Looking for the most beautiful southern Iceland waterfalls? Read on!
Iceland is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, and the country’s waterfalls are some of the most stunning sights you’ll ever see.
Southern Iceland is home to some of the most impressive waterfalls in the country, with cascading waterfalls that tumble down from high cliffs, creating a magical and unforgettable experience.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most beautiful southern Iceland waterfalls along with tips and recommendations for visiting these natural wonders.
- Best Southern Iceland Waterfalls to Visit
- Tips for Visiting Southern Iceland Waterfalls
- 1. Wear appropriate clothing
- 2. Bring a camera
- 3. Respect the environment
- 4. Check road conditions
- 5. Plan ahead
- Best Time to Visit Iceland for Waterfalls
- Travel Insurance for Iceland
- Southern Iceland Waterfalls: FAQs
- How far is Seljalandsfoss waterfall from Reykjavik?
- What is the most picturesque waterfall in Iceland?
- What is the best month to see waterfalls in Iceland?
- Where is the famous waterfall in Iceland?
- What is the waterfall on the southern coast of Iceland?
- What are the best waterfalls in Iceland?
- Southern Iceland Waterfalls
Best Southern Iceland Waterfalls to Visit
Located on the Skógá River, this waterfall drops about 60 meters and is 25 meters wide.
One of the most exciting things about Skógafoss is that you can walk right up to it. Be prepared to get drenched, though, as the mist from the waterfall is intense.
If you’re up for a bit of a climb, you can also climb up a staircase to get a bird’s eye view of the waterfall from the top.
Another exciting aspect of Skógafoss is the legend that surrounds it. According to the legend, a Viking named Þrasi hid a treasure chest behind the waterfall.
Locals have searched for the chest for years, but it has never been found. Some people believe that the chest is cursed and that anyone who finds it will suffer terrible consequences, so it may be best left alone!
If you’re interested in learning more about Skógafoss and the surrounding area, you can visit the Skógar Museum.
The museum has a collection of artifacts that showcase Iceland’s history and culture. You can also take a hike on the Fimmvörðuháls trail, which starts near Skógafoss and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Gullfoss is an iconic waterfall located in the Hvítá River canyon in Southwest Iceland. This waterfall is one of the most popular attractions and one of the most beautiful southern Iceland waterfalls.
The waterfall is also known as the “Golden Falls” due to the golden hue of the water as it cascades down the two major drops.
The falls are around 32 meters (104 feet) tall and cover an area of 175 meters (575 feet) in the stunning blue waters of the falls.
The water flows from the Hvítá river, which rushes southward and turns sharply to the right about a kilometer above the falls, flowing down into a wide curved three-step “staircase” and then abruptly plunges in two stages (11 meters or 36 feet, and 21 meters or 69 feet) into a crevice 32 meters (105 ft) deep.
Gullfoss is located in the Golden Circle, which is a popular tourist route in Iceland that covers the highlights of Iceland’s natural beauty. The waterfall can be reached within two hours from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, making it a great choice to visit if you are short on time.
Visitors can witness the falls from two different viewpoints, the upper and lower viewpoints. The lower viewpoint is closer to the falls and provides a more up-close and personal experience, while the upper viewpoint offers a panoramic view of the falls and the surrounding landscape.
This waterfall is located in Þingvellir National Park, which is about a 45-minute drive from Reykjavik, making it one of the easiest southern Iceland waterfalls to visit.
The name Öxarárfoss means “axe river waterfall” in Icelandic. The waterfall is fed by the river Öxará and drops about 20 meters into a pool below.
What makes this waterfall unique is that it’s man-made. In the 9th century, the river was diverted to provide water for the Icelandic parliament, which met in Þingvellir.
Öxarárfoss is a popular spot for visitors to the park. It’s easily accessible from the main parking lot and only a short walk away. The path to the waterfall is well-marked and takes you through a scenic area with views of the surrounding mountains.
When you reach the waterfall, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view. The water cascades down the rocks and creates a misty spray. The pool at the bottom of the waterfall is a beautiful blue shade, making for a great photo opportunity.
Helgufoss is a remarkable waterfall that is tucked away in the lush Icelandic scenery, making it one of Iceland’s most impressive hidden treasures.
It is conveniently located just half an hour away from the busy city of Reykjavik, and offers a relatively simple hike suitable for all skill levels. As such, it is considered one of the top attractions in Iceland that should not be missed.
Its name translates to “Holy Waterfall” in Icelandic. According to local legends, the waterfall was once thought to possess healing properties, and people would travel from distant places to soak in its waters.
Additionally, Helgufoss has served as a gathering place for various festivals and celebrations. It is a symbol of the natural beauty of Iceland, as well as a reminder of the elemental forces that have shaped the country’s landscape over time.
If you’re looking for a hidden gem in Iceland, Brúarfoss is a must-visit destination.
Its name means “bridge waterfall” because the waterfall cascades down a small bridge-like formation before falling into a picturesque stream of blue water.
Located in the Golden Circle, Brúarfoss is a bit of a hidden gem that requires a bit of effort to reach. You’ll need to hike 7 kilometers from the parking lot to the waterfall, but the journey is worth it.
The dazzling blue color of the water is what makes Brúarfoss such a popular destination, earning it the nickname “Iceland’s Bluest Waterfall.”
While Brúarfoss is relatively small compared to other southern Iceland waterfalls, its beauty is staggering. Visitors often describe it as a serene and tranquil oasis in the midst of Iceland’s rugged landscape.
During your hike, you’ll also be able to see two other waterfalls, Hlauptungufoss and Miðfoss.
If you’re exploring southern Iceland, Faxi is a must-visit waterfall. The name “Faxi” means mane, which is fitting considering the waterfall’s wide and serene appearance.
Located in the Tungufljót River, Faxi is only 12 kilometers away from the famous Geysir hot spring area and 20 kilometers from the Gullfoss waterfall. This makes it a convenient stop on the Golden Circle route.
One of the unique features of Faxi is the fish ladder that allows salmon to breed in the river every year. You can also explore the isolated segment of the fall created by a smaller channel of the river branching off to the right.
Faxi is a broad and short waterfall that flows with the river Tungufljot. It isn’t as tall as Gulfoss, but it provides a natural serenity that tourists often appreciate. The waterfall is fed by the Langjokull glacier far upstream, making it a beautiful and natural wonder.
Located in the south of Iceland, Háifoss is the fifth tallest waterfall in the country, standing at an impressive height of 122 meters.
The name “Háifoss” translates to “High Waterfall,” which is fitting given its towering stature. The falls are situated along the Fossá River in Fossárdalur valley, which is located in the innermost part of Þjórsárdalur Valley and surrounded by stunning natural scenery.
One of the reasons that Háifoss is so special is its relative isolation. While some of Iceland’s other waterfalls can be quite crowded with tourists, Háifoss remains a hidden gem.
The hike to reach the falls is not particularly challenging, but it does require some effort, which may be why many visitors opt for other, more easily accessible southern Iceland waterfalls.
But the hike is well worth it. Once you reach Háifoss, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the falls cascading over the cliff and into the canyon below. You’ll also be able to take in the surrounding landscape, which includes rolling hills, volcanic rock formations, and even a nearby hot spring.
Hjálparfoss means “Help Waterfall” in Icelandic, and it is located near the confluence of Rivers Thjorsa and Fossa in the Thjorsa Valley.
The area surrounding Hjálparfoss is called Hjalp (Help) because travelers across the Sprengisandur Route found great help reaching a vegetated area to graze their horses after a long journey in the barren interior.
The waterfall is two-stepped and surrounded by stunning lava formations, making for a picturesque view.
Hjálparfoss is one of the most accessible southern Iceland waterfalls It’s located about 30 kilometers east of the village Flúðir in the southern part of the country. The waterfall is a great spot for hiking and picnicking, and there are several trails in the area that you can explore.
The waterfall is also a great place for photography, as the surrounding landscape is breathtakingly beautiful. You can capture the waterfall from different angles and get stunning views of the lava formations and surrounding vegetation.
This 30-meter waterfall is located on the east side of the famous Skógafoss waterfall, but it’s often overlooked by visitors.
The name “Kvernufoss” means “Mill Falls” in Icelandic, which refers to the fact that there used to be a mill in the area. Today, the waterfall is surrounded by beautiful lava rock formations and lush green vegetation, making it an incredibly picturesque spot.
One of the best things about Kvernufoss is that it’s easy to access. It’s located very close to the ring-road, so you can easily fit it into your itinerary if you’re driving along the South Coast.
Plus, since it’s less visited than its neighbor Skógafoss, you’ll likely have more space to enjoy the waterfall without crowds of people around you.
To get to Kvernufoss, you’ll need to take a short hike through a beautiful gorge. The trail can be a bit slippery and rocky, so make sure to wear sturdy shoes and take your time. Once you reach the waterfall, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the cascading water and the unique cave behind it.
This waterfall is situated on the South Coast of Iceland and is fed by melting water from the famed glacier-capped Eyjafjallajokull volcano, making it one of the most unique southern Iceland waterfalls if an other-worldly landscape is what you’re after!
One of the most unique features of Seljalandsfoss is that you can walk behind the waterfall.
The name Seljalandsfoss means “the waterfall in the meadow” in Icelandic. It’s easy to see why it’s called that as the waterfall is surrounded by lush green fields and meadows.
Seljalandsfoss is easily accessible from Reykjavík, only some 120 kilometres away. You can take a day trip and check out Seljalandsfoss, Gljúfrabúi, Skógafoss, and a couple of other waterfalls on the way.
Gljúfrabúi means “dweller in the gorge,” and it’s easy to see why. The waterfall is situated on the Hamragarðar land, and it comes down from the Gljúfurá River, making it one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the region.
What makes Gljúfrabúi so special is its location. It’s hidden away in a canyon, and you have to walk through a narrow opening in the rock to see it.
The waterfall is close to its better-known counterpart, Seljalandsfoss, so you can easily visit both in one day.
Tip: Make sure to wear sturdy shoes, as the path can be slippery. You’ll also want to bring a raincoat, as you’ll get wet from the mist.
This scenic valley is located close to the Highlands and is full of breathtaking waterfalls, ponds, and lava rocks.
The name “Gjáin” means “rift” or “gorge” in Icelandic and the entire valley is surrounded by steep cliffs. The river that runs through it has carved out a deep gorge over time and it looks simply incredible.
To get to Gjáin, you’ll need to take a short hike from the parking lot. The hike is relatively easy, and the trail is well-marked, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding your way.
Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a collection of small waterfalls cascading down the cliffs.
The two most prominent waterfalls in the valley are Gjárfoss and another smaller one, which you can walk right up to from the south side of Gjáin.
One of the things that makes Gjáin so special is that it’s relatively unknown to tourists.
You won’t find crowds of people here, which means you can take your time exploring the valley and taking in the scenery. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some wildlife, such as Arctic foxes or reindeer.
If you’re looking for a unique waterfall experience in Southern Iceland, Svartifoss should definitely be on your list.
Its name translates to “Black Falls” due to the tall black basalt columns that surround the waterfall, giving it a dramatic and otherworldly appearance.
Located in Skaftafell, which is part of Vatnajökull National Park, the hike to Svartifoss is one of the best things to do in Iceland.
The trail starts at the Visitor Centre in Skaftafell and is well-marked, but be prepared for some uphill sections and uneven terrain. The hike takes about 1.5-2 hours round trip, depending on your pace and how much time you spend at the waterfall.
At 20 meters (80ft) high, Svartifoss isn’t the tallest of southern Iceland waterfalls, but its unique setting and beauty make it a must-see.
The waterfall is also the centerpiece of an amphitheater of basalt columns, which are a sight to behold on their own. Before reaching Svartifoss, you’ll also pass two other waterfalls: Hundafoss and Magnúsarfoss.
The best time to visit Svartifoss is during the summer months, when the weather is milder and the trail is easier to navigate.
However, the waterfall is also stunning in the winter when it’s surrounded by snow and ice.
Tips for Visiting Southern Iceland Waterfalls
When planning a visit to southern Iceland, it’s important to keep in mind a few tips to make the most of your experience. Here are some recommendations to help you plan your trip:
1. Wear appropriate clothing
The weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, so it’s important to dress in layers and wear waterproof clothing. It’s also a good idea to wear sturdy shoes with good traction, as the terrain around waterfalls can be slippery.
2. Bring a camera
Southern Iceland waterfalls are some of the most beautiful in the world, so you’ll want to capture their beauty on camera.
3. Respect the environment
When visiting waterfalls, it’s important to be respectful of the environment. Stay on designated paths and don’t climb on rocks or trees. Also, be sure to dispose of any trash properly.
4. Check road conditions
Many of these southern Iceland waterfalls are located off the beaten path, and the roads leading to them can be rough. Before heading out, check road conditions and weather forecasts to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
5. Plan ahead
There are many waterfalls to see in southern Iceland, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead and prioritize which ones you want to visit. Some southern Iceland waterfalls require a hike to reach, while others are easily accessible by car. Make a list of the waterfalls you want to see and plan your route accordingly.
Best Time to Visit Iceland for Waterfalls
When planning your trip to southern Iceland to see the beautiful waterfalls, it is important to consider the best time to visit.
The weather in Iceland can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to plan accordingly to ensure the best experience possible.
The summer months of June, July, and August are the most popular times to visit southern Iceland. The weather is mild, and the days are long, giving you plenty of time to explore the waterfalls. However, keep in mind that this is also the busiest time of year, and popular southern Iceland waterfalls like Seljalandsfoss and Gullfoss can become crowded with tourists.
If you prefer to avoid the crowds, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of May and September. The weather is still pleasant, and the crowds are smaller. Plus, you may even get to see the Northern Lights in September.
If you’re willing to brave the cold, visiting in the winter months of December through February can be a unique and unforgettable experience even though it’s technically considered the worst time to visit Iceland.
The waterfalls are often frozen, creating a stunning winter wonderland. However, keep in mind that the weather can be harsh, and some roads may be closed due to snow and ice.
Travel Insurance for Iceland
While Iceland is a relatively safe country, accidents can still happen, and medical expenses can be costly.
Additionally, travel insurance can provide coverage for trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and other travel-related issues.
One highly recommended travel insurance provider for Iceland is Safety Wing. They offer comprehensive coverage at an affordable price, with plans starting at just $1.56 per day.
Their policies cover medical expenses up to $250,000, emergency medical evacuation, trip interruption and cancellation, and more.
Southern Iceland Waterfalls: FAQs
How far is Seljalandsfoss waterfall from Reykjavik?
Seljalandsfoss waterfall is located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) southeast of Reykjavik. It takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to drive there by car.
What is the most picturesque waterfall in Iceland?
Iceland is known for its stunning waterfalls, but one of the most picturesque is undoubtedly Skogafoss. With a drop of 60 meters (200 feet) and a width of 25 meters (82 feet), it is an impressive sight to behold.
What is the best month to see waterfalls in Iceland?
The best time to see waterfalls in Iceland is during the summer months of June, July, and August. This is when the days are longest, and the weather is generally milder, making it easier to explore the great outdoors.
Where is the famous waterfall in Iceland?
The most famous waterfall in Iceland is arguably Gullfoss, which is located in the southwest of the country near the Golden Circle. It is a two-tiered waterfall that drops a total of 32 meters (105 feet) into a narrow canyon.
What is the waterfall on the southern coast of Iceland?
There are several waterfalls along the southern coast of Iceland, but one of the most impressive is Seljalandsfoss. It is known for its unique feature of allowing visitors to walk behind the falling water, providing a unique perspective.
What are the best waterfalls in Iceland?
There are so many beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, it’s hard to choose just a few! Some of the best include Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Godafoss, and Bruarfoss. Each has its unique features and charm, making them all worth a visit.
Southern Iceland Waterfalls
Southern Iceland’s waterfalls are a must-see destination for anyone visiting Iceland. From the powerful Skogafoss to the picturesque Seljalandsfoss, waterfalls are one of the best things to see in the land of ice and fire.