There are many beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, that leave many visitors speechless with wonder. Here’s our guide to the Waterfalls of South Iceland.
Iceland has many rivers and streams, so naturally, in a mountainous area you will have a lot of waterfalls. Even while in Reykjavik you can find waterfalls, if you know where to look, and during summer you might even spot a salmon or two swimming upstream, battling the river to reach the right pool.
Perhaps nowhere in Iceland this becomes as evident as when you are driving along the South Coast. There are many rivers and streams along the road, which all hold beautiful waterfalls, many of which as just by the road.
The word foss in Icelandic means waterfall. Therefore most of the waterfalls in Iceland have names that end with foss.
Here’s our guide to the waterfalls of South Iceland.
Gullfoss waterfall (e. Golden Waterfall) is perhaps one of the most photographed waterfalls in Iceland, since it is a part of the famous Golden Circle route. The waterfall calls for you as a sight of nature embedded in a breathtaking scenery.
The two-tiered waterfall is stunning to behold and it is no wonder why this waterfall has been a favourite among Icelanders for centuries. It is an absolute must-see and just as beautiful in winter as in summer.
The water cascades down in two stages, one 11 m (36 ft) high, and the other 21 m (69 ft), into the 2,5 km (1.6 mi) long crevasse below. This crevasse was created at the end of the Ice Age by catastrophic flood waves and is lengthened by 25 cm (9.8 in) a year by the constant erosion from the water.
Compared to many other Icelandic waterfalls, Bruarfoss waterfall is relatively small. However, it is beautiful and the waters are extremely blue, hence Bruarfoss waterfall is often called The Bluest Waterfall in Iceland.
The glacial river Bruara falls about 3m, into a deep crevice that runs through the centre of dark volcanic rock formations. This creates sky-blue rapids contrasting with the lush green flora all around, making Bruarfoss waterfall an ideal photo stop.
Not far from Bruarfoss waterfall, in river Tungufljot, you will find Faxi waterfall. The waterfall itself is about 80 meters wide and over 7 meters high, and during summer you can expect to see salmon jump. Of course, you might just as well see a couple of fishermen trying their luck there.
It is easy to get close to the waterfall and shoot some great pictures, because the locals have built a nice wooden pathway, making the waterfall accessible all year round.
In Thjorsardalur valley you will find Hjalparfoss waterfall. In fact, this is a pair of waterfalls, since this is where Thjorsa river and Fossa river merge.
The two rivers fall from a lava field, from about the same height, and their cascades merge as they tumble into a serene pool. The waterfall is accessible almost all year and there’s but a short hike from the the parking lot to reach it.
We love to visit this waterfall during autumn, since the colors there are absolutely vibrant and incredibly beautiful.
Urridafoss is a waterfall in Þjorsa river. Þjorsa is Iceland’s longest river, 230 km, and Urriðafoss is the most voluminous waterfall in the country. This mighty river drops down (360 m3/sec) by the edge of Þjorsarhraun lava field in beautiful and serene surroundings.
During summer you will find many fishermen trying the luck in the waterfall, since it often holds thousands of salmon and sea-run trouts, eager to brave the waterfall and get upstream.
Just east of the village Hvolsvollur you will find Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The waterfall falls more than 60 meters down but the fact that makes this waterfall special, is that you can actually walk behind it during summer.
Of course, we recommend that you bring waterproof coat along and some good shoes, since the path is a bit rocky. But you will be awarded, since the view from behind the waterfall is spectacular. Make sure you bring your camera along (and that it is waterproofed!).
Skogafoss is a picturesque waterfall beneath Eyjafjallajokull volcano and Myrdalsjokull glacier. The waters fall 60 meters, creating an impressive heavy veil of water. On sunny days, the spray from the waterfall often produces single or double rainbows.
You can experience the waterfall from below, but there’s also steep pathway, with over 370 steps, where you can climb to the top and see the waterfall from above. This is something we recommend, but be advised, climbing the pathway is hard and you will break out a sweat.
Experience the Waterfalls of South Iceland
If you wish to experience the waterfalls of South Iceland, we are happy to help. We can arrange the perfect waterfall exploration tour, where you travel with a local, expert guide and enjoy the luxury you are accustomed to.