Strútsfoss Waterfalls


Strútsfoss is located where the river Strútsá falls into the Villingadalur arm of Suðurdalur valley. Although Strútsfoss is one of Iceland's highest waterfalls, it has two parts, with the upper one falling about 20m and the lower one about 100 m. Below the waterfall, the river runs through the deep gorge of Strútsgil, then converges with Fellsá river. The strúts part of the names probably refers to one or more pyramidal rocks standing in the gorge (note in the English cognate "struts" that one also stretches to one's full height, stiff and straight!). Strútsgil is wonderfully colourful, since layers of grey basalt alternate with layers of sediment that are up to dozens of metres thick. Such sediment is often red or yellow-brown, and at one point rhyolite can be seen. Still another river, Innri-Þverá, falls into the gorge in a series of pretty waterfalls close to Strútsfoss.

The trail to Strútsfoss begins at Suðurdalur's uppermost farm, Sturluflöt, which is by the east bank of Kelduá river. From there one walks up Villingadalur above the east bank of Fellsá river. You will not see Strútsfoss before reaching a good way up the valley, but will then have the choice of continuing up Strútsgil or crossing a footbridge over the lower end of Strútsá. The only way to reach Strútsfoss itself is to descend into the gorge and ford the river several times, which can be hazardous. If you have time, a nice option for returning is to hike up over the edge north of Strútsfoss and head somewhat downstream for the gorge of Sturluárgljúfur. You can then follow the gorge on your way back down to Sturluflöt. Strútsfoss waterfall is listed in the Nature Conservation Register.