Hjálparfoss is a waterfall (or, officially, a pair of waterfalls that conjoin) in South Iceland.
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Hjálparfoss is an incredibly serene feature, marking where the rivers Fossá and Þjórsá meet. Both of these are renowned as some of Iceland’s best and easily accessible fishing rivers, while Þjórsá also takes the title of being the country’s longest.
The two rivers fall from a lava field at about a 45 degree angle from each other, from about the same height, and their cascades merge as they tumble into a serene pool.
The lava field that this feature falls from was created in one of the many eruptions of the nearby Hekla volcano. Hekla is one of Iceland’s most active, unpredictable and explosive volcanoes, so violent that in the Middle Ages it earned the nickname ‘the Gateway to Hell’.
Hjálparfoss is but one of the many waterfalls in this area. Nearby, one can also find Þjófafoss, which flows from the Þjórsá river, and Háifoss, one of the tallest waterfalls in the country.
The water that flows from Hjálparfoss feeds the country’s second largest hydroelectric dam, which sits just a little downstream.
To reach it from Reykjavík, travel along the Ring Road heading south, before turning left onto Route 30. Turn right onto Route 32, which is a gravel road, and Hjálparfoss will be on your right as you get towards the end of the road.
Hjálparfoss is close to other popular locations, such as the aforementioned waterfalls and lagoon, and the famous sites of the Golden Circle. It is more than possible to comfortably visit it alongside Þingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area and Gullfoss waterfall within a day.