Iceland is a country full of waterfalls, among other amazing features. In my opinion, it’s the most beautiful country in the world. In fact, if you Google Iceland images, the first three of five are of waterfalls.
Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls
There are two waterfalls located at the same location here. Barnafoss is the upper falls. It used to have a natural rock bridge, but legend has it that two boys fell off the bridge and disappeared into the water, giving the name to the waterfall – “Children Falls.” The rock bridge was later destroyed in an earthquake, shortly after the mother of the boys cursed the bridge to prevent anyone else from crossing. Now a rope bridge spans the river for some really great pictures.
Hraunfossar waterfalls are less raging, but far more unique. The water bubbles out of the nearby lava fields and spills into the river from the side.
These falls are supposedly manmade. They are at the location where the parliament of Iceland met over a millennium ago – and continued to meet at for over 800 years. They aren’t the biggest or highest waterfalls in Iceland, but I found them to have a magical quality. As a bonus, you have to enter the Vale of Westeros through the Bloody Gates to get to these waterfalls.
Gullfoss just might be the grandest of waterfalls in Iceland. The name means Golden Waterfalls, which lends the name to the famous Golden Circle route through Iceland. These falls drop 100 feet into a chasm and can be viewed from the top or bottom. During the summer months, you can get right up to the base of the waterfall and feel the spray on your face. Unfortunately, that path was closed the day before I arrived!
Seljalandsfoss is unique in that it’s one of the few waterfalls in the world that you can walk behind to get a truly spectacular photo of the waterfall and countryside beyond. You’ll have to visit in the summer months to appreciate that vantage, as the trail is covered over in thick ice during the winter months, and accessing the back of the waterfall is nearly impossible.
One of the most beautiful of Icelandic waterfalls, Skogafoss is nearly 200 feet wide and drops nearly 75 feet. It’s quite common to see rainbows here in the summer (when the water droplets aren’t instantly freezing). You can also climb the long staircase here to get an amazing view of the waterfalls from above.
If you’re planning a trip to Iceland, it’s almost impossible not to end up visiting at least one or two waterfalls. This list is by no means complete, as there are hundreds across the country. About the biggest choice you’ll have to make is whether to go in the summer or winter. It’s the difference between the waterfalls being surrounded by green or white, and how much of them you can access. It will be warmer in the summer with more sunlight, but you’ll also have a chance to see the northern lights in winter.