Does a turquoise waterfall with a huge mountain in the background sound like dream come true to you?! Let me repeat: turquoise, waterfall, mountain. For me this is literally the definition of beauty!

I originally found this stunning waterfall while searching on Pinterest and I was determined to find it!

However, this hidden gem wasn’t easy to locate. For a while I couldn’t even find the name of it, and it doesn’t show up on a lot of searches. But after some digging, I learned everything I could about this waterfall and made sure to plan it into a weekend trip.

The catch: it was one of the coldest and windiest days of the winter. Not your average wind – the bitter Icelandic wind that hits you so hard it takes your breath away!

But determined to see this waterfall for myself, we wore every piece of warmth we had and ventured out.

If you are anywhere near the Golden Circle, South Iceland, or heading interior, this waterfall is well worth the detour!


Þjófafoss is a breathtaking waterfall on the Þjórsá river in the middle of the Merkurhraun lava field. Situated with mount Búrfell in the background, this is an incredibly picturesque place to visit!

Þjófafoss means “thieves falls” because, as the legend has it, thieves were taken here and drowned for their crimes.


Even the drive to this hidden waterfall is stunning. Especially if you visit in the winter, the golden hour will be blowing up the sky, which always makes me want to stop for photos!

The weather when we left Reykjavik wasn’t all that bad, just your average winter day. But the further we drove interior, the colder and windier it became! The snow was blowing across the lava fields and drifting onto the roads, making this one slow and scary drive. I’m always thankful for our Defender in times like these!


After you turn off the main road, the drive down to the falls is where a 4×4 is a must. The bumpy dirt road is about 4km and with the blowing wind, caused snow drifts onto the road.

Eventually you will come to a small opening with about two spots for vehicles. Park your vehicle and when you get out you will feel like you are in the middle of nowhere.

You ARE.

Walk towards the sound of rushing water until you see the turquoise beauty.


Woo hoo, waterfall success! This place was worth the crazy winter drive and insane cold.

Even though I had to walk with my head down plowing through the wind, the beautiful water and hidden falls was just as wonderful as I had expected.

Because of the biting cold, we didn’t spend much time here at all, but I will definitely be making a trip back here in the summer to see more of this falls!


Before you go:

  • I recommend a high clearance 4wd vehicle for the drive from Route 26 to the falls
  • Close to Haifoss, and not far from the Golden Circle
  • The water can change color based on the glacier runoff
  • There is not much else around this area, make sure there’s plenty of fuel in your vehicle
  • If you go during the winter, be prepared for high winds – you’re in the middle of a huge lava field!



From the Ring Road/Route 1 after the town of Selfoss, turn left on Road 26. Drive for about 50km until you see a small blue sign on the left pointing to Þjófafoss. The bumpy gravel road from road 26 to the falls is about 4km. If you have a high clearance vehicle, this road will be no problem.


GPS coordinates:

N64°03.360 W19°52.034


Question: What is your definition of pure beauty?!





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Discover hidden gems in Iceland like this beautiful turquoise waterfall called Thjófafoss in South Iceland | Life With a View

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