(Pronunciation = Al-day-yar-foss)
Though only twenty metres in height and a little off the beaten track, Aldeyjarfoss waterfall has symmetrical features and geologically interesting surrounds. Tumbling through a narrow passage into a wide basin, the concertinaed black basalt columns provide a stark contrast against the thrashing white foam, making it oft considered one of Iceland’s photographic gems.
Aldeyjarfoss is one of most impressive waterfalls on the Skjálfandafljót River’s route from the Vatnajokull ice cap to Skjálfandi Bay. Others include Ingvararfoss, Hrafnabjargafoss, Barnafoss and the most famous, Goðafoss.
The land here is part of an apalhraun lava field, named Suðurárhraun, which was originally formed by eruptions, some 9500 years ago. In Icelandic, hraun simply means lava. The official English terms for basaltic lava flows are taken from Hawaii – apalhraun is a platy lava flow known as ʻaʻā and helluhraun is a ropier kind of lava known as pāhoehoe.