7 Astonishing And Beautiful Iceland Waterfalls To Visit

  • Recently Updated: November 2022

The best Iceland waterfalls are found near Reykjavik, perfect for couples getaways. Gullfoss, the most famous waterfall in Iceland is located nearest to Reykjavik and the South Coast.

This beautiful waterfall is one of the most visited Iceland falls but there are others that are becoming increasingly popular travel places with the collaboration from local guides.

With its 10,000+ waterfalls, Iceland has one of the greatest concentrations of waterfalls despite its tiny size. Nonetheless, it narrows down to one’s personal experience to visit the best that this exotic tourist destination has to offer.

Find out where the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland are located, what makes them special, and everything else you need to know about them.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit all these waterfalls near Reykjavik and towards the south coast of Iceland is from June through September where the terrain and greenery are free from snow. Nevertheless, most of the best waterfalls in Iceland are open to visitors.

Hraunfossar and Barnafoss are open mostly all year due to easy access to its well-maintained roads and carparks. If you are a couple or family trip , it’s a good thing to try Icelandic traditional food too. 

How To Go

Before you start your trip, check road.is for information on road conditions and closures before going out.

Hraunfossar and Barnafoss are two waterfalls that are only a short walking distance apart with a huge carpark.

Both Hraunfossar and Barnafoss are wonderful stops from Rekyjavik because the entire visit won’t take you more than thirty minutes including driving time.

What To Do

A viewpoint with a stunning view of the Lava Falls, Barnafoss, and Hvita River is located near the visitor carpark. Perfect Instagram-able photos for your memories.

Here’s 7 Not-To-Be-Missed Waterfalls In Iceland 

1. Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar is one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls, located near Reykjavik. Because of the massive lava field from which the falls materialize, the name translates as “Lava Falls.”

The color of the falls varies, although they are frequently a vivid blue, a striking contrast to the dark tones of the volcanic rock. It’s actually a crystal-clear cold spring that bursts through the ground and into the Hvita River.

Hraunfossar is near Hsafell and Reykholt. Vidgelmir Lava cave is one of the biggest in the world is also situated nearby. Húsafell is 15 minutes drive to the cave. It’s always a good practice to check the weather forecast before departing. 

A hiking path extends from Hraunfossar to Barnafoss (also known as Children’s Falls). Since 1987, Hraunfossar has been preserved as a National Historic site.

The road-trip from Hraunfossar to Gulfoss takes 2hr 22 min (162.6 km) via Route 52.

2. Barnafoss

Barnafoss was one of the stops on my 1-day Golden Circle trip but I didn’t realize until later that although it is located in the same area nearest to Hraunfossar, it lies just beyond the traditional Golden Circle.

Barnafoss rises from the lava field of Hallmundarhraun and into the Hvtà River. This waterfall appealed to me since it is not apparent until you approach it straight from the carpark.

Flowing from a subterranean river, you have no idea it existed until it appears through the lava field’s dark rocks and plunges into the river. Both waterfalls are easily accessible for family with kids.

I also liked that it was much less crowded than the other famous waterfalls in Iceland and you don’t even have to go past other people to get a decent photo shot.

3. Gulfoss

Gulfoss is perhaps Iceland’s most well-known waterfall and one of the most popular destinations on the Golden Circle. This highest waterfall in Iceland glistens with gold when the sun shines on the cascading waters.

It’s also known as the “Golden Falls,” and if you come on a sunny day (which is unusual in Iceland), you’ll be able to witness a captivating rainbow above Gulfoss waterfall.

Getting from Reykjavik to Gullfoss is a super easy trip. It’s the nearest natural wonder approximately an hour and 40 minutes from the capital of Iceland on the famed driving route (Golden Circle).

Gulfoss is situated in a canyon of the Hvtà River which is divided into three levels owing to its geological origin. Around the waterfall, there are wooden walking platforms where you may stroll to obtain the greatest view from every angles.

The walk right next to the waterfall provides a greater sense of the force of this natural phenomenon. This magnificence waterfall in iceland which features a 32-meter drop into a steep gorge makes a visit worthwhile.

Even if it’s on a bright day, make sure you’re dressed properly since the waterfall’s spray is enough to get you wet! Be careful on where you walk since the route becomes extremely slippery when wet.

The road-trip from Gulfoss to Seljalandsfoss takes 1hr 33mins (120.3 km) via Skeiða- og Hrunamannavegur and Þjóðvegur.

4. Kirkjufellsfoss

This inspiring waterfall will be familiar with Game of Thrones seasons 6 and 7 viewers reading this. Thousands of photographs have been taken of Kirkjufellsfoss and the famous arrowhead mountain in the backdrop.

The Kirkjufell mountain (also known as Church mountain) was featured in the most recent season of Game of Thrones (remember the vision of the Hound in the fire) adding to the destination’s appeal.

Kirkjufellsfoss is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Given that it’s one of the best waterfalls in Iceland’s as it’s near to a number of national landmarks including Snæfellsjökull volcano, regarded as the heartbeat of Iceland.

The waterfall itself isn’t as large or strong as some of the others on my list, but the beauty of the surrounding environment earns it a place on this list of Iceland’s famous waterfalls.

5. Skogafoss

skogafoss waterfall

Iceland has a lot of waterfalls; I once read that the nation had around 10,000. Despite the fact that no one appears to know the precise number, nearly every local guides can direct you to Skogafoss waterfall.

Skogafoss is one of my favorite waterfalls near Reykjavik, and it’s located just off Iceland’s famous Ring Road. It’s one of the country’s largest waterfalls with a very broad breadth that makes it excellent for photos taking.

I was lucky enough to experience the elusive Northern Lights here. It was an amazing sight and was compelled to take this magnificent photo shot with the Aurora Polaris on the backdrop of the sheer thundering power of Skogafoss cascading waters.  

If you intend on traveling the whole ring road trip, there is no chance you will miss it since it’s visible from the road. Spend some time here shooting pictures, climbing up the mountain, and relaxing with a cup of coffee from the local café.

Suggest you wake up early the following morning and have the waterfall to yourself, you can even spend the night at the Skogafoss campsite. It’s also a great vacation spot for couples arriving before 8am to enjoy the serenity and away from the crowd. 


6. Seljalandsfoss

seljalandsfoss waterfall

Iceland is full with beautiful locations and with so many waterfalls to choose from. It’s difficult to choose just one to highlight. Seljalandsfoss is about a 2-hour drive from Reykjavik that I had visited as part of a day trip to Iceland’s South Coast.

Seljalandsfoss is a famous tourist destination in Iceland that is well worth a visit even though it is not part of the Golden Circle. It’s preferable to go on a clear day because the pathway behind the falls might be slippery unless you have a reliable pair of footwear. 

If you’re lucky enough to have some sunlight during your visit, you may even see a rainbow in the spray. Simply expect to get a bit wet as you go down the route and step cautiously since it can get slippery.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall stands out from the surrounding environment, running from a cliff range into a large open meadow but one of the most fascinating aspects of this lovely location is that you can easily go behind the waterfall and enjoy magnificent views through the water.

7. Gljufrafoss

Gljufrafoss waterfall

Last but not least, if you go beyond Seljalandsfoss on a trail, you’ll come upon a crevice in the rock face with a waterfall INSIDE the rock. Gljufrafoss or Gljfrabi Water means “one who dwells inside the canyon,” and it’s a suitable name for the hidden treasure.

The waterfall really cascades down from a higher cliff into a hole in the rocks and you can see the top of it if you go back further away from the cliff face. It’s possible to go through a small path between the cliff wall to enter the waterfall.

Gljufrafoss waterfall is one that is closes to my heart as the experience was like a little expedition into the unknown. And when you are inside the canyon, it feels so serene and totally calming to just be at this spot. 

These are all the best waterfalls in Iceland that I’ve personally visited or that the local guides had suggested. Like the Icelanders always say – there are no such things as too many waterfalls. 

Unfortunately, if you only have a few days to visit, there’s no way you’ll be able to see them all. I hope this list of the best waterfalls near Reykjavik will assist you in planning your dream vacation to Iceland.

Resource For Your Next Trip To Iceland

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