Did you know that there are an estimated 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland? Unfortunately, there’s no official count to confirm this, but we can assure you that it seems like there’s a waterfall around every corner here!
Be it on our adventure trips and courses in Iceland or our own explorations around the Land of Fire and Ice, we have seen plenty of our country’s thundering falls, from the famous to the hidden gems.
With so many to choose from, narrowing down a list of the most scenic waterfalls in Iceland isn’t easy! This is far from an exhaustive list, but more of an introduction to the incredible sights you can see during your trip.
So, let’s dive into our picks for some of the most picturesque waterfalls in Iceland. If you have any questions for us in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Gullfoss Lives Up to Its Golden Reputation
Renowned as one of Iceland’s most celebrated cascades, Gulfoss proudly stands within the world-famous Golden Circle, a stone’s throw from Reykjavik.
The initial approach veils the narrow gorge where the Hvítá River surrenders to gravity, seemingly vanishing from sight. It’s only when you reach the canyon’s edge that the grandeur of the 32-meter, dual-tiered cascade unfolds.
Prepare for a sensory feast as you stand before this natural wonder: the thunderous roar of the water floods your ears, the sheer power and abundance of the rushing flow will widen your eyes, and the hazy spray drifting in the air will dampen your skin.
Gullfoss, aptly named “Golden Falls,” effortlessly justifies its status as one of Iceland’s best waterfalls.
For even more awe-inspiring travel tips, head over to our blog What are the Canyons You Must See in Iceland? when you have finished this one.
Walk Behind the Veil at Seljalandsfoss
Around 90 minutes from Gullfoss, along Iceland’s famed ring road, stands Seljalandsfoss. Here, you can find a waterfall experience like no other.
At first glance, a slender, picturesque waterfall gracefully descends from a former sea cliff into a canvas of vibrant green and stark black. Yet, there’s more than meets the eye! Behind the cascading water lies a mossy cavern inviting visitors to view the falls from a truly unique angle.
Prepare to embrace the mist—and a slight dampness! The payoff is a spectacle that offers breathtaking views and outstanding photo opportunities.
Southern Iceland isn’t just a brilliant place for spotting waterfalls. If you’re here during the late autumn, winter, or early spring, you can also chase the Northern Lights in South Iceland!
Marvel at the Picture-Perfect Skógafoss
After a short drive along the Ring Road from Seljalandsfoss, you’ll encounter Skógafoss. As a near-perfect depiction of a waterfall, this cascade more than deserves its spot on our list!
Skógafoss’ waters form a precise rectangular plunge. Standing 197 feet tall and stretching 82 feet wide, it’s a testament to the uncanny precision and beauty of nature’s design.
The torrent plunges over an ancient sea cliff, producing an ever-present rumble and a refreshing mist. And as if that’s not enough, expect regular appearances of vibrant rainbows.
Venture closer for an awe-inspiring photo op; but remember, the closer you get, the more you’ll appreciate the need for waterproof gear!
As you can see, Iceland’s south coast is home to a remarkable collection of jaw-dropping attractions! If you’re itching to explore this region, check out our sample Iceland South Coast itinerary to help you plan your adventure.
Hear a Titan’s Roar at Dettifoss
In Iceland’s northern reaches, listen out for Dettifoss’s almighty call. This rough and rugged spectacle redefines beauty through sheer scale and power. The sediment-rich runoff is a light grey, lending it an otherworldly quality. It’s no surprise that Dettifoss appeared in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus!
With an impressive width of 330 feet and a dizzying 144-foot drop, Dettifoss dominates the landscape. Its thunderous roar commands attention, drowning out all other sounds.
This remarkable cascade is believed to be Europe’s second most powerful waterfall, behind only the Rhine Falls in Switzerland.
If getting off the beaten path appeals to you, check out our picks for the best hidden gems in Iceland.
Step into a World of Myth and Majesty at Goðafoss
Our final pick, Goðafoss, lies to the west of Dettifoss and is an icon steeped in legend. Part of the famed Diamond Circle, Goðafoss, or “waterfall of the Gods,” immortalizes Iceland’s transition to Christianity.
It is here that Thorgeir is said to have thrown the idols of the old Pagan faith into the water, symbolically marking the shift from one religion to another.
Today, two cascades tumble 39 feet over a horseshoe-shaped cliff. A smaller fall adds a touch of elegance to the ensemble!
In a land teeming with majestic waterfalls, Goðafoss is another contender for the title of most picturesque.
Connect with More Natural Wonders on Our Iceland Adventure Tours!
So, what are the most scenic waterfalls in Iceland? The short answer is these and many more! And the good news is that waterfalls are just one of the natural wonders you can explore here.
Check out our range of Iceland adventure trips and courses to find out more about the wild and wonderful experiences waiting for you here.
If you have any questions about anything you see while browsing, please contact us for the answers you need.