Ring Road in Iceland: Skogafoss

19 most beautiful must-see waterfalls in Iceland

Did you know that there are an estimated 10 thousand waterfalls in Iceland? One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give you is that you should do your research before going to Iceland and decide which waterfalls are worth visiting in Iceland.

Otherwise, you will be tempted to stop your car every 5 minutes to take a picture of yet another gorgeous waterfall in Iceland, haha! So here is the list of waterfalls that are truly worth a visit in Iceland!

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1. Skógafoss waterfall

Best waterfalls in Iceland  - Skogafoss

Skogafoss has to be the most iconic waterfall in Iceland! Despite the fact that it is one of the most visited waterfalls, it was definitely one of my favorite waterfalls in Iceland. It is beautifully shaped in a perfect rectangular shape. The waterfall is 25 meters wide and 60 meters high.

It has also been featured in multiple movies and series such as The Game of Thrones, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and even Thor: The Dark World. There is a wide parking lot (free of charge) next to it and you can actually walk super close to it. It is an incredible experience for sure!

I know that some waterfalls in Iceland are bigger, wider, and higher, however, there is this atmosphere around Skógafoss that you simply don’t get elsewhere!

The fact that you can stand at its feet and really feel the power of nature is something incredible. Also, if you stand at its feet, you will be wet, haha! Try to arrive in the morning or later in the evening to make sure there aren’t too many tourists around!

Location: Skógafoss waterfall · Parking lot

2. Gljúfrafoss or Gljúfrabúi waterfall

Best waterfalls in Iceland  - Gljufrafoss

Visiting Gljúfrafoss waterfall was an adventure for sure! The name of the waterfall means the ‘inhabitant of the canyon’. It is located inside a mountain, and you can get there through a narrow opening between the mountains.

To access the waterfall you will have to go along the river. However, it is not too difficult, because there are some big stones you can climb on to keep your feet relatively dry. However, standing inside the canyon will be a wet experience, but totally worth it!

There is a huge boulder inside the canyon – you can stand on it and take some unique photos! This is one of those waterfalls in Iceland that you simply don’t forget just because it gave us so much fun and adrenaline, and it will definitely be the same for you!

Location: Gljúfrafoss or Gljúfrabúi waterfall · Parking lot (for a fee)

3. Dynjandi waterfall

Best waterfalls in Iceland  - Dynjandi

Dynjandi Waterfall is definitely one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Iceland! It has these unique rock terraces where water is falling down reminiscing a bridal dress or a veil. Actually, the name of the waterfall means ‘thunderous noises’ which is what you will hear when you get close to it.

It is truly beautiful – 30 meters wide at the top and 60 meters at the bottom, this 100-meter-high waterfall was one of the most beautiful things I saw in Iceland. The only con about this waterfall is that it is located in the Westfjords – quite far from other popular tourist attractions.

Location: Dynjandi Waterfall · Parking lot

4. Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Best waterfalls in Iceland  - Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss waterfall has to be amongst the most visited places in Iceland. And rightly so – this majestic 60-meter waterfall is quite unique because you can actually walk behind it and come out the other way.

There is an official path going behind it and around it. Tons of tourists use this unique opportunity to come here. You will be interested in the fact that it falls off a cliff that used to be a seacliff ages ago – once there was a coastline of the ocean at this exact place.

Location: Seljalandsfoss waterfall · Parking lot (for a fee)

5. Kvernufoss waterfall

Best waterfalls in Iceland  - Kvernufoss

If you come to visit Skogafoss waterfall, I strongly suggest visiting Kvernufoss as well. It is often overlooked by tourists. However, it really deserves all the attention! It is located in a small canyon-like area with dreamy green moss around it.

The most unique thing about it is that you can walk behind it! It might be the wettest experience you will have in Iceland, but it will make for some great photos, haha! You can’t go around it from behind – there is no path further, so you will have to go back the same way you went behind it!

Getting to the waterfall is quite easy! Just park your car near the Skogar Museum, then climb over a small fence (yes, the path goes over the fence!) and continue along the path for about 500 meters.

The path is very easy to walk, so it truly is not too big of a hassle to get to this waterfall. Besides, there will definitely be fewer tourists than at Skogafoss waterfall.

Location: Kvernufoss Waterfall · Parking lot

6. Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall

Kirkjufellsfoss - rock formations in Iceland

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall means ‘the church mountain waterfall’ and is one of the most iconic places in the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Looks like it came out of a movie!

This is perhaps the situation when the waterfall itself is not the main object in the area, however, the view together with the distinct mountain – Kirkjufell (463m) – in the background makes it truly unbelievable.

A big plus is that this waterfall is super easy to get to – there is a big parking lot (for a fee) next to it and a nice path to the waterfall.

Just hope that the weather is clear because the clouds are very low in this area and sometimes they cover up the mountain top! In that case, try to wait a bit – maybe the clouds clear up and the mountain uncovers itself!

Location: Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall · Parking lot (for a fee)

7. Svartifoss waterfall

Best waterfalls in Iceland  - Svartifoss

Svartifoss waterfall means the ‘black falls’ and it is one of the most beautiful and iconic waterfalls in Iceland. All thanks to the black basalt columns that surround it!

In case you are doing the Ring road or you are traveling in the direction of the Diamond Beach, you can use this opportunity to stretch your legs and take a walk to this magical waterfall.

You will have to park your car at the Skaftafell Visitor Center and then follow the signs leading to the waterfall. Although it is a bit of a hike – about 1.5 kilometers one way with some vertical meters as well, I would say that it is not too difficult.

There is a beautifully created walking path all the way to the waterfall, including some information boards. Also – did you know that this waterfall was the biggest inspiration for the architects of the famous Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavik? One more reason to visit this beautiful place!

Location: Svartifoss Waterfall · Parking lot

8. Glymur Waterfall

The famous Glymur waterfall in Iceland

Did you know that the Glymur Waterfall was known as the highest waterfall in Iceland? Until recently, due to the melting of the Vatnajökull glacier, a new and higher waterfall has been uncovered – Morsárfoss!

Glymur Waterfall at 198 meters is definitely the highest waterfall you can encounter in a beautiful canyon. There will be some minor hassles to get there, tho. The trail to the waterfall starts here at the parking lot.

The first thing you should know is that you can walk a circular route. It goes from one side of the canyon to the top, then across the river, and then back along the other side of the canyon. The circular hike will be about 6 kilometers and you can see it here on AllTrails.com.

However, if you are interested just to see the best view of the waterfall, then you can climb up to the best viewpoint and then come back down the same way. You have to know that the best view of the canyon and the waterfall is on the South / Southeast side of the river and canyon.

This means you will have to cross the river at downstream. There is a rope and a log across the river to help you. We hiked to the viewpoint and then back down again. You can hike all the way around but you won’t get better views than the ones you can get from the viewpoint.

Location: Glymur waterfall and canyon · Parking lot · Viewpoint of the waterfall

9. Hengifoss Waterfall

Best waterfalls in Iceland  - Hengifoss

Hengifoss waterfall, falling from 128 meters, is the third-highest waterfall in Iceland! However, the most unique part about it is that between the black basalt rocks, there are red clay stripes.

This creates a unique look and is definitely something you don’t see very often! I mean, a red-striped waterfall? What else does Iceland have to offer?

Getting to Hengifoss waterfall is easy and not easy at the same time. There is a big parking lot at the side of the road and a well-marked path to the waterfall.

However, the trail goes uphill for quite a while which means it will be a bit of a challenge to get up there but afterward the trail is quite flat. It is about 2-2.5 kilometers of hiking one way.

Location: Hengifoss Waterfall · Parking lot

10. Litlanesfoss waterfall

Best waterfalls in Iceland  - Litlanesfoss

There is another bonus for visiting Hengifoss waterfall – on the way to it (along the hiking path) you will see another iconic waterfall, Litlanesfoss! This waterfall is often overlooked and overshadowed by others.

However, Litlanesfoss waterfall is actually pretty unique – it is surrounded by the tallest basalt columns you will see in the whole of Iceland! This will be the perfect place for you to catch your breath from the climb up from the parking lot.

Location: Litlanesfoss waterfall · Parking lot

11. Gullfoss waterfall

The best waterfalls in Iceland - Gullfoss
The best waterfalls in Iceland - Gullfoss

Gullfoss waterfall translates as the ‘golden falls’. This is one of the biggest and also one of the most visited waterfalls in Iceland. It is located next to the Golden Circle – a popular tourist route in Iceland.

Gullfoss has two cascades – the first one is about 11 meters high, but the second is about 21 meters high. The amount of water that falls down is so enormous that the whole area around the waterfall is like walking in a cloud.

Be ready to be sprayed with water all over yourself – it is splashing everywhere!

Getting to the waterfall is easy – you can park your car at the main parking lot next to the restaurant and a souvenir store and then walk to the viewpoint located up the cliff to get an overview of the waterfall.

You can also drive to the lower parking lot to get closer to the waterfall and access it at the water level. This means you might get wet, but you will experience the power of this beauty much better from here. However, the pictures might be better from above where you can get a nice overview of it all!

Location: Gullfoss Waterfall · Main parking lot · Lower parking lot

12. Goðafoss waterfall 

The best waterfalls in Iceland - Godafoss

Goðafoss waterfall means the ‘waterfall of the gods’ and It is located on the fourth largest river in Iceland. The waterfall is about 30 meters wide and falls from a height of 12 meters.

It is not amongst the highest waterfalls in Iceland but it definitely has a twist to it! And it is quite impressive due to the amount of water that falls down.

If you are doing the Ring Road around Iceland, this will definitely be a must-visit place for you. Getting there is very easy.

There are two parking lots on both banks of the river and you can very easily drive or even walk from one side to the other. I enjoyed the East bank of the river more because you can walk down to the river level there and get nice photos from there.

Location: Goðafoss waterfall · East bank parking lot · West bank parking lot

13. Dettifoss waterfall

The best waterfalls in Iceland - Dettifoss

Dettifoss waterfall is one of the most powerful waterfalls in Iceland and in Europe – meaning the power it generates when the 100-meter wide waterfall drops 44 meters down the cliff. It is located in the Northeast part of Iceland and is a must-visit place if you are doing the Ring Road.

The most popular access route to the waterfall is from the West side – there is a tarmac road leading to the parking lot that is accessible more or less throughout the year. However, the waterfall is accessible from the East side as well, but only when the road is open (usually in summer).

At the end of May, the East side was still closed, so we went to the West side. There is a big parking lot with toilets available and a marked path to the waterfall, so it is quite easy to get to.

Location: Dettifoss Waterfall · West bank parking lot

14. Selfoss waterfall

The best waterfalls in Iceland - Selfoss

If you visit Dettifoss waterfall, then use the opportunity to visit Selfoss waterfall as well, as it is only a short hike from Dettifoss. Although it is only 11 meters high, it is an impressive 100 meters wide, so it is definitely a great view!

The water flow to the river comes from the famous Vatnajökull glacier – the biggest in Iceland. This means the stream gets smaller during winter, but bigger during the summer months.

Location: Selfoss waterfall · West bank parking lot

15. Mulagljufur canyon waterfalls

Mulagljufur canyon in Iceland

Mulagljufur Canyon is one of the most scenic places in Iceland. It is located in the Southwest part of the country and is a lesser-known place. If you like hidden gems and smaller crowds, this place is definitely for you.

The canyon offers incredible fairytale-like views over two valleys and rivers, as well as two waterfalls. And all that in front of a mountain backdrop. Read more about how to get there in the blog post about 5 surreal and unique canyons in Iceland!

These were some of the most scenic and picturesque waterfalls I have seen in Iceland! This place gave me so much peace, so I hope you too get to visit this beautiful canyon!

Location: Múlagljúfur · Parking lot · Viewpoint

16. Stuðlagil waterfall

Best waterfalls in Iceland  - Studlagil waterfall

There is nothing better when you can combine visiting one place with another beautiful tourist attraction nearby! If you decide to visit the famous Stuðlagil Canyon – the one with the beautiful basalt columns – you should definitely use this opportunity to see the amazing basalt waterfall on the way to the canyon.

I am not sure it has an official name, however, it is quite high and definitely very impressive, so I named it after the canyon – Stuðlagil waterfall.

If you want to visit the canyon, the best place to go is the East side parking lot – you will have to drive across the bridge, turn right and continue on a bumpy dirt road. At the end of the road, there will be a parking lot – the furthest you can drive. You will have to manage the remaining 2 kilometers to the canyon on foot.

However, you will be rewarded immediately – about 200 meters from the parking lot you will see this magical waterfall. It has those famous basalt columns around it and it is quite high.

The waterfall allows you to get very close to it and explore the basalt columns. Make sure to use this opportunity to see them, because other basalt column waterfalls are not so accessible.

Location: Stuðlagil waterfall · Parking lot

17. Gluggafoss waterfall

The best waterfalls in Iceland - Gluggafoss

Gluggafoss waterfall means ‘the window falls’ in Icelandic and the name reflects the phenomenon where the water has carved holes in the cliff and is falling down through the holes. Those holes are the ‘windows’.

The waterfall is about 44 meters tall and is often overlooked by travelers because there are other more majestic waterfalls in the area. However, if you have time and you are looking for a more peaceful waterfall visit, then definitely go to this place!

There is a parking lot and also some tables and benches if you decide to have a picnic or just eat some lunch. Getting to the waterfall is as easy as it gets – it is a short walk from the parking lot.

It is very accessible as you can easily climb to the upper part of the waterfall to see the ‘windows’ up close.  This is a beautiful alternative if you are looking for smaller crowds or a nice and free-of-charge place to have lunch.

Location: Gluggafoss Waterfall · Parking lot

18. Thorufoss waterfall

The best waterfalls in Iceland - Thorufoss

Thorufoss Waterfall is another waterfall around the Golden Circle that you should consider visiting if you are in the area or have some extra time. This waterfall is quite beautiful – it is 18 meters high and quite wide.

This was the filming place for some scenes in The Game of Thrones series, where the dragon arrives and catches a sheep. Be sure to walk down the path to the river level – there is a path from the parking lot, then downhill, and then along the river to the waterfall. It is quite impressive up close!

Location: Thorufoss Waterfall · Parking lot

19. Fjadrárgljúfur Canyon and Mögáfoss Waterfall

Fjadrargljufur - the famous river canyon in Iceland
Fjadrargljufur - the famous river canyon in Iceland

This is another place where the surrounding is more impressive than the waterfall itself, however, I should include this place in this list! You might have Fjadrárgljúfur canyon already in your Iceland trip itinerary because this canyon is somewhat famous.

However, I would like to remind you that there is a beautiful waterfall right next to the official viewpoint, so definitely check it out!

Getting to the canyon is quite easy. You can actually drive very close to the canyon and the viewing platform where you can observe the valley and Mögáfoss waterfall that is falling inside the canyon.

You can then walk downwards along the side of the canyon to see it from different perspectives. This place has formed over the course of millions and millions of years, so it is quite impressive altogether.

Location: Fjadrárgljúfur · Parking lot at the viewing platform · Parking lot 2 · Waterfall

Happy exploring!

Exploring waterfalls in Iceland was one of my favorite activities there! Yes, there are a lot of waterfalls in Iceland, however, if you have done the research and know which ones are worth a visit, then you won’t get sick of them, haha!

In my opinion, Iceland is THAT country everyone should visit once in their lives! It is full of magical and unbelievable nature spots and places you won’t really see anywhere else on Planet Earth! If you can, please, leave a comment below if there are any significant changes to anything that is written in this blog post! Many thanks!


19 amazing waterfalls in Iceland
19 amazing waterfalls in Iceland

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