Planning to explore some of the best waterfalls in Iceland. In this post, we’ll guide you through what to pack, wear and where to find the best waterfalls in Iceland. Iceland is bar far one of the most extraordinary places we have been. We spent 3 full days in Iceland and managed to see so much. However, one thing really stood out to us, Waterfalls.
- Things To Pack For A Trip To The Best Waterfalls In Iceland
- What To Wear To Your Visit To Some Of The Best Waterfalls In Iceland
- The Best Waterfalls In Iceland
Things To Pack For A Trip To The Best Waterfalls In Iceland
Before we can get started on the list of the best waterfalls in Iceland I wanted to discuss a couple of things you should pack for your trip. Whether you’re going out to just see one waterfall or planning on seeing lots in one day. These items will enhance your experience and help keep you safe in the cold Icelandic weather.
First up, spare socks. It’s so easy to get carried away when you’re near a waterfall. Especially some of the ones where the fall hits the ground level where you’re stood. So much so that you can easily stand in the river or an offset of water while admiring the fall or taking photos. Skogafoss waterfall is a great example of this.
We therefore always recommend packing a spare pair of socks (or two). While a good pair of walking boots minimises the risk of your feet getting wet, it doesn’t remove the risk altogether. Therefore a small pair of replacement socks will be perfect should they be required.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is something both Helen and I recommend everyone travels with. You can get a small 210 pcs set really cheap from Amazon and add personalised items based on your requirements.
Take your first aid kit in a rucksack to any waterfalls you plan to visit and you can fix any minor injuries (cuts, scrapes, blisters etc.) on the go.
Visiting some of the waterfalls can require a hike. We therefore always recommend packing a water bottle full of water. It’s no secret that visiting Iceland can be expensive, so bringing a water bottle instead of purchasing water from the gas stations or small stalls near the more popular waterfalls should save you some money too.
If you’re a keen photographer then don’t forget to take your camera with you to visit the best waterfalls in Iceland. Alternatively, you could take photos on your smartphone.
Due to the spray from some of the waterfalls, we’d recommend picking up a waterproof camera case for your camera. This will allow you to still get great photos without the worry of getting your camera wet and damaged beyond repair.
We’d always recommend packing a power bank for your mobile phone. Whether it be to make emergency calls or simply give you the chance to take additional photos on your smartphone without worrying that the battery is going to die.
What To Wear To Your Visit To Some Of The Best Waterfalls In Iceland
We’ve already got a great packing list that should help you decide what to bring on your trip to Iceland. However, I’m just going to quickly talk you through what’s best to wear when visiting some of the best waterfalls in Iceland.
Keeping warm at some of the best waterfalls in Iceland is all about layers. While you may be cold as you step out of the car or off the bus at the waterfall. Once you begin hiking you can quickly start to sweat.
We recommend starting things off with a base layer. A long sleeve thermal top is perfect for this. You can add a t-shirt over the top for added warmth and style.
Next up, trousers. We recommend the waterproof trousers from Craghoppers. These trousers are super flexible and will protect your legs from getting wet from the spray off the waterfall.
Many of the waterfalls you visit will be slippy, and you may slip and fall. Having waterproof trousers on means you can quickly wipe off any mud with some water or even wet wipes.
Zip up or pull over, go for the jacket that you like the most. This will provide you with that final layer of heat. You could even opt for a button up shirt underneath your jacket for an additional layer.
Again a thin waterproof coat is a great choice. You can wear this with or without a jacket underneath depending on how warm you get. The thin waterproof layer will continue to protect you from the spray of the waterfall without you overheating.
As mentioned in the introduction; things to pack for your trip to the best waterfalls in Iceland. Socks are an important item, and yet can often easily be overlooked. As well as bringing along a spare pair of socks we’d recommend wearing two pairs wherever your shoes allow.
We did a lot of research to find the best walking boots for Iceland, prior to this trip we didn’t own any walking boots. Although we didn’t plan on going on any hikes in Iceland we knew having a good pair of walking boots for our trip would increase our warmth and our comfort.
If you don’t already own a pair of decent walking boots or hiking boots I would add this to your packing list for Iceland.
We opted for some waterproof flexible gloves that allowed us to protect our hands from the cold and the wet but still use our cameras and smartphones to take photographs.
Keep your head and ears warm with a nice cosy hat. Again this is something you can quickly take off and throw in your backpack if you get too warm.
Like many travellers, we prefer the flexibility and size of a Buff over a scarf. We’d recommend bringing one with you when you go to see some of the best waterfalls in Iceland.
The Best Waterfalls In Iceland
Selijalandsfoss waterfall is first on our best waterfalls in Iceland. It is a tall but thin beautiful waterfall that you can walk behind and look out through the falling water. The waterfall is usually found on the South Shore tour. The waterfall provides stunning views from all around and is a once in a lifetime achievement.
Never before have I been able to walk behind a waterfall but this one I could. We did get a little wet but it was well worth it. The view not just looking at the waterfall but from behind the waterfall is stunning.
There are barriers along the waterfall to mark out a clear safe path to walk. There is also stairs and steps built into the wall edge to make getting up and down from the waterfall safer. I would still recommend sensible footwear if you are looking to visit the back of the waterfall.
Skogafoss waterfalls are one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland. It is a 60-meter giant that you can get as close as you like, there is nothing stopping you. The waterfall runs into a river at ground level and through that creates its own rainbows. You can visit the waterfall on your own or part of a tour, the tour you would need is the South Shore Adventure.
There is the option to climb at the side of the waterfall to get to the top to see the stunning view of the drop. If you are lucky enough to visit on a clear sunny day you may be in with a chance of spotting a rainbow or two. We spent most of our time there taking pictures with the rainbows at different places as we saw so many. The beauty of the waterfall is the calm trickle of the river that flows after it, perfect for sitting and taking in the scenery.
This is the popular waterfall seen on the Golden Circle tours in Iceland. The Gullfoss waterfall is very close to the Geysirs just 10 minutes drive away. The wonderous waterfall is a double fall waterfall and has an impressive height of 32 metres. There is much to explore when visiting Gullfoss waterfalls, varying from the close-up platforms for the enthusiasts that don’t mind getting wet. Or there are platforms at a peak height looking down on the falling water for the dryer views.
I would advise if you were to visit to wear waterproof clothing especially if you are wanting to get as close as you can to the waterfall. Which you should as the views are stunning.
Kirkjufellsfloss waterfall is situated in Kirkjufellsa river. This is just a five-metre waterfall yes it has such an amazing impact as it divides three ways before hitting the river. With Kirkjufell towering in the background it makes for a pretty amazing photo op and should definitely be on the list of best waterfalls in Iceland.
Due to its easy access and crystal clear water Kirkjufellsfloss waterfall is popular on a summer evening when the northern lights are most active. However, thanks to new larger walking paths and an extended parking area you shouldn’t struggle to access the waterfall even in peak season.
Glymur waterfall is the second highest waterfall in Iceland. Standing at 198m tall there’s no wonder it’s on our list of the best waterfalls in Iceland. However, Glymur waterfall can’t be accessed from the road. Instead, you’ll need to hike to it.
While you can hike along either the north or the south side to get to Glymur waterfall we recommend the south because you’ll get a better view of one of the best waterfalls in Iceland. In total, the hike takes around 3 to 3.5 hours and it’s a one hour drive from Reykjavik making it complete half-day activity.
Situated in the south of Iceland is Svartifoss waterfall. The waterfall is a 1.5km walk from the information centre in Skaftafell which has a small number of shops, restaurants and accommodation.
What’s particularly warming and what makes this one of our best waterfalls of Iceland is how the shaping of the waterfall has been reflected in the design of Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavik which was constructed in 1945.
Haifoss is one of the highest and most striking waterfalls in Iceland so no wonder it’s on our list of the best waterfalls in Iceland. Situated in a fascinatingly narrow gorge the waterfall drops 122 metres into the river Fossá.
Due to the location of the valley, it’s only advice that you visit this waterfall on a solo trip during the summer months. During the winter, you’ll find the winds are much higher, and the snow and drifts may cause driving around the area extremely difficult without prior knowledge and experience. If you are visiting the waterfall during the winter consider booking a tour instead.
Stationed in the north of Iceland is one of my personal favourite waterfalls if not my all-time favourite waterfall, Aldeyjarfoss. With a drop of 20 metres, it’s not the tallest, but there’s something so striking about the water staggering through the columns of rock into the river below.
While Aldeyjarfoss may not be the best waterfall in Iceland it’s close proximity to one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland, Goðafoss makes this a great pit stop onto your next attraction.
Faxi waterfall is a popular stop on the Golden Circle tours. The waterfall itself is described as wide and serene, also known as a smaller Gullfoss but without the power. Faxi waterfall is found in the Tungufljót River located on the southern area of Iceland.
The waterfall is 80 meters wide and seven meters high with only one drop. While on the Golden Circle tour you can see the waterfall from the edge of the bank above though there is a closer viewing platform below. You can walk down to the platform to get closer to the waterfall and feel the spray of the water.
Hraunfossar has made it onto our list of best waterfalls in Iceland due to just how unique this waterfall is. Instead of its height, Hraunfossar is all about width as the waterfall spans a distance of almost 900 metres.
Aside from its amazing beauty and differences to all other waterfalls in Iceland. Hraunfossar benefits from being in a great location situated right next to another of our best waterfalls in Iceland Barnafoss on the west coast of the island.
Once again situated on the west coast of the island and less than 40 metres from the edge of Hraunfossar waterfall is Barnafoss. Barnafoss translates directly to Children’s Falls (or children’s waterfalls) and is based on an old story that says that children of a house nearby disobeyed their parents and went out near the waterfall.
When the parents came home and found the children missing they retraced their steps only to find the tracks ended at the edge of a natural stone bridge. The mother concluded that the children must have fallen into the river and drowned. Some people believe the mother went onto destroy the bridge to ensure no other child had the same fate, others believe it was an earthquake. Either way, Barnafoss waterfall is a beautiful sight and one well worth visiting when in Iceland.
Dynjandi is known as the jewel of the Westfjords, and you can see why. Standing more than 100 metres tall, many people see the resemblance to a brides vail as the water scurries down from the top of the fall.
You’ll be required to complete around a 15-minute hike from the carpark to the viewing point of the Dynjandi waterfall. Here you’ll be walking along a path that was constructed by volunteers back in 1996 and able to see some of the six smaller waterfalls below.
Gljúfrabúi is a particularly majestic waterfall here in Iceland due to the majority of its 40-metre drop being hidden behind a large cliff. To see the true beauty of Gljúfrabúi you’ll need to go through a narrow opening at the base of the cliff or climb a steep path to the top of the cliff. Both viewing methods can be extremely dangerous so please be careful.
Just 700 metres from Gljúfrabúi is Seljalandsfoss which makes for anothe great stop on your tour of the best waterfalls in Iceland.
Dettifoss is located in the Vatnajökull glacier and is said to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe. The waterfall itself is a massive 100m wide and drops a great 45m. The waterfall isn’t just popular for its sheer size and velocity but it was also used in the film Prometheus.
The waterfall is located in the northern part of Iceland in the National park. Dettifoss is so popular that it is said to be the best waterfalls in Iceland.
Image from Guide To Iceland.
Goðafoss is located on the river Skjálfandafljót in the Northern part of Iceland. The river itself is the 4th largest in Iceland. The waterfall is 30 metres wide and 12 metres high, not as large as some of the others but still as impressive and earns its name on the list of best waterfalls in Iceland.
The name of the waterfall means waterfall of the gods or Goði meaning chieftain or priest. It is said that when the leader Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði changed the country to Christianity he threw the old statues of the gods into the waterfall.
Image from Guide To Iceland.
If you have been to Iceland before and have experienced other amazing waterfalls, let us know and we can add them to our best waterfalls in Iceland list. Also if you are looking to join one of the tours to explore Iceland better, check out our review on the South Shore Adventure.