Unveiling the Beauty of Iceland: A Guide to Visiting Nauthúsafoss Waterfall


blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

    Nestled in the enchanting landscape of Iceland, Nauthúsafoss stands as a testament to the island's natural wonders. 

    This majestic waterfall, tucked away in a serene location, captures the essence of Icelandic beauty and allure. Visitors are drawn to Nauthúsafoss not only for its breathtaking cascade, but also for the sense of tranquility it imparts. 

    Whether you're an avid hiker or a casual traveler, the journey to Nauthúsafoss promises an unforgettable experience, combining scenic views with the invigorating embrace of nature. Discover why this hidden gem holds a special place in the hearts of those who visit.

    An Overview of Nauthúsafoss

    Nauthúsafoss is a stunning horsetail-type waterfall in South Iceland that tumbles gracefully from a height of approximately 20 meters (65 feet), making it a captivating sight despite being less towering than some of Iceland's more famous waterfalls like Gullfoss or Skógafoss

    The journey to Nauthúsafoss is an adventure in itself; visitors must navigate a moss-covered ravine, using stepping stones to cross streams and chains hammered into the canyon walls for support over rugged rock faces. 

    This unique access route adds to the allure and mystique of Nauthúsafoss, offering an unforgettable experience for those who venture to discover this enchanting natural wonder.

    Nauthúsafoss Waterfall

    Where is Nauthúsafoss Located in Iceland and How to Get There?

    Nauthúsafoss is conveniently located about a 15-minute drive from the famous Seljalandsfoss waterfall, making it an accessible detour for those exploring Iceland's southern coast. This hidden gem is nestled within Nauthúsagil ravine, a narrow ravine stemming from the glacial volcano Eyjafjallajökull

    To reach this hidden waterfall, drive along the Ring Road and turn left onto Route 249. Drive past Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi, and after approximately 15 minutes, you'll find a small roadside turnout on the right. You can park your vehicle here; parking is plentiful and free. 

    Do note that Nauthúsagil is only accessible with a 4×4 vehicle or one that's graded for Iceland's notorious F-roads, involving a river crossing en route to the ravine. The well-signed trailhead is located at the far side of the parking lot, opposite the road, ready to guide you on your adventure to this serene waterfall.

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    The Hike to Nauthúsafoss

    The journey to Nauthúsafoss is a delightful 20-minute hike through the enchanting Nauthúsagil ravine. The trail is relatively accessible, beginning with a rubberized terrain path at the parking lot that leads to the canyon's threshold. 

    Here, you'll need to use rocks jutting out above the flowing creek as footholds to navigate across. It's wise to wear suitable footwear as you might get wet during a misstep or slip. As you follow the ravine's natural flow, you'll come across the first smaller waterfall. 

    Chains bolted into the canyon wall provide the necessary support to climb over it. Once you overcome this, the magnificent Nauthúsafoss reveals itself, rewarding you with its serene beauty and the invigorating sights along the way.


    Best Time to Visit Nauthúsafoss

    When planning your visit to Nauthúsafoss, it's important to consider the weather and ideal times of day to enjoy this natural wonder at its best. Here's what we recommend:

    • Summer Visit: While you can visit Nauthúsafoss throughout the year, summer (June to September) is ideal due to milder weather conditions and extended daylight hours.
    • Morning Excursion: To enjoy a quieter experience, arrive early in the morning before the crowds.
    • Weather Considerations: Always check the local forecast and dress appropriately for the often changeable Icelandic weather.

    Things to Do Around Nauthúsafoss

    Exploring the vicinity of Nauthúsafoss offers a plethora of delightful outdoor activities and nearby attractions. Whether you're keen on discovering more of Iceland's natural wonders or just want to unwind, there's something for everyone:

    • Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi: Marvel at the nearby iconic waterfalls, perfect for photography and leisurely walks.
    • Bird Watching: The surrounding area's rich biodiversity makes it a haven for bird watchers.
    • Picnicking: Enjoy a serene picnic in the picturesque setting of Nauthúsagil ravine.
    • Hvolsvöllur Town: Visit this charming town for a taste of local Icelandic cuisine and culture.


    Tips for Visiting Nauthúsafoss

    When planning your visit to Nauthúsafoss, ensure you're prepared with the right gear and knowledge to make your adventure safe and enjoyable:

    Suggested Gear and Clothing

    • Wear sturdy hiking boots to navigate the rocky terrain.
    • Bring waterproof clothing, especially if visiting during the rainy season.
    • Pack a lightweight, windproof jacket for unpredictable weather.
    • Consider trekking poles for extra stability during the hike.

    Photography Tips

    • Visit during the golden hour (early morning or late afternoon) for the best lighting.
    • Use a tripod to capture long exposure shots of the cascading water.
    • Experiment with different angles to highlight the waterfall and lush surroundings.

    Conservation and Respectful Visiting Practices

    • Stick to marked trails to protect the delicate ecosystem.
    • Carry out all rubbish to keep the area pristine for other visitors.
    • Avoid disturbing wildlife and respect the natural serenity of the location.

    Things to Do Around Nauthúsafoss

    The Magic of Nauthúsafoss

    Nauthúsafoss offers an enchanting blend of adventure and tranquillity, promising an unforgettable experience for all who embark on the journey. Its hidden allure, combined with the breathtaking scenery of southern Iceland, captivates adventurers and nature lovers alike. To make the most of your exploration, consider renting a campervan in Iceland. 

    This cost-effective option not only saves money on food and accommodation but also allows for unparalleled flexibility and comfort during your travels. Imagine the stories you can tell after spending a night camping near this majestic waterfall. Book your campervan today and get ready to experience the magic of Nauthúsafoss! 

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