Iceland is known for its breathtaking natural landscapes, and a trip there isn’t complete without visiting one or several of the country’s waterfalls. For some of these waterfalls, you can just pop out of your car. For others, you will have to do some hiking, which is an amazing experience in and of itself. So, if you’re thinking about visiting, here are the must-see of Iceland’s waterfalls to add to your itinerary.
Widely considered the most famous of Iceland’s waterfalls, Gulfoss is a can’t-miss. The name translates to “Golden Waterfall,” a nod to the road it’s located on: the Golden Circle. It’s a part of the Hvítá River, flowing down from the Langjökull Glacier. The Gulfoss waterfall is just over 100 feet high, plunging in two stages – the second twice the size of the first.
Getting to Gulfoos is simple, since it's just off of the Golden Circle. Simply park in the large parking lot and walk to the various viewpoints!
Skógafoss is without a doubt one of the best of Iceland’s waterfalls. At 200 feet high and 80 feet wide, this massive waterfall will take your breath away as it cascades down the cliff side. You can even walk the steep 500 steps to the top of the waterfall.
Skogafoss is a two hour drive from Reykjavik. Follow the Ring Road eastwards from Reykjavik, and eventually you will be able to see Skogafoss from the road.
Goðafoss, aka “waterfall of the gods,” is another massive waterfall in Iceland. According to the Sagas, chieftain Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði settled a religious crisis in Iceland by throwing the idols of the Old Norse Gods into the falls, which is where the waterfall’s name comes from.
Goðafoss is located in northern Iceland on the Ring Road, about 45 minutes west of Mývatn. There are viewpoints on either side of the waterfall.
Seljalandsfoss is one of the most unique waterfalls in Iceland, because you can walk behind it! Unlike Goðafoss, which is wider than tall, Seljalandsfoss is a narrow nut mighty waterfall. Make sure to bring your rain jacket to shield you from the spray!
Like many of Iceland's waterfalls, getting to Seljalandsfoss is easy and has a large parking lot. You will have to pay to park, though! The waterfall is about a five minute walk from the parking lot.
Brúarfoss makes our list of top iceland waterfalls due to its unique blue color. Brúarfoss means “bridge waterfall,” named for a stone archway that once crossed the river. The waterfall is fed by the Brúará River, which is glacier melt from the Langjökull glacier. The glacial water is what gives Brúarfoss its vibrant blue color.
There is a small parking lot at the trailhead located on Route 37. From there, getting to the waterfalls is a roundtrip hike of 4.4 miles.
Dynjandi is a unique Icelandic waterfall due to its multiple sections. It is located in the Westfjords and is a must-see if you are visiting the west side of the country. The waterfall is a 30-meter cascade at the top that flows into a dramatic 60-meter-wide waterfall below. Then, there are six additional waterfalls you can see below it.
As you arrive at the parking lot, you’ll see the waterfalls right away, but keep walking until you reach the biggest one!
At 400ft, Háifoss is one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland. In the early 20th century, it was believed to be the tallest waterfall in Iceland, which earned it the name “high waterfall.” Since then, taller ones have been discovered, but Háifoss still remains a can’t-miss Iceland waterfall!
Háifoss Waterfall is located in the Þjórsárdalur Valley, a beautiful valley that sits to the east of the Golden Circle. To get here, we recommend having a 4×4. While it’s more out of the way, this means there will also be fewer people!
Which of these Iceland waterfalls do you want to visit? If you’re planning a trip, make sure to check out our Iceland adventures!
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