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

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

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. 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 (I mean there’s even a Sister’s Cafe and anything else you can think of with “Sister” in it as well as the name of the town having something to do with a “church farm cloister”), there’s a good reason for it.

I understand that during the infamous 1783 Laki eruption (which lasted for 8 months and might have caused the famine that accelerated the events that caused the French Revolution), 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. 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 events can be).


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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