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Waterfalls in Iceland: Exploring Nature’s Majestic Cascades

Iceland is a country renowned for its stunning landscapes, and its waterfalls are among the most breathtaking natural wonders. From towering cascades to serene flows surrounded by volcanic rock, the waterfalls of Iceland offer an unforgettable experience. Here’s a guide to some of the most beautiful and notable waterfalls you can explore in this land of fire and ice.


1. Skogafoss Waterfall


Skogafoss is one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls, located on the Skoga River in the south of Iceland. This majestic fall drops 60 meters (197 feet) and spans 25 meters (82 feet) wide. Visitors can climb the stairs to an observation platform at the top for a magnificent view of the falls and the surrounding landscape.


Skogafoss Waterfall

2. Gullfoss Waterfall


Gullfoss, meaning “Golden Falls,” is a two-tiered waterfall located in the canyon of the Hvita River. It is one of Iceland’s most iconic falls, offering a stunning spectacle as the water plunges 32 meters (105 feet) into a rugged canyon. Gullfoss is a highlight of the Golden Circle route.


Gullfoss Waterfall

3. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall


Seljalandsfoss is unique because visitors can walk behind the cascade, offering a rare perspective of a waterfall. This 60-meter (197-foot) tall waterfall is located on the south coast and is fed by the Seljalands River, which originates from the Eyjafjallajokull glacier.


Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

4. Dettifoss Waterfall


Dettifoss, Europe’s second most powerful waterfall, is located in Vatnajokull National Park in northeast Iceland. With a drop of 44 meters (144 feet) and a width of 100 meters (328 feet), it delivers an awe-inspiring volume of water, creating a dramatic and thunderous display.


Dettifoss Waterfall

5. Godafoss Waterfall


Godafoss, or “Waterfall of the Gods,” holds historical significance as the site where Icelanders threw their pagan idols into the falls upon converting to Christianity. This picturesque waterfall is 12 meters (39 feet) high and 30 meters (98 feet) wide, located in the Skjalfandafljot River in the north.


Godafoss Waterfall

6. Svartifoss Waterfall


Svartifoss, or “Black Falls,” is known for the striking contrast between its white water and the dark hexagonal basalt columns that surround it. Located in Skaftafell in Vatnajokull National Park, Svartifoss is a 20-meter (65-foot) tall waterfall that has inspired many Icelandic artists and architects.


Svartifoss Waterfall

7. Dynjandi Waterfall


Dynjandi, also known as Fjallfoss, is the largest waterfall in the Westfjords. It cascades 100 meters (328 feet) down a cliff in a series of tiers, resembling a bridal veil. Dynjandi offers a breathtaking and scenic experience, with several smaller waterfalls below it.


Dynjandi Waterfall

8. Glymur Waterfall


Glymur was once considered Iceland’s tallest waterfall at 198 meters (650 feet) until Morsarfoss was discovered. Located in Hvalfjordur fjord, reaching Glymur requires a challenging hike, but the view of the cascading water and lush canyon is well worth the effort.


Glymur Waterfall

9. Haifoss Waterfall


Haifoss, meaning “Tall Falls,” is the fourth highest waterfall in Iceland, with a height of 122 meters (400 feet). It is located in the Thjorsardalur valley and can be reached by a 4x4 vehicle or a long hike. Nearby is Granni, or “Neighbor,” another impressive waterfall.


Haifoss Waterfall

10. Hraunfossar Waterfall


Hraunfossar, or “Lava Falls,” is a series of streams flowing out of a lava field over a distance of about 900 meters (2,950 feet). The water emerges from beneath the Hallmundarhraun lava field and pours into the Hvita River, creating a unique and beautiful sight.


Hraunfossar Waterfall

11. Bruarfoss Waterfall


Bruarfoss is often referred to as the “Bridge Falls” due to the bridge that crosses the river above it. The striking blue color of the water is a highlight, and the waterfall can be reached via a scenic hike.


Bruarfoss Waterfall

12. Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall


Aldeyjarfoss stands out for its stunning basalt columns and powerful 20-meter (65-foot) cascade. Located in the northern Highlands, it requires a 4x4 vehicle to reach but rewards visitors with its dramatic and photogenic setting.


Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall

13. Hrafnabjargafoss Waterfall


Hrafnabjargafoss, or “Raven Cliff Falls,” is a less-visited but beautiful waterfall in the Skjalfandafljot river. Its U-shaped cascade offers a serene and picturesque landscape, ideal for those looking to escape the more tourist-heavy spots.


Hrafnabjargafoss Waterfall

14. Oxararfoss Waterfall


Oxararfoss is located in Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This small but charming waterfall is easily accessible and combines natural beauty with historical significance, as it is close to the site of Iceland’s ancient parliament.


Oxararfoss Waterfall

15. Selfoss Waterfall


Selfoss is located upstream from Dettifoss and offers a wide, semi-circular cascade that stretches 100 meters (328 feet). Its relative tranquility compared to the nearby Dettifoss makes it a peaceful spot to admire the beauty of Iceland’s waterfalls.


Selfoss Waterfall

16. Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall


Kirkjufellsfoss is a small but iconic waterfall located near the picturesque Kirkjufell mountain on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It is a popular spot for photographers, especially during sunset or when the northern lights are visible.


Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall

17. Hengifoss Waterfall


Hengifoss, or “Hanging Falls,” is the third tallest waterfall in Iceland at 128 meters (420 feet). Located in East Iceland, it is known for the striking red clay layers within the basaltic rock, creating a unique geological feature.


Hengifoss Waterfall

18. Kvernufoss Waterfall


Kvernufoss is a hidden gem near the famous Skogafoss waterfall. It is 30 meters (98 feet) high and is partially enclosed by a dramatic gorge. Visitors can enjoy a short hike to reach it and even walk behind the waterfall.


Kvernufoss Waterfall

19. Klifbrekkufoss Waterfall


Klifbrekkufossar is a series of seven small waterfalls cascading down a mountainside in the East Fjords. The zig-zagging water flow creates a beautiful pattern and is best visited during the summer when the roads are open.


Klifbrekkufoss Waterfall

20. Hrauneyjafossar Waterfall


Hrauneyjafossar is a relatively new series of waterfalls created by the overflow from a hydropower plant. Located in the Sigoldugljufur canyon, these falls offer a unique blend of natural and man-made beauty.


Hrauneyjafossar Waterfall

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland?


Skogafoss is often considered the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland due to its impressive height, width, and the spectacular view from the top.


Which is the largest waterfall in Iceland?


Glymur was considered the tallest until Morsarfoss was discovered, standing at 228 meters (748 feet).


Why are there so many waterfalls in Iceland?


Iceland’s unique combination of glaciers, volcanic activity, and abundant rainfall creates ideal conditions for waterfalls to form.


What is Iceland’s highest waterfall?


Morsarfoss, discovered in 2011, is the highest waterfall in Iceland at approximately 228 meters (748 feet).


This comprehensive guide highlights the top waterfalls in Iceland, providing valuable information for travelers eager to explore these natural wonders. Whether you seek the power of Dettifoss, the serene beauty of Hraunfossar, or the iconic charm of Skogafoss, Iceland’s waterfalls promise an unforgettable experience. For an even more adventurous journey, consider a campervan rental in Iceland to fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes.

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