Kirkjubaejarklaustur, South Region (Suðurland), Iceland

About Systrafoss

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2007-07-03
Date last visited: 2007-07-03

Waterfall Latitude: 63.78753
Waterfall Longitude: -18.05945

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Systrafoss (Sister Falls) was the only waterfall casualty during our 2007 trip to Iceland.

Despite the rain and mist so commonplace in the south of the country, this one still went dry.

Systrafoss_002_07032007 - Systrafoss was dry during our Summer 2007 visit
Systrafoss was dry during our Summer 2007 visit

Even though a local told us the falls were fed by Systravatn (Sister Lake) it seemed pretty clear that it would only flow when the lake had overflowed.

Based on our experience, my guess would be that the best season to see the falls must be during the Spring when snowmelt ought to aid in the waterfall’s flow.

By the way, if you’ve noticed that there seems to be a deeply religious theme to the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area, there’s a good reason for it.

And by religious, I mean just about everything here has a religious name to it like the Sister’s Cafe, or the name of the town Kirkjubæjarklaustur literally translated as “church farm cloister”.

I understand that during the infamous 1783 Laki eruption, lava from the Lakagigar craters almost inundated this town before it miraculously halted and avoided the church here and spared the rest of the town.

By the way, this very eruption lasted for 8 months and might have caused the famine that accelerated the events that resulted in the French Revolution.

Thus, it would be understandable why there’s a belief that somehow there was some divine intervention at play here.

And if you’ve paid attention to the Eyjafjallajökull [“EYE-ya-fyat-luh-yuk-ul”] eruptions in 2010 (which had nothing on the 1783 Lakagigar eruption), then you can appreciate just how overwhelming these volcanic events can be.


Systrafoss resides in the South Region in Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Iceland. It is administered by the municipality of Skaftárhreppur. For information or inquiries about the general area as well as current conditions, you may want to try visiting their website.

Stjornarfoss_029_07032007 - There's also another waterfall in Kirkjubæjarklaustur called Stjornarfoss

Drive the Ring Road to Kirkjubæjarklaustur (259km east of Reykjavík).

From the four-way intersection of the Ring Road, the road to Geirland, and the short road to Kirkjubæjarklaustur, turn left to go towards Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

While on the road through town, it goes by the visitor centre and the Sister’s Cafe (Systrakaffi).

Ultimately, the road will pass right before Systrafoss near some museums.

Finally, if the name Kirkjubæjarklaustur is too long, you could also just shorten it to Klaustur (“KLOI-stur”).

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Tagged with: eyjafjallajokull, kirkjubaejarklaustur, klaustur, southern iceland, sudurland, iceland, lava, waterfall, ring road

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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Systrafoss – Suðurland, Vestur-Skaftafellssýsla, Iceland March 3, 2019 7:31 am by John Moerk - The 260-foot waterfall Systrafoss is located just past the ring road in the village Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Systrafoss is fed by a small lake called Systravatn. In summertime, melted snow feeds the lake creating this waterfall. Systrafoss means sister falls and is named after a monastery that was located in Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the medieval time. ...Read More

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