Irafoss waterfall (spelled Íráfoss in Icelandic) is a South Iceland hidden gem that few tourists take the time to visit.
Some local horseback tours swing by the falls, or you can add an Irafoss waterfall excursion to a private tour itinerary. Check out this 10-hour private South Coast tour or take a six-day summer self-drive holiday and include a visit to Irafoss.
Irafoss waterfall, also known as Arjanurfoss waterfall, is set off from the road with no distinct trail to reach it. Visitors will need to hike to the waterfall, but it’s not a challenging walk, and your reward is a scenic natural wonder amid a tranquil setting.
Photo by Regina Hronn Ragnarsdottir
About Irafoss Waterfall
Irafoss Waterfall plunges 135 feet (41 meters), with mossy basalt rock as the backdrop. Its thin, fast-running stream sends its spray far and wide when it hits bottom, and its soothing sound creates a peaceful atmosphere perfect for relaxation.
Though you can see the falls from the Ring Road, Irafoss looks more impressive when you get up close. The waterfall is between the towns Hvolsvollur and Vik, set back from the road. It’s pretty close to other landmarks, such as the famous waterfalls Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss.
Few visitors make the trek to the base of the falls since there’s no official trail. However, the short walk is easy. As you traverse through a beautiful gorge, you’ll be glad you made an effort to get up close to this picturesque waterfall.
Irafoss Waterfall supposedly got its name from an Irish immigrant in the area. The Irishman was chased out for being Christian, and the name Irafoss directly translates to “Irish waterfall” for his unique heritage.
There are several other unnamed waterfalls in the area, similar to Irafoss. However, in recent years, Irafoss has been gaining popularity for its accessibility.
Getting to Irafoss Waterfall
Irafoss is 19.6 miles (31.6 kilometers) from Hvolsvollur. As you drive toward Vik, take a left turn onto road 246, around 18.3 miles (29.6 kilometers) from Hvolsvollur. When you see the falls, you can park and walk to the waterfall.
Irafoss is also easy to access from the other direction. The waterfall is 31.6 miles (50.9 kilometers) from Vik, and you’ll turn right onto road 246 to access the waterfall.
South Coast Attractions Near Irafoss Waterfall
Any road trip along the South Coast can include a visit the Irafoss waterfall.
The South Coast in Iceland is one of the country’s most popular tourist areas. From scenic waterfalls to glaciers and a stunning coastline, this area has something for everybody.
Check out the breathtaking Skogafoss waterfall, 12.2 miles (19.7 kilometers) east of Irafoss. Then continue to Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can walk behind the water for a unique perspective, just 7.7 miles (12.4 kilometers) west of Irafoss.
The Solheimajokull glacier is also nearby. Like others in the region, this glacier offers some unique hiking experiences.
Don’t miss a visit to the Reynisfjara black sand beach, 31.8 miles (51.3 kilometers) from Irafoss waterfall. This world-famous black sand beach features dramatic sea stacks and towering basalt columns on the shore to create a striking view.