Icelandic waterfalls reflect the country as a whole; uncrowded, majestic and beautiful in an unusual way. In the grand scheme of things, waterfalls make up just a tiny fraction of the country’s natural repertoire of wonders, but they are worth taking a minute to glance over. Never have I witnessed such an array of stunning water features without having to fight to see them. The most visited waterfall in Iceland feels like a relatively hidden gem when compared to an equivalent in the States. Skogafoss & Gullfoss, two falls which, had they been situated in Yellowstone or Yosemite would have required a January visit in order to avoid a thorough crushing by hoards of selfie takers, were relatively calm in mid summer. Some waterfalls looked positively lonely.
This is how much of Iceland feels, and it’s difficult to understand how such a beautiful nation is so under viewed, but long may it stay this way, the calm serenity adds so much to the experience. If you manage to get yourself to the island, and are lucky enough to have time to explore, here are the locations of some of the most stunning waterfalls in Iceland, take a little time to drop by whilst hiking on volcanos or climbing glaciers!
Gullfoss is generally considered to be one of the most beautiful and iconic Icelandic waterfalls.
Found in the Hvita glacier river, it’s location adds to its popularity, being amongst a group of attractions known as the Golden Circle, which often makes up a
tourists entire itinerary. It certainly deserves its spot, the waterfall drops into a gorge, spraying mist up over visitors, and creating a photographers dream. In winter, the ice creates a lovely blue contrast, and if timed well in summer, a perfect rainbow will rise over the gorge. Regardless of season, this waterfall is incredible.
Also found in the easy to access South West of the country, this sixty-three meter waterfall has a special feature, you can walk behind it. Like Gullfoss it is one of the most popular Icelandic waterfalls but even in mid summer it’s no more than a gentle ambling of fellow hikers. Caught when the sky is clear and the sun is on the horizon, this might be one of the most beautiful spots on earth.
Located on the South coast, this waterfall can be viewed from a few dramatic angles, distant, up close and from above. The stairs which scale the slopes to the right of the waterfall are a clear sign of Iceland’s intentions to invest in developing the access to such natural highlights, but it only adds to the value of the sight.
The mist and moss here is extremely impressive and if you’re lucky, you may witness a rainbow, and now and then, a double rainbow.
Okay so this little waterfall isn’t quite as easy to reach as some of the others on the list, however it is an absolute beauty. If you can afford the time to get off the (not so) beaten trail you might want to go looking for this. The best part of the waterfall is the deep blue color which contrasts wildly with the rocky surroundings. The series of small falls at it’s upper end create a nice multi level effect which works well for photography.
This one is located in the Westfjords, and without a doubt it is the coolest waterfall in this rugged and isolated area of Iceland. Of all the Icelandic waterfalls mentioned, it is perhaps the most majestic, with it’s series of cascades and powerful appearance. It might take you a bit of time to reach, but its certainly worth the visit.
Flowing from the river Öxará into a lovely rocky pool, this waterfall is at the end of a nice walk in which you get to stand in the crack between the European and American tectonic plates, one of the only places on Earth you can do this as most are under water. It’s a glorious waterfall, and a beautiful place to relax and drink a thermos of coffee or read a book. The surrounding park increases it’s appeal even further!
I have plenty of exploring left to do when it comes to Icelandic Waterfalls, and can’t wait to find more, if you have any additions to the list I’d love to hear your thoughts. Which falls do you think could beat them? Let us know by commenting! And if you like our tips and stories, we’d love you to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.