The very first thing you think of when someone even mentions Iceland is its unmatched natural wonders. While the list of unique Icelandic landscapes and landforms is truly endless you should probably start unveiling the wild and unseen beauty of this country from its crystal-clear waterfalls. Let´s talk about the top waterfalls in Iceland that you should place on your travel bucket list right away.
Waterfalls in Iceland
Everyone loves Waterfalls
Flying moments, rushing water, plants flourishing, fresh fragrance of water spray – the feeling of natural power and life: waterfalls always take my breath away. Peaceful and powerful beauty, which makes us forget the world around us.
There are many scientific theories stating running water gives off negative ions. Could this be the reason behind all the good energy we get while being around waterfalls? – You should really visit Iceland at least once in a lifetime to feel some waterfall magic running through your system.
I hope I made myself clear – Iceland is truly the world of waterfalls. Tall, like Skógafoss, strong like Dettifoss, blue like Godafoss or Bruarfoss – the palette of Icelandic natural wonders comes in countless colors and forms: honestly, I was constantly in awe during my week in Iceland.
No need to mention: the waterfalls in Iceland are known for its epic water quality (seriously, it might be the most delicious sip in your life). Plus it´s the easiest experience to get – you simply stop anywhere on the road, refill your bottle, and get energized for the rest of the day.
So, let´s talk about the top waterfalls in Iceland. This is obviously a short must-do list for people who plan to do the Ring Road Drive. If you have more than one week in Iceland, just get off the road and try to hit as many off-the-beaten-path waterfalls in Iceland as you possibly can. You’re be spoilt for choices if you aim for the Icelandic hidden gems ( and love hiking).
Top Waterfalls in Iceland
Skogafoss is the most beautiful and touristic waterfall in Iceland, a must-stop on every South Coast Iceland tour. This waterfall is 25m wide & 60m high, and its surrounded by greenery: valleys, mountains… literslly,all shades of green. There is a path all the way to the top of it, where you can get some amazing panoramic views of the area.
One of the most remarkable waterfalls in Iceland and also the most powerful one in Europe is undoubtedly the mighty Dettifoss. Situated on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, Dettifoss is 100 m wide and has a drop of 45 m. It definitely blows your mind with its size and power. However, its waters are not blue like those of other Icelandic waterfalls – they have a grey-milky color (due to the sediment-rich meltwaters of the vast Vatnajökull glacier). Also, the water spray in the area is so strong that you could easily see a rainbow on a sunny day.
My favorite one of the waterfalls in Iceland – the “bluest of the bluest” – Bruarfoss. It is not as high or strong as others, but you can’t take your eyes off those blue waters. I´m not sure I´ve ever seen such a gorgeous watercolor around the world. The landscape looks absolutely surreal. Bruarfoss is significantly less touristic than Skogafoss, plus you can say it´s hard enough to find (because you don´t park right in front and walk a while through the surrounding greenery to get the first glimpse of it).
Godafoss is one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland once you head North. It is conveniently located along the Iceland´s ring road, so it´s unlikely you can eventually miss it.
Seljalandsfoss drops 60 m and the surrounding area is full of tiny waterfalls and streams. The most interesting part about this waterfall is that you can actually walk behind it into a small cave and see the outside world from the behind of the waterwall. Keep in mind that the whole path inside Seljalandsfoss is quite slippery, also wearing a waterproof jacket ( or a raincoat) will prevent you from getting wet for the rest of your day.
Kirkjufellsfoss has been quite on the radar lately as one of the Game of Thrones Filming Locations. It is a must stop when visiting the Snæfellsnes peninsula, also called Iceland in Miniature. The waterfall itself might be considered as ordinary by some (especially if you compare it to the other stunning waterfalls in Iceland), but the Kirkjufell mountain on the background makes the whole landscape truly unique.
Located in Skaftafell National Park, Svartifoss is surrounded by dark lava columns, often compared to organ pipes. You actually need to hike to reach it, both upwards and downwards (5 km for a round trip). But Svartifoss is worth the walk without any doubts.
As we visited in August, the path towards Svartifoss was packed with tourists. But I feel like if you head there early in the morning or in the offseason, you might get some truly magical shots of this peculiar waterfall.
While being one of the most signature Icelandic landmarks, Gullfoss actually means “Golden Falls” in Icelandic. It is one of the most touristic places in the whole country, partially due to its location – 1,5h from Reykjavik by car. The most alluring thing about this waterfall is that you view it from the above instead of the usual below.
More to the story…
“Are these all the waterfalls I should see in Iceland?” – you´d ask.
You could probably travel around for months (or even years) and not cross off your list all of the Icelandic natural wonders. Waterfalls in Iceland are everywhere. Some of them are hard to access, others are easy to spot all along the Ring Road. Many of them don´t even have names: unknown and yet extremely beautiful.
Here you have some of the waterfalls/streams I´ve seen during my trip around Iceland.