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 only ca 10 kilometres east of Kirkjubæjarklaustur in South-Iceland by ring-road 1. The difference in the name "á Síðu" and "at Síða" is the Icelandic and English version.

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 :)

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. 

Frozen version of Foss á SíðuSeeing 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 winter time the waterfall looks quite different, almost not visible, but the frozen version of it is beautiful as well.


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 there are several tales of dwarfs living here. 

One of our best mediums, who is well-known for seeing all kinds of hidden people, has made a drawing of the dwarfs. By the information sign, you can see her drawing.

The dwarfs are believed to be Christian as in 1904 a young girl heard a singing coming from Dverghamrar and it was a Christian song. These dwarfs then belong to the race Light Elves. This is so wonderful and mystical, I love stories like this one!

Dverghamrar Folktales sign

I saw dwarfs when I was a child and I noticed a dwarf walking passed me when first entering Dverghamrar, but nothing after that. 

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 seeFoss at Síðaright in the middle of the rocks. It is a mesmerising 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.

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, ca 10 km away from Dverghamrar and Foss at Síða, you will find a very strange natural columnar basalt formation, which looks like a tiled church floor, thus the name "kirkjugólf".  It totally looks like it is man-made. But it is actually the top of many vertical hexagonal basalt columns which have been abraded by the surf and glaciers.

It stands there alone with grass all around it very close to the road, it is just amazing and hard to believe that it wasn't man-made. It is surely worth a visit and you can walk on it. There is a parking close to it and a path leads you to the church floor.

In the olden days, the Vikings thought this was a man-made church-floor (there were some Irish monks here when the Vikings arrived). The church-floor is now protected as a natural history site.

In the winter time when it is frost and snow one can only see a part of the church- floor. We went there once in freezing temperatures and the path was frozen solid.

Columnar basalt seen from above in Kirkjugólf near Kirkjubæjarklaustur, 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.

Check out the many self-drive tours with accommodation, car and itinerary included: 

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

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

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

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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