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  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

Gýgjarfoss waterfall

Updated: Apr 3, 2023


Gýgjarfoss waterfall
Gýgjarfoss waterfall

There are not many waterfalls in the Icelandic Highland that have become popular or significant attractions. One of the reasons is the relatively short time that the Highland in Iceland is open: only from the middle of June until the middle of September. However, that doesn't mean that Iceland lacks spectacular waterfalls in the Highland, with waterfalls like Fagrifoss, Ófærufoss, and Sigöldufoss being good examples. Another reason is the difficulty of accessing many waterfalls in the Highland, with some requiring a long hike to reach and enjoy. One of the beautiful waterfalls in the Highland that is reasonably accessible is Gýgjarfoss, located close to the Highland road Kjalvegur or Kjölur. If you are on Road no. F347 leading to Kerlingarfjöll and Hveradalir you will drive by Gýgjarfoss. Since both Kerlingarfjöll and Hveradalir have become popular due to easier access and road construction in the Highland, the waterfall has in turn become more popular.


Map og Highland in Iceland
Map og Highland in Iceland

Gýgjarfoss has spectacular surroundings


Gýgjarfoss waterfall close to Kerlingafjöll mountains in Highland
Gýgjarfoss waterfall close to Kerlingafjöll mountains in Highland

Although the waterfall is only about 5 meters high and around 20 meters wide, it is fed an impressive volume of water from a powerful source. The waterfall is in the river Jökulfall which has its source in the glacier Hofsjökull, the mountain ridge Kerlingarfjöll and many small spring-fed rivers. Eventually, the river joins the mighty river Hvítá, which provides the stream for our most spectacular waterfall Gullfoss. The flood can vary depending on the season, with more volume during spring and early summer. Sometimes, on a warm day the flood is much more in the afternoon than in the morning. The area surrounding Gýgjarfoss is quite impressive, with the mountains in the background, a fascinating gorge downstream and glaciers both to the east and the west; it is a wonderful place for photographers. The riverbanks by the waterfall also make an interesting foreground for photography. It is an interesting waterfall to stop by when you are on your way to Hveradalir and absolutely one of the more spectacular places to visit in the Highland.


Quite accessible during summer, although a 4X4 is recommended

Gýgjarfoss waterfall is a convenient part of the Kjölur or Kjalvegur road trip. When driving along Road no. 35 and turning to Kerlingarfjöll and Hveradalir, the waterfall is as close to the road as possible. If you are interested in seeing this waterfall, there are many other marvellous natural wonders you will see on that magnificent scenic drive in the Highland.



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