Folaldafoss

Berufjordur / Eastfjords, East Region (Austurland), Iceland

About Folaldafoss


Hiking Distance: 500m round trip
Suggested Time: 30 minutes

Date first visited: 2021-08-09
Date last visited: 2021-08-09

Waterfall Latitude: 64.80379
Waterfall Longitude: -14.5594

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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.

Folaldafoss_031_08092021 - Folaldafoss
Folaldafoss

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.

Folaldafoss_005_08092021 - Julie on the bluff with small car park and picnic area as she checked out Folaldafoss against the early afternoon sun
Julie on the bluff with small car park and picnic area as she checked out Folaldafoss against the early afternoon sun

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.

Folaldafoss_027_08092021 - Context of the Berufjarðará as it tumbles downstream from Folaldafoss towards the Berufjörður in the distance
Context of the Berufjarðará as it tumbles downstream from Folaldafoss towards the Berufjörður in the distance

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.

Authorities

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.

Drive_to_Folaldafoss_008_iPhone_08092021 - Starting the drive onto the unpaved Axarvegur as we were leaving the Ring Road at the head of Berufjörður
Folaldafoss_001_08092021 - Looking back at Axarvegur from the turnoff to the picnic area for Folaldafoss
Folaldafoss_003_08092021 - This was the memorial for the person who was responsible for starting the Axarvegur Road over Öxi Pass
Folaldafoss_004_08092021 - Context of Julie descending past the picnic table towards the edge of the bluff where she could get a cleaner but distant look at Folaldafoss against the afternoon sun during our August 2021 visit
Folaldafoss_006_08092021 - Looking back towards Berufjörður where there was one person who parked at a different (unsanctioned) pullout and scrambled from there to the foot of Folaldafoss
Folaldafoss_008_08092021 - Focused look at Folaldafoss from the edge of the picnic bluff
Folaldafoss_011_08092021 - Context of the scramble towards the foot of Folaldafoss as another couple was starting to leave the falls for the alternate pullout that they started from
Folaldafoss_018_08092021 - Looking back at a few other cars that showed up to Folaldafoss when we made our August 2021 visit (so it wasn't as unknown as I would have thought)
Folaldafoss_019_08092021 - Mom making her way down towards the base of Folaldafoss
Folaldafoss_020_08092021 - Looking back at the context of Julie checking out Folaldafoss from the bluff while Mom and I were making our way to the base of the falls
Folaldafoss_025_08092021 - Looking across the Berufjarðará as we were getting close to the bottom of Folaldafoss
Folaldafoss_028_08092021 - Mom approaching the shaded confines of Folaldafoss as I looked against the afternoon sun during our August 2021 visit
Folaldafoss_041_08092021 - Bright long-exposed look across the plunge pool of Folaldafoss
Folaldafoss_047_08092021 - Looking back away from Folaldafoss as another family started to approach the base of the falls
Folaldafoss_052_08092021 - Looking back at the context of the picnic area bluff as seen from a small ridge fronting Folaldafoss
Folaldafoss_080_08092021 - The ridge in front of Folaldafoss had this knob on it
Folaldafoss_082_08092021 - I guess depending on the angle of view towards this knob, you could imagine it having a bit of a phallic shape


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.

Folaldafoss_002_08092021 - Approaching the pullout and picnic area for Folaldafoss, which has a picnic sign for it
Approaching the pullout and picnic area for Folaldafoss, which has a picnic sign for it

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.

Drive_to_Folaldafoss_010_iPhone_08092021 - Ascending the Axarvegur Road towards Folaldafoss
Ascending the Axarvegur Road towards Folaldafoss

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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Downstream to upstream sweep from a ridge showing the valley with fog in the distance while also revealing a more contextual look at the falls


Back and forth comprehensive sweep showing the picnic area in the distance and making a slow panning across to the falls from the end of the trail


Downstream to upstream sweep of Folaldafoss from a position slightly downstream of the end of the trail

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Tagged with: eastfjords, oxi, berufjordur, iceland, mulathing, axarvegur



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