Öxarárfoss, a waterfall located in the Thingvellir National Park of the Golden Circle, is a captivating sight for travelers in Iceland.
This enchanting waterfall, surrounded by rich historical significance and stunning natural beauty, stands as a highlight in the renowned Golden Circle route.
Whether you’re drawn by its picturesque landscapes or intrigued by its historical roots, Öxarárfoss promises an unforgettable experience where the marvels of nature and the echoes of history blend seamlessly.
A Waterfall with a Rich History
Öxarárfoss isn’t just a natural wonder; it’s a site steeped in history. Located in Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, this waterfall has witnessed centuries of Icelandic history. It’s near the site of Iceland’s first parliament, Althingi, founded in 930 AD, making it a witness to the nation’s rich cultural and political past. This area is not just a natural beauty spot but a place where history comes alive.
What makes Öxarárfoss truly unique is its location on the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The waterfall flows from the river Öxará, cascading over two drops in the Almannagjá gorge. This gorge is a remarkable geological feature marking the division of the tectonic plates. The waterfall itself is relatively small, standing at 13 meters (44 feet) in height, but its presence is magnified by the dramatic cliffs of Almannagjá gorge.
Getting There by Rental Car: Your Journey to Öxarárfoss
Visiting Öxarárfoss by rental car is both convenient and enjoyable, offering you the freedom to explore at your own pace.
From Reykjavik to Öxarárfoss
From Reykjavik, the journey to Öxarárfoss is straightforward. Take Route 1 (the Ring Road) towards Mosfellsbaer, a small town around 12 km from Reykjavik. Then, turn right onto Þingvallavegur Road (Route 36). After about a 25-minute drive, look for signs to Öxarárfoss, directing you to the entrance of Þingvellir National Park, where you can park and walk to the waterfall.
Route from Reykjavik to Þingvellir National Park
Choosing the Right Rental Car
For this trip, a standard sedan is typically sufficient, especially during summer months when the roads are clear. However, if you’re planning a winter visit, consider renting a 4×4 vehicle. Icelandic winters can be unpredictable, with snowy and icy conditions. A 4×4 will provide better safety and handling in these conditions, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey to Öxarárfoss.
Remember, driving in Iceland can be different from other places, especially in winter, so always check road conditions and weather forecasts before setting out on your journey.
A Year-Round Destination
Whether you visit in the summer or winter, Öxarárfoss has something special to offer. In summer, the waterfall is a refreshing sight, surrounded by lush greenery and vibrant nature. Summer is also the peak season for travelling Iceland, during this season, you will expect a lot of travelers in this area.
In winter, it transforms into a winter wonderland.The waterfall freezes over, creating a stunning icy spectacle. This winter beauty makes it a favorite spot for photographers and ice climbers.
For the Game of Thrones Fans
If you’re a fan of “Game of Thrones,” you’ll be excited to know that Öxarárfoss and its surrounding areas were filming locations for the series. The rugged landscapes and natural beauty of the area made it an ideal backdrop for several scenes in this popular TV show.
Hiking and Exploring
Öxarárfoss is accessible via a short walk inside the Þingvellir National Park, making it an ideal destination for families and hikers of all levels. The walk to the waterfall is not only easy but also incredibly picturesque, offering stunning views of the park and its geological formations. For those looking for more adventure, there are several hiking trails in the area, each offering a unique perspective of the park’s beauty.
Planning Your Visit
Located just a short drive from Reykjavik, Öxarárfoss is easily accessible by car. There’s ample parking at Þingvellir National Park, from where you can take a leisurely stroll to the waterfall. Remember, the best time to visit depends on what you want to see. Summer offers lush landscapes and flowing water, while winter presents a magical icy wonderland.
Öxarárfoss is more than just a waterfall. It’s a place where nature and history intertwine, offering visitors a unique glimpse into Iceland’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a picturesque spot to relax, Öxarárfoss is a destination that should be on your Iceland itinerary. Come and discover the magic of Öxarárfoss!