Top 5 Waterfalls in Iceland

by | Dec 13, 2017

Iceland is a waterfall-lovers dream. Driving round the ring round, you’ll pass countless waterfalls, of every shape and size.  There’s the big ones that attract millions of tourists every year, but there’s also a bunch of smaller ones that you might be lucky enough to have all to yourself!

Here’s some  waterfalls that I loved but that didn’t quite make my top 5:

Yes, they’re all beautiful!

I know many people will disagree with my favourite waterfalls in Iceland – I can already hear you asking why Godafoss isn’t on the list, even though it’s generally rated as one of the top attractions in all of Iceland??!

Let me just start by saying I saw a LOT of waterfalls in Iceland. Once I’d seen a heap of waterfalls around this amazing country, I came to appreciate the ones that were unique, not just the ones that were immense. Of course I recommend going to Godafoss and Gullfoss, two huge and impressive waterfalls. But they’re just not my favourites. Another notable mention is Kirkjufell, where you get an amazing view of a waterfall and a little seaside mountain all at once, a photographers dream.

So here’s my TOP FIVE:

5. Skogafoss

Skogafoss is what I like to think of as a ‘neverending waterfall.’ The main waterfall is huge and beautiful but if you walk up the steps to the top you can keep following the river to find more and more waterfalls. You could walk around here for hours!

4. Hengifoss

This waterfall is a little less common on the backpacker route of Iceland, which just makes it even better because there’s less people crowding the paths and ruining your photos! What made this waterfall a stand out wasn’t just the waterfall itself, but the little hike required to get there. Allow about two and a half hours to walk from the carpark to the waterfall and back again. The scenery is constantly changing as you stroll along, making it an impressive but not particuarly difficult hike. Once you make it to the top, you’ll see that the rocks around the waterfall are layered with lava, making it look very unique.

3. Bjarnarfoss

This was one of the first waterfalls we found in Iceland, and we found it somewhat by accident. We saw the infamous ‘attraction’ sign (that led to most of our favourite spots) and pulled over to check it out. The path up to the top is not for the faint of heart. It’s not marked or even remotely obvious. We just sort of clambered our way up there and hoped for the best. At the top you can feel the fresh water spraying you from the falls and admire views of the land stretching out in every direction. Walking back down was even more of a struggle. But that’s all part of the fun, right?!

2. Seljalandsfoss

While this might look like ‘just another waterfall’ at first glance, you have to get up close and personal with Seljalandsfoss to really appreciate its magic. You can walk a little loop all the way behind the falls – you wouldn’t believe the stunning views you get from there. Make sure your camera is waterproof though…!

1. Dettifoss

The drive to Dettifoss is horrible – the long and bumpy dirt road seems to take forever. But push through! This waterfall will be so so incredibly worth it. There is such an immense spray from all the water gushing down the falls that it creates a double rainbow. You can see it from many different angles as you walk the nearby paths and you can just about get close enough at the top to jump in – but…obviously, don’t! Words cannot describe how beautiful this place is. Go to the east side of the falls for the best views.