Urridafoss Experience and Images
Pros and Cons of Urridafoss
Pros: Urridafoss is extremely close to the parking area for the falls, as compared to some of the other waterfalls in South Iceland that require extended walking to visit. There is also a nice dirt path that allows you to see Urridafoss from various angles, and benches and picnic tables scattered throughout. The falls hould be pretty vacant, as Urridafoss is not an extremely well-known waterfall. People have also mentioned that Urridafoss looks even more beautiful when frozen. In the spring, the frozen river breaks loose, and icebergs splash into the river. This can be better viewed from the canyons of Thjorsa, which is located south of the falls.
Cons: Many have mentioned that Urridafoss is not a waterfall at all, but instead a series of wide, violent rapids. After experiencing it for myself, I am inclined to agree. However, they are still classified as a waterfall, and the part of the river in which the rapids form is incredibly wide. This is what causes Urridafoss to be the most voluminous waterfall in Europe. Note that voluminous is not most powerful (that honor goes to Dettifoss, also in Iceland). We also noticed that, since Urridafoss falls in multiple stages and is incredibly wide, and the path takes you very close to the river, there is no good way to get a single picture from a good angle to capture the entirety of the falls.
Tips and Pointers
- There is a Urridafoss in North Iceland as well. Don’t get these two confused. The one featured here is in South Iceland, not far (about 70 kilometers southwest) from Reykjavik. If you get to Seljalandsfoss, you went about 50 kilometers too far.
- Urridafoss can be reached on Road 33, also known as Urridafossvegur (Urridafoss Road in Icelandic). It’s located a few minutes south of the Ring Road, in between the small towns of Sellfoss and Hella. The road takes you into the Pjorsa Estuary area, and is graveled but generally well maintained. There are bumps, but nothing that requires a 4×4 to traverse.
- The crossroad for Road 33 is well marked on the Ring Road, but is easy to miss if you are driving fast. If you are driving East on the Ring Road (as most people are) and you pass a bridge over the Thjorsa River, you’ve gone too far. Turn around and turn left once you pass back over the bridge.