Iceland boasts more than 10,000 waterfalls all across the island (another perk of being the Land of Fire and Ice). Visiting all, or even most, of them will be nearly impossible, but there are a few that are not to be missed during a trip to Iceland. Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall is one of them and is credited as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland.
In this article, we tell you everything there is to know about this showstopper, from where it is, and its impressive characteristics to how to get to the falls and what you’ll be able to do in the area once you’re there.
So, if you’ve got an upcoming trip to Iceland, or just want to learn more about this incredible place, read on. Now, without further ado, let’s dive into Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall.
What Makes Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall So Impressive?
Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall may not be one of our tallest waterfalls (clocking in at just 20 meters compared to others of 60+ meters), but it’s the waterfall’s mesmerizing beauty that makes it so prolific and a favorite amongst photographers.
Originating from the Skjalfandafljot River, it crashes over basalt column cliffs (the remnants of its past and its creation) and into the most incredible almost cauldron-looking bright-blue water till the water eventually flows on to its next destination. Needless to say, this Basalt column waterfall in Iceland is an incredible sight to see.
How was Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall Formed?
Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall is another result of the opposing forces here in the Land of Fire and Ice. If you play detective and trace the Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall’s water all the way back from the Skjalfandafljot River, you will find that it’s yet another waterfall that’s fed by the melting Vatnajökull Glacier.
The Sudurarhraun Lava Field surrounding the waterfall as well as the fall’s basalt column backdrop was formed by a major volcanic eruption approximately, 9000 years ago that left lava running down (and cooling down) over the cliffs there.
Where is Aldeyjarfoss in Iceland?
Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall can be found in the Bardardalur Valley in the Northern Highlands of Iceland. It is very close to another famous waterfall here on the island, called Godafoss, which is why most visitors will try to stop at both when in the area.
And since the waterfall is located so conveniently close to our main road and popular road trip route, the Ring Road, many choose to have both falls on their trip itineraries as stops along the way. Aldeyjarfoss is not a waterfall that you will take on as a day trip from the capital city of Reykjavik.
The closest towns you can even think of doing a day trip from are Akureyri (a 15-minute drive away), and Myvatn (an hour and 20-minute drive away).
How to Get to Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall in Iceland
You will essentially have two options for getting to Aldeyjarfoss:
You Can Go On a Tour
There are many tour operators and private guides who will be able to take you to Aldeyjarfoss, whether it’s via one of their existing tour packages or a special custom-made private tour.
You Can Drive Yourself
This will always be our first suggestion, since this will allow you to really explore the island without anyone having any control over your time and itinerary. If you’re starting your journey from Akureyri, get back onto the Ring Road and take Route 844 South which runs alongside the Skjalfandafljot River.
Cross the one-lane bridge and continue on as the road becomes the F-26. Roughly 6 kilometers later you will reach the Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall parking lot. Just keep in mind that whenever you have to do with the F-roads in Iceland, you are required by law to drive with a 4x4 vehicle.
The Aldeyjarfoss Hike
Getting to Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall will require a short hike, but we should rather just refer to it as a walk since the back-and-forth trail is well-marked and very well-maintained, and the leisurely stroll to and from the falls will only take you a total of 40 minutes.
When is the Best Time to Visit Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall?
As it’s situated in the Highlands and you need to access it via an F-road, Aldeyjarfoss is one of the few falls that we suggest you keep for a summer, early fall, or late spring visit to the island. Not only is the area plagued by extremely harsh weather during the colder months of the year, but most F-roads are closed throughout the winter season.
How Much Does it Cost to Go to Aldeyjarfoss?
Visiting Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall is completely free of charge – even the parking.
What to Do at & Around Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall
If you are planning on adding Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall as a stop along your road trip, you can consider adding the following exciting things to see and do in the area to your trip itinerary as well:
The Christmas House in Eyjafjördur (it may be counterintuitive, but it’s actually open all year round)
Vatnajökull National Park that includes the Vatnajökull Glacier
Where to Stay Near Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall
Perhaps you would like to not only make Aldeyjarfoss a stop along your road trip, but also an overnight stay. In that case, you will have plenty of accommodation options to choose from that will suit anyone’s preferences and pockets. You can opt for a more luxurious touch with places such as Laxa Hotel or Hotel Myvatn.
Or you can go for a comfortable, yet affordable stay at Sandhaugar Guesthouse or Kidagil Guesthouse. For the most affordable stay, you should rent a campervan in Reykjavik upon arrival, and then book a spot at one of the campgrounds such as Sigridarstadir Campground or Hamrar Campground.
Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall; the Belle of the Ball Here in Iceland
Taking the crown as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland when competing against 10 000 other contestants is definitely no small feat, and once you’ve seen the falls for yourself, you’ll understand why so many photographers flock to take a snapshot of the site.
Just remember to rent a campervan in Reykjavik so you can add the waterfall as a stop along your Ring Road road trip and you can go camping in comfort.