Extraordinary Columnar Basalt and Waterfalls in South-Iceland - Foss á Síðu & Dverghamrar

Foss á Síðu or Foss at Síða - "foss" meaning waterfall - is a beautiful waterfall by ring-road 1, only some 10 kilometres east of Kirkjubæjarklaustur in South-Iceland. The waterfall, which cascades down from a lake called Þórutjörn, is not large like so many other waterfalls here in Iceland, but there is something special about it and the rock formations surrounding it.

The rock formations look like something out of a fairy-tale :)

Frozen version of Foss á Síðu

So it is well worth a visit while driving in this area, especially as it is so accessible from the road. Earlier I could visit it and walk straight up to it, but due to increased traffic through the land of the farmer, the farmer had to close off access to his driveway. 

Seeing that it is right by the road then you can still get a lovely view of the waterfall and take some photos. My photos are taken from the road. In wintertime, the waterfall looks quite different, almost not visible, but the frozen version of it is beautiful as well.

See also:

A Winter Visit to the South Coast of Iceland- all the way to Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon

Extraordinary Columnar Basalt and Waterfalls in South-Iceland - Foss á Síðu & Dverghamrar

Foss á Síðu in the wintertime

The difference in the name "Foss á Síðu" and "Foss at Síða" is the Icelandic and English version. 


Dverghamrar also known as Dwarf Rocks in South Iceland

Almost right opposite Foss at Síða waterfall there are 2 very beautiful rock formations, created by columnar basalt. They are called Dverghamrar or Dwarf-Rocks as it is believed that dwarves reside in these rocks.

There are some tales of dwarfs living here. Þjóðsögur og sagnir by Sigfús Sigfússon tell us that when Páll and Margrét Ólafsdóttur lived at Foss, their daughter Ólafía, who was the eldest of their children, was driving sheep passed Dverghamrar.

"She heard beautiful singing so she sat down and listened to the song. It was the hymn: "Faðir á himna hæð". When she was sure that she was hearing correctly, she turned back home. And it was believed that the dwarves in the rocks had been singing". 

This was back in 1904 and the song she heard was a Christian song, so it is believed that the dwarfs are Christian. These dwarfs then belong to the race Light Elves. This is so wonderful and mystical, I love stories like this one!

Dverghamrar Folktales sign

The information sign by Dverghamrar

One of our mediums, who was well-known for seeing all kinds of hidden people, made a drawing of the dwarfs. You can see her drawing on the information sign.

On top of Dverghamrar, you can see the geological formation called hackly jointed lava. Standing in front of Dverghamrar right in the middle you will see Foss at Síða right in the middle of the rocks. It is such a beautiful sight and I find it hard to tear myself away from this wonderful place.

There is another smaller rock formation next to the two bigger ones with a protruding columnar basalt and a small cove called Eiríkslundur.

Extraordinary Columnar Basalt and Waterfalls in South-Iceland - Foss á Síðu & Dverghamrar

There are so many good photo-opportunities here. One can climb up on the rocks and have a photo taken there. Or behind the rocks where there is a protruding columnar basalt where it is fun to take photos. There we Icelanders love to have photos taken of us holding up the columnar basalt so it won't fall over.

And who knows, one might even catch a photo of a dwarf helping out :) But let's always show respect here as Dverghamrar is the habitation of supernatural beings.

Extraordinary Columnar Basalt and Waterfalls in South-Iceland - Foss á Síðu & Dverghamrar

Dverghamrar is, of course, declared as protected. I recommend this place, it is ever so lovely and who knows if you get to see a dwarf.

Not many locations in Iceland connected to the dwarves, but I have written a travel-blog about one such location in East-Iceland:

Dvergasteinn - the Rock of the Dwarfs - by Seyðisfjörður in East-Iceland - an Icelandic Folklore

From Dverghamrar you start to see Skeiðarárjökull glacier and the vast Skeiðarársandur sands leading to Skaftafell.

The Church Floor

Kirkjugólf also known as The Church Floor in Kirkjubæjarklaustur, south Iceland

In Kirkjubæjarklaustur, some 10 km west of Dverghamrar and Foss at Síða, you will the preserved basalt column formation kirkjugólfið or the church floor. These basalt columns look like a man-made tiled church floor. You can read about it in my travel-blog:

The Historical Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Systrafoss & Systrastapi in South-Iceland

Foss at Síða is located some 262 km away from Reykjavík, Iceland's capital city. To visit this area of Iceland you can rent a car in Reykjavík and drive to the south coast, with its many pearls of nature.

Extraordinary Columnar Basalt and Waterfalls in South-Iceland - Foss á Síðu & Dverghamrar

There are also several guided tours to this area, f.ex.:

South West - South East, in 3 days

6-Day Winter Self Drive Tour - Diamond Beach - Ice Cave

And why not include the ever so popular glacier hiking to your itinerary.

This area in Iceland is so much fun to visit, the historical Kirkjubæjarklaustur, the lovely waterfalls and the columnar basalt, the vast black sands and much much more.

Have a lovely time visiting the south coast of Iceland :)

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