Waterfalls are, without a doubt, one of the best things about Iceland. Just from the pictures in this post, you can tell that they are something out of a fairy tale. And, the best part about the waterfalls in Iceland, is that they are all over the island! In canyons, off cliffs, near glaciers, and on the side of the road… you really don’t have to look too hard to find these beauties.
The Icelandic word for waterfall is “foss”. Just look on a map and head for anything that has the word “foss” attached to the end.
Even though Iceland is riddled with beautiful waterfalls, there are some that clearly stand out in the hearts and minds of tourists more than others. In the southern region of Iceland, four major waterfalls come to mind. What are they? Well keep reading to find out!
This 60m waterfall is one of the most well-known waterfalls in Iceland, both for it’s iconic beauty and grandeur, and because it is so easily accessible. Driving south-east on route one, you cannot help but see Seljalandsfoss from almost a mile away. If you think it looks big then, just wait until you hike behind it.
While Seljalandsfoss is tall and narrow, Skógafoss is tall and wide. Again, the water falls almost 60m to the ground, but the real amazement of this waterfall comes from the width: 25m wide. That is one huge waterfall. There isn’t much of a lake at the bottom of this waterfall, so it is easy to hike right up next to the water and marvel at it’s beauty. Just make sure to pack a poncho! Then, after walking next to the waterfall, be sure to climb the 450 steps to the top of the falls and watch the water rushing over the edge with beautiful mountains and meadows as a backdrop.
ÞINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK
Þingvellir (or Thingvellir if you’re trying to say it out loud) is not just one waterfall, but a national park made up of multiple falls surrounded by volcanic rock. Drive just 40km northeast of Reykjavik and you will stumble upon this popular tourist spot.
As a cool side note: the national park is so unique in it’s geography because its landscape is a result of the boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. That’s pretty cool!
Part of the Golden Circle, Gullfoss is a majestic waterfall subject of many iconic Iceland pictures. This is the location where the Hvítá river drops down into a large canyon before winding it’s way out to the coast in the south. From many angles, it looks as though the water disappears into the earth as it plunges 30m into the canyon.