Iceland

Exploring The Best Waterfalls In Iceland

Gullfoss is one of the best waterfalls in Iceland

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.

The Best Waterfalls In Iceland

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

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.

View behind a waterfall - Exploring The Best Waterfalls In Iceland

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.

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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.

View of Icelandic waterfall - Exploring The Best Waterfalls In Iceland

Skogafoss Waterfalls

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.

View of Skogafoss waterfall - Exploring The Best Waterfalls In Iceland

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.

Gullfoss Falls

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.

Gullfoss waterfalls - Exploring The Best Waterfalls In Iceland

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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.

Gullfoss waterfalls - Exploring The Best Waterfalls In Iceland

Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall

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

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.

Svartifoss Waterfall

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.

Háifoss Waterfall

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.

Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall

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 Waterfalls

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.

Faxi Waterfall - Exploring The Best Waterfalls In 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 Waterfall

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.

Barnafoss Waterfall

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 Waterfall

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 Waterfall

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 Waterfall

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.

Goðafoss Waterfall

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.

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