There is something magical about waterfalls. The small and narrow falls can make you speechless in front of their beauty whereas the big, majestic falls make you feel small and powerless in front of their wildly roaming waters. They are nature at its best in many ways – beautiful, changing and powerful. I have seen a few waterfalls during my life, but all the famous ones have been left unseen. That was until I travelled to Iceland.
When you travel to Iceland, you can not avoid seeing more waterfalls than you can count.They are everywhere. Big, small, high, low, in pairs, on their own, near and far. During the five days, I saw more waterfalls than in my life before this trip. And the funny thing is that even though they are unbelievably beautiful, I started feeling indifferent to them. I browsed through my photos from Iceland and could spot over 50 waterfalls from those, this being after I had deleted over half or the photos.
Iceland is just full of waterfalls – and sheep. They are everywhere. This picture was taken randomly out of the window of a moving car and is more or less a standard view from the car windows in Iceland…
I must admit that I was more than excited about even the smallest waterfalls on the first days. Looking back, it was rather silly how eagerly I wanted to stop the car on the first waterfalls that came into our sight. I mean, they were barely even waterfalls and had I known what was waiting in the upcoming days, I would have not even bothered to give them a proper look. But at the time, they seemed so wonderful!
I will not start raving about each and every one of the waterfalls I saw during the five days, but I’ve listed the top 5 here. Each of these waterfalls were included in our itinerary already before the trip and to be honest, each one of these was without a doubt also worth seeing.
The Kirkujufellsfoss is located on the Snaefellsnes peninsula right next to the town of Grundarfjörður. This was not only the first “proper” waterfall we visited, but also my favourite one. The fall is not high in volume nor height, but the beauty of this fall is created thanks to the beautiful Kirkjufell mountain that is located right next to the waterfall. Together these two create a magical view. This is probably the least known waterfall on this list, but definitely worth visiting if travelling to the peninsula.
Glymur was special. It was the only one on this list for which you really needed to make and effort to see it. More about Glymur is found on a separate post here. The waterfall was truly beautiful, but even more beautiful was the nature around it and the majestic views from the path leading to the waterfall.
For the third night on our trip, we drove to the south coast after the sunset. When arriving at our hotel, which was located right next to the waterfall we could only hear her roaring but could not see anything. In the morning, we were eager to see what was this fall that made those majestic sounds like. And were not disappointed. There are absolutely incredible views from hotel Skogafoss’ dining room. I must admit that it is not that often that I get to enjoy this beautiful views while having breakfast. From the parking lot, it is only a few steps to the root of the waterfall. It is possible to walk all the way to the waterfall and get so close to the root of it that even your waterproof clothing will struggle to keep you dry. Some 400 normal and 30 giant steps up on a path right next to the waterfall takes you all the way up to the edge of the fall. The viewing point here has some beautiful views over the coast.
Gullfoss is without a doubt the most well-known waterfall in the whole country. There are several viewing points in the area from where to admire the falls from different perspectives. It is huge, it is wonderful. It is majestic. It makes your knees feel weak next to its wildly roaming waters. The fall drops over 30 metres in two parts and there is some 180m3 of water flowing through it every single second, so this is not an ordinary waterfall in any way.
Seljalandsfoss is sure beautiful in itself, but what really makes this fall special is the path taking you behind the fall. Beware, you’ll get wet! I mean, really wet if the water levels are high, so you’ll want to have waterproof clothing here and tuck that camera of yours in your backpack or under your coat. There are a few dry(ish) spots along the path for you to snap those precious photos. In brief: great experience but you’ll get soaked.