the width of 25 meters puts it into a great perspective.  On the ground in front of the waterfall, the amount of spray continuously produced by the falling water quite often creates both a single and a double rainbow visible on any given day when the sun is shining. The rainbows are quite vivid and fall-bound enough to be almost touchable.

A feast of waterfalls in the Skógá river

The cliffs around the waterfall are former sea-cliffs when the shoreline was by Skógarfoss but has now moved five km south. On the eastern side of the waterfall, you'll find steps to the most popular hiking routes in Iceland, towards the Fimmvörðuháls pass. Once there, you are halfway to the beautiful Highland oasis of Þórsmörk.  Hiking the Skógaheiði moors, you will be amazed at the sheer number of waterfalls and rapids adorning the Skógá River. Indeed, there are 22 of them, each more beautiful than the other. It is really a feast of waterfalls.

Skógafoss in winter - a frozen wonderland

Skógafoss in winter - a frozen wonderland

Accessible for everyone on the Ring Road in Iceland

Mind you that you don't have to undertake heavy trekking to enjoy the Skógafoss waterfall itself. Skógarfoss is only two kilometers from the Ring Road in Iceland and easily accessible and visible from the main road, the Ring Road in Iceland. It is quite an experience to stand next to the mighty fall. It puts the world in a brand new perspective, and one tends to feel a bit insignificant. Climb the steps to enjoy the fall from the top and the view towards the Atlantic Ocean is a bonus.

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Below is the location of Skógafoss waterfall on the map of Iceland

Skógafoss is easaly acessable from the Ring Road

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