There are a lot of waterfalls around Iceland and going to see some of them will for sure be one of the highlight on a trip around the island. When you see the names of the waterfall you probably quickly learn an Icelandic word foss – or fall. Most of the waterfalls in Iceland have a name ending in foss.
My three favorite waterfalls are probably Dettifoss, Gullfoss and Kvernufoss:
There are more interesting waterfalls which sure are worth the effort to go and have a look I would recommend Skogafoss, Svatifoss and Godafoss:
Dettifoss – most powerful waterfall of Iceland
The best of the waterfalls in Iceland might be the Dettifoss. Going here in early summer is a great time to go and visit the powerful waterfall where the water from the melting snow and ice make its way to the north shore of Iceland to disappear in the northern Atlantic Ocean.
The waterfall is located in the northern part of Iceland so you can only get here if you are doing a tour around the ringroad of Iceland or actually fly to the north. If you are up in the north it is fairly easy to get to the waterfall from the lake Myvant, Dettifoss is only a short drive away.
A little bonus if you visit Dettifoss is you can go and visit Sellfoss which is only a short walk away from the bigger waterfall. more pictures of Dettifoss see here.
Kvernufoss – overlooked waterfall
On the south coast of Iceland there is a really nice waterfall. Despite it is located only a 15 minutes hike away from the main Ringroad it only attracts a trickle of the number of visitors you will find at the other main waterfalls along the south coast of Iceland. One great feature of the waterfall is you can walk behind the waterfall and look at the water coming down from the cave behind the fall – and you are not even getting wet when you are behind the falls.
The waterfall is fairly easy to find since it is right next to the more famous Skogafoss waterfall which you can see right of the Ringroad on the south coast. The waterfall is a couple of hours drive from Reykjavik along the main road to the Skaftafell national park and the glacial attractions of the south. For more pictures of Kvernufoss see here.
The most popular waterfall Gullfoss
Gullfoss is by far the most visited of the main waterfalls of Iceland. It is part of the Golden Circle which is the most famous day trip from Reykjavik which making it the waterfall 90 percent of the tourist to Iceland will spot. You can see the number of visitors is big when you go here since there is big visitor complex with huge shops to cater for the day trippers from Reykjavik.
If you are not visiting on a tour try to make it here as early as possible or late in the day to avoid the worst of the crowds. If you are visiting here on your own you might want to put in a little extra waterfall close by since it is only a short drive to the Faxi waterfall. For more pictures of Gullfoss see here.
Skogafoss waterfall right next to the Ring Road
One of the easiest waterfalls to visit in all of Iceland is Skogafoss. You can literally do your waterfall spotting just by slowing down the car when you are driving by along the main Ringroad. If you do turn off from the road there is a big parking lot right next to the waterfall so it is easy to go and have a closer look at the waterfall. You can walk up to the top of the waterfall if you like – we did but the view from the top isn’t really worth it so it is mainly something to do if you need to stretch the legs after having been driving for a while.
It is only a couple of hours drive from Reykjavik to get here and a lot of people go and stop here on their way to the other attractions on the south coast. For some reason this waterfall get all the visitor action and the Kvernufoss which is located close by only get a trickle of the visitors despite the fact it is actually a nicer spot to visit. For more pictures of Skogafoss see here.
Svatifoss at the Skaftafell national park
The most popular tourist attraction along the south coast of Iceland is the large Skaftafell national park. One of the most interesting things to see in the national park is the Svatifoss which is a waterfall located in the middle of an old lava field. The waterfall is pretty dramatic with the column of basalt standing behind the falling water.
You get to the waterfall by driving along the Ringroad from Reykjavik in about 4 hours you will pass the Kvernufoss on the way so you can do some waterfall sightseeing on the way. More pictures of Skaftafell national park and Svatifoss see here.
Godafoss – waterfall of the gods
Godafoss is another nice waterfall located right next to the Ringroad making it a convenient spot to visit. Though this waterfall is in the northern part of Iceland so you can only reach it if you are doing a bigger trip around Iceland and not as a short trip from Reykjavik. The waterfall is nice to have a walk around the area to enjoy the view of the fairly powerful waterfall.
The Godafoss is located about midway between two of the main attractions of the north the biggest city Akureyi and the attractive lake Myvant so the waterfall will probably be on your route around the northern part of Iceland. More pictures of Godafoss here.