How to get to Axlafoss, a beautiful waterfall in the Highlands of iceland

Axlafoss is a beautiful waterfall on the river Hólmsá, a short deviation of F-Road F210. While the waterfall is relatively small at a drop of just 8 meters, its location is a very beautiful one.

Axlafoss, a beautiful small waterfall in a canyon in the highlands of Iceland

Nestled in a small canyon, you can only see Axalfoss from above since there are no safe access points to walk down to the waterfall.

This is also a waterfall you would typically visit as a quick step on the way to or from some other location in the highlands, like Rauðibotn, a beautiful volcanic crater not too far from here.

Assuming the F-roads in the area are open and passable, getting there should be possible with any car suitable for the F-Roads. I visited for the first time in an old, beaten-up Duster with more than 100,000km.

Axlafoss aerial view

How to get to Axlafoss

There’s only one way to reach Axlafoss and, as mentioned earlier, it’s a long way out from the Ring Road. And you will need a car suitable for F-roads (I’d recommend picking one with Blue Car Rental, with 5% discount through this link – or read more about the discount here).

From the Ring Road, you will first have to turn onto Road 208. Then, continue till you reach the intersection with Road 210, which will soon become Road F-210.

From the start of Road F-210, it takes about 40/50 minutes to reach Axlafoss. there are two very small river crossings on the way – more like very shallow creeks, but check water levels before attempting to cross, since can insurance does not cover water damage. You can watch the two small crossings at the beginning of my Rauðibotn video on YouTube.

Anyway, you will see a blue and yellow sign, pointing to a dirt track seemingly heading out into nothing. Axlafoss is now only a short, five-minute drive away.

You can’t see Axlafoss from the road, but you can park the car at the end of the dirt track and walk to it from there.

Aerial view from a drone of Axlafoss a small waterfall in a canyon in the highlands of Iceland

Axlafoss – the loop on the right is the dirt track that leads to Axlafoss and back.

You can also watch this short drone video for a better impression of the waterfall and its surroundings.

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Tips for Visiting and Photographing Axlafoss

The waterfall I completely hidden from view even when you reach the end of the dirt track. So you’ll have to go by ear toward the soothing sound of the water falling. As soon as you reach the rim of the canyon, you’ll be presented with the view of this beautiful, relatively small waterfall.

Small canyon with a waterfall in the highlands of Iceland.

There isn’t a hiking trail here, but you can walk along the rim of the canyon to the several different viewpoints along its rim.No way to get down to the waterfall either, so this one has to be admired from above.

It’s kind of hard to render the size of this waterfall properly, even more so if you get too close to it. However, there are quite few choices in terms of foreground along the Canyon’s rim.

Axlafoss waterfall on a cloudy day.

Axlafoss, 14mm photo, full frame.

I took almost all the photos in this post with a 14-24mm lens, so an ultra-wide lens is recommended. The only exceptions are the drone photos. Yes, you can fly a drone here, assuming you comply with all the other local regulations (you can check my post on Flying drones in Iceland for them).

Drone view of a waterfall in the highlands of Iceland, with a canyon in the background.

Drone photo of Axlafoss.

Where to stay

Axlafoss is in a rather remote location with no infrastructure of any kind nearby, and that’s the beauty of the Highlands of Iceland.

If you want to spend a night in the highlands, I’d recommend the Hólaskjól highland center. You can camp there, but they also offer sleeping bag accommodations as well as private cabins. Note: usually only open from mid-June to mid-September, since also the highlands are typically inaccessible outside of those dates.

It’s also a great place to explore the area further, like the already mentioned Rauðibotn but also the Eldgjá Canyon and Ófærufoss. Or just to drive road F-208 to the north and get to Landmannalaugar the day after. Beware of the river crossings though.

Additional Resources