Hvalfjordur, West Region (Vesturland) / Capital Region (Höfuðborgarsvæði), Iceland

About Sjavarfoss

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2007-06-21
Date last visited: 2007-06-21

Waterfall Latitude: 64.3528
Waterfall Longitude: -21.4526

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Sjavarfoss (Sjávarfoss; pronounced “SHAU-var-foss”; labeled as “Fossa” on our map) was an unexpected waterfall we noticed while driving along Hvalfjörður on the way to Glymur.

Despite its fairly small size (by Iceland standards), it got our attention enough that we took the time to pull over and walk towards it.

Sjavarfoss_010_06212007 - Sjávarfoss

Upon doing that, we noticed there appeared to be ruins (or at least some maze of rocks) near the car park as well as lots of wildflowers fronting the falls.

Although there was a sign nearby the car park describing what we were seeing, I wasn’t fluent enough in Icelandic to be able to read it and make sense of it.

Nonetheless, the site certainly looked historical and important.

If indeed, this place held some historical significance, then it would certainly add even more to this waterfall’s intrigue.

After all, it would beg the question why the structures were there in the first place, and how would the waterfall be used?

Sjavarfoss_022_06212007 - Some kind of organized ruins or piles of rocks near Sjávarfoss that looked historical, but I wasn't sure if that was indeed the case
Some kind of organized ruins or piles of rocks near Sjávarfoss that looked historical, but I wasn’t sure if that was indeed the case

Mixing waterfalls and history didn’t seem to be commonplace, and perhaps they might even have a saga for it.

In any case, after pulling off at a little car park next to the road overlooking the grassy area containing the ruins (see directions below), we then took a very short trail that skirted between the road and the grassy area towards the waterfall’s stream.

That was where we took the photo you see at the top of this page.


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

Sjavarfoss_015_06212007 - The short grassy 'trail' leading past the ruins and closer to the Sjávarfoss waterfall
Sjavarfoss_005_06212007 - Context of some purple wildflowers fronting the stream and the Sjávarfoss waterfall
Sjavarfoss_006_06212007 - Yellow flowers before Sjavarfoss
Sjavarfoss_013_06212007 - More purple flowers blooming before Sjavarfoss
Sjavarfoss_011_06212007 - Contextual view of Sjavarfoss from the river

While driving on Route 47 along Hvalfjörður towards Glymur, it was about 12km east of the turnoff for Route 48.

Alternatively, if coming the other way, it’s roughly 7km west of the turnoff for Glymur.

This drive was roughly under an hour northeast of Reykjavik.

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Tagged with: hvalfjordur, west region, vesturland, iceland, waterfall, reykjavik, paddock, kjos

Visitor Comments:

Sjavarfoss May 15, 2013 9:45 pm by Anne Marie - I was told by our Icelandic guide this ruins were just coral fences, used to keep the sheep inside after the round up in autumn. Today they use modern corals, so this abandoned one looks like some archeological remain. The only thing I wonder is how they get the sheep there since it is surrounded… ...Read More

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