Iceland’s 10,000 plus waterfalls are as accessible as they are beautiful. Some of them have unique characteristics such as waterfalls that run warm with geothermal water, or appear frozen in mid cascade during winter.
There’s a waterfall where you can walk behind the water curtain, while another is the most powerful in Europe. Although all of our waterfalls are beautiful and unique in their own way we’ve mentioned here just a few favorites:
Jokulsargljufur National Park in northeastern Iceland is home to Europe’s mightiest waterfall, Dettifoss. The sheer hypnotic volume of thundering glacial water rushing through the shattered cliffs of Jokulsa Canyon make this a favorite sight of visitors to the area.
Easily the most spectacular of all the waterfalls in Iceland’s remote Westfjords, Dynjandi waterfall (The Thunderer), is a pretty collection of cascades resembling a tiered wedding cake with the main cascade dropping 100 meters (329 feet) off the edge of a mountain. The scenic trail to the base of the waterfall is easily accessible and views seaward over lush valleys make it an ideal picnic stop.
Iceland's tallest waterfall descends gracefully in streaming ribbons down a 200 meter (658 ft) drop into a massive canyon adorned in lush green moss. Located near Hvalfjordur Fjord (Whale Fjord), Glymur waterfall is linked to a local folkloric tale about a mythical whale that swam up the waterfall into the lake at the top where in fact whale bones have been found.
Located in North Iceland between Akureyri and Lake Myvatn, this picturesque ‘Waterfall of the Gods’ is one of the most impressive in the country. Ice blue glacial water flows over an elegant semi-circular arc and creates blue-green swirling patterns in the water below among the surrounding lava.
A ride along the Golden Circle in the South reveals the breathtaking Gullfoss ‘Golden’ Waterfalls where traversing a narrow path provides close-up views of the massive, three-tiered waterfall below. In winter the view is spectacular when the waterfall freezes over into undulating waves of glistening ice. On sunny days you’ll see thousands of rainbows, a natural reaction with the clouds of spray from the tumbling falls.
The third highest waterfall in Iceland, Hengifoss, is mainly eye-catching due to the striking red clay and black basalt patterns of the cliff face that make a pretty backdrop for the narrow ribbon of water cascading down.
As with sever other waterfalls in country, there is the possibility to climb behind the waterfall and here there is a small cave to explore as well.
A drive up Iceland’s west coast reveals two adjacent waterfalls, each with very different characters. At Hraunfoss (Lava Falls) the water seems to magically appear from the moss covered lava rocks and shiver down into the rushing turquoise blue waters below, while Barnafoss (Children’s Falls) resembles a pale blue or white milkshake of short, fierce rapids that cut through a narrow canyon.
Seljalandsfoss waterfall along Iceland’s southern coast is fed by melting water from the famed glacier-capped Eyjafjallajokull volcano. This powerful waterfall cascades into a pretty meadow but is best known for the walking path that runs behind the curtain of water where you can enjoy a truly unique viewpoint from this angle.
Climbing the 370 steps to the top of Skogafoss waterfall certainly pays off with an awe-inspiring view out over southern Iceland’s coastline. Standing at 60 meters (197 ft) tall, the heavy veil of water is impressive and walking close enough envelops you in a cloud of spray, sound and refracted light. Legend has it that a Viking named Thrasi hid his hoarded gold under the falls.
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