A Detailed Guide To Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall, Iceland

If you’re planning a trip to Iceland and looking for natural beauty, Aldeyjarfoss waterfall is a must-visit destination. It’s known for breathtaking views and stunning black basalt columns. 

To help you plan your trip, I cover everything you need to know about visiting Aldeyjarfoss, including how to get there, when to go, what to expect, and more.

What is Aldeyjarfoss?

Aldeyjarfoss is a waterfall located in the north-central part of Iceland, in the Skjálfandafljót river. It is situated in the Bárðardalur valley, northeast of the Kjölur highland road, and is one of the country’s most impressive waterfalls. 

Aldeyjarfoss is a popular destination for hikers and photographers who come to admire its natural beauty and capture its stunning views.

The waterfall is about 20 meters high and drops over a basalt column cliff, creating a beautiful and dramatic scenery.

Its water is crystal clear and takes on a bluish-green hue, and the surrounding area is a mix of grassy slopes, black basalt columns, and rocky terrain.

Travel guide to Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall in Iceland.

Where is Aldeyjarfoss waterfall?

Aldeyjarfoss is a waterfall located in northern Iceland, specifically in the region of the Skjálfandafljót river.

It is situated in the highlands of Iceland near the Sprengisandur route, a popular route for hikers and off-road drivers.

The waterfall is part of the Skjálfandafljót river, which is the fourth-longest river in Iceland and is known for its powerful flow and dramatic landscapes.

How to get to Aldeyjarfoss waterfall? 

Getting to Aldeyjarfoss waterfall can be a bit challenging as it is located in a remote area of Iceland. I recommend using Discover Cars to select your best options.

Here are some general directions to reach the waterfall:

  • First, you will need to drive to the town of Akureyri, which is the largest town in northern Iceland.
  • From Akureyri, take Route 1 (Ring Road) heading east for approximately 45 km until you reach the turnoff for Route 842.
  • Take Route 842 heading north for approximately 30 km until you reach the turnoff for Route F-26.
  • Take Route F-26, also known as the Sprengisandur route, heading east for approximately 30 km until you reach the turnoff for Route F-821.
  • Take Route F-821 heading north for approximately 15 km until you reach the parking area for Aldeyjarfoss.
  • From the parking area, it’s about a 15-20 minute walk to reach the waterfall.

It’s important to note that the Sprengisandur route can be challenging to drive, especially in bad weather conditions, so I recommend renting a 4×4 vehicle and experiencing driving on rough and unpaved roads.

Additionally, the road to Aldeyjarfoss is closed during the winter months, so it’s only accessible during the summer season.

When is the best time to visit Aldeyjarfoss waterfall? 

The best time to visit the Aldeyjarfoss waterfall is summer, typically from April to September. During this time, the F-roads leading to the waterfall are open, making it accessible. When winter arrives, it’s important to note that Road 842 and 843 could be closed. 

Travel guide to Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall in Iceland.

Also, the weather is generally milder and more predictable during the summer, which makes it easier to plan a trip and enjoy the stunning scenery.

During the summer, you can expect to see the waterfall at its full flow, with clear blue-green water cascading over the columnar basalt formations. 

How much time to spend at Aldeyjarfoss waterfall? 

The amount of time to spend at Aldeyjarfoss waterfall depends on individual preferences and interests.

If you’re simply stopping by to take a quick look and snap a few photos, you could spend as little as 30 minutes at the site. 

However, if you want to fully appreciate the beauty of the waterfall and explore the surrounding area, you could easily spend several hours there. The waterfall is located in a stunning natural setting, and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, bird-watching, and photography in the surrounding area. 

If you plan to hike, you should allow extra time to explore the trails and enjoy the scenery. Additionally, the waterfall’s location makes it a great spot for a picnic or a relaxing break amid a long road trip. 

Overall, I recommend allowing at least 1-2 hours at Aldeyjarfoss waterfall to fully appreciate its beauty and explore the surrounding area.

What to wear when visiting Aldeyjarfoss waterfall?

When planning your outfit, keep in mind that the weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, so dressing in layers is a must. 

Bring a base layer, mid-layer, and outer layer that you can easily add or remove depending on the temperature. Make sure to wear waterproof and windproof clothing, as it can be windy and rainy at the waterfall. 

Sturdy footwear with good traction is also essential, as the terrain around the waterfall can be rocky and uneven. 

If it’s cold, bring a hat, gloves, and a scarf to keep you warm. Additionally, sunglasses can be helpful to protect your eyes and improve visibility, as the spray from the waterfall can be intense and create a lot of mist. 

What to pack for Aldeyjarfoss waterfall?

In addition to appropriate clothing, here’s a list of other items to pack for your visit to Aldeyjarfoss waterfall:

  • Camera
  • Water bottle    
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Map or guidebook
  • Cash or card
  • Portable charger
  • Binoculars
  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamp or flashlight

Food & drinks

There are no restaurants or cafes located directly near Aldeyjarfoss waterfall.

The waterfall is located in a remote area of northern Iceland, and the closest town with dining options is Akureyri, which is about 2.5 hours away by car. 

If you plan to visit Aldeyjarfoss waterfall, I recommend bringing your own food and drinks, especially if you plan to spend several hours exploring the area.

You should pack a picnic lunch or some snacks and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated during your visit. 

Alternatively, consider stopping at a nearby gas station or convenience store to grab some food and drinks on your way to the waterfall. However, options may be limited, so it’s best to plan ahead and bring your own food if possible.

Other tips for visiting Aldeyjarfoss waterfall

Here are some other tips for visiting Aldeyjarfoss waterfall:

Plan ahead

Aldeyjarfoss waterfall is located in a remote area of Iceland, so plan your visit ahead of time.

Check the weather forecast, road conditions, and opening hours to make sure everything is accessible and safe.

Wear appropriate clothing

As previously mentioned, dress appropriately for the weather and bring comfortable and sturdy footwear.

Bring extra layers and waterproof clothing, as the weather can change quickly.

Respect the environment

Aldeyjarfoss waterfall is a natural wonder, so respecting the environment is important.

Stay on designated paths, don’t litter, and don’t disturb any wildlife you may encounter.

Be cautious

The terrain around the waterfall can be rocky and uneven, so be cautious when walking and hiking. Pay attention to any warning signs and follow safety guidelines.

Bring a map or GPS

The area around the waterfall can be remote, so bring a map or GPS to help navigate the site.

Leave no trace

When you leave the area, make sure to leave no trace behind. Pack out trash or litter, and leave the environment as you found it.

Consider hiring a guide

If you’re unfamiliar with the area or Icelandic wilderness, consider hiring a guide to help you navigate and learn more about the environment and its history.

Other waterfalls in the Skjálfandafljót River

Apart from the stunning Hengifoss, there are a few other beautiful waterfalls located in the Skjálfandafljót river.


Goðafoss waterfall is a stunning waterfall in northern Iceland, near Akureyri. The name “Goðafoss” means “Waterfall of the Gods” and refers to an ancient legend in which a local chieftain threw his pagan idols into the waterfall after converting to Christianity. The waterfall is known for its impressive size and the unique horseshoe shape of its cascading water.

Travel guide to Goðafoss waterfall in Iceland.


Hrafnabjargafoss waterfall is a lesser-known waterfall located in the Skjálfandafljót River system in northern Iceland. The waterfall is relatively small, with a height of only around 11 meters, but it is nonetheless a beautiful sight to behold.

Hrafnabjargafoss is characterized by its two-tiered drop, with water cascading over a rocky outcropping before flowing down into a small pool below.


Ullarfoss waterfall is a small but picturesque waterfall in northern Iceland, in the valley of Fnjóská. The waterfall is on the same road as Goðafoss and is often overlooked by visitors in favor of its more famous neighbor.

However, Ullarfoss is impressive with water cascading down a series of rocky steps before flowing into a small pool below.


Ingvararfoss waterfall is a stunning natural attraction located in the south of Iceland, near the town of Selfoss. The surrounding area is lush and verdant, with vibrant green vegetation adding to the beauty of the waterfall.

You can approach the waterfall along a well-marked trail, enjoying the tranquil sound of rushing water and the stunning Icelandic landscape along the way.


Barnafoss waterfall is a unique and striking waterfall located in western Iceland, near the town of Reykholt. The waterfall is known for its vibrant turquoise color and the unusual rock formations surrounding it.

According to local legend, the waterfall is named after two children who fell into the river and drowned while trying to cross a natural stone bridge near the waterfall.

The name “Barnafoss” means “Children’s Waterfall” in Icelandic, and the waterfall remains a popular destination for you in Iceland.

Frequently asked questions

Is Aldeyjarfoss waterfall worth it?

Yes, Aldeyjarfoss waterfall is absolutely worth it! The power and beauty of this powerful waterfall will take your breath away. Located in the Northern Region of Iceland on the Skjálfandafljót river, Aldeyjarfoss has a unique combination of a beautiful canyon backdrop with an impressive 20-meter drop into a deep plunge pool.
Its vibrant colors make for incredible photography opportunities, and its large basalt columns create a stunning contrast against the blue-green river. 

How long does it take to hike to Aldeyjarfoss waterfall? 

The hike to Aldeyjarfoss waterfall is a short one that takes about 15-20 minutes. It’s the perfect distance for a quick break from sightseeing – you’ll get to take in some gorgeous scenery and get your blood pumping at the same time.

Wrapping up

I hope this detailed travel guide to Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in Iceland has given you all the information you need to plan a memorable trip. From its stunning black basalt columns to its crystal-clear waters, Aldeyjarfoss is a natural wonder that is sure to leave you in awe. 

Remember to respect the environment and follow any rules and regulations when visiting. Start planning your trip today and discover the beauty of this majestic waterfall for yourself!

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