Þjófafoss Waterfall in Iceland: Height, Flow, Location, and Tours

Þjófafoss Waterfall in Iceland

Þjófafoss is one of many waterfalls on the river Þjórsá. It lies just to the east of the Merkurhraun lava field at the GPS coordinates N64° 3′ 25.267″ W19° 52′ 1.856″. The Þjófafoss waterfall in Iceland lies in the southern region of Iceland. It translates to ‘thieves’ waterfall.’ It is a vast river that foams milky white at the bottom, falling beneath the shadow of Mt. Burfell.

What are the Tourist Activities for Þjófafoss Waterfall?

Since Þjófafoss lies within Vatnajokull National Park, tourists have many nearby activities. Most of the tourist activities for Þjófafoss waterfall center around outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and climbing. There are plenty of hiking trails just around the waterfall to keep the outdoor enthusiast entertained.

What are the Hotels for Þjófafoss Waterfall?

Since the waterfall is close to Route 1, there are many nearby hotels for Þjófafoss Waterfall. These include Hotel Skaftafell, Adventure Hotel Hof, and some guesthouses. There is also the SkaftafellCampsite, very close to the waterfall.

How to Get to Þjófafoss

It is convenient to get to Þjófafoss from Reykjavík using the Ring Road or Route 1. Take this road out of Reykjavík for about four hours until you hit Route 998. You will only have to travel a couple of miles down this road before reaching the parking area for this hiking zone.

What are the Facts about Þjófafoss Waterfall?

One of the interesting facts about Þjófafoss Waterfall is that over the last decade, water flow over the waterfall has dramatically diminished. This is primarily because of the presence of Búrfellsvirkjun in the area. It is a dam that controls and limits the river’s flow above the waterfall. The power company, Landsvirkjun, controls many hydroelectric dams in Iceland.

There might even be a time in the near future when most of the river’s water is diverted away from the waterfall and under the mountain close to the Bjarnason Lagoon. The power plant has functioned since 1972. However, the power plant has increasingly diverted the water away from the waterfall.

The diminished amount of water has meant that the impressiveness and expanse of the waterfall have decreased. However, the story behind the nickname of the Þjófafoss waterfall in Iceland hasn’t lost its interest and cultural value. The power of the waterfall in its past made it quite deadly. It got its name the ‘thieve’s waterfall’ because councils would drown convicted thieves in the waters.

Is there a National Park for Þjófafoss Waterfall?

The Vatnajökull National Park can be regarded as the National Park for Þjófafoss Waterfall. It is right at the southern edge of the national park, but still within its boundaries. The area around the waterfall is one of the many hiking areas in the park.

Which Canyons are Connected to the Þjófafoss Waterfall?

Due to the width of the river and the waterfall, there are no canyons associated with the Þjófafoss Waterfall. 

Which Rivers are connected to the Þjófafoss Waterfall?

The Þjórsá river is associated with the Þjófafoss waterfall. This river runs along much of the southern half of Iceland. It is about 143 miles (230 kilometers) long and is Iceland’s longest river. Its source is the glacier called Hofsjökull.