Skogafoss is a waterfall in the south of Iceland at the cliffs of the former coastline. After the coastline had receded seaward (it is now at a distance of about 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) from Skogar village), the former sea cliffs remained. Skogafoss is unique because the waterfall comes directly from two glaciers, Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull.
If you climb the 370 steps to the top of Skogafoss waterfall you’ll be rewarded with an awe-inspiring view out over south Iceland’s coastline. This is also the start of the Fimmvorduhals pass, a popular hiking route. Standing at 60 meters (197 ft) tall, the heavy veil of water is impressive and walking close enough envelops visitors in a cloud of spray, sound and refracted light. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall consistently produces, a single or double rainbow is normally visible on sunny days.
Skogafoss waterfall is often included along with Seljalandfoss in the Golden Circle route. It offers great photo opportunities, especially in winter when the Northern Lights dance across the sky.
Is there gold in Skogafoss?
According to legend, a Viking named Thrasi hid his hoarded gold under the falls. Many have tried to find the chest of gold and, as the story goes, a young man almost succeeded. He tied a rope to the chest handle ring and pulled. He only retrieved the ring and returned with it. The ring was later used for the church door at Skogar. The river below the falls holds a large salmon and char population. Don’t be surprise to see fisherman fishing in the river from July – October.
How to get to Skogafoss?
Skogafoss is a two hour drive from Reykjavik (155km), and 28km from Seljalandsfoss. Follow the ring road eastwards from Reykjavik, and eventually you will be able see Skogafoss from the road. Turn left to get to the parking lot, around one kilometer from the main road.
How many steps are there to the top of Skogafoss?
Did you know that you can climb to the top of Skogafoss, where you will find a superb view point. The steps are almost 500 and can be quite steep at times. If you have trouble walking we do not recommend that you hike to the top.
When is the best time to visit Skogafoss?
If you are looking to have Skogafoss waterfall all by yourself, we recommend that you either come very early or late in the day. This is a very popular tourist attraction and during high season you will not have the waterfall completely by yourself at these times. However, if you are travelling late autumn, we recommend coming after dark, when the Northern Lights dance across the sky.
Also, make sure you have enough time to explore the waterfall. The trek to the top takes about half an hour but you can also hike to the base of the waterfall (make sure you dress appropriately). There’s so much to see and do around Skogafoss, that you need more than just 15 minutes.
Fimmvorduhals – Skogafoss hiking trail
As mentioned earlier, Skogafoss can be either the starting or the ending point of one of the most popular hiking trails in Iceland, Fimmvorduhals. The hike is 25 km long. It can be finished in a day or two. The hike is only accessible in the summertime.
Check out our complete guide to the South Coast.