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Oxararfoss Waterfall gushes out of the mighty cliffs of Almannagjo Gorge in southwest Iceland. Small in size but big in presence, the 13 m (44 ft) high waterfall is located inside Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Oxararfoss Waterfall is famed for being a film location in the hit TV series Game of Thrones. It’s also known for its special geology. The human-made waterfall sits on the edge of the boundary line between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.

Tectonic rifts around Oxararfoss waterfall in Pingvellir national park in Iceland

During winter, Öxarárfoss becomes a fantastic spot for photography. The frozen cascade combined with an icy Almannagjo backdrop creates a true winter wonderland. The winter terrain also makes the waterfall a popular spot for professional ice climbing.


Quick Oxararfoss Facts

Oxararfoss Waterfall isn’t only rich in beauty — the waterfall and its surrounding area are also rich in geology and history. Here’s a quick list of Oxararfoss facts:

  • Oxararfoss is a human-made waterfall created to redirect water into a ravine. 
  • Oxararfoss’ ravine water was used by members of Iceland’s first parliament, Althingi, during the 10th century.
  • Oxararfoss translates to “Waterfall of the Ax River” in English.
  • Legend has it that Oxararfoss turns into wine at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Couple looking at a small waterfall in Thingvellir National Park

Where is Oxararfoss Waterfall located?

The stunning Oxararfoss Waterfall in Iceland is inside the country’s famous Thingvellir National Park. Located in southwest Iceland, the waterfall is fed by the Öxará River and gracefully plummets off the iconic Almannagjá Gorge.

How to get to Öxarárfoss

Getting to Oxararfoss is fairly easy, though a short, scenic walk is required. From Reykjavik, take the famous Route 1 (the Ring Road) towards Mosfellsbaer, a small town roughly 12 km from the capital. After passing Mosfellsbaer, turn right onto Þingvallavegur Road (Nr. 36).

Once you’ve driven for around 25 minutes, keep your eyes peeled for a sign reading “Öxarárfoss.” The sign will direct you to Thingvellir National Park’s entrance, where you can park. It’s also possible to access Öxararfoss Waterfall from Almannagjá Gorge’s Service Center.

Thingvellir at Oxararfoss

While Oxararfoss is a spectacular attraction in and of itself, it’s often visited as an addition to a trip to the famous Thingvellir National Park. Thingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the three main highlights of Iceland’s famous Golden Circle route.

panorama of Thingvellir national park

Thingvellir National Park is also known for its main geological feature: the Mid-Atlantic Continental drift. Thingvellir is home to the continental divide where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet.

Adventure-seekers flock to Thingvellir National Park to dive between the continents at the Silfra Fissure, located under Þingvallavatn Lake. With over 100 meters of visibility and incredible underwater views, it’s no wonder Silfra Fissure is considered one of the world’s best dive sites!

man diving at Silfra fissure in Iceland

Öxarárfoss and Game of Thrones

Warning, spoilers ahead!

Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Then we suggest joining a Game of Thrones sightseeing tour to check out the Oxararfall Waterfall Trail, which is featured in the HBO TV series. You’ll recognize it as the rocky path leading to the Bloody Gate, where news of the death of Arya’s aunt, Lysa in the Vale, is revealed.

Game Of Thrones filming site in Iceland

Another Game of Thrones film location in the area is near Hengill, an active volcano just south of Thingvellir National Park. Here, fans can identify Hengill’s stunning landscape as the backdrop to the show’s iconic fight scene between the Hound and Brienne.

Öxarárfoss Waterfall Hike

Want to add an Öxarárfoss waterfall hike to your visit? Then why not go on a short walk around the 4.5-km trail near the waterfall! The Oxararfall Waterfall Trail is a short and easy hike along a gravel path, perfect for adventurers who want to take in the waterfall’s surrounding beauty.

view of Oxararfoss Waterfall from above

If you’re looking to spend more time walking in Thingvellir National Park, there are other nice hiking trails in the area. The Skogarkotsvegur and Gonguvegur Trail is a 7.6-km loop around Hveragerdi that features a nice lake along its path.

Thingvellir Church in Iceland

Another short trail worth checking out is the Þingvallakirkja (Thingvellir Church) Trail. It’s an easy 2.1 km trail that leads you across the Oxarar River towards a small chapel, Thingvellir Church, which sits along Oxarar’s riverbank. 

Interesting Places Near Oxararfoss Waterfall

Accommodation Near Oxararfoss Falls

There are plenty of great overnight options near Oxararfoss Waterfall. Since the area is a popular Iceland attraction, we suggest booking your stay as far in advance as possible. 

Ion Adventure Hotel near Oxararfoss waterfall

Here are our recommendations for top hotels and campgrounds in the area:

Hotels and Guesthouses

  • ION Adventure Hotel at Nesjavellir
  • Borealis Hotel
  • Hotel Grímsborgir
  • Hotel Edda Laugarvatn
  • Iceblue Lodge B&B
  • Golden Circle Apartments
  • Hrísholt Private House
  • Galleri Laugarvatn


  • Leirar Campground
  • Vatnskot Campground