Edit: June 8th, 2020 The Golden Circle in Southwest Iceland has for years been one of the more famous routes to go sightseeing in Iceland. The circle includes Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall or Golden Waterfall but that is where the name comes from. However, the Golden Circle has now got…
One thing you will find when in Iceland is that there are many waterfalls here. The reason for that is that we have glaciers and the Gulf Stream. We also have reasonably mild weather with a lot of rain in the summer and snow in the winter. The rain helps to feed the rivers; the snow keeps the glaciers going strong, and in the summer months when they melt, the waterfalls get even more spectacular. Additionally, we have a lot of spring water which gives us lovely freshwater waterfalls.
The most famous waterfalls of Iceland are Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Gullfoss, Goðafoss, and Dettifoss. There are, however, plenty of other waterfalls that are just as interesting and beautiful and we recommend you try and check out.
Gljúfrafoss or Gljúfrabúi
This hidden waterfall is only a few meters away from the larger Seljalandsfoss. To get to this waterfall, you need to follow a trail that leads you to a narrow canyon in which the waterfall is. There is also a wooden staircase that allows you to see the waterfall from another perspective.
Dynjandi is in Arnarfjörður, in the West Fjords and is about 100 meters tall (330 feet). The waterfall is a spectacular sight but to get near it, you will need to do a small hike. The waterfall is about 30 meters wide when it tumbles over the mountain’s edge, but at the bottom, it has spread out to 60 meters wide.
Svartifoss is in Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park. The area in the summer is blessed with delightful weather, and it has one of the most popular camping grounds in the country. The waterfall is surrounded by black columnar basalt, which is the reason for the waterfalls name; Black Waterfall. The area has many walking routes for you to explore.
This waterfall is in the Skjálfandafljót river in North Iceland. The waterfall is about 20 meters high and surrounded by basalt columns. To get to it, you will need to drive an F-road into the highlands, which means you can only really access is during the summer months and only if you rent our Easy Clever camper. During winter, we recommend you check out local tours from Mývatn or Egilsstaðir.
This beautiful freshwater waterfall is in South Iceland. It is surrounded by birch shrubbery, and nearby are three forests; Miðhúsaskógur, Brekkuskógur, and Reykjaskógur. The waterfall is not far away from Gullfoss or Geysir so that it could be an added stop on the Golden Circle route. The fall is not large compared to Gullfoss, but that does not take away from its beauty. The freshwater gives the waterfall a blue-ish tint, which is a spectacular sight.
Please note that there is no parking lot next to the waterfall, which is in private land. We recommend you park your camper by Brúará bridge, which is on Road 37 and then walk to the waterfall. Even though it is in private land and you might see a “No Trespassing” sign, you are still allowed to walk the path towards the waterfall.
This beautiful series of waterfalls in West Iceland run from underneath the Hallmundarhraun lava. The water comes from Langjökull, which is a few kilometers away. The waterfalls are about one kilometer long and are neither tall nor powerful, but are quite the sight to see.
Next to the waterfalls is another beautiful waterfall with a tragic history, Barnafoss, or Children’s waterfall. The story goes that a few centuries ago, a farmer, his wife, and their workers from a nearby farm went to church one Sunday morning. The shortest way to it was to cross the natural stone bridge over the waterfall. The housewife had told her two children to stay behind and behave themselves. However, as children are wont to do, they grew impatient and decided to go after their parents. They went over the stone-bridge, but while there, they got dizzy, tumbled down into the waterfall, and drowned.
The distraught mother vowed that anyone who would walk over that bridge would perish in the fall. Thankfully, not long after, the stone-bridge collapsed, and no one could cross it again.
The fourth highest waterfall in Iceland and is situated near the volcano Hekla in South Iceland. The waterfall which drops some 122 meters down, is not far from the historical farm Þjóðveldisbærinn Stöng, which can be seen in Game of Thrones for example. Háifoss was, until recently, thought to be the third-highest waterfall in Iceland, but Hengifoss in Fljótsdalur valley in East Iceland was found to be higher, or 128 meters.
The highest easily accessible waterfall in Iceland is in Hvalfjörður near Reykjavík and is about 198 meters high. Glymur falls down Hvalsfell into a steep canyon, and it is possible to drive almost all the way up to it. If you want to take a closer look, you can hike the marked paths on the east side of the Botnsá river.
It is now thought the waterfalls in Morsárjökull glacier (outlet glacier from Vatnajökull) are the highest or about 240 meters high. They became visible when Morsárjökull started melting in 2007. It is, however, difficult to reach and we do not recommend you trying to go there without an experienced guide.
Here’s a map of some more favorite waterfalls in Iceland:
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