You may find many waterfalls while planning your trip to Iceland but which ones are the best ones and most worth the visit? I present you with my favorite waterfalls all around the country! In no specific order but if you wanted to visit them all this is the route I would recommend going.
Seljalandsfoss is one of the most visited waterfalls in Iceland. No wonder, it’s really beautiful (at least Justin Bieber thought it was worth it to have in his music video “I’ll Show You”) and located just off the ring road AND a little secret: you can walk BEHIND it! The walk behind it is quite wet from the drizzle so be prepared. Seljalandsfoss is quite narrow but it falls down 60 meters (197 feet).
Additional visit while visiting Seljalandsfoss is:
Gljúfrabúi is a small waterfall located very close to Seljalandsfoss, it’s 40 meters high and partially hidden behind a large cliff. This waterfall was unknown until just recently and is still called a hidden gem. To see the waterfall, you must walk behind the cliffs that hide it in the canyon. It is a safe and easy walk, don’t worry! However, you can get quite wet from the mist of the waterfall, so it’s better to bring a raincoat.
Skógafoss waterfall is located in the south of Iceland, approximately 2-hour drive from Reykjavik. It’s one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland, 15 meters (49 feet) wide and 60 meters (200 feet) high. You can both look at it in front or you can also take a hike up a few stairs on the east side of it and look how it flows down through the village of Skógar and to the ocean. On a sunny day, you might see one or several rainbows in front of the waterfall, produced by the drizzle from the waterfall and the sunlight.
Svartifoss is located in the southeast of Iceland, it falls down 12 meters (39 feet) from a sharp basalt cliff. The meaning of Svartifoss is “black waterfall” due to the dark basalt columns that surround it. At the bottom of the waterfall, you may see sharp rocks that have broken down from these columns which makes the site sublime! This one is my favorite! Especially because of the surroundings!
Hengifoss is located in the east of Iceland, near the town of Egilsstaðir. It’s the third highest waterfall in Iceland and falls down 128 meters (420 feet). This is the most popular hiking site in the east of Iceland. The hike is about 2,5 kilometers (1,55 miles) from the parking lot to where you can first see the waterfall. This hike is a bit uphill so this one is for the hikers! On your hike to see Hengifoss you will at one point see another beauty called Litlanesfoss waterfall, make sure to stop and snap a photo of that one as well!
Goðafoss, “waterfall of Gods” is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. It’s located in the northeast of Iceland, 12 meters (39 feet) high and 30 meters (98 feet) wide. The Icelandic Sagas say that Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði, a lawspeaker in the year 1.000, threw his statue of the Norse gods into the waterfall and thereby made Christianity the official religion of Iceland. And from this Saga, Goðafoss waterfall gets its name. In my opinion, this one is extra mighty! You can just feel the power of the Gods. Don’t you agree?
Dettifoss is known for being the most powerful waterfall in Europe! It’s Located in Vatnajökull national park in north Iceland and stands 100 meters (330 feet) wide and falls down 44 meters (144 feet) to Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. The road to Dettifoss is only accessible in the summer, it’s closed for all traffic between January and early April. You need to drive a gravel road to get there, so please be careful while driving there.
Dynjandi is according to many, the most breathtaking waterfall in Iceland. It’s extremely picturesque and is, without doubt, the most visited sight in West Fjords. It falls down 100 meters like stairs and spreads over 30-60 meters and is widest at the bottom. If you are traveling in the West Fjords, this one is a must see!
Hraunfossar, stunning and unusual natural phenomena! It’s a beautiful row of many small waterfalls flowing 900 meters through Hallmundarhraun lava field and finally down the edges to Hvítá glacier river. The direct translation to English is lava-waterfalls and its origin is quite obvious. Hraunfossar is located just outside Borgarnes with about 1,5-hour drive from Reykjavik.
Glymur, the second highest waterfall in Iceland is located in Hvalfjörður fjord in southwest Iceland. It’s a narrow waterfall that falls about 198 meters (650 feet). For many years it was the highest waterfall in Iceland just until recently (2011) when Morsárfoss took its place of being the highest waterfall in Iceland. To be able to see Glymur there is a moderately challenging hike, the hike in total takes about 3 – 3,5 hours, so be camera ready with your hiking shoes on and a water bottle!
Gullfoss (Golden waterfall in English) a part of the Golden Circle, the most famous tourist trail in Iceland and therefore considered to be the most visited waterfall in the country. Gullfoss waterfall is unique due to its flow, it flows down one cliff (about 11 meters/36 feet) and then takes a turn and flows down another cliff (21 meters/69 feet) like a staircase. There is a big parking lot by it and very easy access for all ages.
While visiting Gullfoss, Brúarfoss is just a minute away! (or more like 25 minutes) Brúarfóss is on the same road that leads to Geysir. Its majestic blue water is worth visiting on your way back to Reykjavik or on your way to Geysir/Gullfoss. It’s relatively small and unknown waterfall so there’s not much traffic in that area. There is no designated parking space for the waterfall, so visitors are directed to park by Brúará bridge and walk along the river to the waterfall.
Here you can see all the waterfalls on a Map
Equipment list when visiting a waterfall
- Your biggest smile!
Other interesting waterfalls in Iceland that just missed a spot
Am I missing your favorite waterfall? Please let me know in the comments below!