West Iceland is home to some of the most stunning natural wonders in the world, including breathtaking waterfalls. If you're taking the popular Golden Circle tour, one waterfall that should definitely be on your radar is Faxi. Secluded amongst the rolling hills, this majestic waterfall in Iceland is often overlooked, but it boasts a beauty that will leave you in awe. As we know the top attractions in Iceland Golden Circle are Thingvellir National Park, Geyser and Gulfoss Waterfall and many other astonishing locations in South Coast Iceland.

A hidden gem in Iceland's natural landscape, Faxi is the perfect oasis for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy a serene and peaceful experience. As part of any Iceland travel guide, Faxi waterfall is one attraction that shouldn't be missed. 

The Faxi waterfall is situated on the Tungufljót river in the South of Iceland, just 12 kilometers away from the Geysir geothermal springs near reykjavik. Its wide and serene appearance makes it an absolutely stunning and captivating waterfall that should definitely be visited.

Faxi Waterfall, also known as Fossin Faxi or Vatnsleysufoss, is part of the Golden Circle tourist attraction in southwestern Iceland. It is a wide river waterfall that originates from the Tungufljot River, fed by glaciers and streams from the Icelandic highlands. This waterfall has one tier and contributes to the stunning scenery of the Golden Circle. It is located 12 km from the Geysir hot spring area and 20 km from Gullfoss.

Consider adding Faxi Waterfall to your Golden Circle self-driving tour. It is 80 meters wide and 7 meters high, and you won't want to miss the chance to experience its charm and sound while you explore the trail.


The waterfall, called Vatnsleysufoss or Faxa, can be found in a seemingly flat farming area despite its impressive size. The Tungufljot River is approximately 300 ft. wide and drops 22 ft. with the help of a fish ladder. Each year, around 400 salmon breed in this river. A smaller branch of the river creates an isolated segment of the falls to the right. To see this portion of the waterfall, hike downstream and look for the signs marked Faxa.

Things to do when Visiting Faxi Waterfall

A visit to Faxi Waterfall is one of the best things to do in Iceland there alot of activities that you can engage in when you're here.

There are many activities to do in this area. If you like hiking, you can explore the countryside near the waterfall and maybe see Icelandic horses and various birds during the summer. The region is also a breeding habitat for salmon. In addition, there's a restaurant nearby called Vid Faxa, where you can have lunch while admiring the stunning views.

The waterfall is a great spot for photography due to its scenic view. However, there is a fish ladder next to it which can be used as a background for photos. The waterfall is not very large and its position doesn't affect the lighting, so taking pictures is easy. You can even walk down to the lower level and feel the mist from the waterfall.


The trail has many refreshing sites to see along Faxi that you might want to add to your bucket list. If you're looking for relaxation and rejuvenation, check out Laugarvatn Fontana Spa or the Secret Lagoon in Fludir. If you're interested in culture, stop by the eco-village Solheimar or the historical settlement of Skalholt. For adventure, consider snorkeling in Silfra or snowmobiling on Langjokull. Down the hill, there's a sheep coral where farmers gather and sort their sheep in the fall.


The Faxi Waterfall is situated near Route 35 in southern Geysir Geothermal Area. You can reach it easily by taking a 5-minute detour from the Golden Circle. To get there, take Route 35 south towards Selfoss and Reykholt for 6 km from the junction of Route 37 and 35. Keep an eye out for the sign on the left side of the road that says Vid Faxa. Follow the path indicated for around 100 m until you come to the parking area that offers a view of the falls. From there, take a short walk to the viewpoint and picnic area where you can see the waterfall.

Even the remote region of south Iceland holds wonders like Faxi Waterfall. Iceland is full of surprising adventures and beautiful sites to explore.

It is impossible not to fall in love with Faxi waterfall.

South Iceland boasts picturesque rapids that spread across the riverbank, enclosed by shrub-strewn meadows and patches of pine forest, offering a breathtaking view.

You can find Faxi on the Golden Circle sightseeing route, just a five-minute detour away from the main trail. Though it's not as impressive as the nearby Gullfoss waterfall, Faxi is still worth a visit as it offers a more peaceful and tranquil experience.

Although it is lower in rank than its neighbors, Faxi (also known as Faxa) is still worthy of admiration. The Golden Circle includes Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal springs, and Gullfoss waterfall, but there are other great sites to explore beyond Faxi for those who know where to find them.

If you plan on visiting this area in the upcoming year, don't miss out on our amazing Golden Circle Bubble experience. We will not only take you to all the top sites but also provide a transparent bubble for you to spend the night in, gazing at the Northern Lights or the landscapes glowing under the Midnight Sun.

The waterfall is most likely named after the Icelandic word for horse mane, "fax." This name makes sense because the water flowing over the rocks resembles the hair of a horse blowing in the wind. It's difficult to ignore the mystical and ancient ambiance that Iceland is known for when experiencing these moments.

The waterfall known as Faxi is also called Vatnsleysufoss, or 'Empty Falls.' Despite this name, the waterfall flows strongly and consistently throughout the year. It is 80 meters wide, but only 7 meters tall, which might seem small in comparison. The reasons for its contradictory name are unknown.

You can find Faxi waterfall located at a distance of 12 kilometers from Geysir geothermal springs and at a distance of 18 kilometers from Gullfoss waterfall. Additionally, it is just nine kilometers away from the delightful village of Reykholt.

Can You Eat at Faxi Waterfall?

Although the exterior of the restaurant Vid Faxa may seem unimpressive, it is actually a delightful lunch spot due to its exceptional menu and breathtaking views of Faxi. Visiting this restaurant is a pleasant respite from the hectic pace of the Golden Circle, particularly for hungry travelers seeking high-quality food.

While relaxing on the wooden deck of Vid Faxa's restaurant, you can choose between coffee, tea, or soda. If you're hungry, try the delicious hamburgers that have helped establish the restaurant's reputation as more than just a roadside snack joint. If you're a vegetarian, the restaurant now offers baked treats, including chocolate, which is a promising option for those craving something sweet while on the road.

Salmon Ladder and Fishing at Faxi Waterfall

Have you ever witnessed a crying child's tears suddenly ceasing upon seeing ice cream? We have, and it's a heartwarming sight. Ice cream has a similar impact in Iceland, where ice cream parlors such as Valdis remain open for business no matter the weather conditions, be it cold, winter, or a hurricane.

Next to the waterfall, there is a salmon ladder constructed by thoughtful locals. This allows migrating salmon to swim up the river without any disturbance caused by the rough waters of the falls. Despite being captivating, the salmon ladder can be easily overlooked. However, during specific months of the year, it is possible to witness the fish jumping and making their way up through the small concrete channel.

The Tungufljót river in Iceland is known for great fishing. Its salmon ladder indicates its quality. Some companies even allow anglers to stand at the waterfall base for a memorable experience and photo opportunity. In addition to salmon, fishermen can catch brown sea trout up to 15 pounds.

Please note that there are a few fishing regulations that need to be followed in Tungufljót. These include having a fishing license, catching a maximum of two fish per fishing pole, and releasing all fish that are over 70 centimeters in length.

To have a good fishing experience, it's best to hire a professional guide. A guide can show you the best spots and provide the necessary equipment.

Réttir - The Annual Sheep Round-Up in Iceland

Réttir is the annual event where farmers gather the over 800,000 sheep that roam freely around Iceland during summer, before the harsh winter sets in. If you visit Faxi, you can watch the herding process from the waterfall’s viewing platform.

The shepherding event is a longstanding tradition in Iceland that involves the use of ATVs, sheepdogs, horses, and local volunteers. Despite modern aids being incorporated, the event still holds its cultural and social significance. If you visit Faxi at the appropriate time, you may witness this ancient practice firsthand and could even participate.

The name Réttir originates from the pens used to sort sheep in Iceland's history. The pens were circular with triangular sections branching off, each allocated to a specific farmer and their flock. Once sorting is complete, Icelanders celebrate by partying and enjoying delicious lamb meals with alcoholic beverages.

For centuries, sheep have played a crucial role in the Icelandic way of life by providing food, wool, and a sense of community.


The Faxi waterfall is Located on the Tungufljót river, on the route that leads to the Golden Circle. It is a renowned destination in southern Iceland and is located just 12 kilometers away from the Geysir hot spring area and 20 kilometers away from the Gullfoss waterfall. Faxi falls are considered a smaller version of Gullfoss, with a width of approximately 80 meters and a height of around seven meters.


The Faxi waterfall is always open and simple to get to. It's located close to Route 35 in south Geysir, and you can quickly visit it by taking a short detour from the Golden Circle route. To reach the waterfall from Geysir, drive south on Route 35 for 5 kilometers, and at the intersection, take a left on Route 35 in the direction of Selfoss and Reykholt. In about 6 kilometers, watch for the sign that says "Við Faxa." Follow the same path to arrive at the waterfall.

You can visit Faxi waterfall any time of year. Even though the appearance of the waterfall changes significantly during winter and summer, it always remains beautiful.

If you want to travel from Reykjavík to Faxi waterfall, which is around 104 kilometers away, it should take you approximately 90 minutes to drive there. We suggest using the specific route we recommend if you're heading there directly from the city.

  • To get to Mosfellsbær town, simply drive along Road 01 (Vesturlandsvegur).
  • Turn onto Road 361 (Þingvallavegur) from Mosfellsbær.
  • To reach Road 365 (Lyngdalsheiðavegur), go towards the west from Lake Þingvallavatn.
  • Once you reach Laugarvatn village, take Road 37 (Laugarvatnsvegur) and then turn onto Road 35. Along this road, you will come across the car park for Faxi waterfall.

If you're doing the Golden Circle adventure, you'll likely visit Faxi. Just follow the signposts. Faxi is located between Gullfoss and Geysir. It's better to go there after visiting the national park, so save it for the second half of your sightseeing.

What are the Tourist Activities for Faxi (Vatnsleysufoss) Waterfall?

While not as strong as Gullfoss, Faxi is still a gorgeous waterfall. It's breathtaking to see the water flow down from the mountains and over the edge. You can easily reach the viewpoint with a short hike from the parking lot, and the view there is truly unforgettable.

In Faxifoss, watching animals use the Salmon Ladder to swim upstream for spawning is a popular activity. The Tungufljot river is known for fishing, especially salmon and brown sea trout. If you're interested in fishing, make sure to learn about the rules and regulations in the area beforehand.

If you like bird-watching, Faxi is a great place to visit. There are also camping facilities available, so you can unwind and enjoy a bonfire during your stay.

Remember to bring your camera with you to take photos of this naturally beautiful destination.


There are several fascinating spots to explore near the Faxi waterfalls along the Golden Circle. You can visit the Great Geysir, see Strokkur, or check out Lake þingvallavatn. These locations can either be explored after your visit to the falls or made into stops along the way.


Is There An Entrance Fee At Faxi Waterfall?

There is a small fee of ISK 1 for visitors to see Faxi Waterfall.

Is There Any Place To Eat At Faxi Waterfall?

There is a quaint local eatery called "Við Faxa" situated near a waterfall. They offer tasty snacks at affordable prices and have a genuine Icelandic atmosphere that feels cozy and welcoming.

Are There Any Restrooms?

The Vid Faxa Restaurant offers free restroom facilities.

Visit Faxi Waterfall With Golden Circle Day Tours!

If you're going to Faxi Waterfall for the first time, it's important to use a reliable service.