5 Must See Waterfalls in Iceland

If you like waterfalls, then you’ll LOVE Iceland. Water seems to be falling all over this island, creating majestic, towering showers, and moss-covered trickling cascades. Roaring white-water chutes, and tranquil bubbling fountains.

Pro-tip: the Icelandic word for ‘waterfall’ is ‘foss’. Now you know.

There are waterfalls everywhere around here, each with its own charms. Here are a few of our favourites:

Probably the most well-visited waterfall in Iceland, Gullfoss is one of the attractions on the famed Golden Circle Tour (along with Geysir and Þingvellir). It’s a 32m drop of the Hvítá river into a canyon, making it appear, from a distance, to just be disappearing into the earth.

Image credit: Catharine Fulton
Image credit: Catharine Fulton

Up north, in the Mývatn area, be sure to sneak a peek at the stunning Goðafoss. While it’s not as tall as some of the more well-visited chutes, it’s just stunningly beautiful, with its horseshoe shape and rocky islands clinging to the fall’s edge. It is said the falls got its name — which translates to ‘Waterfall of the Gods’ — when lawspeaker Þorgeir Þorkelsson Ljósvetningagoði announced Iceland’s adoption of Christianity at Alþingi in the year 1000 and then returned to his land adjacent the falls and tossed in all his idols of Norse gods.

Image credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons
Image credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons

The most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss is a sight to behold. Actually, it’s more of a sensory experience, as you’ll hear its mighty roar long before you see its white waters surging into the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. Dettifoss is located in the equally lovely and worth-the-visit Vatnajökull National Park.

Image credit: North Iceland
Image credit: North Iceland

What Hjálparfoss lacks in size it more than makes up for in atmosphere. With its twin falls mixing in a tranquil basin, surrounded by intricate basalt columns, this is one that you can sit and stare at for a long period of time.

Image credit: Catharine Fulton
Image credit: Catharine Fulton

Up in Iceland’s Westfjords is this stunning cascade of water called Dynjandi. It’s actually a series of 7 waterfalls with a cumulative height of 100 m. While many other things about the Westfjords make it worth the visit, Dynjandi is a major draw off the more popular Route 1.

Image credit: wikipedia creative commons
Image credit: Wikipedia creative commons

What’s your favourite Icelandic waterfall? Let us know in the comments or share a pic with us on Facebook!

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