About Faxi Waterfall
Faxi Waterfall is a subtle yet surreal spot in the Golden Circle Route of Iceland.
Locally known as "Vatnsleysufoss" is yet another Icelandic wonder which is not much talked about. Still, it remains a hidden gem of the Golden Circle. We highly recommend exploring this lovely waterfall on any of your Golden Circle tours.
It seems like a mini version of the Golden Waterfall (Gullfoss Waterfall). The only difference is that it's a single-tier waterfall as compared to Gullfoss Waterfall which is a two-tiered waterfall. It is based on the River Tungufljót.
The pure glacial water in the river comes all the way from the highlands of Iceland, mainly Langjokull Glacier.
What's Behind The Names, "Faxi" & "Vatnsleysufoss"?
Curiosity is stirring! It's time to open the Icelandic and Nordic dictionary.
Visitors wonder what's behind the two names of this beautiful waterfall. Generally, it is known as Faxi Waterfall. However, locally it is referred to as the "Vatnsleysufoss".
Let us find out what these two terms mean and denote this impressive waterfall.
1 - Faxi (Or Faxi Foss)
In the Nordic language, Faxi means "Horse's mane". If you observe closely, the waterfall looks like the cascading mane of a horse. It's no surprise that Icelandic horses are some of the most iconic symbols of Iceland.
2 - Vatnsleysufoss
Vatnsleysufoss translates to "Empty Falls" in Icelandic. The origin of the river's name remains a mystery, despite its tranquil and strong flow all year long. Its impressive 80-meter width is only heightened by its 7-meter plunge, proving that size doesn't always matter.
In another account, it is named after the Vatnsleysa farmstead, which denotes a "shortage of water".
Where Is Faxi Located?
Faxi Waterfall is a part of the Golden Circle. It is located near the historical town of Skáholt in South Iceland. It is approx. 04 km from the capital, Reykjavik. The waterfall is properly administered by Bláskógabyggð municipality.
It is within easy reach of the Geysir Geothermal Area and þingvellir National Park. The waterfall is easily accessible. It just takes a 5-minute detour from the Golden Circle Route to reach the exact location of Faxi Waterfall.
How To Get To Faxi?
To reach Faxi Waterfall, simply take a short 5-minute detour from the Golden Circle Ring Road at Route 35 South.
Take this path until you hit junctions 37 and 35 before veering onto Route 35 South towards Selfoss and Reykholt for 6 km. In no time you will have reached your destination!
To access the waterfall, simply look for the sign saying "Við Faxa" on your left as you travel down the road. Follow that route for about 100 m and it will lead to a parking lot with an exceptional view of the falls.
A brief path is located near this spot which leads to an observation deck and picnic table - both providing breathtaking views of the cascading water below!
What-To-Do & Must-See Spots At Faxi Waterfall
Faxi has a few interesting things to offer that are truly worth it to see. Away from the crowds, you can cherish nature by relaxing up close to it.
Here are the must-see spots and things to do at Faxi.
1 - Faxi Waterfall
Observe the soothing Faxi waterfall from the observation deck. This spot isn't much crowded. So, you can freely stroll while the fall runs in its glory.
2 - Check The Fish Ladder
This might be new for many people. This waterfall is a big hub for salmon breeding and fishing. Considering that, the locals have constructed a fish ladder that stands along the falls.
This cement structure helps fish to travel upstream. How cool and compassionate is that!
Do not forget to check it out and see if you can spot a salmon traveling upstream.
3 - Go Salmon Fishing
You can also go fishing. However, you would need to check with the fishing regulations at River Tungufljót set by the local authorities.
4 - Attend Rettir - The Annual Sheep Round-up Of Iceland
Every September, hundreds of sheep farmers gather in this area for the annual round-up. It is such a wonderful traditional event that has been part of Iceland's culture since the 9th century.
Check out if you can attend it or witness its prepping-up process. It will definitely be an experience to remember!
5 - Look For Icelandic Horse Gazing
Surrounding Faxi, you will find Iceland native horses grazing near or around the waterfall. The local farmers set them free to gaze. This will provide the right setting for some photography.
6 - Check Out Nearby Attractions
Fortunately, Faxi is within easy reach of some great Icelandic attractions. You can visit the Geothermal Area to witness the hot springs.
Also, we highly recommend visiting Skáholt to travel back to Icelandic history.
Is There An Entrance Fee At Faxi Waterfall?
There is a minimal fee of ISK 1 for visiting Faxi Waterfall.
Is There Any Place To Eat At Faxi Waterfall?
There is a small eatery run by locals named "Við Faxa". It serves delicious snacks at reasonable rates. Við Faxa is located right by the waterfall. The place is so cozy and has a pure Icelandic ambiance.
Are There Any Restrooms?
Restrooms are available free of cost at the Vid Faxa Restaurant.
Visit Faxi Waterfall With Golden Circle Day Tours!
You need a reliable service for your Faxi Waterfall adventure! Especially, if you are going for the first time.