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 :)
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 farmers had to close off access to their waterfall.
But seeing that it is right by the road then you can still get a lovely view of the waterfall and take some photos.
In the wintertime, the waterfall looks quite different, almost not visible, but the frozen version of it is beautiful as well. And it is lit up at night.
Foss á Síðu in the wintertime
The difference in the name "Foss á Síðu" and "Foss at Síða" which you will see when you Google this waterfall, is the Icelandic and English version.
Foss at Síða is right opposite the road from Hamrafoss
In the summer of 2020, my mother and I stayed at the lovely guesthouse Hamrafoss opposite the road from Foss at Síða. We had such a lovely stay that Hamrafoss has now become my favourite accommodation in Iceland :)
I had invited her for a stay at Hotel Laki in the vicinity for one night and wanted to stay for longer in this area. I found Hamrafoss on the Internet and saw that it was an 80 sq.m. house which cost the same for the 2 of us as a normal hotel room in this area. So we jumped at this change and didn't regret it.
In the garden is an old tractor, which makes for a good photo with Foss at Síða in the background
Hamrafoss is an old house decorated in such a cozy and lovely style that we were over the moon.
You know when you enter a house and you feel right at home :) In Icelandic, we say: "Það er góður andi í húsinu" - translated into English it would be: "A good spirit resides in the house" :)
The loft has 3 double beds
The furniture and interior of the house is old and vintage style and you feel like you entered a lovely farmhouse, where somebody still lives. And maybe somebody lives there in the wintertime as I see that it is not available for hire in the wintertime?
There are 3 bedrooms on the ground floor, a bathroom, a living room, and a fully equipped kitchen with a large dining area. And the loft has 3 double beds, so I guess that this house can accommodate 10-12 people.
Even though we had so many bedrooms to choose from my mother and I slept in the same bedroom :)
One of the bedrooms at Hamrafoss - this one is my favourite - isn't it lovely?
This location is pure country and sheep were grazing and bleating in the pasture by Hamrafoss. We stayed here in September and the sheep had just been round up so there was a flock of them right outside the house and the migrating birds were gathering right next to the house. To me, it was just heavenly.
I was enjoying this scenery so much that I didn't want to go to sleep, so I was always sneaking out just taking in the sounds of nature and looking at the stars, which are considerably much brighter than in Reykjavík, where I live. And have a peek at Foss at Síða which was all lit up in the dark.
There is a lovely white-painted bridge at Hamrafoss which leads to the new café, Hamrafoss café, which is a café and a restaurant in an old barn.
Unfortunately, for us, it had just closed for the winter, but I am sure that it would have been a great addition to our stay if we had been able to pop over at the café for coffee or a pint :)
The cock on the bridge makes for a good photo with Foss at Síða
For the 2 of us, the price was ISK 16,000, but I saw that the price rose considerably the more people were added, which is only fair for such a big house. This was the price in 2020 during COVID, so maybe the price was lower than usual.
We wanted to extend our stay as we loved the house an the location, but it was fully booked for the next couple of days. Next year for sure and then I want to stay for 2-3 days if the price stays the same.
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 Ólafsdóttir lived at Foss, their daughter Ólafía, who was the eldest of their children, was driving sheep by 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!
During my last visit in the fall of 2020 to Dverghamrar, I also experienced something out of the ordinary. I was photographing my mother at Dverghamrar when I head bells chiming. I asked my mother where this sound was coming from, but she didn't hear it. But I heard the bells clearly - was this sound coming from the rocks?
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.
The information sign by Dverghamrar
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.
Holding up the pillar at 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 and we are only here as guests.
My mother at Dverghamrar
I loved coming here with my mother. She last visited Dverghamrar back in 1972, when my parents took me and my sister on a trip to Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
Back then there was no ring-road and Núpsstaður farm was the last farm by the end of the road. There was a gate and a river and we could go no further. It wasn't until 1974 that the ring-road was opened.
My sister and I with our father back in August 1972 - I was 7 years old and she was 10 years old :)
Dverghamrar is, of course, declared as protected. I recommend this place, it is ever so lovely and who knows, you might 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:
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:
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.
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 South-Iceland :)