Kirkjufell & Kirkjufellsfoss – Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Categorized as Icelandic Waterfalls
Kirkjufellsfoss Iceland photo location.

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall is a popular location on the Snæfellsnes peninsular about 40 minutes drive from Buðir black church. Kirjufellsfoss is a multi-level waterfall with each level having around 3 cascades.  Some views of the waterfall include Kirkjufell Mountain. 

Mount Kirkjufell has recently become the most photographed mountain in Iceland.  The angle of view from the waterfall gives the mountain the shape of a witches hat, or an almost symmetrical spire.


Tours Around Iceland


Kirkjufellsfoss is close to Grundarfjörður on the Northern coastline of the Snæfellsnes Peninsular.  Grundarfjörður is a tidy, friendly town with a mixture of good & bad facilities in terms of accommodation and food.  The steeple shaped mountain (Kirkjufell) that sits just west of the town is the major draw for visitors. 

Rainy day at Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall.
Even a rainy day has a lot to offer at Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall.

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People are also drawn to the Killer Whales that frequent the bay during prime fishing season.  Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall is more accessible than the steep mountain and is a good way to connect with the landscape and nature.

Kirkjufell is a 463 meter high mountain that has claimed the lives of a few mountaineers. From the right angle the mountain resembles a church steeple… or a Witches Hat. The best angle is from the small lake after the waterfall.  But close to Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall the angle is still good. This is why the combination has been so successful and popular with photographers and tourists.

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall Vertical
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Photo Tips

Personally, I like to capture the falls with the mountain in the background. A wide angle is required of at least 24mm to capture the many angles offered by the falls.   A 50mm lens will frame Kirkjufell Mountain quite tightly from the waterfall.  Having a wider lens will give you a lot more angles to play with at both levels of the waterfall.  Getting closer to the cascades of water will give you photos a more intimate feel, although this might not be possible if the location is busy.

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall Vertical
A vertical shot of Kirkjufell from almost behind Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall.

The mountain/waterfall combination works really well with a colourful sky, which can happen at both sunset and sunrise.  The setting sun can only been seen in the mid summer when the sun sets in the North West.

After photographing Kirkjufell and the waterfall, I would recommend exploring the marshland and lake at the bottom of the falls.  There are sometimes little pools in the long grass which can give you some unique compositions. Then find the angles from the lake edge that shows the steeple shape of Kirkjufell and look for still water so you can find a reflection of the mountain.

It is also possible to hike up much higher than Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall which really opens up the landscape.   There are great views over the town, bay and mountain from up in the hills.  There are also some small streams which can work as a unique foreground.

Find a Hotel Near Kirkjufell

Grundarfjorður Info

This is a small fishing village close to Kirkjufell. The closest cafe to Kirkjufell is the 59 Bistro Bar. I used this for many years and would normally recommend it. This is a sports bar so will catch any live game from the English premier league and this can give the place a lively atmosphere when Liverpool or Man United are playing. There is a nice pizza cafe in the centre of Grundarfjorður and a great restaurant near the harbour.

Hotels are limited, we no longer use or recommend the Hotel Framnes or Hotel Kirkjufell (same hotel). We have 2 overnight photo tours booked into Hotel Framnes in April 2019. The first group ordered 5 rooms for 2 nights, but when we arrived, the hotel was dark and locked. We called the owner who blamed it on us and couldn’t be bothered to open the hotel for us. It happened again a week later when I booked a very expensive room for a private tour. Please avoid this place and use the Grundarfjorður Guest House instead.  For a Guesthouse outside the town with a great view of Kirkjufell Mountain, we recommend Suður-Bár Guesthouse

Snaefellsnes Tours


Kirkjufellsfoss looks great with Winter snow although the access is limited. The kirkjufell mountain s a great subject for Northern lights on a clear Winter night.

Kirkjufell Northern lights

Auroras over Kirkjufell

Book a Tour

These tours of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula normally include Kirkjufell and Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall.

Private Snæfellsnes

Snæfellsnes Minibus

Kayak at Kirkjufell

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall
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By Tony Prower

Tony Prower spent over 15 years photographing the landscapes of Iceland. Tony Prower is a pioneer of the Magic Cloth Technique and ran thousands of photo tours in Iceland over 10 years.