Waterfall by Holaskjol

Fjallabak Reserve / Holaskjol, South Region (Suðurland), Iceland

About Waterfall by Holaskjol

Hiking Distance: almost roadside; dropoff exposure
Suggested Time: 30 minutes

Date first visited: 2007-07-05
Date last visited: 2007-07-05

Waterfall Latitude: 63.90735
Waterfall Longitude: -18.61142

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

The Waterfall by Holaskjol was something we stumbled upon accidentally while we were on our Landmannalaugur Tour from Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

The driver made a stop at the guesthouses here at what turned out to be Hólaskjol (which I earlier thought at the time was Hólaskol), and that was when we noticed a big waterfall hidden in the adjacent gorge.

Holaskjol_023_07052007 - Looking into the Waterfall by Hólaskjol
Looking into the Waterfall by Hólaskjol

Little did we realize at the time that this was actually a pretty popular place to spend a couple of nights to make it easier to tour the backcountry attractions like Eldgjá (along with Ófærufoss) and Landmannalaugur or even a longer trek out to Þórsmörk.

While we didn’t have time on the tour to get off the bus and check out the waterfall, we drove back here on our own the following day.

It was not easy to get a good view since the falls was deep in the gorge and angled in a way that its base was mostly obscured from view.

The photo you see above was probably the best that I could do.

Holaskjol_004_07052007 - Direct though obstructed view of the Waterfall by Hólaskjol
Direct though obstructed view of the Waterfall by Hólaskjol

Any further attempts to improve the viewing angle would’ve meant getting dangerously close to the unstable cliff edges.

Plus, it started raining pretty hard during our visit which further added to the hazards that were present here.

Normally, I would give an excursion this short a difficulty of “1”.

After all, it was merely a very short walk up the steps behind the guesthouses to get a view of the falls.

However, I bumped up the score due to the presence of the dropoffs and the temptation of trying to improve the viewing angle, which made this a bit riskier.

Holaskjol_002_07052007 - Profile view looking right into the narrow gorge containing the Waterfall by Hólaskjol while revealing some of the background scenery as well
Profile view looking right into the narrow gorge containing the Waterfall by Hólaskjol while revealing some of the background scenery as well

Finally, I honestly don’t know if this waterfall had a real name or not.

I hadn’t seen any literature about it (probably because I kept mispelling it “Holaskol”), and that’s why I’ve referred to this waterfall with the underwhelming name of “Waterfall by Hólaskjol.”


The Waterfall by Holaskjol resides in the South Region of 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.

Holaskjol_005_07052007 - Direct look at the the waterfall by Holaskjol though the obstructions made it very tempting to get a closer look
Holaskjol_010_07052007 - Long exposed look directly at the waterfall by Holaskjol in the rain
Holaskjol_017_07052007 - Positioning myself further away from the waterfall by Holaskjol so I could see as much of it as I safely could
Holaskjol_019_07052007 - Another angled look at the waterfall by Holaskjol in the rain

From Kirkjubæjarklaustur, we went 28km west on the Ring Road until we reached the signed junction for Route 208.

From there, we drove about 30km connecting on the route 208, which eventually became the 4wd F208 in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve.

That said, the road was fairly tame despite its roughness as we got closer to Holaskjol.

This drive took us about an hour.

For geographical context, Kirkjubæjarklaustur was 248km east of Reykjavík.

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Tagged with: fjallabak, eldgja, south region, interior, highlands, sudurland, iceland, waterfall, 4wd, landmannalaugur, klaustur, kirkjubaejarklaustur, thorsmork

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About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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