Reykjafoss and the Fosslaug Hot Spring, Iceland

Iceland never fails to mesmerize travelers with its amazing natural beauties and Reykjafoss and the Fosslaug Hot Spring are no exception. One majestic waterfall (Reykjafoss) and a natural hot spring (Fosslaug), both located a short distance from each other in the beautiful environment of the Skagafjörður fjord in Northern Iceland.

Reykjafoss waterfall

The Reykjafoss Waterfall, from the opposite ridge.

One of the truly hidden gems of Northern Iceland, Reykjafoss is a multi-step waterfall and in a way, it resembles a small version of Gullfoss. While it is 20 meters tall,  its volume of water is quite impressive. Also, you can get relatively close to it, just like Gullfoss.

I visited in the middle of the day in May the there were very few other visitors around, despite this location being only a short drive away from the ring road. So that was quite surprising since this is really a beautiful waterfall.

If you are planning to visit the area or just passing by, this is a stop that comes highly recommended for any itinerary.

Reykjafoss waterfall from the ridge next to it

Reykjafoss from the ridge opposite to the car park.

Table of Contents



Overview of the Reykjafoss and the Fosslaug Hot Spring Hike

This is a short hike, which can be done in less than an hour. It is an easy walk, but carefulness must be practiced as there are exposed areas and the rocks around the waterfall are slippery. You don;t need a 4WD to get hee, a 2WD is totally fine.

Max Altitude  62 m
Distance  1,92 KM
Elevation gain  70m ↑ / 70m ↓
Hike time  00:45 /1:00 Hours
Hike Difficulty  Easy

The Fosslaug hot spring upstream of the Reykjafoss Waterfall

The Fosslaug hot spring upstream of the Reykjafoss Waterfall

How to get to Reykjafoss and Parking

  • Driving Directions: while there are no official signs, it’s quite easy to get there. This location is easily accessible from the Ring Road. in the proximity of Varmahlíð you would have to turn onto Road 752 and then, after a few KMs ont Road 753 across the bridge. From there, it’s just a few hundred meters to the parking area.
  • Parking: as of May 2023, there is free parking available at the end of the road, by the trailhead. This is on private land so take particular care.
  • Public Transport: no good public transport options for this one.


The Reykjafoss and the Fosslaug Hot Spring Trail

From the parking lot, you will see a handwritten sign pointing toward Reykjafoss. You’d need to pass through a gate – make sure you close it behind you. The waterfall is not visible from here, but you’ll see a somewhat wide path ahead of you. Keep following it. After a couple of minutes, you’ll start hearing the thundering sound of the Reykjafoss waterfall in the background. It will become under and louder as you approach it, but the waterfall will not be visible until you are almost on top of it.

Reykjafoss and Fosslaug Hot Spring Parking area

The Reykjafoss and Fosslaug Parking area

Reykjafoss waterfall viewed from the trail to the Fosslaug Hot Spring on a snow and cloudy day

Approaching Reykjafoss

This is the first sight and you can keep walking to get right in front of it. A little rope protects the rim of the gorge. From here the trail continues forward to a small pedestrian bridge which you’ll need to cross in order to get to the other side, close to the waterfall.

Once you cross the small bridge, you will enter a loop that will lead you first to Fosslaug and then again closer to the waterfall, before returning back to the bridge and onto the main trail.

My Experience Hiking to Reykjafoss and Fosslaug

While this is a short hike on essentially flat terrain is one that I quite enjoyed as a short stop on the ring road. The whole Skagafjörður is a very beautiful location I particularly like the mountains and the openness of the whole landscape. Additionally, there is not much infrastructure around, so this location still preserved most of its natural flavor.

mountains in the Skagafjörður fjord in north Iceland

Some of the beautiful mountains around Skagafjörður


The Reykjafoss and the Fosslaug Hot Spring Hike Photos and Photography Tips

There are several scenic spots to photograph the waterfall from. First from the opposite side, directly in front of the waterfall which is the most obvious composition. However, there are a few vantage points here and you can use the ridge of the gorge as foreground and photograph the waterfall from different angles.

Same once you get closer to the waterfall on the other side of the pedestrian bridge. You can get quite close to the waterfall, but first mind your step, you do not want to fall into the gorge and second, have some cloth ready to wipe the filter or front element or the lens there can be a decent amount of water spray around here.

From my perspective, the only main problem with this waterfall is the light or lack of it. Meaning this waterfall will be in the shadow most of the time, and will probably see some direct sunlight late in the afternoon/evening in the Icelandic Summer. Check the sun position on SunCalc or any other similar app before heading there. This obviously will not be a problem on cloudy days,

Reykjafoss waterfall in north Iceland surreounded by snow

Reykjafoss waterfall, from the opposite ridge.

Reykjafoss waterfall on the Reykjafoss and FosslaugHot Spring Trail

From the ridge opposite the Reykjafoss waterfall, you can see the whole gorge

Reykjafoss waterfall in a snowy landscape

0.5-second exposure at 24mm

Waters of the Reykjafoss waterfall flowing into the gorge below.

View from the rocks just above the waterfall.

Multiple waterfall steps of the Reykjafoss waterfall under in a long exposure photo

The first step of the waterfall

First step of the Reykjafoss waterfall downstream of the Fosslaug Hot Spring

14mm shot at 1/8 seconds second exposure to capture some texture in the water.


Map of the Reykjafoss and the Fosslaug Hot Spring Hike


Where to stay

No real need to stay in the area, unless you are really at the last stop of the day. you can do this hike as a relatively quick stop on the way to or from Akureiry if you are driving along the ring road. However, there are some cottages, guesthouses and other smaller accommodations available in the area.


Additional Resources

Car or Camper Van Rentals

I can definitely recommend two companies here:

  • Cars: Blue Car Rental, which is the largest Car rental company in Iceland, and for good reasons. Free Cancellation, Unlimited mileage, 24-hour breakdown assistance, SCDW, CDW, TP, and GP insurance are included in the price. Blue Car Rental is also located within walking distance of the Keflavik Airport, so you can be on your way to explore Iceland right away. I’ve always been happy with my rentals there, which is why I’m happy to recommend their services here on my blog.
  • Camper Vans: CampEasy.With CampEasy, you can rent 2WD or 4×4 campers alike. With a raised Chassis, larger tires, and extra insurance with reduced liability for river crossing, their 4X4 campers are the best choice for your trip into the Highlands. Their Website also provides extensive information about roads you can take and instructions on river crossings. Perfect choice for a hiking holiday in the highlands!

These are my two favourite companies in each respective rental area, which I why I am happy to recommend both here. If you also like this blog, booking through them is a great way to support it. I’ll get a small commission fee at no additional cost, so you can essentially support the running costs of this blog for free too.