Why Kvernufoss is the perfect place to elope

Groom dipping his bride at the gorge of Kvernufoss during their elopement

If you are looking for a romantic and secluded waterfall as a location for your elopement, Kvernufoss is an amazing place to go to! This stunning waterfall offers a serene and secluded setting for a memorable elopement ceremony.

A peaceful place for your waterfall elopement

Kvernufoss is located near the ring road. If you start your drive at Reykjavik, it will be a trip of 2 hours and 10 minutes. The waterfall itself is hidden in a gorge and you need to do a small and easy hike to get to it.

Geography

This hidden gem is located in the southern part of Iceland. You will only find the waterfall if you know about it! It lies near Skógafoss but is hidden in a gorge called Kvernugil. It is surrounded by towering cliffs, green grass and moss, which makes it a unique sight with an otherworldly feel.

The waterfall is 30 meters high (98 feet) and flows from the river Kverna, which created the gorge. You are able to walk behind Kvernufoss, which makes a wonderful spot for your elopement ceremony or your photos! If you are lucky, you will be able to see rainbows coming from the spray of the water.

With Kvernufoss hidden in a gorge, it sounds like it is hard to reach. But it certainly is not! If you are standing in the parking place of Skogasafn museum, you only have to take the hiking trail behind the museum. You then start a small hike, rated as easy and only 1.4km (0.9 miles) long. Follow the trail and look for a small metal ladder that takes you over a fence into a meadow. Find the river and follow it to the left. In a couple of minutes, you will enter the gorge. Walk the trail and one shall hear before they shall see!

After you’ve enjoyed your time at the waterfall, you follow the trail back to the parking place. Important: if you are visiting Kvernufoss in winter, you must take extra precautions when following the track! The spray of the waterfall will cover the hiking trail, which freezes. We advise you to take crampons with you when visiting whichever waterfall in Iceland. You don’t want to stumble and slip, because that could lead to twisted ankles at best, or you falling off cliffs at worst…

couple almost kissing at their kvernufoss elopement

Skógafoss

Kvernufoss is a waterfall, hidden and almost next to Skógafoss. Where the last named one is very busy with tourists, Kvernufoss is the quieter and more secluded one! Good to know that we advise you to visit both waterfalls because they both have their beauty!

The perfect place for your elopement ceremony

Kvernufoss is an excellent location for capturing stunning wedding photos! Unlike many other waterfalls in Iceland, this spot offers a more secluded and intimate experience with fewer tourists. A short hike leads you to the breathtaking Kvernufoss, where the majesty and power of the waterfall make for an unforgettable setting for your elopement ceremony.

Waterfall elopements are a unique and romantic way to celebrate love with the one you hold dear. At Kvernufoss, you can exchange vows in a serene and peaceful atmosphere, surrounded by the beauty of nature.

What you need to know about eloping at Kvernufoss

Before you start planning your epic elopement experience at Kvernufoss, there are a few things you should know to ensure you have a memorable and stress-free experience!

couple in front of kvernufoss for their waterfall elopement

Get your permits to get legally married

If you want to legally get married in Iceland, you must arrange some permits. They take a couple of weeks before they are ready. If you’re not sure if you want to arrange this administrative stuff, you can also consider having a symbolic ceremony, where you get officially married in your home country before or after your trip to Iceland. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have some kind of ceremony in Iceland, though it would be symbolic. If you want to read more about the possibilities you can visit our blog How to plan your elopement ceremony or What is a symbolic ceremony? This should help you choose what you want for your elopement!

Decide whether to hire a wedding planner

A great deal of the stuff that needs to get arranged for a wedding or an elopement, is tackled by hiring a wedding planner! Especially when you are eloping abroad, this is a pro tip. Quite often you have to find out if you need permits and other paperwork, just as you have to find a spot where you want to elope. A local wedding planner will take away stress and work, so we think it is quite essential! Most elopement photographers also serve as wedding planners though.

Make sure you get your memories captured by an elopement photographer

If you’re planning on eloping at Kvernufoss, it’s a good idea to get an elopement photographer so that you can cherish your memories for years to come! And that is where we come into the picture ;-)

We’re Tim and Julianne, a couple in real life. We’re photographers from the Netherlands who specialize in elopement photography. We used to photograph big weddings, but now we also focus on helping couples celebrate their love in their own unique way when they are choosing to elope.

We want to help you create memories that will last a lifetime: memories of epic adventures and a day that’s all about you and your love. We fell in love with Iceland during our first holiday there, and we still look back fondly on all the photos we took. Last October, we had the wonderful occasion to capture our first elopement in Iceland. We were SO excited! Now we hope to capture many more in the land of fire and ice.

If you decide to hire us, we’ll help you create stunning photos that you’ll treasure forever. We’ll help you make your elopement at Kvernufoss unforgettable!

couple kissing waterfall elopement kvernufoss

Choose your wedding attire

As you plan for your elopement at Kvernufoss, it’s crucial to take into account the weather and terrain of Iceland. The weather in Iceland can be unpredictable and harsh, and you’ll want to dress accordingly! When we went to Iceland in October 2018, we experienced temperatures dropping to -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) and this is not uncommon! Layering is key, so make sure to bring thermal layers and quick-drying clothes that can be easily added or removed based on the temperature. Since you’ll be exploring various terrains, from icy landscapes to pebbly paths, it’s also important to have sturdy hiking shoes that can handle any surface.

Kvernufoss is a particularly stunning location with a breathtaking waterfall and rocky terrain, so it’s especially important to wear appropriate footwear. In the winter months, it’s recommended to wear crampons while exploring waterfalls, as the mist and spray can freeze and create icy conditions that can be quite dangerous to navigate. Safety should always be your top priority and wearing the right gear can make all the difference.

Even if you’re planning to hike for multiple days, or if you are planning your ceremony on rainy or snowy days, you can still wear traditional wedding attire! Just make sure to bring a change of clothes so you can swap into something more practical and comfortable for hiking for example.

Make plans A, B and maybe even plan C

When it comes to planning an elopement (and even if you are ‘just’ planning a ‘normal’ wedding), it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. The weather in Iceland can change in an instant, and it’s not uncommon to experience blizzards, rain, or even snow in just an hour of time. To avoid any unexpected hiccups, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan in place.

There are a number of potential scenarios that could derail your elopement plans, such as you or your partner twisting an ankle, permits not being approved in time, or unexpected road closures. By having a backup plan, you’ll be able to adapt to these situations and keep your elopement on track.

When you’re planning your elopement, take some time to think about potential scenarios that could arise and come up with plans A and B, or even plan C. This might mean having alternative locations or dates in mind.

Your elopement day should be stress-free and focused on celebrating your love for one another. By preparing for the unexpected and having backup plans in place, you’ll be able to enjoy your day to the fullest and create memories that will last a lifetime!

couple in wedding attire with kvernufoss at the background

Places to stay around Kvernufoss

Here you’ll find a couple of locations around Kvernufoss. We’ve selected these four as spots in the area.

Hotel Skógafoss

At the parking place of Skógafoss, you’ll find this fine hotel. It has great food and there are tours being organised from the hotel.

Skógafoss campsite (Skógar tjaldsvæði)

In Iceland, it is also possible to rent a camper! It is an amazing way to discover wondrous nature. This campsite is located at the foot of Skógafoss and is a great place to stop for the night.

Welcome Hotel Lambafell

If you’re looking for a location with the looks of a wooden cabin, this is a great one! It is located just 13 minutes drive from the parking place Skógafoss. It has a great hot tub where you can relax and sit back. If you’re lucky enough, you’re treated with some northern lights above your head! Up the road from this hotel, you will find the geothermal pool of Seljavallalaug.

Airbnb with a view

This Airbnb has a great view over the volcano of Eyjafjallajökull, also known as the troublemaker from 2010 ;-) The owner of the bed and breakfast ensures you of a good breakfast in the morning and if we may believe the reviews, he also ensures you of good travel tips! You’ll rent 1 room, but there are a couple of rooms available.

Want to know more about eloping in Iceland?

Read our elopement guide! We put in as much information as possible. You can visit the guide here: How to elope to Iceland in 2023 – The Ultimate elopement guide.

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