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Magnusarfoss Waterfall Rejseguide

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Skaftafell, Iceland
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The Magnusarfoss waterfall in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve.Magnusarfoss is a picturesque waterfall in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve in South Iceland.

You'll find the Magnusarfoss waterfall, called Magnúsarfoss in Icelandic, on the hike to the better-known Svartifoss waterfall. Hikers visiting Svartifoss will encounter two falls on their way to the main attraction — Magnusarfoss and Hundafoss. Magnusarfoss is the smallest, measuring 32 feet (roughly 10 meters) high. It's about half the height of Svartifoss.

Despite its proximity to this popular natural attraction, it usually has fewer visitors, meaning you can relax and enjoy a break from the crowds. "Magnusarfoss" means "the waterfall of Magnus" — but it's unclear why it has this name or who Magnus was. 

You can visit Magnusarfoss on a ten-day self-drive tour of Iceland. Hire a car and drive to the Skaftafell Nature Reserve within Vatnajokull National Park, then stop at the Magnusarfoss waterfall on your hike to Svartifoss.

Photo by Regina Hronn Ragnarsdottir.

What Is the Magnusarfoss Waterfall?

The Magnusarfoss waterfall is a picturesque cascade in South Iceland. It's a worthwhile stopping point on the hike to the more famous Svartifoss waterfall. 

You can see the waterfall from two angles. The view from the river's west bank is slightly harder to reach, as trees and shrubs can block the way in the summer. However, you can still see the waterfall if you walk toward the gorge's edge. There's a small power station here, built by Helgi Arason and Skarphedinn Gislason in 1925. Alternatively, you can head to the east bank for a clearer view. 

Why Visit Magnusarfoss?

The Magnusarfoss waterfall provides a serene escape into Iceland's unspoiled wilderness. Although it's on a popular hiking route, the trees and greenery surrounding the waterfall make it slightly more difficult to spot, so most hikers walk past it on their journey to Svartifoss.

Hikers who want to visit more of Iceland's enchanting waterfalls should stop at Magnusarfoss to admire the view and enjoy the peaceful surroundings before continuing their walk. The water cascades over rugged cliffs and through rich greenery if you visit in the summer. There are fewer people here, so it's a fantastic place to stop and take photos.

The Magnusarfoss waterfall, photographed from the west bank.

Photo by Regina Hronn Ragnarsdottir.

Where Is the Magnusarfoss Waterfall?

The Magnusarfoss waterfall is in South Iceland, about 200 miles (322 kilometers) east of Reykjavik. The waterfall is part of the Skaftafell Nature Reserve on the western edge of the stunning Vatnajokull National Park. Skaftafell is a hiker's paradise, with sweeping glaciers, stunning waterfalls, and vibrant greenery. Don't forget your camera when you visit!

How To Reach the Magnusarfoss Waterfall

To reach the Magnusarfoss waterfall, take the Ring Road to the Skaftafell exit (Route 998). After one mile (about 1.6 kilometers), turn right and park your car at the Skaftafell parking lot at the Skaftafellsstofa Visitor Center.

From here, follow the Svartifoss hiking path until you reach the Magnusarfoss waterfall. Depending on your chosen route, it should take 20 to 25 minutes to reach the waterfall.

Other Attractions Near the Magnusarfoss Waterfall

The Magnusarfoss waterfall is near various other natural attractions. While in the area, it's worth continuing your hike to see the other waterfalls along the route.

The Svartifoss waterfall is an iconic Icelandic cascade. It has striking basalt columns and unique geological formations, making it a must-see. You'll also walk past the Hundafoss waterfall along your route, so stop for a look.

The Svartifoss waterfall in South Iceland, photographed in winter.Also nearby is the Selid turf house. Iceland's turf houses are traditional dwellings made of turf or sod (a layer of soil with grass growing on top). The Selid turf house was built in 1912 but is well preserved, making it an excellent place to visit if you want to learn more about rustic Icelandic architecture. It's a 10-minute walk from the Magnusarfoss waterfall.

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