Hafragilsfoss Waterfall: One of The Wonders of Iceland


Basic Information

One of three waterfalls on river Jokulsar a fjollum, the Hafragilsfoss waterfall is surrounded by cliffs that result in a spectacular view. About 90 m wide stream of water falling from a height of 30 meters makes it one of the mighty waterfalls in the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. Muffled thundering sound and mist blowing in the air are testaments of its bigger size and volume. Situated within the Vatnajökull National Park, the Hafragilsfoss is the second largest waterfall after Dettifoss. Upstream the river at a distance of around 2.5 km, you will find the Dettifoss waterfall, the largest waterfall of Europe. The second largest river of Iceland, Jokulsar a fjollum originates from the glacier Vatnajökull. The muddy water of the river passes through the narrow canyon and falls into the Arctic Ocean.

flowers and Hafragilsfoss waterfall in the diamond circle in north Iceland

Explore the Nearby Places

There are a lot of natural sites to visit nearby Hafragilsfoss including Dettifoss, Selfoss, Ásbyrgi Canyon, Hljoðaklettar. Close to the waterfalls you will find a beautiful crater with a small detour. On Iceland’s longest eruptive fissure, this interesting crater looks amazing. You will find another beautiful crater on the western brink of the canyon. If traveling by own vehicle, visit the areas around this place. You can get a glimpse of Selfoss that is known for its heavy flow of water. The water droplets of this powerful waterfall will make you wet; be careful as the rocks become slippery.

The unique cluster of rock formations, the Hljóðaklettar (Echo Rocks) is located by Jokulsargljufur. Down by the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum, the Hljóðaklettar is located at the entrance of Vesturdalur. While taking walk along the circular trail, you will witness some of the beautiful rock formations. The Castle formation, the first rock that you will see sits on the opposite bank of the river. The two main pillars of around this rock results in a fortress-like appearance. This picturesque location is perfect to capture memorable moments. During the complete visit along this trail, you will see “Tröllið” and “Kirkjan” formations. Explore the areas of Diamond Circle which is completed by the Dettifoss waterfall.

Hafragilsfoss waterfall in the diamond circle in north Iceland

How to Get There?

Located in North East Iceland, Hafragilsfoss is easily accessible. It is found at a short distance downstream of Dettifoss. Though it is possible to get a glimpse of Hafragilsfoss from the east and west side, the East bank is easily accessible. If you are starting from the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavik, you will need to travel around 550 kilometers. Drive north on the Ring Road 1 towards Myvatn. As soon as you cross the bridge over Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, take a left turn to drive on Road Number 864. Keep your vehicle on this road for 32 kilometers and then turn towards left when you see a signboard for Hafragilsfoss. At a distance of a few kilometers, you will see a parking space.

If you are staying in Akureyri, you can take the Diamond Circle and stop at Hafragilsfoss. The waterfall is located around 2 hours drive from Akureyri. 

Though you can get a view of the waterfall from the parking area, if you want a better glance at the waterfall, follow the short path out to a promontory. You can also park the vehicle on the west bank that is near to the parking area of Dettifoss. From west bank parking space, the waterfall is located at a distance of around 9 kilometers. Since this trail is steep with large rocks, it is ideal to visit the Eastern side.

Since Hafragilsfoss waterfall is fed by the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum, the flow of water is at peak during summer. During winters, the trails become slippery so it is more prone to any misadventure. You may get to see the icicles hanging from the rocks during winters. While tracking the path around this waterfall, be careful of the steep and slippery surface. Bring a pair of strong hiking boots to prevent any injury. You can plan a weekend road trip to the surrounding areas of the Hafragilsfoss waterfall. For accommodation, you will find hotels and guesthouses in the nearby towns of Húsavík and Akureyri.

woman sitting at the viewpoint at Hafragilsfoss waterfall in the diamond circle in north Iceland

Map of Hafragilsfoss

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