Litlanesfoss Waterfall: Hidden Gem of East Iceland

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A small but extremely beautiful place to be, Litlanesfoss waterfall is one of the attractions of East Iceland and is also one of the most underrated waterfalls of the island. Situated in Fljótsdalur valley the Litlanesfoss waterfall is not very far away from Egilsstaðir. A very small entity as compared to the one waterfall it is usually overshadowed by, Litlanesfoss holds its own impressive landmarks and specialties. It features some of the tallest basalt columns in Europe. The beautiful basalt rocks, the greenery of the summer season and various other wonderous landscape that you experience on the hike makes the trip to this gorgeous little place worth your time and effort that you put into the hike. For the lovers of thrill and tricky trails, the hike that leads to Litlanesfoss will offer you an amount of adrenaline rush that you may never expect from such a short hike. 

Creating contrast to a nearby, very famous waterfall of Iceland – Hengifoss, Litlanesfoss is quite hidden and is not visible from the hiking trail at all. The basalt column surrounding the waterfall sort of work as layers of thick curtains around it and hide it a way that it is impossible to view it from the road. When you walk very close to the rim of the gorge, you will finally be able to score a glance of cascading snow-white waters in between the hexagonal column of dark brown and black colored basalt rocks – looking like those ancient screens that were used to block the view of the beautiful princess. The 30-meter-high waterfall is divided into two steps and cascades into a small pond. The basalt columns that surround the waterfall are about 15 to 20 meters high which makes them the highest basalt columns in the whole country. Unlike Hengifoss, you can not walk behind this waterfall but the view that you get from the front will do more than just making up for that.

woman in yellow raincoat standing in front of Litlanesfoss basalt column waterfall in East Iceland

Know the Route

Taking Route 1 on the Ring Road will have you drive for about 700 kilometers from Reykjavik before you can finally reach Eiðar where you can park your vehicle and start the hike that leads to Litlanesfoss. Parking is often full in peak season so make sure that you have set out as early as possible to score a spot. You will see a fenced gated rail near the parking lot, this is where your hike will start. While most of the hike is very to cover, the start is a little steep. There are benches along the way for you to sit and relax for a while if you feel tired.

After covering about 1.2 kilometers of distance from the tailgate, you will finally be able to spot your destination. You will have to walk very close to the edge of the gorge hence, please be on your guard at all times. When you get closer to the waterfall, you will spot the gorgeous hexagonal pattern of the basalt rocks that surrounds it from above.

About 1.5 kilometers ahead of your destinations lies one of the highest waterfalls in Iceland – Hengifoss waterfall. It is a 40-50 minutes hike to this waterfall and a rather easy one too. It can be spotted only a few meters further from Litlanesfoss as well. You can choose to extend your hike and visit this beauty.

More Locations nearby

  • Hengifoss waterfall
  • Egilsstaðir
  • Seyðisfjörður
  • Fardagafoss waterfall
  • Vök Nature Baths
  • Skriðuklaustur
Litlanesfoss basalt column waterfall in East Iceland

Best Time to Visit

Summer season will bring you a variety of fauna combined with the powerful waterfall and the winter season will come with basalt rocks decorated with snow. Needless to say, both seasons are perfect to take the hike. Although, you will find clear routes and sunny weather in the summer season while the snow in winters will increase the difficulty level of the hike resulting in an increased level of thrill. Depending on the kind of experience you are expecting from this visit, you can take your pick.

Activities in the area

  • Egilsstaðir Horse Riding
  • Vök Nature Baths

Map of Litlanesfoss waterfall

Litlanesfoss basalt column waterfall in East Iceland
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