Iceland is a small Nordic country in the North Atlantic Ocean. However small Iceland may be, it is still the home of an endless endless amount of wondrous waterfalls. The north Atlantic climate produces frequent rain, whilst the Arctic location contributes to Iceland’s many glaciers. This in turn feeds feeds the rivers and produces dramatic waterfalls. Wherever you go, waterfalls will be in abundance, but they all are unique in their own way. We’ve compiled a list of our favourites below …
GPS Coordinates: 63°36’57.07″N 19°59’32.53″W
Iceland has got many beautiful waterfalls, but Seljalandsfoss remains one of the most popular. Situated 120 km Reykjavík, it’s easy to reach by car. The enthralling waterfalls cascades 65 m (197 ft) down the grass-covered cliffs. In summertime, you can walk directly behind the waterfall into a small secluded cave (the path is closed off in wintertime for security reasons). The nearby pedestrian bridge makes the falls are easily viewed.
GPS Coordinates: 63°31’37.31″N 19°30’38.65″W
The 60 m high and 25 meters wide Skógafoss waterfall is located 30 km from Seljalandsfoss, so you could easily visit both during a day trip. The site has trails that allow visitors to overlook Skogafoss – offering unbeatable views of this majestic natural feature. The water plummets through canyons onto the ground that is covered by black sand, which further adds to the fascination.
GPS Coordinates: 64° 12′ 16.80″ N – 19° 41′ 5.39″ W
At 122 metres, Haifoss is Iceland’s second highest waterfalls. For 122 metres, the water plunges over two million year old fiery black rocks, finally pooling into the Fossá river. The waterfall is situated in the remote region of Þjórsárdalur valley, near the volcano Hekla, in the south of Iceland. Upon its discovery in the first decade of the 20th century, Haifoss was believed to be the highest waterfall in Europe.
GPS Coordinates: 64°19’30.14″N 20° 7’30.49″W
The Gullfoss waterfall on the Hvítá river may arguably be Iceland’s most famous. The falls are sometimes referred to as The Golden Falls due to the colour they take on a sunny day (see the photo below). The fall flows down into a 32m (105 foot) deep crevice in two stages, looking absolutely stunning.
GPS Coordinates: 65°41’9.36″N 17°32’18.29″W
It’s not the the biggest, the highest or the deepest, but undoubtedly, Goðafoss, or The Beauty, as it’s referred to, is one of the most majestic waterfalls in Iceland. It’s located just a short (40km) drive from the town of Husavik, easily accessible by car. The waterfall is set in a set in a spacious landscape and has a very special shapes that you won’t easily find elsewhere.
GPS Coordinates: 64.94166, -23.30694
The 463m high mountain Kirkjufell and its waterfall is a true Icelandic icon and synonymous with this nordic country. Located near the fishing town Grundarfjörður, on the north coast of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula, it’s about a 2.5-hour drive from Reykjavik. The waterfall is located on the “back” of the mountain, facing the sea, a short uphill walk from the car park nearby.
GPS Coordinates: 65.36646, -17.33694
The 20-metres high Aldeyjarfoss may be modest in size, but what it lacks in height, it makes up for in it’s unique feature. The characteristics of the Aldeyjarfoss is its stark contrast between the black basalt columns and the white foamy waters. The falls are located in the valley of Bárðardalur, and takes takes a few hours to reach by car from the town Húsavík in Northern Iceland.
GPS Coordinates: 64.0275° N – 16.9753° W
Svartifoss (Black Falls), is quietly tucked in Skaftafell National Park, located within Vatnajökull National Park. Albeit not very high (20 metres), nor very wide, Svartifoss remains spectacular with its backdrop of geometric lava columns, framing the thin cascades. The falls got its named after the darkness of the underlying basalt columns. Fact is, these striking basalt columns were so distinct that Svartifoss came to inspire Icelandic architecture. (Hallgrímskirkja, in particular).
Waterfalls have the ability to mesmerise, providing a soothing experience like few others. Putting together a list of the most notable waterfalls in Iceland was not an easy task – there are several hundreds to choose from, each different than the next in it’s own special way. Happy exploring!
Which of these spectacular Iceland waterfalls is your favorite?