Chasing Iceland’s Best Waterfalls
Iceland is growing more and more in popularity among tourists every year, and it’s not hard to see why – it’s an island of otherworldly beauty covered in glaciers that glitter blue in the light, 130 inactive and bubbling, smoldering active volcanoes, and the best looking horses you’ve ever seen (their album drops next week).
But as if that wasn’t enough, this land of ice and fire went ahead and #blessed us with waterfalls. Thousands and thousands of waterfalls. Some that freeze solid once the winter months bring plunging temperatures and some that seem to appear as if from nowhere. And since 10,000 (give or take) is a lot of waterfalls, we thought we’d help get you started with a few of our favourites (click each name to scope their locations).
Nearly 15 meters wide and 60 meters tall, Skogafoss is one of Europe’s biggest waterfalls. When the sun’s out, catch all of that billowing mist at the right angle, and you’ll be treated to shimmering rainbow prisms on demand.
Spectacular from all angles, what makes Seljalandsfoss so special is the path leading to a cave you can walk into to view the falls from behind, making this possibly the most photogenic waterfall in Iceland.
The many small falls that make up Hraunfossar, which translates into “Lava Falls”, seem to appear from nowhere, but are in fact coming from cold, subterranean springs that pumps up through the lava and flows into the Hvita River.
This powerful behemoth might be Iceland’s most popular waterfall, as it’s part of the famous Golden Circle, but don’t let that stop you. This is one of those gorgeous gems that freezes over in the winter months and can be a great spot to catch the Northern Lights.
Aside from being breathtakingly beautiful, Goðafoss holds an interesting history: when Christianity was made the official religion of Iceland around the year 1000 by a lawmaker named Þorgeir, he is said to have taken his statues of the Norse gods and thrown them into the falls. Take that to your next trivia night at the pub.
The defining feature of Svartifoss isn’t so much the actual waterfall as it is the striking backdrop made up of tall, hexagonal basalt columns that frames it. Just be sure to keep your distance – as tempting as it may be, the area around the falls is full of sharp and falling rocks ready to spoil your day out.