Ófærufoss, Iceland


Ófærufoss
Ófærufoss Waterfall
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Ófærufoss at a Glance

The Ófærufoss waterfall can be found in central Iceland, and is situated in the Eldgjá chasm in the interior of the Eldgjá (Fire Gorge) area. Eldgjá is a 40 km long, 600 m wide (in some parts), and 200 m deep eruptive fissure that last erupted shortly after the Settlement period in 934. Ófærufoss is a distinctive and interesting two-tiered waterfall in the Nydri-Ófæru river that drops into Eldgjá Canyon in Skaftártunguafréttur. The lower falls were once spanned by a natural stone arch, but this collapsed into the river during a thaw in spring 1993. The waterfall cascades over the edge of the canyon in three stages and its upper area is bordered by a splendid arch.

Ófærufoss is a very beautiful waterfall and is of great interest to photographers. There is a road up to the eastern edge of Eldgjá and it is possible to walk from here to Ófærufoss, but to do this it is necessary to wade across a part of the Ófærufoss, which can pose some danger. Therefore, it is safer to walk up the mountain Gjátindur to get to the waterfall. This route provides an excellent view of Eldgjá, Lakagígur, the mountains around Langisjór, and the surrounding area. The landscape along the walk upwards is generally barren and rugged, while the contrast between the low-lying vegetation and the reddish-black soil makes for some memorable scenery. Speculation suggests the fissures in this area are the result of volcanic eruptions that may have been even more intense than the infamous eruptions at Lakagígur.

It is most likely that the Eldgjá chasm was created during an eruption in 934. Hence, the Ófærufoss (which means the waterfall of Ófæra) is still relatively young and still undergoing change. As well as coming here to see the waterfall, many visitors come to soak in the hot springs of Landmannalaugur, a well-known and colorful volcanic and geothermal area.