There might be over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland, but Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall promises to be an experience you’ll never forget. Aldeyjarfoss is known as one of our most picturesque waterfalls here on the island and is definitely not to be missed.
So, if you’re just curious to find out more about Iceland’s natural wonders, or you’re already planning your trip itinerary – read on. We tell you everything there is to know about Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall.
What is Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall?
Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall is a 20-meter-high waterfall in a setting that reminds one of a fairy tale or an epic movie like Lord of the Rings. The fall plummets down into a gigantic round pool of water that slowly further expands into the Skjalfandafljot River, continuing down the canyon. But it’s the waterfall’s incredible backdrop of black Basalt Columns that truly takes your breath away.
Where is Aldeyjarfoss in Iceland?
Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall can be found in the Bardardalur Valley in the Highlands of northern Iceland. The closest cities or towns are Akureyri (the capital city of the north) and Myvatn. Akureyri is about an hour and 15 minutes drive away, and Myvatn is about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Aldeyjarfoss also conveniently lies just off one of our main roads and popular road trip routes here on the island, called the Ring Road.
How to Get to Aldeyjarfoss in Iceland
Most use the following methods of getting to Aldeyjarfoss:
Taking a Tour
With so many experienced guides and tour operators here on the island, you’ll have your pick of tours to get you to Aldeyjarsfoss.
You can opt for a dedicated day tour, a combo tour, or even a multi-day tour that includes a number of local attractions. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to book a spot well in advance if you intend to visit the island during our busy summer season.
Taking a Drive
This will always be our favorite way to explore the island, since it allows you to be in full control of your time and itinerary, and you don’t need to rely on any third parties. Getting to Aldeyjarfoss using your own transport is pretty easy. If you are coming from Akureyri, simply get on the Ring Road and take route 844 south.
This road will take you all along the Skjalfandafljot River. You will then drive over a one-lane bridge crossing the river. A blue sign next to the road marks where the road becomes the F-26.
Continue on this road for about 6 kilometers till you reach the Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall parking lot. Just remember that half of this is gravel, dirt, and F-roads, so there is no way you’ll be able to make this trip if you don’t have a 4x4 vehicle.
How was Aldeyjarfoss Formed?
The waterfall itself is fed by the Vatnajökull Glacier (the largest glacier in Europe). The Sudurarhraun lava field that surrounds the waterfall was created 9000 years ago by a major volcanic eruption. This same eruption is the reason for the black basalt backdrop, as lava running over the sides of the cliffs cooled down and hardened over time to form the black sedimentary rock.
When is the Best Time to Visit Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall?
This is one waterfall we recommend that you visit during the warmer months of the year. That’s because, not only is the northern region of Iceland much colder than the rest of the country with harsher weather conditions, many of the Highland roads, especially the F-roads are closed till the weather improves again.
How Much Does it Cost to Go to Aldeyjarfoss?
It is completely free to visit Aldeyjarfoss.
How Long Does it Take to See Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall?
We would recommend that you set aside at least 1.5 hours for an excursion to Aldeyjarfoss, which includes the hike to the falls and back.
Do you Get Wet at Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall?
Yes, you will get wet at most of the waterfalls in Iceland, especially if the wind is blowing. This is because these powerful falls inevitably create mist and spray. But if you come prepared with a raincoat and waterproof clothing and gear, you should be just fine.
The Aldeyjarfoss Hike
You will need to take a short hike from the parking to reach the falls. But don’t worry, this is a properly marked and well-maintained trail that promises an easy walk, and will only take you about 20 minutes (one way) depending on your pace.
Other Things to Do and See Near Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall in Iceland
You will also find a few other interesting things to do and see near Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall. These include:
Vatnajökull National Park with the Vatnajökull Glacier.
The Christmas House in Eyjafjördur (open all year round)
Where to Stay Near Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall in Iceland
With so much to see and do in the area, it only makes sense to stay over for a night or two. You will find plenty of accommodation options in the area. For a touch of luxury, you can opt for a hotel such as Hotel Myvatn or Laxa Hotel.
For a more affordable option, you can go the guesthouse route with places such as Kidagil Guesthouse and Sandhaugar Guesthouse. But for the ultimate budget-friendly stay, book your spot at a campsite like Camping Hamrar or Sigridarstadir Campground.
Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall; The Perfect Photo Opp
With Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall being such a picturesque sight, it’s no surprise that visitors, many of whom are photographers, flock to the falls each year for the perfect photo opp.
Although one can make a trip to Aldeyjarfoss a day outing from Akureyri or Myvatn, we suggest that you rent a car in Iceland and go on a proper Ring Road road trip across the country with Aldeyjarfoss added as a stop along the way. It’ll be the journey of a lifetime and one that you’ll never forget.