Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall Is Iceland's Hidden Gem You Should Know About

Aldeyjarfoss | © Vincent Guth / Flickr
Photo of Camille Buckley
11 June 2018

In such a rugged landscape as Iceland, there are ample opportunities for a river to find its way to sea by rambling over steep cliffs, resulting in thousands of waterfalls. Iceland has an abundance of water in all forms from swimming pools, hot pools, lakes, geysers, glaciers, rivers and the North Atlantic ocean. But many of the major waterfalls can be seen from the main ring road, which circulates around Iceland.

Aldeyjarfoss waterfall is located in Skjálfandafljót river in North Iceland. The waterfall drops from a height of 20 meters into an enclosed pool of frothing white water that is surrounded by beautiful basalt columns, making it the perfect location for a photo shoot. Aldeyjarfoss is located off the main tourist path so many people easily miss visiting it. The drive takes 41 kilometers one way into Bárðardalur valley from the main road. The waterfall drops from the Báðardalshraun lava field, which flowed from an eruption 9,000 years ago.

Aldeyjarfoss | © Jon Connell / Flickr

The waterfall is not very far from other incredible sites in North Iceland, such as the Lake Mývatn area, which has an abundance of natural lava formations. To arrive at Aldeyjarfoss waterfall, there are two possible roads to take from the main ring road: roads 842 or 844. Another option is to take road 842 to the waterfall and return to the main ring road via road 844. This option allows you to explore the entire 90 kilometers of Bárðardalur valley.

When visiting the waterfall, it is possible to approach it from both sides, the north bank and the south bank, which both offer incredible shots for photographing. From the north bank, you cannot see the whole round basin into which the waterfall drops, which makes Aldeyjarfoss so unique and appealing, but you can see the vista surrounding the waterfall on a well-worn path. However, from the south bank of the river, you can see into the entire round basin and the shape of the waterfall as it pours into the pool.