With only a short drive outside of Reykjavík, you can find the beautiful waterfall called Kermóafoss. This waterfall sits within the Elliðaárdalur valley, which is a pristine recreational park.
Despite its proximity to the capital of Iceland, Kermóafoss remains relatively obscure. Most of Iceland’s tourists rush to visit the famous waterfalls and landscapes in the Golden Triangle, such as Gullfoss. You could argue that is a good thing, as this beautiful park remains calm and peaceful without the crowds. Even though it is close to the city, it is far enough to be immersed in nature.
Kermóafoss itself is a series of falls that originate from the Elliðaá river. As a bonus, there are other lesser waterfalls to enjoy on this river within the park. Locals can be seen fishing the river for trout and salmon, but all visitors are welcome to enjoy the wildlife the river brings into the park. You might even see the wild rabbits hopping about!
History of Kermóafoss:
In the 1980s, Kermóafoss vanished. The disappearance of Kermóafoss was unfortunately man-made. The Elliðaá river splits into a north and south branch where Kermóafoss is located. A dam was constructed on a south branch to make the northern section more optimal for salmon fishing. They succeeded, and between June and September, Kermóafoss remained dry. A dispute broke out over this dam, and luckily the dam no longer remains.
There is not a convenient online map of the hike to Kermóafoss. Don’t let that scare you; hiking to Kermóafoss is easy. The Elliðaárdalur valley park is well maintained and even has park benches for those in need. Also, bicycles are welcomed!
There are a few ways to access the park, but there is a public parking lot near an old power station marked above. From there, follow the south/west branch of the river. The hike is about 2.2 miles there and back. Feel free to mix it up, as there are a few other paths in Elliðaárdalur valley to explore!
Directions to Kermóafoss:
To find Kermóafoss, you will need to have a short hike or bike ride within the park. The parking lot mentioned above will be the easiest way to access the fall. The drive to the parking lot is only 11 minutes from the heart of Reykjavík.
- Kermóafoss is well marked and easily accessible with Google Maps.
- Kermóafoss is not visible from the roads.
- The drive is around 11 minutes from Reykjavík, plus a short hike.