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One of Iceland’s many attractions is its dramatic (and unspoiled) landscape, which of course includes some pretty impressive waterfalls.

Epic waterfalls are found throughout Iceland and you’d be best advised renting a car, or at the very least embarking on tours to see the best ones.

This blog will focus on 5 incredible waterfalls you can find in Central and Southern Iceland, including a very secret one!

Are you ready?

1. Gullfoss (‘Golden Falls’)

Perhaps the star of the Golden Circle, tens of thousands of people head to Gullfoss during their Icelandic adventures every year, with tourism numbers consistently on the rise.

For that many people to be interested, this one has got to be pretty special, right? Why yes, yes it really is.

As you head down from the Visitor Centre, you’ll need to climb down some steps to see your first proper glimpse of Gullfoss, otherwise known as ‘Golden Falls’, and I can bet your first words (or thoughts) will be “Wow!”

Thanks to long wooden walkways (and lots of steps), it’s possible to see Gullfoss from a number of different angles, allowing you to exclaim “Wow!” maybe 5 or 6 times over.

To see Gullfoss at its best, I’d recommend visiting during the colder months. During the Summer, the water turns a muddy brown (hence the name of ‘Golden Falls’) due to various types of sediment winding its way through the crevasse.

But during the cold months, you’ll find the water to be a cool blue colour and ever so beautiful!


2. Skógafoss (‘Forest Falls’)

Found close to some black sand beaches – one of which being epic Sólheimasandur beach – is Skógafoss, which comes from the Icelandic for ‘Forest Falls’. No-one is quite sure where this name came from though as there are no forests, woods or trees near it!

Skogafoss Waterfall

Anyway, it’s possible to get very up close and personal with this waterfall when down on the ground as there’s nothing stopping you from going right up to it – apart from maybe the powerful water soaking you as soon as you step 20 feet within its range!

The water’s pretty cold by the way!

When we visited in March last year, the temperatures were so cold that ice crystals had formed both on the ground and on the rocks near the waterfall.


Anyway, my point is this waterfall is awesome up close.

It’s also fantastic to see from above. You’ll need to climb over 500 very steep steps in order to get to the viewing platform, but once you’re up there, you’ll get a very unique angle of this superb waterfall!

Skogafoss waterfall from above

And speaking of very unique angles…

3. Seljalandsfoss (‘Selling the Land of Waterfalls’)

Seljalandsfoss, which is not too far from Skógafoss actually, is on this list of incredible Icelandic waterfalls because you can walk behind this one!

Although there will be closed fences and warning signs about ice and slipping during the Winter and cold months, it’s technically still possible to walk behind it. I’m not convinced anyone really listens to those signs. Just whatever you do, hold onto the railings and tread carefully… it’s going to properly hurt if you do fall!

That said, it’s awesome to walk behind waterfalls and see them from an entirely different point of view. And Seljalandsfoss, at over 60 feet tall, is one total beauty!

4. Öxarárfoss (‘Axe Falls’)

Öxarárfoss Waterfall

Found within stunning Thingvellir National Park and a couple of miles’ walk from the Visitor Centre is Öxarárfoss, sometimes known as ‘Axe Falls’.

This one is perhaps not as famous as the others as it’s a little difficult to find. But once you do find it, you’ll be amazed at this little but still perfectly formed waterfall. It’s so clean that you can even drink out of it if you want to… that’s what I did!

Fresh water taken from a waterfall in Iceland

And hey, someone else must have liked it as it is also a ‘Game of Thrones’ filming location!

Check out my mini guide to find out more about this particular waterfall, how to find it and how you can go hiking in Thingvellir National Park.

5. Gljúfrabúi (‘Canyon Dweller’ or ‘Dweller of the Gorge’)

Gljúfrabúi Waterfall

And finally we come to Gljúfrabúi, the ‘Canyon Dweller’ or ‘Dweller of the Gorge’.

This is the secret waterfall I alluded to at the beginning of this blog. But what makes it so secret?

Well, the only way to see it is to either climb over some very steep rocks and cliffs, or trudge through knee deep (freezing!) water. Found in the middle of an open-topped cave, this is where you’ll find one of Iceland’s deepest secrets.

Now, if rockclimbing or wading through rivers isn’t really your thing, you can still catch a glimpse of this waterfall by peeking through the two rock crevices in front of it (like we did)… your only trouble will be that you can only see the bottom of it from this angle, so you kind of miss all of its beauty.

Perhaps another reason why Gljúfrabúi is so secret is because it’s not signposted, not often referred to in blogs, (I had to read over 10 dedicated Iceland blogs before I could even find its name!) and it’s also often eclipsed by its very famous neighbour – none other than Seljalandsfoss.

So, next time you decide to walk behind Seljalandsfoss, spare a thought for its lesser known neighbour and come and pay this secret waterfall a visit too!

If you’re thinking of adding these waterfalls to your own Iceland itinerary, I’ve included a simple map below for you:

And for those of you who love videos, check out my latest:

Over to you now – which incredible Iceland waterfall will be first on your list? And what are some other Icelandic waterfalls you’d recommend I investigate? Feel free to drop a few lines in the comments below…

And did you like this? Don’t forget to share it!

5 Incredible Iceland Waterfalls (Including a Secret One!)

7 thoughts on “4 Incredible Iceland Waterfalls (Plus A Secret One!)

  1. After seeing your photos, I am in love with this place, I have to go there
    Thanks for sharing it, Justine. 🙂

    1. Thanks Frank! I’m glad you liked my post. Iceland is a seriously beautiful place, I hope you get to visit soon! 🙂

  2. Oliver says:

    you are such a great blogger and I like all your articles and your writing level is so high. Keep writing 👍

  3. Haani says:

    Very interesting travel blog and you’ve presented Iceland so well! I’m heading there to do a similar road trip next year.

    1. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed our blog posts about Iceland, Haani!
      You’ll love Iceland; it’s definitely one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been. Enjoy! 🙂

  4. Maya says:

    Hi, I am really enjoying your blog and I am finding it really informative. I am coming to Iceland with my 2 children & a friend for 2 weeks at the end of July, we are thinking of using the youth hostels around the country as they seem good value; are we better booking the hostels & car hire through the international hostel site or booking each hostel & the car hire separately? We are really excited about visiting Iceland as it looks an amazing place.

    1. Hi Maya,

      Thanks for commenting! I’m pleased to hear you’re finding our blogs helpful 🙂

      To be honest, it completely depends on the prices you get when booking separately versus altogether. We usually book everything separately in order to make use of discount codes we find online and we find this does work out cheaper. However, if there’s only a small difference in price, you’ll probably love the convenience of getting it all done in one go. But as I say, it depends on how different the prices are.

      I hope you all enjoy your trip… Iceland is (without doubt) one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen!



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