southern iceland guide

S39 – Foss á Síðu Waterfall *

The blown away waterfall
how to get there
Distance from Vic ~ 83 km (50 mi)
Travel time ~ 1 hour 20 minutes

From Vik, head east by following Route 1.
Foss á Síðu is a waterfall in southeastern Iceland near the ring road, named after the village located nearby. The river Fossá drops down over a basalt cliff of 30 meters (98 ft) before it continues its way to the Atlantic ocean. Sometimes the waterfall is blown away by heavy winds when the amount of water that comes from the lake is limited. This phenomenon creates an illusion of water blowing up.

The history of the village of Foss á Síðu dates back to the 9th century and is mentioned in the Book of Settlements, the most famous written source on the colonization of the island. According to folklore, a rare kind of ghost wanders around the area: the ghost is a dog whose name is Móri. The dog carries with it the nine-generation curse directed at a particular family from the 16th century. Throughout the centuries, Móri has never done any harm to people outside this unfortunate family, whom it follows.
There's no designated parking lot near the waterfall, but enough space to leave your car to capture a few pictures if you happen to pass by.
Not far from the waterfall there's an interesting mountain formation – a rock with basalt crystals called Dverghamrar, which means “Dwarf Rocks." According to the Icelandic legend, dwarves live in the cliffs of this protected natural monument, so be careful and behave decently so as not to provoke the magical creatures.