Tips for Visiting Kvernufoss Waterfall, Iceland


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Kvernufoss is among the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland — in reality, it’s my private favourite waterfall in Iceland! This 30-meter waterfall is totally gorgeous, with a novel cave behind it, and it’s conveniently positioned alongside “waterfall alley” in one of many busiest components of South Iceland.

Yet Even so, Kvernufoss is one thing of a hidden waterfall and doesn’t get almost as many guests as its neighbors. Here you’ll be able to have an ethereal, calm expertise with out the pulsating crowds from tour buses.

After visiting greater than 25 waterfalls on my highway journey across the Ring Road in Iceland, Kvernufoss is my favourite. It takes rather a lot to take that prime spot when you think about all of the competitors.

Let me share with you every little thing that makes Kvernufoss superb — as a result of I actually love this place! It’s definitely a hidden gem of Iceland.

A gentle waterfall falling in a mossy green canyon.

What Makes Kvernufoss Special?

Probably essentially the most particular factor about Kvernufoss Waterfall is that you may stroll behind it! There’s a strolling path main you across the aspect of the waterfall, getting you fairly moist within the course of, and it takes you to a surprisingly giant cave behind the falling water.

My different favourite factor about Kvernufoss is that it isn’t almost as crowded as different widespread waterfalls on the South Coast of Iceland. I visited the waterfall with my good friend Amanda, and we noticed possibly round 30 folks altogether on the mountaineering path and on the falls. We even acquired the cave behind the waterfall to ourselves for 10 minutes, which was superb for images!

Kvernufoss is a world away from Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, two of the most well-liked waterfalls within the nation. You must shuffle by an extended line to stroll behind Seljalandsfoss; Skógafoss’s parking zone is filled with buses.

But bus excursions don’t come to Kvernufoss, so it’s spared the worst of Iceland’s mass tourism. Why don’t they arrive right here when Skógafoss is subsequent door? I’m undecided, however I feel one motive is that the hike is 20 minutes every means (bus excursions prefer to go locations they will get out and in shortly), and one other is that it is advisable to climb a stile (slightly ladder that goes over a fence).

For the file, I discover that the one greatest technique to get pleasure from much less crowded locations in Iceland is to easily go the place buses don’t go. Fjallsarlon, Tröllaskagi, Gluggafoss, and Kolugljúfur Canyon are 4 of these. Add Kvernufoss to that record!

And lastly, Kvernufoss is a very stunning waterfall. A brief hike leads you to a mossy gorge, the canyon stuffed with mist and lined with lush greenery, the water falling in light streaks. If you’re fortunate, you’ll get to see a rainbow.

Between the plush magnificence and the off-the-beaten-path really feel, Kvernufoss is a winner. I liked it a lot!

Can you get to Kvernufoss on public transportation?

Yes, buses cease in Skógar on the campsite, which is a 1.8 km or 20-minute stroll from the Kvernufoss trailhead.

How do you get to Kvernufoss with a rental automotive?

Kvernufoss is proper off the Ring Road, subsequent to the Skógar Museum and simply east of the well-known waterfall Skógafoss.

How a lot does it price to go to Kvernufoss?

Kvernufoss is free to go to, however parking prices 500 ISK ($3.50 USD), which you pay on-line by the Parka app.

Is Kvernufoss accessible?

Visiting Kvernufoss requires climbing a stile over a fence, which sadly retains it inaccessible to many. If you will have mobility challenges, I like to recommend visiting close by Skógafoss waterfall as an alternative, which has a flat pathway from the parking zone.

Is there a rest room close to Kvernufoss?

Yes, there’s a rest room within the Skógar Museum, which is subsequent to the Kvernufoss parking zone. It’s free in the event you pay for parking. This is the one spot for trash cans, too.

A winding gravel path next to a river in a green canyon leading to a waterfall in the distance.
Doesn’t this stunning gorge seem like one thing out of Lord of the Rings?

How to Get to Kvernufoss Waterfall

You can get to Kvernufoss 3 ways: driving, taking public transportation, or taking a guided tour from Reykjavík.

How to get to Kvernufoss by driving: The trailhead to Kvernufoss is subsequent to the Skógar Museum; proper off the Ring Road. There is a parking space particularly for Kvernufoss that costs 500 ISK ($3.50 USD) for parking, which you’ll pay through or the Parka app.

I strongly suggest downloading the Parka app earlier than your journey, as is a buggy website on cellular. If you choose English, they routinely ship you again to the location’s homepage, making you go round in circles.

How to get to Kvernufoss by public transportation: There is a bus from Reykjavík to Skógar that stops at Skógar Campsite, simply off the principle highway and near Skógafoss waterfall. From right here it’s strolling distance to the Kvernufoss trailhead: 1.8 km, or a couple of 20-minute stroll.

How to take a day tour to Kvernufoss from Reykjavík: Finally, is it doable to see Kvernufoss on a day tour from Reykjavík? Yes! I might discover just one tour that does it — however you see six waterfalls in a single day on this tour, together with some offbeat ones.

Hikers walking along a gravel path surrounded by green hills.
It’s a straightforward, well-marked path to Kvernufoss alongside the Kverna River.

Kvernufoss Hike

From the trailhead you start the quick hike to Kvernufoss: it’s a couple of 15-20 minute stroll every means, relying on how briskly you stroll.

The mountaineering path is nearly fully flat till you get nearer to the waterfall, at which period you’re taking a brief however steep hill into the canyon. Here the falls are first revealed to you.

Because a part of this land is on non-public property, there’s a stile that it’s essential to cross. It’s a small metallic ladder that takes you up and over the fence. It’s a bit awkward getting up and down, and sadly this can be a barrier for folks with mobility challenges. There isn’t any different means round it; it’s essential to climb it.

A small metal ladder crossing a wire fence.
You should cross this stile firstly of the path to Kvernufoss.

From right here, you comply with a largely flat path till you hit the River Kverna. A brief climb up a hill will ship your first glimpse of the waterfall.

Hikers walking on a gravel path in a green canyon toward a softly falling waterfall.

From then, the time is yours. Have a seat on the grass and take within the view. Photograph it from each angle. Get up shut and benefit from the spray in your face.

Then it’s time to go behind it!

Several people behind a waterfall, taking photos of the mist. Behind the waterfall looks like a large gray cave.
The surprisingly roomy cave behind the waterfall.

Going Behind Kvernufoss Waterfall

The greatest a part of Kvernufoss goes behind the waterfall! This a part of the hike is on uneven rocky terrain. It’s an out-and-back hike — you enter and exit the identical means (in contrast to Seljalandsfoss, the place you go in a single course and out the opposite).

You will certainly get moist in your means behind Kvernufoss, however when you’re behind the waterfall, it’s really fairly dry. There’s a variety of area within the cave it’s surprisingly cozy. You may even take out your good digicam right here.

Honestly, if I had been bringing a picnic with me, I might eat it again right here. You can’t get a cooler location!

Photography-wise, you have to to have a large angle lens — the broader, the higher — to shoot behind the waterfall. This is the one means you’ll be capable of seize your entire cave opening, as you’ll be able to see within the picture under.

We used our iPhones for the super-wide pictures, as we did all through the entire journey. They got here out fairly nicely!

Kate standing silhouetted behind the waterfall, holding her arms up in joy.

How Much Time to Spend at Kvernufoss

I like to recommend planning to spend about an hour at Kvernufoss — 15-20 minutes to stroll it, and not less than 20 minutes to get pleasure from it. If you’re a photographer, you recognize you’ll want extra time, so plan for that!

Once the opposite guests left, Amanda and I had been the one folks behind the waterfall, so we spent round quarter-hour simply capturing images and movies! (Of course I needed to get a video of my troll dance!)

I like to recommend getting images of you silhouetted by the waterfall. It’s an angle that works nicely.

Kvernufoss waterfall surrounded by snow, and the top edges of the cave are covered in hundreds of jagged icicles.
Kvernufoss is much more hanging beneath the snow. Via Shutterstock.

Kvernufoss in Winter

While I visited Kvernufoss in August, you’ll be able to positively go to Kvernufoss in the course of the coldest months of the 12 months. However, the path freezes over in winter, so this could solely be undertaken when you have applicable winter mountaineering gear, together with crampons.

It’s not secure to stroll behind the waterfall in snow — there’s an excessive amount of ice masking the rocky terrain, and people icicles above might simply fall and impale you. Please don’t take a look at this. It’s not price it.

Respect Kvernufoss, whether or not you go to in the summertime months or the winter months, and don’t threat your well being.

A counter at a cafe covered with thousands of pink fabric flowers.
How cute is the cafe on the Skogar Museum?!

Where to Eat Near Kvernufoss

I extremely suggest the cafe within the Skógar Museum. Amanda and I grabbed lunch right here after visiting Kvernufoss and we had been delighted by how the cafe was lined in (faux) flowers! It was nearly like a Kardashian wedding ceremony.

As standard, we ordered two of the cheaper objects on the menu — a totally loaded sizzling canine and a bowl of vegan mushroom soup with home made bread — and loved them each. They even have some very cute desserts and pastries if you’d like a candy deal with.

There is a rest room within the foyer of the museum, which is free to make use of in the event you’re a museum or cafe buyer or in the event you paid for Kvernufoss parking.

Two simple twin beds in a very plain hotel room.
Our room on the Puffin Hotel in Vík — primary however comfy.

Where to Stay Near Kvernufoss

Kvernufoss is positioned in Skógar, a really small city about two hours from Reykjavík and a 30-minute drive from Vík. You can keep in Skógar in a single day in the event you’d like, however I really suggest you keep in Vík as an alternative because it’s a great base with numerous accommodations and eating places.

Numerous excursions depart from Vík, like Katla Ice Cave (a novel ice cave you’ll be able to even go to in the summertime!), plus you will have Reynisfjara Beach, essentially the most well-known black sand seaside of Iceland!

Top-Rated Luxury Hotel in Vík: Hótel Kría — Incredible fashionable look, clear minimalist rooms, and excellent mountain views.

Top-Rated Mid-Range Hotel in Vík: Puffin Hotel — An honest sized resort near city with comfy beds and a pleasant breakfast. I stayed right here on my journey and would positively keep right here once more.

Top-Rated Budget Hotel in Vík: Guesthouse Carina — Very easy rooms in a giant guesthouse with sweeping views over Vík city.

Top-Rated Hostel in Vík: The Barn — Modern and horny, with cozy beds, a bar, and each dorms and personal rooms.

Check charges and availability on all Vík lodging right here.

Kate stands next to a waterfall wearing a yellow raincoat, black rain pants, and black boots. She holds her arms up in joy and it's clear she's getting very wet.
Wear head-to-toe rain gear and this expertise shall be fantastic, not excruciating! At Gljúfrabúi.

Don’t Forget Your Waterproof Gear!

Yes, you completely want head-to-toe waterproof gear in Iceland, it doesn’t matter what time of 12 months you’re visiting. You’ll get moist going behind Kvernufoss, and completely drenched going behind Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi.

I noticed a household stroll behind Kvernufoss carrying denims and hoodies (you may make them out in a number of images above) and it pained me to see all of them come out with water-spattered sweatshirts. Definitely not comfy on a highway journey.

At the naked minimal, I like to recommend a rain jacket with a hood to put on on prime of your heat jacket; rain pants to put on on prime of your mountaineering pants or leggings, and waterproof boots. I wore Hunter wellies and so they had been splendidly waterproof, even strolling by the river at Gljúfrabúi with them, however subsequent time I need to get good mountaineering footwear which can be additionally waterproof. I’ve my eye on these Merrell waterproof mountaineering boots.

You might need a waterproof digicam sleeve in your digicam. I didn’t carry one and saved my digicam beneath my raincoat after I went beneath the waterfall, but when that freaks you out, severe photographers, get the sleeve!

A few dozen people standing in front of a thick, tall waterfall.
Skogafoss could be very busy, however nonetheless price visiting.

More Cool Spots on the South Coast Iceland

The South Coast is considered one of my favourite components of Iceland — it’s stuffed with so many unbelievable treasures! It’s additionally my prime beneficial day journey from Reykjavík. (This day journey is an efficient one, although take note there’s no Kvernufoss as excursions have a tendency to not go there.)

The South Coast is wealthy in waterfalls, and it’s essential to go to Skógafoss with its tall, broad waterfall (in spite of everything, it’s virtually subsequent door to Kvernufoss). Also close by are Seljalandsfoss, which you too can stroll behind, and Gljúfrabúi, a waterfall in a cave that can get you so moist!

While these three waterfalls are extremely popular with bus excursions, simply down the highway is less-visited Gluggafoss, the place you’ll be able to stroll behind the decrease tier falls and have slightly cozy nook to your self.

Vík, after all, has its well-known black seaside, Dyrhólaey viewpoint, and entry to Katla Ice Cave.

And in the event you’re up for one thing offbeat and superior, I extremely suggest spending the evening on the Westman Islands, that are a 35-minute ferry trip from the South Coast.

You see a faint rainbow curving along the bottom of Kvernufoss as the waterfall gently falls.
A rainbow at Kvernufoss made my day!

Is Kvernufoss Worth It?

Absolutely! Kvernufoss is my favourite waterfall in Iceland; after all it’s price it! If you’re low on time as you discover the South Coast, I nonetheless suggest making Kvernufoss your prime precedence.

Invest your time right here. You can nonetheless go to Skógafoss, however that one is simpler to run as much as, take a photograph, and depart. Kvernufoss is the one the place you’ll be glad you spent the additional time.

I hope Kvernufoss will turn into considered one of your favourite waterfalls, too.

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Have you been to Kvernufoss? Any suggestions for visiting?


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