Iceland is a country of waterfalls and volcanoes, of impossible waterfalls and epic mountains that seek to be conquered. Many of us look for those photographs that evoke waterfalls in Iceland, perhaps because they are one of the most beautiful on the planet or perhaps, because they are what every photographer dreams of stamping in his Curriculum.
When we arrived in Iceland one of the things that caught our attention was the amount of tourists with reflex cameras, many of them high-end. Iceland is a country where photography lends itself, where the landscape is easy to photograph and where the light helps, since in months like June, where the summer season begins, the days are usually twenty four hours. The night is for mortals.
The waterfalls of Iceland are for many the main objective of your visit to Iceland, and although it was not ours, it was one of the most important objectives of the trip. Looking towards this goal we were looking to portray, under Our point of view, the waterfalls that impacted us most throughout our car trip through Iceland.
Do not forget to watch the video above! 🙂
When you land in the Keflavik airport The first thing you see are signs of Mother Nature turned into ancient lava fields. Instead when you arrive at your hotel in Reykjavik the first brochure What you find is that of a spectacular waterfall.
As with every trip, the first waterfall is one of the ones that can excite you the most on the trip, you are first time, as if it were your first day of school. But as you see waterfalls, many of them non-tourist and on top of difficult access, you realize that Iceland is not just the waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss orSkógafoss, there are many more, and much of them far exceed those visited by most tourists. Do not forget after all, that where there is a road, in this case the Ring Road, there is civilization. If there is civilization, there is tourism, and therefore the Lonely Planet and the “Coca Cola” Tours arrive, but the world does not end there. There are waterfalls in Iceland that may still surprise you.
Our selection of waterfalls in Iceland could start from north to south, but if your stay is short, maybe you just go to the north or maybe you just go south, we will sort this selection based on our criteria, based mainly on the following points :
- Beauty. The waterfall and the way that makes us fall in love with a waterfall
- Wild. Access remote waterfalls, as if it were an adventure, and find jumps that you do not expect, always end up with a sweet experience
- Size. Yes, because the size and length of a waterfall jump matters
1 Háifoss, wild by itself
Háifoss is marked on the maps, but not on the road. Is one of those wild waterfalls, only accessible in 4 × 4, and of colossal proportions. More than a waterfall, there are two, three or maybe more, it all depends on the season. Here the force nature is brutal and the landscape is really epic, of the most beautiful you can see in Iceland. It is clear why it is our Icelandic waterfall TOP.
To access Háifoss you have to take the road from Landmannalaugar, the 32, and turn off at 332, along a dirt track. First you cross the river, eye before June, and then you climb a hill with many stones along the way. Shortly after, there is signage, there is a small makeshift parking before seeing the flash of the waterfalls.
Haifoss with the last rays of light
2 Seljalandsfoss, the closest to paradise
Next to Skógafoss It is the most photographed waterfall in Iceland and the only one that can be walked under it, since that perfect jump leaves a small cave as if it will await that treasure of pirates or why not, of nogmos that may inhabit these lands.
Not far from it, next to a campsite on your left, there are several jumps of great beauty that you have to visit. One of them is a cave where the light that penetrates seems taken from a postcard photograph. It is not from the waterfalls of Iceland with a perfect fall, but it is worth at least one visit.
To accessSeljalandsfoss, it is so simple to follow Ring Road for an hour and a half from Reykjavik.
3 Dettifoss and Selfoss, without rivals in the north
Although there are really 3 waterfalls in less than 2km, the third one is Hafragilsfoss, Dettifoss and Selfoss They are the waterfalls par excellence of the north. They have tourism, but not far away with their southern sisters and their beauty is sublime.
To access them there are two possibilities from Ring Road, all depending on which shore you want to see. We bet on the west bank, and clearly we are right.
To access them you have to deviate on the Ring Road about 20km to the parking lot of the waterfalls. From there there is little more than 1km to access Dettifoss, the first on the left, and 700m above to access Selfoss. The third is higher and you have to take a track for 2km to access it. If you go with little time we do not see it as a priority, although the descent to the waterfall is very beautiful.
4 Skógafoss, the “perfect” waterfall
It is as touristy asSeljalandsfoss, but its jump is the same or even more perfect. It is another example of perfect jump and large dimensions. UnlikeSeljalandsfoss, the waterfall is accessible both from the bottom, where the classic Skógafoss photograph is made, or from the top, since there is a path to the right that goes up to where the waterfall begins. By the way, stop halfway there is a point where with a good angle the picture is really shocking.
5 Gullfoss, explosion of colossal dimensions
It is one of the best waterfalls you can see not far from Reykjavik. So much for its dimensions, for the width, so much for the succession of jumps it has is one of our favorites. It is one of the best equipped for tourism, so do not be scared if you see dozens of buses in high season.
You can see it from both sides. From the side where the visitor center is, possibly with better views, or from the opposite shore, only accessible in 4 × 4 and with many more emotions for those who visit it.
More information about the Gullfoss waterfall here.
6 Svartifoss, small but bully
For many, Iceland's waterfall is par excellence, as is, in the singular. But of course, after seeing many others beforehand and having to decide which waterfalls in Iceland are the most beautiful, I'm afraid, we left her in an honorable sixth place. This does not mean that it does not seem beautiful, that it is, but if it were not for the hexagonal columns, the jump would be one more and would be half forgotten among the thousands of waterfalls in Iceland. By the way, the waterfall is inside theSkaftafell National Park, where it exists the most beautiful day route from all over Iceland.
Digital retouching and geological curiosity has overrated this waterfall too much, we believe.
7 Glymur, the highest waterfall in Iceland
It is the tallest waterfall in Iceland, with about200m high. For us, Haifoss looked much taller, probably because he is not inside a canyon as narrow as Glymur's. The best of this waterfall is its meandering river and beautiful bill, especially from the highest point of the waterfall.
We emphasize that being a very narrow canyon the waterfall it is not appreciated in all its splendor, although only by the small walk, of about two kilometers, to cross the river by a trunk and a cable enabled for it, compensate the visit to this peculiar waterfall.
By the way, there are two very interesting hiking trails around the waterfall. A 19.8km access to Leggjabrjótur, with very interesting lakes, and another circular route of about 10km that ascends to the Hvalfell, overlooking Havalvatn.
To visit it you have to take the Ring road Northbound from Reykjavik.
When visiting waterfalls in Iceland You have to be clear about two things. Iceland's climate is changing, several seasons can pass in one day. Besides the waterfalls are so great that you will get wet if or if. Therefore, do not forget about:
- Raincoat, without it you will end up wet
- Slippers with sole to grip. When the ground is wet, you will tend to slip on many of them. Watch out for this, it can be dangerous if you decide to take pictures off the marked trails
- Polar fleece or a good jersey. Where there is water, shade or humidity, the temperature is usually lower
- A cloth for your camera and a backpack. The camera will tend to get wet forever
- Untripod if you want to get the best perspective possible
We do not recommend umbrellasIn fact, few Icelandic people will see them. The wind is part of the nature of this island and an umbrella is a natural loser with the gusts that cross these places.
Travel to Iceland
To travel to Iceland you can do it in several ways. Or looking for free flights with flag companies like Icelandair, low cost like Wowair and then look for the means of land transport, by bus with Reykjavik Excursions or by car rented with companies like Sixt, or what it offers IslandTours, which allows you to travel in many ways, making a circuit or traveling your way, since they manage the plane, the car, the accommodation and even the activities you want and thus allow you to travel alone, with your partner or with your family.
One last thing, be careful with the accommodation. In high season it is very difficult to find both accommodation as a rental car, especially first. Hotel places are very limited. Let's not forget that it is an island with just over 300,000 inhabitants, so or you plan it very well, or to be planned. Anyway, although it is not valid for all types of travelers, you will always have the possibility to rent a caravan or sleep in tent, although with the wind, the cold and the rain of Iceland can be a bit annoying. It all depends on your adventurous gene.
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