Kvernufoss Waterfall: Hidden Gem of Iceland

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There is no doubt why Iceland is known as a place of ice and fire. There are innumerable reasons that make Iceland one of the most beautiful places on Earth and why it is always there in every traveler’s bucket list. Iceland is a magnet to the globetrotters and seasoned travelers from across the world. The beauty of Iceland cannot be described in words, nor the pictures you see over the Internet are enough to tell you how mysterious yet mesmerizing Iceland is. This place has everything that might have already grabbed a place in your “must-visit” list.

From those majestic icebergs, snow-capped mountains, staggering waterfalls, glaciers with flipping and floating icebergs, to the massive human-sized icebergs standing tall right next to you on the Diamond beach to the steaming geysers and hot springs. When in Iceland, expect the unexpected. But apart from those popular places in Iceland, there are few less-traveled places as well and they are no less than the others, rather these places are the hidden gems of Iceland. One such place is Kvernufoss Waterfall, which is in South Iceland. So, let’s just explore this place.

Kvernufoss walk behind waterfall in south Iceland

A Walk-Behind Waterfall: Kvernufoss

This beautiful waterfall is located at a walking distance from one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland, Skógafoss, which is in the Southern Region. The water tumbles down with magnificent power from a height of approximately 30 meters (98 ft), Kvernufoss waterfall is half-hidden in a gorge, South Iceland and is exactly east of Skógafoss waterfall. It is hardly visible from the main road and thus, this waterfall in the beautiful gorge is mostly overlooked by the tourists and only a few people get to know about it.

When in Iceland, visiting the Kvernufoss waterfall adds up to your experience. You can easily start your hiking to the gorge and it takes barely 20-25 minutes to reach there if you do not stop by to acknowledge the beauty of the surrounding area. You don’t need to climb up too high, few places require you to be careful owing to the presence of gravel or stones. In the end, you need to get up to the rocks in front of the waterfall, and from there you can adore its beauty. The calmness in the roaring water gives you immense happiness and makes you feel refreshed. The hike won’t take too much of your time nor it is tiring. 

When you visit the Kvernufoss waterfall, the hike will start from just behind the Skógar museum. There you will have to step over the stairs to cross the fence that will lead you towards the waterfall. Just as you cross the fence, you will move forward to the picturesque gorge, Kvernugil, which is by the river Kverna (Kvernuhólsá). When you finally reach the waterfall, you will need to stand right in front, by the side of the river to see the waterfall, else it will hide behind the gorge. You can easily walk behind this waterfall if you visit in summers, and this is what makes it even more exciting. In winters it becomes way more slippery, so that becomes dangerous. It is advised to carry a raincoat or anything that protects you from the drizzling caused by the waterfall.

How to Reach Kvernufoss Waterfall?

If you are traveling from the main city Reykjavík, the waterfall is approximately 156 kilometers away that will take you nearly 2 hours and 10 minutes. Start your journey from Reykjavík and follow Suðurgata to Hringbraut/Route-49, and then, continue on the Þjóðvegur 1, Route-1, followed by continuing on Þjóðvegur to Skógar in Suðurland. Continue on Skógar till you reach the Skógar Museum and from there you can hike towards the waterfall.

Activities in the area

  • Sólheimajökull glacier hike
  • Sólheimajökull glacier hike & ice climbing
  • Katla Ice Cave
  • Eyjafjallajökull snowmobile

Map of Kvernufoss

Interesting locations in the area

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Selvallafoss Waterfall: Hidden Gem in Western Iceland

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