Fagrifoss: A Beauty Among the Beasts

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Iceland is filled with powerful roaring waterfalls that descend to the ground from meters above and create a sight never seen before. Amidst these intimidating beauties which inspire both awe and fear at the same time, Fagrifoss waterfall comes in as the calming beautiful rainbow that you see in the morning after a rough stormy night. Fagrifoss waterfall is like the prize of a long-fought battle with the adventurous roads of highlands. Pretty difficult to reach and find, this waterfall is different than any other that you may find in Iceland. If you are an admirer of beauty in all its form then you need to visit Fagrifoss waterfall when you go cruising in the highlands. The path to this scenic place is quite difficult to conquer and will require special vehicles and a will of fire. Rest assured that the journey will give you every bit of the thrill you expect from Iceland and its attraction while the destination will spread the sense of calm that a thing of beauty carries with it.

Fagrifoss waterfall translates to pretty or beautiful water and if that doesn’t seem enticing, whatever will. Iceland is very particular when it comes to naming things – nature’s creations or living creatures. Just like most Icelandic horses are named as per their distinctive characteristics, many landscapes are also named for their distinctive appearances like the Kastali rock formation which translates to Castle and is named because of its fortress-like appearance.

Fagrifoss waterfall in the highlands of Iceland

What Makes it So Special?

The thing that makes Fagrifoss waterfall so different from others is the smooth brink and a plunge that is segmented instead of bringing steep and straight like other more commonly known waterfalls. The slowly receding waters fall on to several steps before meeting the last part of the gorge. It is one of the highest waterfalls of Iceland with a height of about 80 meters and is located in the river Geirlandsá. Almost hidden from afar, it is next to impossible to spot this beauty if you are standing anywhere but near it. A viewing panel has been set up recently for the visitors to get a closer and better look at the waterfall and stay a safe distance from the gorge as well. Imagine this special suspended waterfall amidst a raw natural landscape of the highlands where the land is covered with a vibrant, calming and at the same time daunting shades of green, brown and black – magical indeed.

How to Get There?

Reaching to the Fagrifoss waterfall is the real adventure of this trip. It will require a thrill admiring persona, a sturdy 4×4 vehicle, and patience. Your destination is a part of the highlands but is a mere 17 kilometers away from the main Ring Road – Route 1 of Iceland. Take a turn towards the north to Holtsvegur number 206 near Kirkjubærjarklaustur – a small village. You take your last turn just after a 2-kilometer long drive to the north again on the highland road leading to Lakavegur – road number F206. This road will lead to the waterfall.

Fagrifoss waterfall in the highlands of Iceland

The Journey – A One of a Kind Adventure

The F206 road is the real hardship of this journey. You will be crossing a river, have to tackle sharp rocks that can easily cut through tires and bumpy tracks where you can only drive at a speed of 15 km/h. A normal 4×4 car will not be a good enough choice of vehicle for the journey so make sure that you rent one which is the top quality when it comes to driving on F206. The river that you will be crossing along the way sometimes swell when it rains so you will not be able to cross it when returning. Prepare in advance and stack some supplies to spend the waiting hours nicely.

You will have to leave your vehicle at the trailhead which leads to the waterfall and cover some distance on foot. The trail goes along the deep gorge of the river Geirlandsá. The view that you will get when on the way to the waterfall is every bit special as the destination. There are some safety barriers installed on the cliff and outcrops that face the waterfall so make sure that you stay inside in the safe zone. The new viewing panels will give you a better look at the scenery and the bottom of the waterfall as well. An adventure ending in total victory is the charm of the Fagrifoss waterfall.

Map of Fagrifoss waterfall

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