Faxi, also known as Faxa and Vatnsleysufoss, is a wide waterfall on Tungufkjót river in South Iceland. Located approximately 3 kilometers from Torfhús, 12 kilometers from Geysir, 20 kilometers from Gullfoss and 106 kilometers from Reykjavík – the modest but beautiful Faxi waterfall is a worthwhile detour on the Golden Circle route.
The height of Faxi waterfall may not be its greatest pride, as the water only falls about 7 meters, however, its width stretches an impressive length of 80 meters. Although not nearly as powerful, Faxi waterfall is sometimes described as a smaller version of the Golden Circle main attraction Gullfoss, as they have apparent similarities in how the water flows.
The name Faxi is likely to have originated from the word “fax” which refers to a horse’s mane in Icelandic. Watching the waterfall with that in mind, you can imagine why someone may have given it that name.
Beyond its serene natural beauty, an interesting feature of Faxi is the man-made fish ladder on the side of the waterfall, that has been built to help salmon travel upstream. Tungufljót river is full of salmon and it is thus no surprise that it is a popular place for people to go fishing.
The stop does furthermore not take many minutes, as the waterfall is located just a minutes walk from the parking, in other words – no hiking required.
The area surrounding Faxi waterfall mostly consists of farm land. In the summertime you will be able to experience the rich birdlife that the location has to offer. Encountering some Icelandic horses is not unusual either. Nearby you will also find benches and tables – the perfect place to have a break and enjoy a picnic.
Attracting smaller crowds than the Golden Circle highlight, Gullfoss, Faxi allows for a more peaceful experience.
Faxi waterfall is a much appreciated detour among tourists traveling the Golden Circle route, as it is located only a 10-minute car ride from Geysir. The guests at Torfhús have perfect access to the waterfall as it is located only 4 minutes from the retreat.
Driving directions from Geysir to Faxi waterfall:
– When leaving Geysir, drive south on route 35 for just about 5 kilometers.
– At the junction of route 37 and route 35, turn left onto route 35 in the direction of Selfoss and Reykholt.
– After 6 kilometers, look out for a sign on the side of the road saying “Við Faxa”, and follow its direction.
– A minute’s car ride later and you will have reached your destination.
Or click here to get directions on google maps.
Parking fees are usually collected in order to maintain sights and their surroundings. At Faxi waterfall the parking fee is 700 ISK.
The Golden Circle is the most popular route among tourists in Iceland as it includes three of the most iconic sights of the country. It is often described as the ultimate day trip, meanwhile some prefer to make it a multiple-day route, to not miss out on some of the hidden gems that the area has to offer.
The three main sights of the Golden Circle are:
– Thingvellir National Park
– Geysir Geothermal Area
– Gullfoss Waterfall
Depending on how much time you have set aside to travel the Golden Circle, you might want to make a couple of detours to visit some of the less known sights around the route. Beyond Faxi waterfall, another hidden gem worth paying a visit to is Brúarfoss Waterfall.
To find additional hidden sights and learn more about the Golden Circle – what to see, where to stay, and which activities to do – click here
Torfhús Hótel Ehf.