Folaldafoss was another one of the quaint short-jaunt waterfalls in a remote area of the Eastfjords a short distance upslope from Berufjörður along the infamous Axarvegur Road.
The road was infamous because it was considered to be one of the sketchier roads (especially outside the Summer) in Iceland as a shortcut over the mountain pass at Öxi instead of the longer route via the Ring Road.
We didn’t actually go over this pass on neither of our trips to Iceland in 2007 nor 2021 even though our Garmin Nuvi really tried to get us to do it on the way to another waterfall.
I guess the threat of fog and worries about the condition of the road probably had more to do with our aversion to obey our car GPS than anything.
So I’m keen to go back and actually do this road if the conditions permit on the next opportunity.
Anyways, regarding Folaldafoss, it was the next waterfall that we visited after Nykurhylsfoss, especially since it wasn’t far up the road beyond the head of Berufjörður.
Once we reached the easy-to-miss pullout and picnic area for the falls, we could see it from the bluff that we were parked on.
However, there was a trail-of-use that crossed a side stream and then descended right to the base of Folaldafoss, where we managed to get an intimate experience against the afternoon sun.
Our peaceful experience was cut short when quite a few other people started showing up so it wasn’t like this place was as off-the-beaten path as I would have expected on our August 2021 visit.
According to my GPS logs, this scramble was about 250-300m in each direction (500-600m total), and we spent about 30 minutes away from the car.
Back at the picnic area, I noticed that there was a memorial for Hjálmar Guðmundsson who started the construction of the Axarvegur Road over Öxi in 1959.
Folaldafoss resides in the East Region near Djúpivogur, 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.
The nearest town of any significant size to Folaldafoss is the small coastal town of Djúpivogur so I’ll describe the driving directions from there.
Starting from Djúpivogur, we’d drive back towards the Ring Road (roughly 1.3km) before turning right onto the Ring Road.
Then, we’d drive on the Ring Road for a little over 18.5km before keeping left to go onto the Axarvegur Road (Road 939) towards Öxi (i.e. not turning right to stay on the 1 and cross the road bridge at the head of Berufjörður).
Once on the Axarvegur, we’d then drive the unpaved road for another 4.5km to the sanctioned car park and picnic area on the left.
I didn’t recall there was signage saying “Folaldafoss” explicitly, but there was a picnic sign pointing to the left.
Overall, this drive would take under 30 minutes.
By the way, as much as the Axarvegur Road was notorious for being a dangerous road, the route up to just Folaldafoss is actually not that bad.
Just to give you a little bit of perspective on distances, Djúpivogur is about 104km (about 90 minutes drive) east of Höfn, 85km (about 90 minutes drive) south of Egilsstaðir, 297km (about 4 hours drive) east of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, 331km (about 4.5 hours drive) southeast of Akureyri, and 552km (over 7 hours drive) east of Reykjavík.
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