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Exploring The Waterfalls Of Southern Iceland


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Bendite Ambrose



Iceland, known as the “Land of Fire and Ice,” is a country renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. From glaciers and volcanoes to geothermal springs and black sand beaches, Iceland is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. One of the highlights of Iceland’s stunning landscape is its numerous waterfalls, each with its own unique charm and beauty.


In this article, we will take you on a journey to explore the waterfalls of southern Iceland. Whether you’re planning a trip to Iceland or simply want to learn more about this picturesque country, this guide will help you discover some of the most remarkable waterfalls in the region.


Southern Iceland is home to an impressive collection of waterfalls, each with its own distinct characteristics and allure. From towering cascades that plunge into deep gorges to gentle streams that gracefully flow through lush valleys, these waterfalls showcase the raw power and captivating beauty of nature.


Prepare to be spellbound as we venture into the heart of Iceland’s natural wonders, where cascading water and awe-inspiring landscapes await.


Join us as we embark on this unforgettable journey to discover the enchanting waterfalls of southern Iceland.



Seljalandsfoss is one of Iceland’s most iconic and photogenic waterfalls. Located on the south coast of the country, it stands at an impressive height of 60 meters (197 feet) and offers a truly mesmerizing sight for visitors.


What makes Seljalandsfoss truly unique is the ability to walk behind the cascading water. A pathway allows you to venture behind the waterfall, providing a unique perspective and an unforgettable experience. Be sure to wear waterproof clothing as you will get wet!


During Iceland’s summer months, the surrounding area is adorned with vibrant greenery and colorful wildflowers, creating a picture-perfect backdrop for photography enthusiasts. The waterfall is equally captivating during the winter months when it freezes over, forming a shimmering curtain of ice.


Aside from its natural beauty, Seljalandsfoss is also steeped in folklore. Legend has it that hidden behind the waterfall is a secret cave that leads to a treasure chest. While the cave may be elusive, the treasure lies in the awe-inspiring beauty of the waterfall itself.


Located just a short drive from the popular tourist route known as the Golden Circle, Seljalandsfoss is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the wonders of southern Iceland. Whether you’re admiring it from a distance or braving the misty journey behind the cascades, Seljalandsfoss is bound to leave a lasting impression.


Take your time to soak in the majesty of Seljalandsfoss, immerse yourself in the serene surroundings, and create unforgettable memories in one of Iceland’s most breathtaking natural wonders.



Skógafoss is another spectacular waterfall located along the south coast of Iceland. Standing at a towering height of 60 meters (197 feet) and stretching out to a width of 25 meters (82 feet), it is an awe-inspiring sight to behold.


One of the unique features of Skógafoss is its powerful cascade, which creates a constant spray of mist and rainbows on sunny days. This phenomenon adds to the enchantment of the waterfall and provides visitors with an ethereal and magical experience.


As you approach Skógafoss, you will notice the thunderous sound of the water plunging into the pool below. The sheer force of the waterfall creates a mesmerizing spectacle that will leave you in awe of nature’s power.


For the adventurous souls, a steep staircase on the right side of the waterfall leads to a viewing platform. From here, you can marvel at the breathtaking panoramic view of Skógafoss and the surrounding landscape. On a clear day, you may even be able to catch a glimpse of the majestic Eyjafjallajökull, a glacier-capped stratovolcano.


Skógafoss is not just a sight to behold, but also steeped in rich folklore. Legend has it that a hidden treasure is buried within the waterfall’s mist. Many have searched for it, but none have been successful. Nonetheless, the allure of the hidden treasure adds an air of mystery to Skógafoss.


With its impressive size, thundering cascade, and mythical tales, Skógafoss is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of Skógafoss and create memories that will last a lifetime.



Located within Vatnajökull National Park, Svartifoss is a mesmerizing waterfall that stands out from the rest due to its unique feature – striking basalt columns that surround the cascade like towering organ pipes.


The name “Svartifoss” translates to “Black Fall,” referencing the dark and jagged basalt columns that give the waterfall its distinctive appearance. These hexagonal-shaped columns were formed by the rapid cooling of lava, creating a mesmerizing geometric pattern that adds to the waterfall’s allure.


The path leading to Svartifoss takes you through a scenic hike, immersing you in the beauty of Iceland’s rugged landscapes. As you approach the waterfall, the distant sound of cascading water grows louder, building anticipation for the grand reveal.


Upon reaching Svartifoss, the sight is nothing short of breathtaking. The 20-meter (65-foot) tall cascade plunges into a pool surrounded by the stunning basalt columns, creating a scene that almost feels out of this world.


As you stand in awe of Svartifoss, take a moment to appreciate the harmony between the raw power of nature and the intricacy of its geological formations. It is a reminder of the beauty and wonder that can be found in even the smallest details of Iceland’s natural landscape.


Although Svartifoss is not as easily accessible as other waterfalls in southern Iceland, the effort to reach it is well worth it. The unique beauty and tranquility of Svartifoss are sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone fortunate enough to witness it.


Make sure to add Svartifoss to your list of must-see destinations in southern Iceland, and allow yourself to be enchanted by this stunning waterfall and its extraordinary basalt columns.



Gullfoss, meaning “Golden Falls” in Icelandic, is undoubtedly one of the most famous and visited waterfalls in Iceland. Located in the southwest of the country, it is an integral part of the popular Golden Circle route.


What sets Gullfoss apart is its sheer size and raw power. The waterfall consists of two cascades, with the first dropping 11 meters (36 feet) and the second plunging a staggering 21 meters (69 feet) into a deep and narrow canyon carved by the Hvítá River.


Approaching Gullfoss, you can hear the thunderous roar of the water long before you catch sight of it. As you near the edge of the waterfall, you are greeted by a breathtaking spectacle – a massive torrent of foaming water rushing over the edge and disappearing into the depths below.


On sunny days, the mist created by the waterfall often gives rise to vibrant rainbows, casting a magical glow on the surroundings. There are several viewing platforms that offer different perspectives of the falls, allowing visitors to marvel at Gullfoss from various angles.


The beauty of Gullfoss is not just in its power and grandeur, but also in the incredible story of preservation behind it. At the beginning of the 20th century, plans were made to harness the power of Gullfoss for hydroelectricity. However, Sigríður Tómasdóttir, the daughter of the landowner, fought to protect the waterfall and preserve its natural beauty.


Taking inspiration from her efforts, Gullfoss has become a symbol of Icelandic pride and the fight to protect the country’s unique natural landmarks. Today, it stands as a testament to the strength and resilience of both nature and its advocates.


Visiting Gullfoss is an awe-inspiring experience that allows you to witness the raw power and beauty of Iceland’s natural wonders. As you stand before Gullfoss, you can’t help but feel a deep appreciation for the awe-inspiring force of nature and the importance of preserving these incredible landscapes.


Add Gullfoss to your itinerary when exploring southern Iceland, and prepare to be captivated by its grandeur and the profound impact it will have on you.



Nestled in the dramatic highlands of southern Iceland, Háifoss is a hidden gem that captivates visitors with its remote beauty and towering presence. Known as the “Tall Waterfall” in Icelandic, Háifoss is one of the highest waterfalls in the country, plunging a breathtaking 122 meters (400 feet) into a rugged canyon.


Due to its remote location, Háifoss remains relatively untouched, providing an authentic and pristine natural experience for those who make the journey to visit it. The waterfall is surrounded by stunning basalt cliffs and lush green valleys, creating a dramatic and picturesque backdrop.


The hike to Háifoss offers a sense of adventure as you navigate through rugged terrain and cross rivers. The journey itself is a rewarding experience, providing a glimpse into the untamed beauty of Iceland’s highlands.


As you approach Háifoss, the sound of cascading water grows louder, heightening the anticipation of witnessing the grandeur of the waterfall. Upon arrival, you are greeted with a breathtaking spectacle – a powerful torrent of water plunging into the canyon with tremendous force.


The beauty of Háifoss is best experienced from various viewpoints, as this allows you to appreciate the waterfall’s immense scale and the stunning vistas that surround it. Take a moment to soak in the serene atmosphere and marvel at the sheer power of nature.


Keep in mind that Háifoss is located in a remote area, and it’s important to plan accordingly. The journey may require a four-wheel-drive vehicle and careful navigation through unpaved roads. However, the effort to reach Háifoss is truly worth it, as the waterfall’s remoteness guarantees an uncrowded and tranquil experience.


For those seeking a glimpse of Iceland’s untamed beauty and a chance to be in awe of an impressive waterfall, Háifoss is a destination not to be missed. Immerse yourself in the rugged landscapes of the highlands, and let Háifoss take your breath away with its magnificence.



Located in the remote Westfjords region of Iceland, Dynjandi is a hidden gem that rewards adventurous travelers with its majestic beauty. It is often referred to as the “Jewel of the Westfjords” and is considered one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country.


Rising to a staggering height of 100 meters (330 feet), Dynjandi is a multi-tiered waterfall that cascades down the mountainside, creating a stunning display of power and grace. As the water cascades over the cliffs, it creates an ethereal mist that adds to the allure of the surroundings.


What makes Dynjandi truly unique is its shape. The main waterfall at the top is beautifully shaped like a bridal veil, which gives it its name. As you venture closer, you’ll be greeted by a series of smaller waterfalls that reveal themselves one by one, creating a cascading effect that astounds and captivates visitors.


Surrounded by steep cliffs and towering rock formations, Dynjandi provides a tranquil and awe-inspiring setting. The beauty of the waterfall is perfectly complemented by the untouched wilderness of the surrounding landscape, creating a scene straight out of a fairy tale.


Dynjandi is more than just a sight to behold; it also offers an immersive experience of Iceland’s untamed nature. A hiking trail leads you to the top of the waterfall, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding fjord and mountains. As you trek along the path, you can feel the rush of the water, hear the roaring cascades, and truly connect with the power of nature.


Visiting Dynjandi requires venturing off the beaten path and exploring the remote Westfjords region of Iceland. The journey may be more challenging, but the reward is an unforgettable experience in a place of unrivaled beauty.


Prepare to be spellbound as you witness the grandeur of Dynjandi. This hidden treasure offers a glimpse into the raw power and untouched wilderness of Iceland, reminding us of the sheer magnificence of the natural world.



Nestled within the scenic Hvalfjörður fjord, Glymur is a hidden gem and the second-highest waterfall in Iceland, standing at an impressive height of 198 meters (650 feet). This majestic waterfall offers a captivating hiking adventure and rewards visitors with stunning vistas and serene natural beauty.


The hike to Glymur is as much a part of the experience as witnessing the waterfall itself. As you embark on the trail, you’ll find yourself immersed in a diverse landscape, ranging from lush valleys and moss-covered rocks to an enchanting birch forest.


The highlight of the hike is crossing the crystal-clear waters of the Botnsá River on a thrilling log bridge, which adds an element of excitement and adventure to the journey. Take your time to admire the surrounding scenery, as every step brings you closer to the grandeur of Glymur.


Upon reaching the top, you are treated to a breathtaking view of the cascading waterfall and the impressive canyon it has carved over thousands of years. The powerful rush of water crashing into the pool below is a sight that will leave you in awe of nature’s raw beauty.


Glymur is not just about its impressive height; it is also renowned for its unique character. The waterfall cascades down a rugged cliff face, creating intricate streams and smaller cascades along the way. This multi-tiered display adds layers of depth and beauty to the overall scene.


Visiting Glymur offers a sense of tranquility and solitude, as it is located off the beaten path and away from the tourist crowds. The untouched surroundings and the peaceful sound of rushing water create a serene atmosphere that allows you to connect with nature on a deep level.


It’s important to note that the hike to Glymur requires moderate physical fitness and proper hiking gear. The trail can be challenging at times, with steep sections and rocky terrain. However, the effort is well worth it for the rewarding experience of witnessing the splendor of Glymur.


Allow yourself to be immersed in the awe-inspiring beauty of Glymur, and let this hidden gem become a cherished memory of your Icelandic adventure.



Iceland’s southern region is home to a collection of remarkable waterfalls that showcase the country’s natural beauty and awe-inspiring landscapes. From the enchanting Seljalandsfoss to the powerful Gullfoss, each waterfall has its own unique charm that leaves a lasting impression on visitors.


Exploring these waterfalls is not only an opportunity to witness the raw power of nature, but also a chance to immerse oneself in the captivating stories and legends that surround them. Whether it’s walking behind the cascades of Seljalandsfoss or venturing into the remote Westfjords to discover the hidden gem of Dynjandi, each waterfall offers a unique and unforgettable experience.


In addition to their natural beauty, these waterfalls also serve as a reminder of Iceland’s dedication to preserving its pristine landscapes. From the fight to protect Gullfoss to the remote and untouched wilderness of Háifoss, these waterfalls embody the importance of conservation and appreciation for the wonders of nature.


Embarking on a journey to explore the waterfalls of southern Iceland is an opportunity to connect with the raw power and captivating beauty of these natural treasures. The hikes, the panoramic views, and the tranquil surroundings create an immersive experience that leaves a lasting impression.


As you stand before these magnificent waterfalls, allow yourself to be mesmerized by their grandeur, their myths, and the sheer force of nature. Let the misty spray and the thunderous sound awaken your senses and fill you with a sense of wonder.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography lover, or simply someone who seeks the beauty of the natural world, the waterfalls of southern Iceland offer a captivating journey that is sure to leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. So, pack your sense of adventure and embrace the immersive beauty of these stunning waterfalls in the land of fire and ice.