Iceland in the Summer: 8 Must See Waterfalls
Iceland, the land of fire and ice, is home to some of the worlds most beautiful waterfalls. I visited towards the end of July, which I highly recommend if you want to see each waterfall at full power because that’s when most of the snow and ice melt from the glaciers.
There are hundreds of waterfalls to see in Iceland and each one is distinct and beautiful in its own way. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite waterfalls that I discovered my first time to Iceland, some popular but also some lesser known hidden gems.
Travel tip: Make sure to wear waterproof pants, jacket, and shoes before visiting each waterfall because you will get wet from the mist. Also during more busy seasons, try to get to each waterfall earlier in the day to avoid crowds of people.
Gullfoss, also known as Golden Waterfall, is probably Iceland’s most popular waterfall. It is only about 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Reykjavik and is included in most Golden Circle tours.
The falls measure 32 meters high and has two distinct drop points. I didn’t get to see it this time around, but apparently in the right light the water can look pure gold.
Skogafoss is located in southern Iceland and is one of the biggest waterfalls in the country. Legend has it that the first Viking settler in the area hid a treasure chest behind the falls.
One of my favorite things about this waterfall is that you can walk right up to it but be prepared to get drenched from the mist! We were also lucky this day and got to see some rainbows around the Skogafoss.
Towards the right of the falls is a set of steep stairs (527 steps) that lead up to an observation platform. I definitely recommend doing this if you’re up for it since the view from above is equally as beautiful.
Seljalandsfoss is another famous Icelandic waterfall located along the southern coast (about 1 hour and 35 minutes away from Reykjavik).
One of the main attractions is that you can walk behind the falls into a small cave. It can get very slippery and muddy during the summer months so make sure you have sturdy shoes on and watch your step! Make sure you get to the falls either early or late in the day since this is a very popular tourist attraction.
Also known as Gljufrabui, which translates to “Dweller of the Gorge.” This waterfall is often surprisingly overlooked even though it is only a small trek away from it’s neighbor, Seljalandsfoss.
Gljufrafoss is a little tricky to find since it is partially hidden behind a cliff but so worth it. The easiest way to access it is to wade through a small stream in-between the canyon. Once inside, you’ll find the hidden gem Gljufrafoss.
The hidden gem in this list of waterfalls. We actually discovered Folaldafoss by accident when we decided to take a shortcut through Oxi Pass (Route 939). If you’re driving north along Route 939, this waterfall will be on your left side and there is actually a small pull out where you can park your car safely.
You can see Folaldafoss from the parking area but if you want to get closer to it, there is a small unofficial path made by previous visitors that you can follow up to the falls. I highly recommend waterproof clothing and sturdy hiking shoes if you plan on hiking close to the waterfall since it can get pretty slippery and rocky.
Dettifoss is known as the most powerful waterfall in Europe. It is located in Vatnajokull National Park in northeast Iceland. You’ll also recognized this waterfall if you’ve seen the movie Prometheus.
You can sense how powerful Dettifoss is just by looking at it from afar. I can’t even begin to explain the adrenaline rush I got when I walked right up to it.
Godafoss, also known as Waterfall of the Gods, is another breathtaking waterfall located in northern Iceland. It is about an hour drive away from Akureyri. The waterfall stretches over 30 meters wide and has the prettiest turquoise blue water.
Kirkjufellsfoss is located on the Snaefellsnes peninsula in western Iceland. It is also right next to the mountain Kirkjufell. Although smaller, this waterfall is just as beautiful especially in the summer months.
I hope this list helps narrow down your search when planning a trip to Iceland. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
For those of you who have been to Iceland, what were some of your favorite waterfalls? Let me know in the comment section below!