Top 10 Most Famous Waterfall in Iceland | iVisits

Top 10 Most Famous Waterfall in Iceland

Iceland is a well-known paradise for photographers but also for nature lovers, with a plethora of natural wonders of all sorts. There is no other place on earth to experience fully what nature has to offer, from active volcanoes, mountains, glaciers, lava fields to the northern lights or the midnight sun.

When it comes to relaxation, there is nothing more soothing than the sound of running water. Iceland is home to a number of large and powerful waterfalls, so different from each other…They have a dramatic surroundings, that create an incredible backdrop. Check out our ten choices of the best waterfalls you can easily encounter during a road trip around the island… Embrace nature, escape the stress of your busy life and let’s travel to Iceland together!

#1 Skógafoss

Found in the south on the Skógá River, the waterfall drops from steep cliffs, covered in green carpet of verdure. Its plunge reaches 60 meters (200 ft) height and 25 metres (82 ft) width, making it one of the biggest waterfalls in the country.


Why to go there?

A local legend states that Prasi Porolfsson, the first Viking who settled in the area, hid a treasure behind the waterfall that has been glimpsed but has yet to be found. However, there are other reasons to visit it: besides its natural beauty, the waterfall’s spray often produces a a single or double rainbow on most sunny days, making it even more unique.



Skógafoss is located directly off of Iceland’s Route 1, otherwise known as the Ring Road in the Southeastern portion of the country.

#2 Dettifoss

The most powerful waterfall in Europe is truly impressive: the water drops at an impressive speed of 193 m³/s. It is 100 meters (328 ft) wide and stretches across the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. Moreover, a new tarmac road allows the tourists to reach the falls easier.


Why to go there?

The incredible volume of water makes it the most powerful falls in Iceland. Indeed an impressive sight!


Travelers can view Dettifoss from both sides of the river, though most approach from the west. There are two separate roads that lead from the Ring Road to each side of the falls; from Road 1 (the Ring Road), take Road 864 to the East side (32km), or Road 862 to the West (20km). Note that these roads are not in service during the winter time, and often close during snowy periods.


#3 Selfoss

Selfoss is a horseshoe-shaped waterfall located in the north of Iceland, near the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum, inside the Vatnajokull National Park. The falls are not very high (11 meters) but gorgeous. There is a short straightforward walking path upstream of Dettifoss. It cannot compete with Dettifoss in terms of size, strength and grandeur, . … but Selfoss is truly breathtaking and should not be missed, believe me!


Why to go there?

Located in Jokulsargljufur national park,  Dettifoss is wide and majestic while Selfoss is spread out and delicate. Both a pleasure for the eyes!


Selfoss is accessible via the same trailhead for both its banks as Dettifoss.


#4 Seljalandsfoss

This one is the most famous and really pretty. The water is floated by Seljalandsá river and then drops 60 metres (200 ft) from the cliff. It is possible to go behind it as well, as it hides a spacious cave behind. It is indeed very eye-catching. Therefore, various images of it are found on the internet, as well as calendars or books.


Why to go there?

It is very accessible, since is posited on the famous Ring Road, which circles the entire island. Traveling this road is regarded to be one of the best tourist activities in the country, since it provides a good impression of the Icelandic nature.Popular with travelers and prominently featured on The Amazing Race, the falls are easily viewed from a pedestrian bridge. Visitors also have access to a path which winds right behind the waterfall, offering photo opportunities from every angle and covering those who take the path in a thick sheet of spray.


Seljalandsfoss is located 20 minutes west of Skógar, and is visible from the Ring Road.





#5 Goðafoss

Another spectacular waterfall, which plunges from the wide river of Skjálfandafljót. It plays an important historic role in the history of the country, since when it became Christian the old idols were thrown into Godafoss, whose name signifies a priestess in the Old Norse language.


Why to go there?

Known as “Waterfall of the Gods,” Godafoss sometimes nicknamed by some locals as “The Beauty” in comparison to “The Beast” (which is Dettifoss). It could not be truer; this waterfall is wonderful, and very pleasing to the eye!


Located close to the road between Akureyri and Mývatn, the waterfall is well signposted along the Ring Road.The alluring falls can be approached from the both sides of the river.





#6 Fjallfoss

When driving in and out the Westfjords, you can’t miss this iconic waterfall,it’s the unusual shape of Dynjandi that makes it memorable.So it also called “The Mountain falls”.his is in fact a series of waterfalls. Water cascades down 100 meters from the top through various tiers, each with their own name and viewpoint. The uppermost tier called Dynjandi waterfall is the biggest and the most photographed one, and visitors who climb to the top are met with expansive views of the fjords’  beautiful panorama.



Why to go there?

It is regarded to be one of the most striking cascading waterfalls in Iceland. And who could argue with that?


From World of Waterfalls: “From the north end of the ferry from Stykkisholmur at Breidafjördur Bay, drive north on Route 610 for about 500m then turned right onto Route 62. Follow Route 62 for a little over 5km to then turn left onto Route 60 (Vestfjarðavegur). You will go up a wide gully to a small pass before descending towards its junction with the Route 63.

After about 30km from the Route 62/Route 60 junction (notice this road will go above the stream responsible for Dynjandi as well as another stream over a neighboring waterfall), there will be another signposted turnoff on the left for Dynjandi. Take this turnoff and follow it downhill for the last 760m to its end at the large car park for the falls. This drive would take roughly an hour.”



#7 Kirkjufellsfoss

Posited next to the Kirkjufell Mountain, the waterfall is not big, however its striking surroundings make it part of this list. The mountain’s cone beautifully sticks out on a plain landscape. Moreover, the Northern Lights sparkle here often, adding an enigmatic atmosphere to the site.


Why to go there?

One can admire so much: the mountain, its reflection on water, the falls and Aurora Lights – a truly incredible place.


Kirkjufellsfoss lies on the main road along Route 54. It is located about 23km east of Olafsvik at Grundarfjordur on the Snaefellsnes peninsula.



#8 Svartifoss

The Black Fall is a unique waterfall, that confirms Iceland as the land of many natural wonders. While not as powerful or intimidating as many of the other falls listed here, Svartifoss surpasses the others in terms of beauty, falling against a contrasting backdrop of pitch black basalt columns.


Why to go there?

The surreal appearance of the waterfall has inspired architects of Iceland: Hallgrímskirkja and National Theater are the most famous examples, that blend well with Icelandic landscape. Also it is located in Skaftafel National Park, which attracts many tourists on its own. The old farms, glaciers, rocky terrain, volcanoes and Arctic flowers plowing their way through the rough surface can be seen here.


The falls are conveniently located only a short distance from the entrance to the National Park. The National Park is located along the Ring Road, roughly 54km west of the icebergs at Jökulsárlón.



#9 Háifoss

Háifoss, meaning High Falls, is Iceland’s second highest waterfall.A graceful tall waterfall plunges down the rugged deep gorge, which creates a striking backdrop. It is situated near Hekla – the most active volcano in Iceland. The dramatic landscape make it an eye candy for the photographers, who have plenty of angles to take great pictures.


Why to go there?

There is another waterfall, Granni (Neighbour), next to Háifoss and this pair of waterfalls make for one of the most beautiful sights in Iceland. Standing above these two waterfalls is like looking at a panoramic photo. It is absolutely breathtaking.Besides the waterfall, one can visit the menacing volcano of Hekla. The entire location is definitely worth visiting.



To get to Háifoss waterfall from Reykjavík drive east on ring-road 1, pass Selfoss town and take a left turn on road 30 until you reach Árnes, where you make a right turn on road 32. Just before you reach the power plant Sultartangi turn left on a gravel road, which leads to Háifoss waterfall.

There is a parking lot on the south-side above the waterfalls. The road to the falls is a bumpy one and I would recommend not going there unless you have a 4×4. Also driving down to Þjórsárdalur valley and the next waterfall, Gjáin and the beautiful oasis there, should not be done without a 4×4, in my opinion. Háifoss waterfall is located ca 134 km away from Reykjavík.



#10 Hraunfossar

In western Iceland, water flows through about 2953 ft (900 m) of lava field and emerges to form a series of waterfalls called Hraunfossar. The lava field Hallmundarhraun is believed to have formed around 800 AD, shortly before the first settlers are recorded as making Iceland their home.


Why to go there?

Hraunfossar means “lava falls” because the waterfall consists of countless springs of clear water emerging from under the edge of the Grahraun Lava Field and feeding into a blue-colored river Hvitá. It’s quite unique and beautiful!


From Reykjavik, we drove north on the Ring Road for about 63km passing beneath the Hvalfjörður but turning right onto the Route 50 (not crossing the Borgarfjörður towards Borgarnes). Then, we followed the Route 50 for another 30km or so before we turned right again to leave the route 50 and get onto the Route 518.

We followed the Route 518 for the last 23km passing through Reykholt and eventually arriving at the car park for Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. It took us about 90 minutes to make this drive from Reykjavik.


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