One of nature’s most splendid creations, hands-down and without a doubt, is the waterfall. They are majestic, powerful, and incredibly beautiful. Iceland has no shortage of these splendid phenomena! Here are a few that you must not miss while traveling through Iceland.
If you only have the time or resources to visit one waterfall in Iceland, Gulfoss would be it!! It’s popular with the tourists but for good reason. It’s stunning! Most tours that take you to the “Golden Circle” include a visit to Gulfoss. Once at Gulfoss, there are several steps to climb before being able to view the falls. However, once at the top platform, one can view the falls in all her majesty.
The waterfall itself is 32 m. high. The rush of the water crashing to the depths below, the sunlight reflecting off the falls and the spray from the powerful falls combine to provide an incredible experience, not to mention some amazing photography! To top it off, the falls are known to have rainbows overhead quite frequently. I read a post about this and didn’t think that when I visited, the rainbow would be there. But there it was!!!! It was thrilling. You definitely do not want to leave your camera behind on this excursion.
Our trip to Gulfoss was part of the Golden Circle tour that was organized by our tour company Gate1travel and can be booked with them at Gate1travel.com and is part of the included itinerary on many of their Iceland trips.
While the vast majority of “Golden Circle” tours will not take you to Seljalandsfoss or Skogafoss, most tours to the South Coast of Iceland, take you to these waterfalls. Sejlandsfoss is a definite sight to behold. The spray is quite powerful when walking up to the falls. I would suggest a rain jacket when visiting this waterfall, especially if you plan to walk behind the falls. A unique aspect of this waterfall is that there is a walking trail that goes behind and around the falls. Its definitely a great way to get “up and personal” with the falls, get a little exercise and have a very unique experience. However, as I’ve mentioned, bring your waterproof jacket and boots, as the spray from the falls is major.
Also located on the south coast of Iceland, is another impressive waterfall: Skogafoss. On each side of the falls the Icelandic moss sits in all its glory. Also, there are steps on one side of the falls that you can climb, to get a different view.
The surrounding area is also quite picturesque, with the lush greenery, the little farm- houses and the “ oh so cute” Icelandic horses.
(INSERT PIC OF ICELANDIC HORSES GRAZING IN THE COUNTRYSIDE)
The tour that we booked was a 2-day “South Coast” Tour, which included stops at these waterfalls, and was organized by an Icelandic based company called “Arctic Adventures”. They were our tour guides on the second “leg” of our trip.
In addition to visits to these two waterfalls, the 2-day South Coast tour includes a visit to Rejnisfjara beach (which I talk about in an another blog post”), Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, Diamond Beach, a glacier hike with experienced guides and a visit to an Ice Cave. I highly recommend this tour. Most, if not all of these places are NOT included in the popular Golden Circle tours and are “once in a lifetime” places to see and activities to experience. The 2-day South Coast tour can be booked at
www.articadventures.is and costs 200 hundred Icelandic kroner.
Inside Thingvellir National Park, lies this little gem of a waterfall. It’s not as majestic as the other three waterfalls already mentioned but is worth seeing nonetheless. A pleasant and leisurely walk through the park takes you straight to the waterfall.
The falls flow through some pretty rocks at its base, and are completely accessible for a few photo ops.
(Insert 2 pics of Oxararfoss here)
Also located on the southern Icelandic coast is Hjalparfoss, which is actually two sister waterfalls that both flow into the same pool below. My husband and I took a “Game of Thrones” tour that took us to a few filming location in Thingvellir National Park. While on the tour, our tour guide stopped briefly at both Oxararfoss and Hjalparfoss for some oogling and a few photos. We weren’t able to hike down to the bottom near the river but were grateful to our awesome guide for stopping at this beauty. J
(Insert pic of Hjalparfoss here)
You may certainly seek out these two waterfalls if you are exploring Iceland independently but if you are a Game of Thrones fan, you can get a “twofer” by booking this tour, where you will see many of the filming locations of the popular HBO series, as well as see Oxarfoss. The brief visit to Hjalparfoss was not a scheduled part of this tour but our amazing guide threw it in as a “freebie”. For more information on this tour please refer to my other blog post entitled “ Game of Thrones Tour” Iceland.
There are also countless other waterfalls throughout the country, especially on the Snaefellsas peninsular and on the West coast of the country. Depending on your length of stay in Iceland, there are endless opportunities to experience more of them, in all of their splendor. The pictures featured in this blog post capture much of the beauty of these splendid waterfalls! However, there is no substitute for experiencing their majesty in person. The sights, sounds, smells, overall experience and true essence of the falls can only be experienced in person. I do hope that you will consider visiting any or all of the above waterfalls on your trip to Iceland.