17 In Europe/ Iceland

The 10 Best Waterfalls In Iceland

Last updated on Jan 18, 2019

When I came back from Iceland and people asked how it was, my answer was always along the lines of; “beautiful landscapes and lots of waterfalls” (little bit of an over simplification but you get the gist of it). For such a small island, with its 10,000+ waterfalls, Iceland has one of the highest concentrations of waterfalls than any other country. If you’re planning a trip to Iceland and want to make sure you see all the best waterfalls, this is the guide for you! I’ve teamed up with some other awesome bloggers to share the ultimate guide to Iceland’s waterfalls. Discover the location, name, what makes them so special, and everything else you need to know about the best waterfalls in Iceland!

Map of the best waterfalls in Iceland

Map of the 10 best waterfalls in Iceland

Best waterfalls in the Golden Circle

Gulfoss

Gulfoss is possibly the most well known waterfall in Iceland. Located in the Golden Circle Gulfoss is one of the most popular stops of this famous Icelandic natural attraction. Gulfoss is located in a gorge of the Hvìtà River and due to the geological formation of the gorge is formed by three layers. It is also known as the “Golden Falls” and if you are lucky enough to visit on a sunny day (not a common occurrence in Iceland) you will be able to see a spectacular rainbow over Gulfoss.

Gulfoss in Iceland

Gulfoss in Iceland

There are wooden walking platforms around the waterfall, which you can walk along to get the best view from every angle. The path from above gives you the best view over the whole of Gulfoss and the three separate drops, however the path right next to the waterfall gives you a better idea of the power of this natural phenomenon. Even if you’re visiting on a sunny day, make sure to be dressed appropriately, because the spray from the waterfall is enough to get you soaked! The path also gets very slippery so keep an eye out on where you step.

Check out the exact location here.

| READ MORE: ICELAND 7-DAY ITINERARY |

Gulfoss in Iceland

Gulfoss in Iceland

Bruarfoss

“Despite being a logical stop on Iceland’s famous Golden Circle, Bruarfoss is a fairly undiscovered waterfall in Iceland. One of the reasons for this is that, in order to get to the waterfall, you actually need to follow a gravel (and potentially muddy) path for ten minutes from the nearest car park. The waterfall is a located between the Strokkur Geysirand Pingviller National Park making it an easy and less touristy stop on any trip on Iceland’s Golden Circle route. In order to get here, simply direct your GPS to BurarfossWaterfall Access Bridge. Burarfoss is undoubtedly worth a visit and you will be blown away by the amazing blue colour of the water and the fact that you can enjoy this site with fewer visitors compared to many other waterfalls in Iceland!”

– by Michael of The World Was Here First

See the exact location here.

Bruarfoss, photo by The World Was Here First

Bruarfoss, photo by The World Was Here First

Barnafoss

I visited Barnafoss on my 1-day Golden Circle tour, however I only discovered later that while it is in the same region of Iceland it is actually just outside the standard Golden Circle route. Barnafoss emerges from the Hallmundarhraun lava field and into the Hvìtà River. I personally loved this waterfall since it is not visible until you face it directly. Coming from an underground river, you have no idea that it’s there until it emerges out of the black rocks of the lava field and falls down in the river. I also enjoyed the fact that it was considerably less busy than other waterfalls I visited in Iceland, and you didn’t have to walk around other people to get a good shot.

Find out the exact location here.

| READ MORE: GOLDEN CIRCLE IN 1 DAY |

Barnafoss in Iceland

Barnafoss in Iceland

Best waterfalls in Northern Iceland

Godafoss

“Situated in Northern Iceland, about 25 minutes east of Akureyri, is Godafoss. This huge waterfall has a drop of 12 metres and spreads 30 metres across the width of the Skjálfandafljót river. It’s unbelievably powerful, breathtakingly beautiful, and like most waterfalls around this country, it’s easily accessible too!

Unlike a lot of the other waterfalls here, this one has a width much larger than its height. It may not sound as exciting, but the sheer power and force of this landmark is unlike anything you’ll see in this country.

Godafoss, photo by Travel For Difference

Godafoss, photo by Travel for Difference

If you’re planning on driving around the Northern region of Iceland’s famous ring road, there’s really no way that you’ll miss this beauty; it smacks you straight in the face without any warning!

In my opinion, the very best part about this place is that restrictions are kept to a minimum. If you feel like being adventurous, dangling your feet over the edge of the waterfall really isn’t an issue. Your life is in your hands here, and I think that’s what makes it so exciting!”

– by Kate of Travels for Difference

Check out the exact location here.

Godafoss, photo, by Travel for Difference

Godafoss, photo, by Travel for Difference

Dettifoss

“Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe.  It is located in Diamond Circle of North Iceland near Húsavík and Lake Mývatn and within the Vatnajökull National Park. Its milky-gray water comes from the Vatnajökull Glacier.  What is particularly memorable about Dettifoss is that the viewpoint is from above, rather than below and quite close to the extremely power falls with an impressive spray.  This was one place where we made sure to that our kids stayed far back from the edge, especially on a windy day.

There is about a 10-15 minute walk on a gravel path with steps from the parking lot to the overlook.  The walk to Dettifoss is admittedly more strenuous than most waterfalls we viewed in Iceland, which tended to be quite close to the parking area.  However, my two year old daughter was able to do most of it herself when it was not pouring.  This is one waterfall not to miss when traveling through North Iceland.”

– by Catherine of We Go With Kids

Check out the exact location here.

Dettifoss, photo by We Go With Kids

Dettifoss, photo by We Go With Kids

Best waterfalls in Eastern Iceland

Kirkjufellsfoss

The Game of Thrones fans reading this will recognise this waterfall. Kirkjufellsfoss and its iconic mountain in the background have been photographed thousands of times. The Kirkjufell mountain also featured in the latest Game of Thrones (remember the vision of the Hound in the fire?) which added to the popularity of the destination. The waterfall itself isn’t as big or powerful as some of the others on this list, but in my opinion it deserves a spot on this list of best waterfalls in Iceland thanks to the beauty of the surrounding landscape. 

Get the exact location here.

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall with the iconic mountain in the back

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall with the iconic Krikjufell mountain in the back

Best waterfalls in Southern Iceland

Gljúfrabúi Water or Gljúfurárfoss

“Many people who drive along the ring road stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall, one of the most stunning in the south of Iceland. However, if you walk along a path past Seljalandsfoss, you’ll come to a crack in the rock face with a waterfall INSIDE the rock. This is Gljúfrabúi, which means “the one that lives within the canyon”, a pretty fitting name for the hidden gem.The waterfall actually spills down from a higher cliff into a hole within the rocks, and if you walk back further away from the cliff face you’ll be able to see the top of it. It is also possible to go through the gap, and experience the waterfall up close, but be prepared to get a little wet, especially in winter time!”

– by Sonja of Migrating Miss 

Find out the exact location here.

Gljúfurárfoss, photo by Migrating Miss

Gljúfurárfoss, photo by Migrating Miss

Skogafoss

“Iceland has many waterfalls, I once even heard that there are over 10,000 in the country. Although no one seems to know the exact number, almost everyone can point you in the direction of Skogafoss. Skogafoss is one my favorite waterfalls in the world and just off Iceland’s iconic Ring Road.  Skogafoss is only a two-hour drive from Reykjavik and nearby the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach in the southern part of the country.  It’s one of the biggest waterfalls in the country and has a super wide width making it ideal for photographs.

If you are planning on driving the whole ring road route there is absolutely no way you will miss it as you can see if from the road.  Plan to spend some time here taking photos, hiking up its side, and enjoying a coffee at the nearby cafe. It’s also even possible to stay overnight here at the campsite onsite if you want to get up early the next morning and have the waterfall all for yourself.”

– by Natasha & Cameron of The World Pursuit

Get the exact location here.

Skogafoss, photo by The World Pursuit

Skogafoss, photo by The World Pursuit

Seljalandsfoss

“Iceland is full of amazing places and with so many waterfalls, it’s hard to choose just one to spotlight. Seljalandsfoss is around 2 hours drive from Reykjavik and I visited in May during a day tour of the South Coast of Iceland. While not part of Iceland’s Golden Circle route, Seljalandsfoss is a popular spot and well worth a visit. Running from a cliff range into a wide open meadow, it certainly stands out from its surrounding landscape but one of the most exciting things about this beautiful spot is that you can easily walk behind the waterfall and enjoy amazing views through the water. If you manage to get some sunshine for your visit, you’ll even be able to see a rainbow in the spray. Just be prepared to get a little wet along the path and tread carefully as it can be slippery underfoot. Visit in spring for wildflowers in the meadow!”

– by Kirstin of The Tinberry Travels

Check out the exact location here.

Seljalandsfoss, photo by The Tinberry Travels

Seljalandsfoss, photo by The Tinberry Travels

Behind Seljalandsfoss, photo by The Tinberry Travels

Behind Seljalandsfoss, photo by The Tinberry Travels

Best waterfalls in the Westfjords

Dynjandi

Dynjandi is the most impressive waterfall I have ever seen. While driving in the fjords of Iceland you can start seeing it from a distance, and will initially mistake it for a glacier. Driving on the winding roads of the fjords at first you will see a wide white line that vertically breaks up the cliffs of the fjords. It’s only as you get closer that you realise what looks like ice from a distance is actually rushing water.

Two of the seven waterfalls at Dynjandi

Two of the seven waterfalls at Dynjandi

Dynjandi is actually composed by six small waterfalls and one huge one from which it gets the name. There is a parking lot just beneath it and a path that you can walk along to reach the first waterfall. Each of the smaller waterfalls has a sign with the name of that part of the Dynjandi falls. The path up is quite well marked, however it’s very muddy so be careful not to slip! I was there on a rainy day, which combined to the spray coming from the waterfall made everything very wet. When I finally reached the top at the base of the first waterfall, I felt awed by the power and beauty of nature. I was standing under this gigantic waterfall, watching the course of the water as it broke into six other waterfalls before reaching the sea of the fjords.

Get the exact location here.

Admiring Dynjandi Falls in the Westfjords

Getting up close to Dynjandi Falls in the Westfjords

These are all the waterfalls in Iceland that either I personally visited or other travellers recommended. Have you been to Iceland? Do you have a favourite waterfall that isn’t on this list? Let me know in the comments below! When it comes to Iceland there is no such thing as too many waterfalls, however if you’re visiting on a short trip there’s no way you can see them all. I hope this guide to the best waterfalls in Iceland will help you plan your trip!

Enjoyed reading about the best waterfalls in Iceland? Pin it!

There are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland. If you're planning a trip there and aren't sure which ones are worth seeing, this is the guide for you. Discover the exact location of all the best waterfalls in Iceland! #waterfalls #iceland #bestwaterfallsiniceland

There are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland. If you're planning a trip there and aren't sure which ones are worth seeing, this is the guide for you. Discover the exact location of all the best waterfalls in Iceland! #waterfalls #iceland #bestwaterfallsiniceland

There are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland. If you're planning a trip there and aren't sure which ones are worth seeing, this is the guide for you. Discover the exact location of all the best waterfalls in Iceland! #waterfalls #iceland #bestwaterfallsiniceland

There are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland. If you're planning a trip there and aren't sure which ones are worth seeing, this is the guide for you. Discover the exact location of all the best waterfalls in Iceland! #waterfalls #iceland #bestwaterfallsiniceland

There are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland. If you're planning a trip there and aren't sure which ones are worth seeing, this is the guide for you. Discover the exact location of all the best waterfalls in Iceland! #waterfalls #iceland #bestwaterfallsiniceland

There are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland. If you're planning a trip there and aren't sure which ones are worth seeing, this is the guide for you. Discover the exact location of all the best waterfalls in Iceland! #waterfalls #iceland #bestwaterfallsiniceland

There are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland. If you're planning a trip there and aren't sure which ones are worth seeing, this is the guide for you. Discover the exact location of all the best waterfalls in Iceland! #waterfalls #iceland #bestwaterfallsiniceland

There are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland. If you're planning a trip there and aren't sure which ones are worth seeing, this is the guide for you. Discover the exact location of all the best waterfalls in Iceland! #waterfalls #iceland #bestwaterfallsiniceland

There are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland. If you're planning a trip there and aren't sure which ones are worth seeing, this is the guide for you. Discover the exact location of all the best waterfalls in Iceland! #waterfalls #iceland #bestwaterfallsiniceland

You Might Also Like

17 Comments

  • Reply
    Kristin
    March 10, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Gorgeous! I visited Iceland in winter and saw some waterfalls on a tour and they were completely frozen. It was pretty amazing! I’d love to go in nicer weather and see more of them when they’re flowing.

    • Reply
      Greta
      March 10, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      Oh wow that must’ve been quite a sight! I really want to go back to Iceland in winter!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    March 10, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Wow how absolutely incredible! Don’t think I’ve ever seen so many beautiful waterfalls to look forward to in one place – definitely makes me want to get to Iceland sooner rather than later.

    • Reply
      Greta
      March 10, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks, glad you like the post!

  • Reply
    Anna
    March 10, 2018 at 10:35 am

    This is a really extensive guide! Saving it for later. My friends just got back from there and I heard about the prices. I knew it is expensive but wow. Need to start saving to be able to make it =D

    • Reply
      Greta
      March 10, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks, glad you liked it! Hope you’ll find it useful in planning your trip!

  • Reply
    madhurima
    March 10, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    We had a plan to visit Ice land this summer. However we are visiting Africa since driving is not yet our forte. I so so wish to visit iceland now, after seeing your pictures!

    • Reply
      Greta
      March 10, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      Thanks, glad you like my photos! (and of the other awesome bloggers that contributed to this post 🙂 ) I’m a terrible driver and visited Iceland on an organised tour, that’s also an option if you don’t want to drive!

  • Reply
    Stella Jane
    March 10, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    I loved this article! I saw Gullfoss when I was in Iceland this summer, but I didn’t see any of the others. I guess it just gives me an excuse to go back!

    • Reply
      Greta
      March 10, 2018 at 2:37 pm

      Haha yeah always a good reason to go back!

  • Reply
    Mary
    March 10, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Wow! Those waterfalls are all gorgeous. It’s always so much fun to chase waterfalls. Saving this post for later. Great use of a map too! Very helpful.

    • Reply
      Greta
      March 10, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      Thanks, glad you find it useful!

  • Reply
    Shannon
    March 10, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    This post is giving me all the wanderlust right now! I’ve always wanted to visit Iceland! Definitely saving this for when I get a chance to visit. I love chasing waterfalls!

    • Reply
      Greta
      March 10, 2018 at 7:16 pm

      Thanks, glad you liked it and hope you’ll find it useful!

  • Reply
    Annette Richmond
    March 10, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Your photos are FANTASTIC! I’ll be traveling to Iceland later this year and this guide is very helpful and inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Greta
      March 10, 2018 at 7:15 pm

      Aw thanks so much! Glad you like my photography! I can’t take the credit for them all as some were submitted by other bloggers but I appreciate the feedback 🙂 Hope you’ll find this useful to plan your trip!

  • Reply
    Serena
    March 10, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    These waterfalls are so beautiful! I’m dying to see all of them someday

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.