Iceland is truly a sight to behold from above, below and around. The land of fire and ice, below I take exploring the best waterfalls in Iceland. From Iceland waterfalls, you can walk behind, to waterfalls you can camp next to. We explore Iceland waterfalls in the south Coast, north, east and beyond. Iceland is filled with stunning vistas as your drive along the Ring Road. Many of the beautiful waterfalls of Iceland can be seen from the roadside. Skogafoss, Seljalandfoss and many more. Hidden waterfalls, small, large, wide and narrow and every size in between.
You can see many of these beautiful Iceland waterfalls in winter or summer and each season offers striking views and allow you to view the waterfalls from various perspectives. The views are just breath-taking. You can be drenched by the cold mist and waters from a waterfall one minute and be dipping into a hot spring pool the next minute. Iceland is just magical!
Iceland Waterfalls Near Reykjavik
Iceland waterfalls near Reykjavik offer a great opportunity to get a sense of what the country has to offer with little effort. This is also perfect for those on a short layover in Iceland. With this in mind, you can do quick and easy Golden Circle tours in Iceland that take you to explore
The Golden Circle tours run in various lengths; 8 hours, 6 hours and 5 hours. The classic tour runs 8 hours starting from 8.30, 9.30 and 10.30am. The one for 6 hours runs from 1pm and the Late afternoon/evening Goldern Circle runs from 6pm. This one only runs in the summer months though between June and August when there is close to 20 plus hours of daylight.
You can explore Iceland’s iconic sights near Reykjavik. Exploring the historic Pingvellir National Park and walk through the canyon where the two tectonic plates are located. Check out the Iceland waterfalls near Reykjavik; Gullfoss waterfall after seeing Strokkur – the Geysir that erupts every 15 minutes.
Iceland waterfalls near Reykjavik include Gullfoss which is 1 hour 30 minutes drive from Reykjavik
Best Waterfalls In Iceland
There are as many as 10,000 plus waterfalls in Iceland, with varying sizes and shapes and each one as beautiful as the next. If you are driving around Iceland like we did you will see many of these from the roadside, many of which are small. Below are the best waterfalls in Iceland and some of the largest and most popular. These are among the best waterfalls you will not want to miss out on.
This is not only one of the best waterfalls in Iceland but one of the most popular too. Easily accessible from the Ring Road. You can also camp or bring a camper van by the waterfall as we did. Stunning waterfall cascading some 60 meters from the cliffs of Skogar. You can view the falls from the bottom and on windy days the mist is enough to get all your clothes wet without you even getting too close to the waterfall. I love that you can also hike up to the top and view Skogafoss waterfall can see the water flowing from the river and through the Skogargil gorge which feeds more than 20 other waterfalls. You can find Skogafoss in Katla in South Iceland.
The ‘Waterfall of the Gods’ is located in Northern Iceland. This is an absolutely awe inspiring waterfall. Fed by a glacial river Skjalfandafljot and can easily be found on the Ring Road in Fossholl. The name comes from a story of the Thorgeir the Lawspeaker on the island country who threw his symbolic likeness of the old Nordic gods into the waterfall. The waterfall falls from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters.
This is another waterfall fed from the same glacial river that feeds Godafoss. Located in the upper Bardardalur valley is where you will find Aldeyjarfoss. Another waterfall in Iceland with a striking background of basalt patterned rock formations. The area offers many spots for perfect viewing of this powerful waterfall.
Gullfoss translates to Golden Waterfall. A stunning waterfall in Iceland that has a double waterfall, two separate waterfalls in one. The first drops 11 meters and the second drops 21 meters below the gorge. Located on the Hvita River and measure 32 meters in height. Among the most popular and one of the best waterfalls in Iceland to check out.
There are so many angles to view the waterfalls. Near the waterfall, you can find the statue of Sigridour, the owner of the land where the waterfall is located. There is a story that a hydroelectric plan was proposed but after the daughter of the land had threated to through herself down the waterfall the plans were then foiled by government and prospective buyers. We actually didn’t know about this waterfall until we stumbled upon it after our drive from the Geyser.
This waterfall is said to have the greatest volume of any waterfall in Europe. Definitely no match for the volume on Victoria Falls in Zambia. Dettifoss has a 500 cubic meters of water flowing per second, plunging over the edge and falling some 45 meters. Measuring 100 meters wide, Dettifoss can be accessed via and easily 34km hiking trail along the canyon from Dettifoss to Asbrygi. If you are exploring Iceland at your own leisure and have a flexible itinerary you can also camp near the waterfalls. For tips on camping spots in Iceland and near the waterfall check out my posts.
The awe-inspiring Hraunfossar waterfalls are located in the enchanting Hallmundarhraun lava field in Borgarfjörður bay, West-Iceland. Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming over a distance of about 900 metres out of the Hallmundarhraun, a lava field which flowed from an eruption of one of the volcanoes lying under the glacier Langjökull.
The waterfalls here look like those created by the Plitvice Lake waterfalls. The waterfalls pour into the Hvítá river from ledges of less porous rock in the lava. Much like some of the other waterfalls in the list, it is fed by glacier waters. The water originates from Langjökull glacier, the second largest glacier in Iceland. We had a pleasure of checking out a couple of glaciers in Iceland and one not to miss is Svinafellsjokull glacier. Definitely worth checking out especially because you can easily see it from the Ring Road.
Just like Skogafoss above, you can find Seljalandsfoss in Katla and can easily be seen from the roadside so as not to miss it. This is another waterfall in Iceland that stumble from a height of 60 meters but the beauty of it lies in the fact that you can walk right behind the waterfalls.
This stunning and striking waterfall is the highest waterfall in Iceland. Haifoss waterfall is located near the volcano Hekla in southern Iceland. The river Fossá, a tributary of Þjórsá, drops here from a height of 122 m. This is the fourth highest waterfall of the island, after Morsárfoss, Glymur and Hengifoss. Access to this waterfall is fairly easy but not that the last 10 or so kilometers cannot be accessed with a small car. Only if you have a 4×4. Not that off-road driving is against the law not to mention dangerous so only do so with a suitable car. The last few kilometers can easily be hiked up to for spectacular views.
Gljúfrafoss or Gljúfrabúi is a small waterfall north of the larger falls of Seljalandsfoss in Iceland. This little beauty is a hidden gem and had a pleasure of camping right in front of it as there is a camping spot near this and Seljalandsfoss. I shared a post about this on my post on camping under waterfalls.
The falls are partially obscured by the cliff rock, but can easily be accessed via a little trail within the gap of the rock face leading into a narrow canyon where the water plummets to a small pool. If you are stopping to visit Seljalandsfoss, make sure you don’t miss this one out. It’s only a 2-minute walk. As I have mentioned, many of these waterfalls being close to each other are fed by the same rivers in most cases but with differing results.
Svartifoss waterfall is located in Skaftafell inVatnajökull National Park The freedom of exploring by Iceland rental car or campervan means you can explore at leisure and visit far-flung and remote places like Oraefi. One of Iceland’s most remote districts. Breaktaking scenery and usually you can explore without having to bump into many tourists if at all. Stunning vistas of glaciers, greenery contrasted by black sands. This is where you can find Skaftafell near the Skedararsandur desert and roaring Skeidara river. The sight in the region is something to behold.
Merkja is another river in Iceland that feeds many stunning waterfalls. One of the main attractions from this river is Gluggaofoss which translates to Window Falls and also known as Merkjarfoss. This is another one that can be found in Katla much like Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss. The top of the waterfall falls from palagonite rock and the lower part is basalts. The water flow from the river has caused formations of tunnels and groves through the rock or series of windows within the tunnels hence the name ‘Window Falls’.
Best Time For Waterfalls In Iceland
There is no particular best time to see waterfalls in Iceland as each season offer something spectacular to view on its own. I particularly love the summer in Iceland. Due to the long days in summer, it means you can have the waterfalls even the most popular ones all to yourself. This is perfect for photographers. You can photograph the waterfalls under the midnight sun. During the summer you also have an amazing opportunity to get super close to the waterfalls. There are a few that require a bit of hiking, in the summer you can check out the best waterfall hike in Iceland.
On the other hand, visiting the waterfalls in winter means you can see these majestic falls in their element. Little icicles by the falls as the river waters strain to pass through. The pictures are like a painting and incredibly beautiful! There are plenty of waterfall tours in Iceland is this is something you are really keen to visit.
Map Of Waterfalls In Iceland
Below is a map of waterfalls in Iceland allowing you to easily located and drive to.
What are the best waterfalls in Iceland near Reykjavik?
The waterfall closest to Reykjavik is Gullfoss falls which are within the goldern circle. Also nearby you have Bruarfoss which is in a fairly remote area and is a series of small waterfalls of really beautiful blue glacial water.
What is the best waterfall in Iceland?
There are far too many to name but the most prominent waterfalls which may be considering the best waterfalls in Iceland include; Skogafoss, Kirkjufellsfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Gullfoss, Dettifoss, Faxi, Svartifoss and Godafoss.
What are the best waterfalls in Southern Iceland?
Iceland has many waterfalls but some of the best waterfalls in southern Iceland are Seljalandsfoss, Gljufrabui waterfalls, Skogafoss and Gluggagoss(Merkjarfoss). All of these are close to each other so you don’t have to drive too far.
Whats are the best waterfall hikes in Iceland?
I would have to say that the hike around Seljalandsfoss is one of the best because you can walk behind the waterfall. Gullfoss falls is also another one that has a great hiking trail allowing you to see the step waterfall from multiple angles.
What waterfalls are in Iceland golden circle?
The waterfalls in Iceland golden circle include Gullfoss, Faxi and Bruarfoss but most of the Goldern Circle tours will only include Gullfoss.
What are the best waterfalls in West Iceland?
The waterfalls in West Iceland include Hraunfossar and the popular Kirkjufellsfoss.
When is the best time to see waterfalls in Iceland?
The beautiful of Iceland is in the weather in that summer affords you to explore the longest in the day. This means that you can have the waterfalls all to yourself in the summer into the later hours. I would just advise you to be careful around them. In summer you can see these beautiful waterfalls under the midnight sun. So the best time to visit I would say is at sunrise and sunset so you get some really magical colours against the sunlight especially around Seljalandsfoss. Another good time to see the waterfalls is during winter when some of them are frozen. It is really a magical place. Godafoss, Gullfoss and Seljalandsfoss all freeze over with smaller streams of the waterfall coming through. Whatever time you visit, the waterfalls in Iceland are plenty and are just break taking.
There you have it, the best waterfalls in Iceland. So have you been to Iceland? Which one of the waterfalls did you love the most? If you are heading to Iceland, which one of the above are you adding to your Iceland itinerary? Comment below.
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I never even considered waterfalls when I thought of Iceland, so to discover there are thousands of them is such an eye opener! Thank you for whittling down your top choices for us!
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the post and yes, there are just so many beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. You will love it!
Another beautifully written article. Enjoyed reading it. You said Iceland is the land of ice and fire, does that mean its the country Game of Thrones was filmed in. I remember seeing something (credits) along the line ‘ice and fire’ when I was watching the series. I love that you have included so much details about each including the names of famous waterfalls in Iceland even added amazing waterfall pictures too. Iceland has such interesting waterfalls and all so beautiful too. Looks like you had a great time exploring the best waterfalls in Iceland.
Yes, many of the scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed in Iceland including some of the waterfalls too. Iceland water falls are just amazingly beautiful and out of this world. They really give meaning to the land of fire and ice.
Oh, Iceland! It’s such a marvelous country! I haven’t (yet) gotten a chance to travel there but I want to get there like yesterday! I think I will love everything from the weather, to Icelandic waterfalls, to people. I’ve heard great things about the Godafoss waterfall and I will visit it shortly after arriving in Iceland. I wonder which one is the largest waterfall in Iceland or even the most famous waterfall in Iceland. They are all just stunning.
Yes many of the island waterfalls in Iceland are just too stunning to miss. Beautiful waterfall landscapes just waiting to be seen and captured on film and photo. You can actually get inside a waterfall for a couple of them and walk behind. Show me pictures of waterfalls in Iceland and I am likely to book another flight to check out this amazing country.
A friend has once told me how amazing Iceland waterfalls are. He has visited some of them and always makes me jealous whenever he shares the story. I will be in Iceland soon for business purpose, anyway, but I will endeavor to see a couple of these waterfalls — even if it’s going to be just two.
The Skogafoss waterfall sounds perfect to me because I will not only be seeing the fall and get to take pictures, but I will also be able to make some friends because of the many many people that will be around.
You have just sed this post to heighten my hunger for Iceland waterfalls, and I’m definitely taking this shot this time.