Exploring Kvernufoss: The Less-Trodden Path Near Skogafoss


blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

    Have you ever yearned for a hidden gem amidst Iceland's vast landscapes? Imagine a cascade tucked away, just a stone's throw from the bustling Skogafoss, yet worlds apart in serenity.

    Welcome to Kvernufoss, a waterfall that dances gracefully down moss-covered cliffs, its mist kissing your face with a cool embrace.

    With Campervan Iceland as your trusted travel companion with years of expertise, we assure you of a remarkable journey that will etch in your memory forever. Let's embark on this adventure together!

    What Makes Kvernufoss a Must-Visit in Iceland?

    Nestled amidst the rugged landscapes, Kvernufoss boasts a staggering height of 30 meters (98 feet), its waters cascading with a gentle fury that's both mesmerizing and unique.

    Unlike its famous neighbor, Skogafoss, which often buzzes with tourists, Kvernufoss offers a serene escape, allowing you to connect with nature's splendor. Its overshadowed nature is your gain: here, you can revel in the waterfall's beauty without the crowds, feeling its misty spray and hearing its powerful roar up close. 


    Where Exactly is Kvernufoss Located?

    Kvernufoss is strategically enveloped in the stunning landscapes of South Iceland. The waterfall is tucked away in the Kvernugil Gorge, just 500 meters (1,640 feet) east of Skógar, an area renowned for its rich history and cultural heritage.

    While the landmark might not be as easily spotted as its neighbor, Skogafoss, it's adjacent to the Skógar Museum. This notable landmark brilliantly showcases Icelandic history. We also recommend that you grab a bite at Freya Cafe.

    This cozy restaurant is just a 13-minute walk from Kvernufoss's trailhead, which is the perfect spot to refuel before or after your adventure. While you're there, we highly recommend you try their fish and chips; it's to die for!

    What's the Best Way to Get to Kvernufoss Waterfall?

    The most convenient and exciting way to reach Kvernufoss Waterfall begins in Reykjavík. Hop onto Route 1, commonly known as the Ring Road, and head southeast. It's a straightforward drive that takes you through charming towns and stunning landscapes.

    After approximately 156 kilometers (97 miles), you'll reach Skógar, home to Skogafoss and just a short journey from Kvernufoss. The trailhead for Kvernufoss is right next to Skógar Museum — which we mentioned earlier — making it a hard-to-miss location. While public transportation is available, it is often infrequent and not as convenient. That's where our campervans come in! With our wide selection of campervans, you can explore Iceland's hidden treasures at your own pace.

    But don't take our word for it! Hear from one of our satisfied customers, Ashwin Krishnan from India, who had a memorable experience renting the '4x4 VW California Campervan' for a 10-day round trip to Iceland. He was full of praise for the excellent service, friendly staff, and well-maintained campervan he received.

    Banner CVI

    How Close is Kvernufoss to the Famous Skogafoss?

    Kvernufoss and the renowned Skogafoss share a close proximity, being a mere 6 minutes apart from each other. Nestled in the same region, these two waterfalls offer contrasting experiences: Skogafoss, with its majestic 60-meter (227 feet) drop and popularity, and Kvernufoss, with its secluded charm.

    The closeness of the two makes it incredibly convenient for you to experience both wonders in a single trip. This unique pairing allows visitors to marvel at the grandeur of Skogafoss and then escape to the tranquil embrace of Kvernufoss, making the journey doubly rewarding and a must-do for anyone exploring the area.

    How Long is the Hike to Kvernufoss?

    The trail covers a distance of approximately 1.4 kilometers (0.9 miles) and can be completed in around 20-30 minutes from the starting point. The hike to Kvernufoss is relatively easy, making it accessible for most travelers.

    It is a popular and frequently traveled route. Although the terrain is slightly uneven and can be slippery when wet, it's generally flat with no steep gradients. This low-difficulty level makes Kvernufoss an ideal destination for families and less experienced hikers.

    However, as with any outdoor activity, we recommend wearing appropriate footwear and checking weather conditions before embarking on your journey. This ensures a safe and enjoyable exploration of this hidden gem in Iceland's scenic landscapes.

    kvernufoss waterfall hike

    What Can You Expect Once You Reach Kvernufoss?

    Upon reaching Kvernufoss, you're greeted by a mesmerizing cascade that plunges gracefully into a serene pool below. The waterfall is framed by moss-covered cliffs, creating a natural amphitheater that amplifies its soothing roar.

    Sunlight often plays with the mist, casting rainbows that dance in the air. The ambiance is one of tranquility, a stark contrast to the more frequented waterfalls. You will also be able to walk behind the waterfall during the Icelandic summer (June-August), feeling the cool spray on your skin and witnessing its power from a different perspective.

    This, paired with the lush green surroundings, makes Kvernufoss an enchanting destination that will leave you in awe. 

    Where Is The Best Place to Stay Near Kvernufoss Waterfall?

    The best place to stay near Kvernufoss is at Skógar Campsite. This campsite is located only a 4-minute drive from the trailhead of Kvernufoss, making it the perfect base for exploring this hidden gem.

    With stunning views of Skogafoss and convenient amenities such as showers and a grocery store nearby, Skógar Campsite is an ideal spot to relax after a day of hiking. Check out our guide to camping in Iceland for some unbelievable camping tips that you won't find anywhere else. 

    waterfall in Iceland in winter

    What Should You Pack for the Adventure?

    When embarking on the adventure to Kvernufoss, you should be well-prepared to ensure a pleasant and safe experience. Here's a list of vital items to pack:

    • Appropriate Clothing: The weather in Iceland can be unpredictable. Pack layers to cater to all conditions, and don't forget a waterproof jacket in case of rain.
    • Hiking Shoes: The path can be uneven or slippery, so good footwear is crucial.
    • Water and Snacks: Stay hydrated and energized during your hike.
    • Camera: You'll want to capture the stunning scenery and your memorable moments.
    • Sunscreen and Sunglasses: Protect your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays, especially during summer. 
    • Backpack: Pack all your essentials in a sturdy and comfortable backpack.

    Our Insider Tips for First-Time Visitors

    For first-time visitors to Kvernufoss Waterfall, timing is key. Early mornings or late afternoons often see fewer crowds, offering a more serene experience. These times also provide soft lighting, perfect for capturing stunning photographs.

    Speaking of photos, don't miss the opportunity to shoot from behind the waterfall, a unique vantage point that promises captivating shots. Safety is paramount: always stick to marked paths, wear shoes with good grip, and be cautious near the waterfall's base, where rocks can be slippery.

    kvernufoss waterfall

    Ready to Embark on Your Kvernufoss Adventure?

    Go ahead, take a leap of faith, and add Kvernufoss to your Icelandic itinerary. Because really, who wouldn't want to cap off a day of hiking with a cozy night in a campervan parked amidst nature's grandeur?

    But remember, this isn't just any campervan. No, this chariot will take you from the vibrant streets of Reykjavík to the awe-inspiring landscapes of Kvernufoss. So, are you ready to swap those dull hotel rooms for a campervan with a view that's constantly changing but consistently breathtaking? Book your campervan now and start living the Icelandic dream.

    Let’s go on an adventure!

    Unbeatable prices. Premium customer service.

    Book now
    Book now