Fardagafoss

Egilsstadir / Seydisfjordur, East Region (Austurland), Iceland

About Fardagafoss


Hiking Distance: 2.4km round trip
Suggested Time: 35-60 minutes

Date first visited: 2007-07-01
Date last visited: 2021-08-10

Waterfall Latitude: 65.26869
Waterfall Longitude: -14.31506

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Fardagafoss was a two-for-one waterfall excursion on the Miðhúsaá River just upslope from the town of Egilsstaðir.

The bonus waterfall on this excursion is called Gufufoss (meaning “Steam Falls”) and not to be confused with the Gufufoss on the Fjarðará tumbling towards Seyðisfjörður.

Fardagafoss_028_07012007 - Fardagafoss
Fardagafoss

Fardagafoss can actually be seen from various spots downslope around Egilsstaðir as well as along the drive up to the Fjarðarheiði Pass on the road to Seyðisfjörður.

Nevertheless, it’s worth doing the excursion to get closer to the falls because it features views back towards Egilsstaðir along with the neighboring river-turned-lake called Lagarfljót.

At the end of the hike, there’s also the chance at exploring a cave behind the foot of Fardagafoss, which has interesting stories associated with it.

Experiencing Fardagafoss

From the trailhead (see directions below), we followed a pretty obvious trail that immediately started climbing (something that would persist for pretty much the majority of this hike).

Fardagafoss_017_08102021 - This was the bonus waterfall on the Miðhúsaá River, which is called Gufufoss (not to be confused with the one by Seyðisfjörður on the other side of the Fjarðarheiði Pass)
This was the bonus waterfall on the Miðhúsaá River, which is called Gufufoss (not to be confused with the one by Seyðisfjörður on the other side of the Fjarðarheiði Pass)

About 350m from the trailhead, that was when we saw the profile of the somewhat hidden Gufufoss Waterfall, which twisted and faced into a narrow canyon.

Beyond Gufufoss, the trail continued its climb as we’d hike another 750m before we started to get more frontal views of Fardagafoss.

There were a few informal detours along this stretch as they each led to the edge of the ravine carved out by the Miðhúsaá.

One of the detours went to what I called the “three boulders view” of Fardagafoss because there were three large boulders that seemed somewhat out-of-place.

Fardagafoss_040_08102021 - This was what I called the 'three boulders view' of Fardagafoss because these boulders seemed out-of-place
This was what I called the ‘three boulders view’ of Fardagafoss because these boulders seemed out-of-place

Eventually, we’d get to open views at the ravine edge with a clean look at the main drop of Fardagafoss as well as some intermediate tiers further downstream.

For all intents and purposes, this would be the best spot to view the waterfall, but I did notice that the trail kept going up from here.

When I continued following this trail to the top, I saw that it led to a steep and sketchy-looking ledge with chains bolted onto the cliff to act as handholds.

This would ultimately lead down into the gully to access the base of Fardagafoss as well as the cave behind it.

Fardagafoss_067_08102021 - This was the sketchy eroded ledge scramble with bolted chains to get closer to the bottom of Fardagafoss and its cave
This was the sketchy eroded ledge scramble with bolted chains to get closer to the bottom of Fardagafoss and its cave

Overall, both times we’ve done this roughly 2.4km out-and-back hike, it has taken us between 30 minutes to an hour including all the stops for photos.

Stories Concerning The Cave

According to the sign as the trailhead, the cave behind Fardagafoss has some stories attached to it.

Apparently, the cave used to be bigger than it is now, and it was said (more like fantasized) to exist a tunnel through the mountain that would end up behind the other Gufufoss by Seyðisfjörður.

Another folklore told of a female troll that lived in the cave and hid a pot of gold downriver behind Gufufoss.

Gufufoss_021_08092021 - This was the other Gufufoss near Seyðisfjörður though I never recalled seeing a cave (which would support that tunnel story)
This was the other Gufufoss near Seyðisfjörður though I never recalled seeing a cave (which would support that tunnel story)

Finally, this cave was an apparent hideout by outlaw Fjalla-Eyvindur in the 18th century before being found and driven out by locals.

The Meaning of Fardagafoss

According to my Icelandic dictionary, the word far means “journey” while -daga is a modification on the word dagur meaning “day”.

This is associated with a time when people bound to particular farms had the permission change their residence to a different farm during a four-day window on the 7th week of Summer.

This apparent sharing of labor resources between farms actually enhanced labor stability, and it’s said to have also been in practice in Scandinavia and Scotland.

Fardagafoss_040_07012007 - Looking east towards the town of Egilsstaðir and the colorful Lagarfljót from Fardagafoss, which means the waterfall can also be seen from down there
Looking east towards the town of Egilsstaðir and the colorful Lagarfljót from Fardagafoss, which means the waterfall can also be seen from down there

By the way, this “journey” window happened to take place at a time when the snowmelt would be greatest, which was also when Fardagafoss would be the most visible.

Authorities

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

Fardagafoss_004_08102021 - Mom starting on the hike to Fardagafoss in August 2021. That sign looked like it used to say something, but it was blank on our latest visit
Fardagafoss_005_08102021 - During our August 2021 visit to Fardagafoss, we were passed by a family that was going really fast
Fardagafoss_013_08102021 - Mom continuing to climb up towards Fardagafoss along the trail
Fardagafoss_019_08102021 - Mom continuing on the hike to Fardagafoss, (which can be seen up ahead) beyond Gufufoss during our August 2021 visit
Fardagafoss_027_08102021 - Looking back towards Egilsstaðir, which seemed like a bigger town than I remembered from 14 years ago when we first did this hike
Fardagafoss_028_08102021 - Mom continuing to climb closer to Fardagafoss on our August 2021 visit
Fardagafoss_032_08102021 - Closeup look at a wildflower blooming by the Fardagafoss Trail
Fardagafoss_035_08102021 - Mom continuing up a fairly steep part of the climb up to Fardagafoss in August 2021
Fardagafoss_039_08102021 - Mom getting even closer to Fardagafoss as we're nearing the end of the hike in August 2021
Fardagafoss_042_08102021 - Contextual look at Fardagafoss with someone from the other family further up for a sense of scale
Fardagafoss_043_08102021 - Contextual look at all the tiers of Fardagafoss as seen in August 2021
Fardagafoss_055_08102021 - Direct look at the uppermost drop of Fardagafoss at the turnaround point of the hike during our August 2021 visit
Fardagafoss_066_08102021 - Context of Mom going down the trail after having had her fill of Fardagafoss in August 2021
Fardagafoss_076_08102021 - Context of Mom going back towards the car park with the Miðhúsaá on the left
Fardagafoss_078_08102021 - Approaching the Fardagafoss car park and Route 93 as we were ending our August 2021 visit
Fardagafoss_002_07012007 - This was the view of the gorge and Fardagafoss, which was way in the distance.  It gave me an idea of how far I had to walk
Fardagafoss_003_07012007 - About 350m into the hike, I encountered what I believe to be the lower Fardagafoss
Fardagafoss_014_07012007 - Closeup look at the first Fardagafoss waterfall. It didn't take me long before I saw it after I started hiking
Fardagafoss_024_07012007 - Focused look at the upper pair of drops of Fardagafoss
Fardagafoss_030_07012007 - Approaching the upper Fardagafoss waterfall
Fardagafoss_036_07012007 - Trying to see if there was more to Fardagafoss
Fardagafoss_046_07012007 - My brief attempt at hiking up alongside the upper tiers of Fardagafoss yielded this nice expansive view back towards the town of Egilsstaðir and the colorful Lagarfljót
Fardagafoss_047_07012007 - On the way back down to the trailhead, I took the time to enjoy Fardagafoss one last time


Fardagafoss is just upslope from Egilsstaðir so I’ll just describe the driving directions from there.

From the roundabout at the junction of the Ring Road and the Route 95 in Egilsstaðir, we headed east on the Route 1 for 900m and then turned left onto Route 93 (Seyðisfjarðarvegur).

Fardagafoss_001_08102021 - The car park for Fardagafoss
The car park for Fardagafoss

Then, we drove 1.7km on the Route 93 before turning right to continue on Route 93 and going up the mountain for another 2.2km.

The car park for Fardagafoss was on the right.

This drive should take about 5 minutes.

For geographical context, Egilsstaðir was 27km (about 30 minutes drive) west of Seyðisfjörður, 175km (about 2 hours 15 minutes drive) southeast of Mývatn, 248km (over 3 hours drive) east of Akureyri, 186km (under 3 hours drive) north of Höfn, 448km (under 6 hours drive) northeast of Vík, and 6351km (7.5 hours drive) northeast of Reykjavík.

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Back and forth sweep starting with a partial view of the upper waterfall before panning over to Egilsstadir and finally zooming in on the intermediate waterfall


Slow and deliberate panning from downstream to upstream from the trio of boulders downstream of the Fardagafoss


Another slow and deliberate sweep starting from Egilsstadir and panning over to the falls from the more sanctioned trail

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Tagged with: egilsstadir, seydisfjordur, east region, austurland, iceland, waterfall, mulathing



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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Explanation of the name Fardagafoss August 14, 2013 1:52 pm by Hakon - Hi there! Being a native of Iceland I stumbled upon your page while searching for the waterfall Dynkur. Nice collection you have here! I could go on and on about waterfalls in Iceland but the original purpose of the comment was to give further insight into the name of Fardagafoss. In Icelandic words are often… ...Read More

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