Helgufoss: Hidden waterfall near Reykjavík
Helgufoss: Hidden waterfall near Reykjavík

Helgufoss: Hidden waterfall near Reykjavík

Helgufoss Waterfall is a nearby and hidden waterfall near Reykjavik. Despite the fact that he has lived in Iceland for many years, I had no idea Helgufoss was so near to Reykjavik until recently, and I was here for the first time recently.

Get directions to Helgufoss waterfall


If you’re planning a tour around the Golden Circle, this waterfall might be the first stop. If your Golden Circle self-drive tour begins in Thingvellir and proceeds north, you will pass Helgufoss waterfall around 20 minutes after leaving Reykjavik.

If your daily itinerary is not precisely timed, you have a half-hour break, and you want to start the day with one of Reykjavik’s hidden jewels, you should surely stop here and enjoy your first snack in the calm valley where the waterfall is concealed.

Hike to Helgufoss waterfall

The path to the waterfall and navigation here are both quite simple.

  1. To begin, travel north from Reykjavik on the main road number 1 towards Akureyri. After exiting Mosfellsbaer, follow the first roundabout to the right out of town, which leads to the Golden Circle and Thingvellir National Park.
  2. You will then drive around the small campsite for around 10 minutes, while on the left you will view Mount Esja, which is great for day trips from Reykjavik.
  3. On a gravel road, shortly after the road begins to rise steeply, you will see a sign with the “Sightseeing locations” and turning right, along gravel road.
  4. Follow this road for about 2-3 minutes uphill until you reach a smaller car park.

Parking at Helgufoss

Despite the fact that only about 10-15 cars can fit in the parking lot, whenever I parked there, there were only a few cars on site. So you don’t have to worry about not having enough space. Parking is free here, as is a visit to Helgufoss Waterfall.

At the parking lot you can notice a sign with a map that explains the way to the waterfall and an alternative longer route through the valley.

Even though the description of path to the waterfall was a bit confusing for me, it is not a problem to find the way to the waterfall, because Helgufoss is only about 10 minutes walk from the parking lot.

To get to the main path that leads to the waterfall, you need to get over the fence – you use the wooden stairs. After that, all you have to do is continue along the main road and do not turn anywhere until you start approaching the valley and the river that leads from the waterfall.


The road down to the valley is not rocky, so it may be muddy in the rain and icy in winter, so prepare suitable footwear.

In a few minutes you can get across the valley directly to the waterfall, which you can most likely enjoy in peace and on your own.

Helgufoss in winter


The road from the main road to the waterfall car park is not just for 4×4 cars, but it is not maintained in the winter and if your rental car is one of the smaller ones, the road uphill can be challenging.

Helgufoss waterfall would therefore be recommended in winter only with larger 4×4 vehicles and with smaller cars only in good weather.

Other waterfalls close to Helgufoss

In the vicinity of Helgufoss you will find 4 other more or less famous waterfalls.

  1. One of the most famous is Þórufoss, which you can visit if you continue on your way to the Golden Circle.
  2. About 10 minutes drive from Helgufoss, below Mount Esja is another hidden waterfall called Trollafoss. Although the road here is also rocky, in summer it is also available for smaller cars.

The last two mentioned waterfalls are much smaller and not so interesting, so I’ll leave it to you if it’s worth a visit.

In the town of Mosfellbaer, which you drive north of Reykjavík, you will find a small Álafoss waterfall and a shop with Icelandic wool sweaters of the same name.

If you are interested in the production of traditional Icelandic lopapeysa sweaters and would like to visit the historic shop and the place where the sweaters are made, then be sure to visit the waterfall.

The fourth waterfall around Helgufoss Waterfall is Tungufoss. However, I would not recommend visiting this waterfall, because it is located in a populated area and the place is not intended for tourists.

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