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Visiting Skógafoss And Seljalandsfoss Watefalls, Iceland


by Carola Doucet



Welcome to the majestic land of Iceland, a country known for its breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders. One of the must-visit destinations in Iceland is the Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls. These powerful cascades of water not only offer a mesmerizing sight but also provide a unique opportunity for adventure and exploration.


Located on the southern coast of Iceland, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss are two of the most famous and iconic waterfalls in the country. Both waterfalls are easily accessible and provide unforgettable experiences for visitors.


Skógafoss is a magnificent waterfall that stands at an impressive height of 60 meters (197 feet) and spans a width of 25 meters (82 feet). Its thunderous cascade creates a cloud of mist that glistens in the sunlight, creating a magical atmosphere. The sheer power and beauty of Skógafoss make it a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.


Seljalandsfoss, on the other hand, is known for its unique feature that sets it apart from other waterfalls in Iceland. Visitors have the rare opportunity to walk behind the waterfall and witness the curtain of water from a different perspective. It is an exhilarating experience to be surrounded by the roaring sound of the falls and feel the refreshing mist on your face.


Whether you are a photographer seeking the perfect shot, an adventurer looking for an adrenaline rush, or simply a nature lover in search of serenity, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss offer an unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe.


In the following sections, we will delve deeper into these two magnificent waterfalls, explore how to get there, the best time to visit, things to do nearby, and some helpful tips to make the most out of your visit to Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss.


Skógafoss Waterfall

Skógafoss is an iconic waterfall located along the Skógá River in the south of Iceland. It is a true natural wonder, known for its powerful cascade and stunning beauty. Standing at 60 meters (197 feet) tall and spanning a width of 25 meters (82 feet), Skógafoss is a sight to behold.


Visiting Skógafoss feels like stepping into a fairytale. As you approach the waterfall, you’ll be captivated by the deafening roar of the water as it crashes down, creating a cloud of mist that dances in the sunlight. The sheer power of the waterfall is awe-inspiring, and its beauty is enhanced by the lush greenery and rugged cliffs that surround it.


One of the unique features of Skógafoss is the walking path that allows visitors to climb to the top of the waterfall. As you ascend the stairs, you’ll be treated to stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the river and the expansive Skógárdalur Valley. Be sure to bring your camera to capture this breathtaking scenery!


Legend has it that there is a hidden treasure behind the waterfall, waiting to be discovered by those brave enough to find it. While the treasure may only be a myth, the opportunity to explore the misty cave behind the cascade is a real adventure. Prepare to get wet as you navigate the slippery rocks and experience the raw power of nature up close.


Skógafoss is not only a visual spectacle but also a place of cultural significance. According to local folklore, the first Viking settler in the area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a treasure chest behind the waterfall. Many have attempted to find the treasure, but it remains elusive to this day.


Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a photographer, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, Skógafoss is a must-visit destination in Iceland. The combination of its impressive size, mesmerizing beauty, and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the waterfall make it an experience you won’t forget.


Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Seljalandsfoss, located along the Seljalandsá River in southern Iceland, is a magnificent waterfall that offers a unique and exhilarating experience for visitors. What sets Seljalandsfoss apart from other waterfalls in Iceland is the opportunity to walk behind the cascading water curtain.


With a height of approximately 60 meters (197 feet), Seljalandsfoss is a stunning sight to behold. As the water plunges over the rocky ledge, it creates a dramatic and mesmerizing display. The waterfall is surrounded by lush green vegetation, adding to its enchanting appeal.


One of the highlights of visiting Seljalandsfoss is the path that leads behind the waterfall. This pathway allows you to venture behind the cascading water, providing a truly unique perspective. As you make your way through the narrow path, you’ll be engulfed by the roaring sound of the falls and mist that fills the air. It’s an adventure that is sure to leave you in awe.


Walking behind Seljalandsfoss offers a remarkable opportunity for photographers to capture stunning shots from a different angle. The play of light, water, and surrounding nature creates a magical scene that is perfect for capturing memorable photographs. Be prepared to get wet as the mist from the waterfall can be quite intense, so wearing waterproof clothing is recommended.


It’s worth noting that the walk behind the waterfall may be challenging for some visitors due to the slippery and uneven terrain. However, the breathtaking views and unforgettable experience make it well worth the effort.


While Seljalandsfoss is stunning during the day, it takes on a whole new level of beauty during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset. The soft glow of the sun casts a warm light on the waterfall, creating a magical atmosphere. If you’re lucky enough to visit during these times, you’ll be treated to a truly extraordinary sight.


Aside from the waterfall itself, the surroundings of Seljalandsfoss offer additional attractions. Nearby, you’ll find other smaller waterfalls and picturesque landscapes that are perfect for exploring and photographing.


Visiting Seljalandsfoss is an experience that should not be missed during your trip to Iceland. The opportunity to walk behind the waterfall and witness its beauty up close is truly remarkable. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, or photography enthusiast, Seljalandsfoss promises to leave a lasting impression on your journey through Iceland’s natural wonders.


How to Get to Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss

Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss are located along the southern coast of Iceland, making them easily accessible for visitors. Here are a few options for reaching these magnificent waterfalls:

  1. By Car: Renting a car is a popular option for exploring Iceland, and it provides the most flexibility when visiting Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. The waterfalls are located along the Ring Road (Route 1), which is the main highway that loops around the entire country. From Reykjavik, it takes approximately 2.5 hours to reach Skógafoss and another 30 minutes to Seljalandsfoss. There is ample parking available near both waterfalls, allowing you to easily access them.
  2. By Bus: If you prefer not to drive, there are bus tours available that visit Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. Many tour companies in Reykjavik offer day trips that include stops at these iconic waterfalls. These tours typically provide transportation, a knowledgeable guide, and some even offer additional stops at other notable attractions in the area.
  3. By Guided Tours: Another option is to join a guided tour specifically focused on the waterfalls. These tours often provide a more immersive experience, with guides who share interesting facts and stories about the waterfalls and the surrounding area. They may also offer additional activities, such as hiking or glacier walks, allowing you to make the most of your visit to Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss.
  4. By Private Transportation: If you prefer a more personalized experience, you can hire a private driver or book a private transfer service. This option gives you the flexibility to customize your itinerary and explore the waterfalls at your own pace.

Regardless of the transportation option you choose, it’s important to keep in mind that Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, especially during the winter months. Road conditions can change quickly, so be sure to check the weather forecast and road conditions before setting out on your journey to Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. It’s also a good idea to dress in layers and pack appropriate gear, as the weather around the waterfalls can be misty and windy.


With their convenient location and various transportation options, getting to Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss is relatively easy. Just plan your journey accordingly and get ready to be amazed by the beauty that awaits you.


Best Time to Visit Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss

The best time to visit Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss is during the summer months, from June to August. This is when Iceland experiences its mildest and most pleasant weather, with longer daylight hours for exploring and photographing the waterfalls. The lush greenery surrounding the falls is at its peak during this time, adding to the overall beauty of the landscape.


Visiting Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss in the summer also allows you to take advantage of the midnight sun phenomenon. During the summer solstice, Iceland experiences almost 24 hours of daylight, allowing you to witness the waterfalls in the unique glow of the midnight sun. This is an incredible sight that offers a truly magical and otherworldly experience.


However, it’s important to note that summer is also the peak tourist season in Iceland, so the waterfalls can be quite crowded, especially during the daytime. If you prefer a more tranquil and less crowded experience, consider visiting in the early morning or late evening when the tourist traffic is lower.


In contrast, visiting Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss during the winter months, from December to February, provides a completely different experience. The waterfalls are transformed into a winter wonderland, with the surrounding cliffs covered in sparkling ice and snow. The frozen landscape adds a unique and enchanting element to your visit.


During the winter, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss take on a different kind of beauty. The colder temperatures create frozen formations around the falls, making the scene dramatically different from the lush green scenery of summer. It’s important to note, however, that visiting during winter requires extra caution, as the paths can be slippery and the weather conditions can be harsh. Proper winter gear, such as sturdy boots and warm clothing, is essential.


No matter what time of year you choose to visit Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast before your trip. Icelandic weather can be unpredictable, even during the summer months, so it’s important to be prepared for changing conditions and pack accordingly.


Ultimately, the best time to visit Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss depends on your personal preferences and what you hope to experience. Whether it’s the vibrant green of summer or the frozen magic of winter, both seasons offer their own unique charm and atmosphere, making these waterfalls a sight to behold year-round.


Things to Do Near Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss

When visiting Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, there are plenty of other attractions and activities in the area to enhance your experience. Here are some things to do near these magnificent waterfalls:

  1. Explore the Skógá River and Skógárdalur Valley: Take a stroll along the banks of the Skógá River and immerse yourself in the peacefulness of the surrounding nature. The Skógárdalur Valley is filled with hiking trails that offer stunning views of the river, waterfalls, and rugged landscapes.
  2. Visit the Skógar Museum: Located near Skógafoss, the Skógar Museum is a cultural treasure that provides insight into the history and heritage of Iceland. Explore the various exhibits, including traditional turf houses, historical artifacts, and a collection of fishing boats.
  3. Hike the Fimmvörðuháls Trail: For the more adventurous souls, consider embarking on the Fimmvörðuháls Trail. This challenging multi-day hike takes you through diverse landscapes, including lush valleys, volcanic craters, and glaciers. The trail starts near Skógafoss and ends at Þórsmörk, offering breathtaking views along the way.
  4. Discover the hidden Gljúfrabúi Waterfall: Just a short distance from Seljalandsfoss, you’ll find the lesser-known but equally enchanting Gljúfrabúi Waterfall. To reach it, you need to wade through a shallow river and enter a narrow opening in the rocks. The reward is a magical hidden waterfall tucked away from the crowds.
  5. Explore the black sand beaches of Reynisfjara: Take a short drive from Skógafoss to Reynisfjara and discover one of Iceland’s most famous black sand beaches. Marvel at the dramatic basalt columns, towering sea stacks, and the powerful North Atlantic waves crashing against the shore.
  6. Go glacier hiking or ice climbing: Embark on an unforgettable adventure by joining a guided glacier hike or ice climbing excursion. Several glaciers are located near Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, offering thrilling experiences and the chance to explore Iceland’s icy landscapes up close.

These are just a few of the many activities and attractions near Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or outdoor adventures, the area surrounding these waterfalls has something for everyone.


Take the time to explore and immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty and natural wonders that Iceland has to offer, making your visit to Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss an unforgettable experience.


Tips for Visiting Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss

Visiting Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss can be an incredible experience, but it’s important to come prepared to make the most of your trip. Here are some useful tips to help ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit:

  1. Wear appropriate clothing: The weather around Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to dress in layers and wear waterproof and windproof clothing. It’s also a good idea to wear sturdy, non-slip shoes, especially if you plan on walking behind Seljalandsfoss.
  2. Protect your camera and electronics: The mist and spray from the waterfalls can be intense, so be sure to protect your camera and other electronic devices from water damage. Consider bringing waterproof covers or keeping them in a waterproof bag.
  3. Bring cash for parking: If you’re traveling by car, keep in mind that parking near Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss may require a fee. It’s best to have some cash on hand for parking expenses, as some parking areas may not accept credit cards.
  4. Be cautious on the slippery paths: Both Skógafoss and the path behind Seljalandsfoss can be slippery, especially in wet weather. Take extra caution when walking on the paths and use handrails if available.
  5. Visit early in the morning or late in the evening: To avoid the crowds, consider visiting Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss early in the morning or late in the evening. These times tend to be less busy, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty and serenity of the waterfalls.
  6. Respect the environment: Help preserve the natural beauty of Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss by adhering to the “Leave No Trace” principles. Avoid littering, stay on designated paths, and respect any signs or barriers in place to protect the environment.
  7. Check weather and road conditions: Before heading out to the waterfalls, be sure to check the weather and road conditions. Icelandic weather can change rapidly, and road closures can occur due to inclement weather. Stay informed to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.
  8. Bring snacks and water: While there are facilities near Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, it’s always a good idea to bring snacks and water, especially if you plan on spending a significant amount of time exploring the area.
  9. Take your time and enjoy the surroundings: Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss offer stunning natural landscapes, so take your time to soak in the beauty around you. Be present and enjoy the moment, whether it’s marveling at the waterfalls, exploring the trails, or simply enjoying the peacefulness of the surroundings.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your visit to Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. These spectacular waterfalls are a true testament to the wonders of nature and are sure to leave a lasting impression on your Icelandic adventure.



Visiting Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss in Iceland is more than just admiring waterfalls; it’s an immersive experience that connects you with the raw beauty of nature. These iconic waterfalls offer a glimpse into the awe-inspiring natural wonders that Iceland is known for.


From the thunderous power of Skógafoss to the enchanting path behind Seljalandsfoss, these waterfalls capture the hearts and imaginations of visitors from around the world. The mist, the sound of rushing water, and the stunning surroundings make for an unforgettable adventure.


Whether you choose to visit in the summer when the land is vibrant and alive, or during the winter when the frozen landscape adds a touch of magic, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss never fail to leave a lasting impression.


Beyond the waterfalls themselves, there are plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure in the area. From hiking along the Skógá River and exploring nearby valleys to discovering hidden gems like Gljúfrabúi Waterfall and Reynisfjara black sand beach, the area surrounding Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss is a playground for nature lovers and explorers.


As you plan your visit, keep in mind the tips provided to make the most of your experience. Dress appropriately, protect your gear, and respect the environment to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.


Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss are more than just beautiful waterfalls—they are a gateway to the wild and untamed beauty of Iceland. Take your time, immerse yourself in the surroundings, and let these magnificent wonders ignite your sense of wonder and adventure.


So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable journey to Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss. Prepare to be captivated by the power and beauty of these waterfalls, and let Iceland work its magic on you.