Iceland – known as the land of fire and ice but to me Iceland is the land of the waterfall! Although they may not hold the record for being the biggest, they are just simply stunning! Also, in a land of expensive travel, waterfalls are a great budget friendly activity! In this guide me and some of my fellow bloggers round up some of the best waterfalls in Iceland you simply must visit!
The Best Waterfalls in Iceland on the Golden Circle
Found in the UNESCO world heritage listed Thingvellir National Park, Oxrarfoss is a popular waterfall to visit when driving Iceland’s Golden Circle. It might not be the highest or most spectacular waterfall in the country, but it is quite stunning nonetheless. The pool at the base is filled with rocks, an in winter especially, these cover in ice and snow, and are very pretty.
The waterfalls also benefits from being easy to access – it’s less than a ten minute walk each way from the car park, and there’s a large viewing level viewing area from where you can see the falls close up.
Nearby, you’ll find a number of other attractions, including the rift in the American and European tectonic plates (used as one ofIceland’s Game of Thrones filming locations), the site of Iceland’s first parliament, and even a location where you can go snorkelling in almost freezing waters! We definitely encourage you to add Oxrarfoss to your list of Iceland waterfalls!
Nominated by Finding the universe
Gulfoss is probably the most visited waterfall in Iceland. It is one of the main attractions on the Golden Circle and no Iceland itinerary is complete without visiting Gulfoss! The reason that this waterfall is a must visit is surely based on the sheer scale of this beautiful two tiered waterfall!
Though this is one of the busiest attractions we saw in Iceland, the scale of the waterfall means that there are multiple viewing areas which help to spread out the crowds.
Top Tip: Try and get there early to beat the worst of the crowds, many of whom will come on a day trip from Reykjavik!
If you’re travelling around Iceland’s famous Golden Circle route, then one of the best waterfalls to visit is Faxi Waterfall. Often overlooked by travellers, the falls — also known as Vatnsleysufoss or Faxafoss — are located approximately 20 kilometres from the far more popular Gulfoss.
Faxi Waterfall is a fantastic spot to stop if you want to enjoy a small but beautiful waterfall in a peaceful landscape. The waterfall is only 7 metres tall but is impressively over 80 metres wide.
To get to Faxi Waterfall, simply pull of Route 35 and park in the nearby parking lot. From there you can enjoy the beauty of the falls from the viewing platform which is easily accessible for all travellers. If you’re feeling more active, you can also hike down to get closer to the waterfall.
There is no entrance fee meaning it won’t make a dent into your Iceland travel budget and there is also a cafe in the area if you want to stop for a drink or bite to eat.
Nominated by the World Was Here First
Best Waterfalls Near Vik, Iceland
Seljalandsfoss is a must for any Iceland Bucket List as it is one of the few waterfalls in Iceland that you can actually walk straight behind! As it is just off the ring road it is very easy to visit, but be sure to get there early to try and beat the crowds! Be warned however, if the wind is blowing in the right (or wrong?) direction you will get very wet as you walk behind!
This waterfall is budget friendly as there isn’t an entrance fee but there is a car parking fee!
This is a difficult thing to say when there are most many beautiful waterfalls but for me the number one waterfall in Iceland is Skogafoss! This waterfall is really easy to visit as it is just off the ring road and is a great stopping point on the way to the black sand beaches of Vik!
The main reason that I love Skogafoss is because in the right light, you can get amazing pictures stood under a rainbow next to the waterfall!
This is also one of the waterfalls that you can get closest to at its base! Be warned however you will want to pack your waterproofs as getting close to the waterfall you will get very wet!
For those feeling more adventurous you can climb the stairs and get a view of the waterfall from the top!
Gljufrabui also known as Gljufrafoss is a “secret” waterfall along Iceland’s southern Ring Road. It cascades into a narrow slot blocked from view by a large outcropping of rock. Its much more famous neighbor, Seljalansfoss, shares a parking lot, so don’t miss the chance to visit Gljufrabui too. There are two ways to catch a glimpse of this small but beautiful waterfall. By wading through the stream into the hidden cavern, you can look up at it from the bottom of the waterfall. You’ll also get very wet, so be prepared with waterproof shoes, rain gear, and protection for your camera or other electronics. The stream is generally shallow and slow enough to walk through, but be sure to check the water conditions for safety before wading in. The other way to view it is by climbing up the rocky outcropping. You don’t need climbing gear, but you’ll want good shoes. There is one narrow stretch where you have to hold onto chains bolted into the rock. Once you reach the top, you’ll be able to peer down into the cavern below to get a very different perspective on this elusive waterfall.
Nominated by Nomad by Trade
The Best Waterfalls in the rest of Iceland
Not that many visitors to Iceland make it to Fagrifoss, so it remains a bit of a hidden gem. While Fagrifoss doesn’t have the power or size of world-famous waterfalls like Iguazu or Victoria Falls, it does have a striking beauty all its own. In fact, the name “Fagrifoss” means “The Beautiful Waterfall”.
Access is by a rough road that involves a river crossing and should only be attempted in a four-wheel drive vehicle. The falls lie on the route to the Laki Craters, so you should definitely make a stop here if you’re heading that way. The Geirlandsá glacial river plunges 80 meters into a deep gorge covered in green moss, create these spectacular falls.
Because the falls are hidden in the gorge, you won’t even see them until you are almost on top of them. The surprise of seeing this large gorge open up in the ground in front of you as you approach adds to the magic of this place.
Nominated by the Nomadic Vegan
One of the best experiences I had in Iceland was hiking to the hot springs in the mountains of the Reykjadalur valley, near the town of Hveragerði, about forty-five minutes away from Reykjavik. While the presumed destination of this two-hour round trip hike is the aforementioned hot springs, you know you’re about halfway to your destination when you catch a glimpse, just over the edge of a cliff, of a completely stunning waterfall crashing into the mossy green valley below. This waterfall, Djúpagilsfoss, named after its home canyon, Djúpagilm, and its surrounding scenery is absolutely breathtaking, especially given the panoramic views enabled by your high vantage point (although maybe not for those afraid of heights!). You have the option to hike down to the waterfall to gaze up at it in all its glory, but with steaming hot springs awaiting you up the mountain, you’re in for a treat no matter which direction you go!
Nominated by The Uprooted Traveler
Íráfoss may be one of the lesser-known and smaller waterfalls in Southern Iceland but just as scenic. It can be seen from the Ring Road a few kilometres to the east of Seljelandsfoss. However, an incredible way to get up close to the waterfall is by horseback.
Gently meander past some breathtaking landscapes on the back of an Icelandic horse unique to the country. Through streams, open pastures, tiny picturesque farms and churches to the stunning Íráfoss waterfall. The falls plunge 135 feet in a narrow plume which impacts on a skirt of rock near its base and sprays outward for its final descent. Definitely a memorable way to see a waterfall.
Nominated by The Curious Pixie
With so many waterfalls to explore in Iceland it can be hard to compete against the most powerful waterfall in Europe or one you can walk behind. Svartifoss manages to still wow you though!
Located inside Vatnajökull National Park, it’s around a 3km round walk to this fall which means you may be lucky enough to not have the usual crowds the other famous waterfalls get.
With a 20 metre fall, Svartifoss is tiny compared to a lot of the falls you can explore in the country. But with its black walls made of lava it’s pretty unique.
If you have already explored Reynisdrangar beach then the hexagonal formations in this waterfall will look familiar. These beautiful formations also inspired some of Icelands buildings like Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik.
The walk to the falls and through the National park is beautiful with other waterfalls to see on the way. When you reach Svartifoss there are steps and the rocks can be very sharp.
Info: Svartifoss is about 4 hours from Reykjavik.As you enter the park there is Skaftafell Visitors Centre just near the car park which has toilet facilities and where you can get
Nominated by Travel with Meraki
The Aldeyjarfoss was my favorite waterfall that I have laid my eyes on during my 1-week road trip in Iceland. You will need a 4×4 camper van and get off the main road for that, but trust me when I said it’s absolutely worth it! What really sets Aldeyjarfoss apart from other popular waterfalls is its majestic setting that has the water plunging in full, powerful display. As it is off the main road, you will have the opportunity to be the only one present at the waterfall. If the weather’s right, Aldeyjarfoss makes an amazing photography spot. If you are extra lucky, you will also see a rainbow!
To get to Aldeyjarfoss, you will have to drive about an hour from the popular Godafoss Waterfall. Get on Road 842 and drive for about 25 miles, and turn left when you see the sign. Open (and do not forget to close) the gate. From the parking lot, it is a short hike to the waterfall. Good hiking boots are recommended.”
Nominated by Be My Travel Muse
Dynjandi Falls is considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, and rightly so. Located in the remote Westfjords, Iceland’s most rural region that is also known as Iceland’s “best kept secret”, Dynjandi is still a relatively untouched beauty. Here you can admire the power of nature away from the tourist crowds.
Dynjandi is an huge waterfall that flows from the top of the fjords and forms six smaller waterfalls before reaching the sea. There is a well marked trail that will take you all the way to the bottom of the biggest waterfall, just be careful as you walk up since the spray from the waterfalls makes the trail very muddy and slippery!
Nominated by Greta’s Travel
Why you Must visit the Best Waterfalls in Iceland
- They are a budget friendly thing to do – and we all know that Iceland isn’t the most budget friendly place! For more Iceland budget friendly tips check this post out!
- They are (well at least some of them at least) are accessible at all times of year – even if you are visiting Iceland in Winter!
- They are a great thing to visit in Iceland with kids – even with kids as young as toddlers and babies as most are very accessible!
What, in your opinion, is the best waterfall in Iceland?