Thjorsardalur, South Region (Suðurland), Iceland

About Hjalparfoss

Hiking Distance: almost roadside
Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Date first visited: 2007-07-08
Date last visited: 2007-07-08

Waterfall Latitude: 64.11615
Waterfall Longitude: -19.85111

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Hjalparfoss (“HYAL-par-foss”; meaning the “helping falls”) was a pretty unique double waterfall that joined at its base into a very large plunge pool surrounded by some rugged lava formations. This was one of several waterfalls in the Þjórsádalur Valley that we visited within the vicinity of the active Mt Hekla. But unlike many of the waterfalls we’ve visited in the Interior Highlands of Iceland, this one was actually relatively easy to access.

From the car park (see directions below), we took an easy descending walking path with long steps to the shore of the wide plunge pool where the waterfalls fell directly across from it. There were quite a few wildflowers sprouting or blooming during our visit, and they provided us with nice photo subjects to contrast the rugged scenery.

Apparently the falls got its name from the surrounding area (called Hjalp or “help”), which came about because people who came from the desolate and harsh Sprengisandur route through the Interior (now the 4wd F26 road) looked at this relatively lush area as being of great help for their horses to graze and recover from the gruelling crossing. And after having a taste of the F26 on the way to Aldeyjfarfoss to the north and Þjórsádalur to the south as well as the desolation and sheer ruggedness of the road to Dynkur, we could certainly appreciate the hardships that one might encounter on such a journey through a desert like Sprengisandur.

Given the easy access to the falls, we only spent about a half-hour away from the car. Most of the time was spent taking photos and just relaxing.


Approaching this waterfall from the Hrauneyjar (pronounced “HROEIN-eh-yur”) Highland Center, drive on Route 26 west for 32km then turn left on the signposted turnoff leading the last 600m to the car park for the falls.

We actually came here after visiting Gjáin and Stöng. We continued west on the Stangarvegur Road (route 327) for a little over 5km, then we turned right onto Route 26, and then we turned left onto the access for Hjalparfoss almost immediately thereafter.

For context, the Hrauneyjar Highland Center was 98km (under 90 minutes drive) east of Selfoss and 77km (under 90 minutes drive) northeast of Hella. Selfoss was 52km (45 minutes drive) east of Reykjavik.

Find A Place To Stay

Right to left sweep of the falls from across the wide plunge pool

Related Top 10 Lists

No Posts Found

Tagged with: thjorsardalur, thjorsadalur, interior, highlands, hrauneyjar, hella, selfoss, hvolsvollur, thjorsa, south region, southern iceland, sudurland, waterfall

Visitor Comments:

Got something you'd like to share or say to keep the conversation going? Feel free to leave a comment below...

No users have replied to the content on this page

Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

If you have a waterfall story or write-up that you'd like to share, feel free to click the button below and fill out the form...

Hjalparfoss is great – don’t miss it October 14, 2009 12:28 pm by George Holderness - I visited Hjalparfoss with a British group in 2008. We had been to many of the famous large falls and Gullfoss is still top of the list for sheer overpowering grandeur. BUT Hjalparfoss is so beautiful and peaceful. We just sat on the grassy slope, ate our sandwiches and soaked it up. It's wonderful, And… ...Read More

Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls

How To Build A Profitable Travel Blog In 4 Steps