Fagrifoss the Beautiful Waterfall, Iceland
Fagrifoss, translated as the “Beautiful Waterfall”, is a 140m tall waterfall in the Icelandic Highlands, on road f206 to Lakagígar. And it really is a beautiful waterfall. Situated quite a way off from the ring road in a desolated part of the Icelandic Highlands, reaching it requires a 4WD car approved for f-roads and some patience on slow-going gravel roads :).
Fagrifoss on a Foggy day
This is a beautiful waterfall and while it is a well-known one, there are not many photos around. The main reason is it takes time to reach this location even with a 4WD car and you should plan for a half a day trip just to see it. This is unless you are headed to Laki, in which case Fagrifoss will be on the way.
Also, there are river crossings along the road. One of them, across the Geirlandsá River, can be rather difficult, but you could park the car before and cross it on foot. (more on that later).
Still, if you are ready to take this journey the waterfall is worth the effort, especially if you like waterfalls. Additionally, considering how isolated this waterfall is, you will be likely to be alone, or at least have a few people around.
Fagrifoss. Drone Photo.
Table of Contents
Overview of the Fagrigoss Hike
The description of the hike here below refers to the walk across the river. If you managed to cross the river, you could park very close to the waterfall, and it takes just a couple of minutes to walk up to the viewing platform.
|| 2.13 KM
|| 10 ↑ / 10 ↓
|| 00:45 / 1:00 Hours
|| Easy, but requires crossing a river
Fagrifoss on a Foggy day.
How to Get to Fagrifoss the beautiful Waterfall and Parking
Needless to say, the road is rough, and there are two very small river crossings and a relatively large one. The first two, very small ones, should be doable in a car like a Dacia Duster or a Suzuki Jimny. The third large one across the Geirlandsá River really depends on how much water there is in the river, and it is not a crossing to be taken lightly.
If you are not comfortable or cannot cross the third river, you could park the car before the river crossing and walk the last km to the waterfall. This is also what I did; when I visited, the river was rather deep for an old and beaten-up Duster rental. Crossing rivers is no joke, and this one is no exception. There are several big rocks on the riverbed that could damage your tires or rims.
- Driving Directions: to get to road f-206, you will have to follow the same directions for Fjaðrárgljúfur. From the ring road, you would have to run onto Road 206 and then take f-road f206. Keep following it until the first large river you come across, which will be at least 40/45 minutes into the drive. If you are looking for car rental options, I can recommend Blue Car Rental for cars and CampEasy for Camper Vans. Just make sure to rent a car suitable for the f-roads.
- Parking: as mentioned earlier, I left my rental car on the side of the road before the river crossing. While that is not parking the area is very wide. If you cross the river instead, there is a parking area by the trailhead.
- Public Transport: needless to say, there are no public transportation options to the highlands of Iceland. Still, you could join a tour to Laki that also stops at this location.
Aerial view of the river crossing before Fagrifoss. It starts at the top LHS and ends at the bottom RHS.
The Fagrigoss Trail
Let’s start with the “crossing the river” option. If you leave the car before the river, then you would have to cross the river on foot. When I did that I was able to jump from rock to rock without getting wet, but I did have above-the-ankle waterproof boots to cover for the occasional splash.
Once you’ve crossed the river, you can just follow the road to the parking area next to the trailhead.
The main viewing platform by the waterfall.
Video of the Fragrifoss Waterfall
Here is a short drone video of Fagrifoss:
Fagrifoss the beautiful Waterfall Photos and Photography tips
Since there is a market path and a viewing platform to protect the vegetation, it is not possible to freely wander around the waterfall. Still, there are two great vantage points you can take photos from.
The first vantage point, closer to the trailhead, offers more compositional choices, especially in terms of the foreground. Here it can be used nicely to “frame” the waterfall in different ways.
Assuming you comply with all the local regulations it is also possible to fly a drone here at the time of writing (2023).
View from one of the viewing platforms
Map of the Fagrifoss Hike
Where to stay
Nothing for miles around. If you plan to sleep in the area and visit in the morning or late afternoon, the closest accommodations will be in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area. Otherwise, this could easily be included as a half a day trip in your itinerary.