Folklore about elves and trolls is deep-seated in the culture in Iceland. After all when you travel around the country there are areas that can feel enchanted or that you’re not alone. Further, rock formations will often make you do a second take. Why? Because they look like a face or resemble something turned to stone. Today we would love to share with you a Iceland hidden gem named Trollafoss. It’s a magical place that combines troll folklore, a salmon fishing river, and a stunning waterfall!
History of Trolls Waterfall (Tröllafoss)
The direct translation for Tröllafoss is Trolls Waterfall because it’s the plural form. Likewise, the name is also derived from the rock formations surrounding the waterfall as they look like trolls. So! You might be curious to know what the story behind this beautiful place, right?
Well the story goes,,, Two trolls were out on a date at the waterfall against their families wishes. You know like a Romeo and Juliet type of tale. They spent hours talking and time got away from them. Therefore, the sun rose earlier than anticipated and they were turned to stone. Forever set in place at this waterfall named Trollafoss!
How to Get to Trollafoss
Good news, if you’re seeking an offbeat thing to do or a hidden gem in Iceland than look no further than Trollafoss! But where is it located and how in the heck do you get there? Allow our Iceland Wedding Planner team to give you all of the details…
First, you will find this striking waterfall in Southwest Iceland just outside of the town of Mosfellsbær. In fact, only 15 minutes away from Helgufoss! Second, if you’re looking for something to do on the way to Thingvellir National Park, it’s a ~20 minute driving detour. For example, while on the way from Route #1 you’re going to turn RIGHT onto Route #36. Next, you’ll be on that for 5-10 minutes. Then you’ll turn LEFT onto Hrafnhólar where you will be greeted by the signs and scenes we share below.
Meanwhile, you’ll travel down the dirt road for less than 5 minutes. At about the 1.5 km point (2ish minutes) you’ll be turning RIGHT down a very deeply pitted / rutted track. Best done with a 4-wheel drive vehicle. Additionally, you’ll hopefully see the small BLUE sign (shown below) that further confirms you’re in the right area. You’ll follow that road down a hill and the “P” parking lot sign.
Google Map Driving Directions to Troll Waterfall:
Note: Please be kind going through as this is a private road and the landowners are graciously allowing folks to visit. Also be aware, the road can close during summer if it is the height of salmon fishing time. Why? Because each section of the river is “rented” by fishermen and the area may become too congested.
Trollafoss Hike Details
Ready to do this thing? As with all hiking in Iceland, it is important to check the weather and be prepared in advance! Here is exactly what to expect…
Trollafoss Hiking Specifications:
- Distance: ~1.3 miles hike one way
- Hike Time: ~15 – 30 minutes one way depending on your pace.
- Terrain: Dirt, mud, stone, loose rocks, and grass in parts.
- Difficulty: Easy to Moderate in parts! But if you’re an unsure hiker, it’s best to bring hiking poles.
- Elevation Gain: ~600 feet
- Tröllafoss Hike Parking Lot: 64°12’20.9″N 21°33’05.1″W
- Google Map
- Best Time to Hike: Late April – October.
- What to Pack: Checkout our IWP Amazon Shop for a guide on what to buy and / or bring!
- Special Notes:
- Be aware that during salmon fishing season, the hike down to the waterfall base may not be accessible. The folks fishing pay a lot of money to fish in specific spots along the canyon and river. In fact, you’ll see little blue signs with numbers marking the fishing areas.
- Please respect the signs and LEAVE NO TRACE!
Step by Step Guide to Trollafoss
Alright so you’ve made it this far, bravo! You’re serious! Well good news, here is our step by step guide via photos you can use to get yourself to experiencing the majestic Trollafoss waterfall! But be aware, we highlight the Canyon Ridge Path below because it’s way more beautiful if you’re not afraid of heights and are a stable hiker.
Canyon Ridge Path to Trollafoss
Hiking down to the Lower Level of Trollafoss
Okay so you cannot see a whole lot from the top of the waterfall. Therefore, as long as there are no folks fishing and you’re a stable hiker when presented with loose stone at steep pitch… This is the way you can go down in front of Trollafoss.
Getting Married at Trollafoss
We know everyone’s reasons for hiking vary and we appreciate that! First, maybe some of you love the idea of delighting in a sweet freaking picnic. After all, eating food in cool places is a top 5 on our lists too! Second, maybe it’s the “earned it” feeling you’re addicted to. Third, you’re an adventure seeker and/or lover of offbeat waterfalls! Fourth, the list is endless really… But leave a comment with your reason, we’d love to hear it.
And if you’ve found yourself enamored with the desire to get married at Trollafoss, don’t worry it’s possible! But it is on private property so reaching out to the landowners in advance is needed. A local Iceland wedding planner can handle or help connect you. Lastly, if you’re looking for an even more offbeat private property waterfall wedding, feel free to contact our Iceland Wedding Planner team for more details on making that dream a reality!