Guide de Voyage : Helgufoss
Helgufoss is a waterfall near the capital of Iceland, located in Mosfellsdalur valley.
Those who rent a car can reach the hike towards it in less than half an hour from Reykjavik, and city buses can get you close to the trail. If you book a self-drive package, such as this 10-Day Summer Adventure, you can use your days based in the city to make a trip there.
Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Bromr. No edits made.
Location of Helgufoss Waterfall
Helgufoss Waterfall is one of the features of the verdant Mosfellsdalur valley, which sits just north of Mosfellsbaer, a town on the capital’s border. This valley is travelled through by many guests as it is part of the Golden Circle route, which connects the spectacular sites of Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall and the Geysir Geothermal Area.
Most visitors, however, only admire the area by car or tour bus, not knowing that it contains many hidden gems, largely tied to its history.
Mosfellsdalur, after all, was home to Iceland’s only Nobel Laureate, Halldor Laxness, who won the prize for literature for his compelling novels. The most famous of these is "Independent People". His house in the valley has become a museum of his life, works, and Icelandic culture at his time of writing.
The parking lot for this attraction is also the beginning of the Laxness Trail, the hiking route he was said to regularly embark on with his dog. The path, which is easy to traverse for all with a reasonable level of fitness, runs along the Kaldakvisl up to the waterfall of Helgufoss.
Description of Helgufoss
Helgufoss is not one of Iceland’s most powerful, dramatic, or tall waterfalls, but it is one of the country’s most picturesque and serene. At twelve meters, it cascades down a mossy cliff into the shallow river below, sheltered on two sides by walls of old lava rock.
The area it looks out upon is one of verdant beauty. Mosfellsdalur has always been a place of rural bliss, so you can expect to see rolling fields with Icelandic horses, sheep, and far-flung barns and churches. Note that the valley is not without its dramatic vistas, however, with jagged surrounding mountains that become particularly striking in winter.
Due to the ease with which it can be accessed, and its proximity to Reykjavik, Helgufoss is considered a fantastic spot for a picnic.