Skeggjastadir / Vopnafjordur, East Region (Austurland), Iceland

About Draugafoss

Hiking Distance: almost roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2007-06-30
Date last visited: 2007-06-30

Waterfall Latitude: 66.01634
Waterfall Longitude: -14.90982

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Draugafoss (pronounced “DROY-guh-foss”) looked like a very attractive waterfall nestled in a less touristy part of the Northeastern end of Iceland (though it was technically in East Iceland just east of the border with the Northeast Region).

Its wide and classically block rectangular shape compelled us to go out of our way to come see it.

Draugafoss_008_06302007 - Draugafoss

And along the way, we found a handful of more waterfalls as well as some beautiful fjord scenery.

Unfortunately, as you can see from the photo at the top of this page, I merely settled for a distant view of the falls.

I had trouble finding a proper car park (see directions below) and even more trouble trying to get closer for a better look at the falls.

I recalled that after parking the car, I crossed onto a grassy plain where it didn’t appear that there was a legitimate trail in sight.

And as I meandered my way further onto the plain, that was when I started to see the falls in the distance.

Eventually, I got to a direct view of the falls, but then I realized that if I wanted to get right up to the base of the falls, I had to cross some streams.

Vopnafjordur_022_06302007 - On the way to Draugafoss and back, we checked out the fjord at Vopnafjörður on a beautiful sunny day
On the way to Draugafoss and back, we checked out the fjord at Vopnafjörður on a beautiful sunny day

In hindsight, I probably could’ve at least gone closer and investigated my options a bit more.

I guess that gives me an excuse to come back here one of these days and see the falls the way it should’ve been seen in the first place!

By the way, according to my Icelandic dictionary, the word “draugur” means “ghost”, “phantom”, or “spook”.

Thus, I believe that the name of the falls could be translated to mean “Ghost Falls”.

If this is indeed the case, I don’t know how the falls got this name, but I’m certain there’s a saga behind it.


Draugafoss resides in the East Region near Vopnafjörður, Iceland. It is administered by the municipality of Vopnafjörður (Vopnafjarðarhreppur). For information or inquiries about the general area as well as current conditions, you may want to try visiting their website.

Vopnafjordur_002_06302007 - During the detour on Route 85, we found a gorgeous panorama looking down into a valley at the head of Vopnafjörður on a beautiful day
Vopnafjordur_005_06302007 - Looking right across the valley towards some snow-capped mountains
Selarfoss_001_06302007 - On the way to Draugafoss, we noticed signs for Selárfoss, but when we got there, we learned it was more of a swimming area and rapids conducive for fishing. I read later that this waterfall was only 5m tall
Selarfoss_003_06302007 - Looking downstream from Selárfoss
Draugafoss_006_06302007 - Finally made it to Draugafoss (somewhat)
Vopnafjordur_015_06302007 - On the way back to the Ring Road, we decided to chill out at the town of Vopnafjörður
Vopnafjordur_028_06302007 - On our way to the Burstafell farm, we noticed this view of the valley looking back towards Vopnafjörður
Vopnafjordur_033_06302007 - Closer look at the turf farm in Burstafell with part of the waterfall in the distance

We went to this waterfall after leaving Reykjalið on the eastern shores of Mývatn due east along the Ring Road for 83km.

That was when we junctioned with Road 85 and followed that road for another 84km passing by Vopnafjörður as well as a turnoff for Selárfoss (which we took the time to check out).

The driving alone probably took us over 3 hours to cover all this distance.

As mentioned earlier, as we were getting closer to the village of Skeggjastaðir, we started to notice Draugafoss in the distance, but we had trouble finding a proper car park.

We ended up parking at some pullout with a deep gutter that was within view of the falls from the road.

However, that gutter was deep enough that I doubt a 2wd passenger vehicle would want to attempt it.

On the way back to the Ring Road, we also made a detour towards the head of the Vopnafjörður where we entered a valley that featured some attractive waterfall behind the turf farm at Burstafell.

For geographical context, Reykjalið was 101km (under 90 minutes drive) east of Akureyri, 166km west of Egilsstaðir, and 479km (under 6 hours drive) northeast of Reykjavík.

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Tagged with: bakkafjordur, vopnafjordur, skeggjastadir, reykjahlid, egilsstadir, northeast region, nordurland eystra, iceland, waterfall

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About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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