Best-Iceland-Waterfalls

15 Best Iceland Waterfalls in Iceland (+ Map)

The Land of Fire and Ice has the most spectacular waterfalls glaciers, ice caves, geysers, volcanos, natural hot springs, black sand beaches and especially waterfalls. There are literally thousands of Iceland waterfalls, so how do you pick which ones to see?

In this post, you’ll find 15 of the best waterfalls in Iceland that we consider must-sees. This list is organized by area with an Iceland Waterfall Map to help you find them.

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Best Iceland Waterfalls

Planning your trip to Iceland last minute? Here are the tours and hotels we recommend. Our 7 Day Iceland Itinerary and the 12 Best Boutique Hotels in Reykjavik and Most Unique Hotels in Iceland will also be very helpful planning your trip.

Best Iceland Waterfalls in Iceland

North Iceland Waterfalls

Iceland waterfalls Aldeyjarfoss

Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall

My favorite Iceland waterfall is accessed by a 4WD, 30 minutes off the main road near Gulfoss in North Iceland. Most people don’t know about Aldeyjarfoss, because it’s in the middle of nowhere, but Wow!

The impressive water flows from the Báðardalshraun lava field into a basalt column amphitheater. It then runs down into the Skjálfandafljót River, carving through a desolate plain in the middle of nowhere.

If you love those fascinating basalt columns, check out Svartifoss Waterfall below. The most amazing basalt columns I’ve ever seen are at Giant’s Causeway in Ireland.

Iceland Vacation Godafoss

Goðafoss Waterfall

Goðafoss waterfall is the most popular in North Iceland because it’s right off the ring road and incredibly cool. It’s pictured in the main photo of this article with me and my mom. This winter shot gives you a totally different view.

My mom and son are both photographers and let’s face it, Iceland is a nature photographer’s paradise. I was basically their driver/assistant but I’m not complaining if it involves a killer vacay.

If you want to see what else we did, check out our Iceland Ring Road Itinerary.

Dettifoss

Dettifoss Waterfall

Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. When you are standing near it, you can’t help but think how you would be dead in one second if you got too close.

This is a true waterfall/nature experience unplugged. The raw power of Dettifoss in this desolate 4WD accessible setting is what makes this my #2 favorite Iceland waterfall.

Selfoss Waterfall

Selfoss Waterfall

You can actually take a 30 minute hike from Dettifoss to get to Selfoss. They share the same parking area. What’s interesting about Selfoss is the amount of falls down a long plain.

Selfoss Waterfall has a beautiful cascade over rugged cliffs into the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river.


Best Waterfalls in Iceland – South Coast

South Iceland is possible by day trip from Reykjavik (2 hours) or stay overnight. We stayed at the Icelandair Hotel Vik which was really nice and the perfect spot to see so many cool spots that are beyond the Golden Circle.

Iceland Waterfall Skógafoss

Skógafoss Waterfall

How beautiful is Skógafoss!! My son took this amazing photo (proud mom), and I think he captured the size and magnificence of Skógafoss Waterfall. While he takes photos, I like to walk around and explore.

You can get in a nice stairs workout (370 steps) to get to the top of the 200-foot Skógafoss drop. There’s actually a whole hike from the top that leads to another 20 waterfalls. I told you there are a lot in Iceland 😉

Skogafoss Waterfall from above
Iceland itinerary Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

It’s not often that you get to walk behind a 200 foot waterfall to get a 360 degree view. The circular path around the back of Seljalandsfoss allows for sensational photos.

At certain times of the year, Seljalandsfoss is illuminated at night, creating a magical and ethereal scene that’s perfect for nighttime photography.

The path is uneven and slippery is some spots. Bring a rain coat to this one. You will definitely get wet.

Gljúfrabúi

Gljúfrabúi Waterfall

Gljúfrabúi is 0.4 miles from Seljalandsfoss. You have to wade through a shallow stream into this cave that looks like a crevice in the rock.

Once inside the small moss-covered rock cavern there’s a full sensory experience as you are fully immersed in the environment feeling the mist.

Sunlight filters through the narrow opening above the canyon, casting ethereal beams of light making it beautiful for photographs with a magical atmosphere.

This secret waterfall reminds me of Tukad Cepung Waterfall in Bali.


Vatnajökull National Park

Another 2 hour drive will get you to Vatnajökull National Park. This is the area with black sand beaches, amazing glaciers and glacier lagoons. It’s more than a day trip and you definitely want to visit this area.

We stayed at the Fosshótel Vatnajökull and absolutely loved it. It has a somewhat stark exterior but it’s a very luxurious modernist hotel, that highlights the beauty natural surroundings. I felt very inspired by the area.

Iceland Waterfalls Svartifoss

Svartifoss

Svartifoss Waterfall (Black Falls) is in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve in Vatnajökull National Park. This beautiful waterfall is a one-mile hike from the car park and visitor center.

The distinctive basalt columns of Svartifoss, similar to Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway, inspired Icelandic architecture, like Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavik.

To reach Svartifoss there’s a 2-mile (3.2 km) out-and-back hike through lush forests, and you’ll be treated to wildflowers and other smaller waterfalls along the way.


West Iceland Waterfalls

Iceland-vacation-Kirkjufell-mountain

Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall

Kirkjufell Mountain is the subject of many photos and was a treat to see in person. Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall is the smallest waterfall on this list but the setting of the waterfall and Kirkjufell mountain is stunning.

This area is part of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It’s an awesome day trip from Reykjavik. We had the best time and you can see more of what we did there in our Iceland Road Trip Itinerary.

Dynjandi Iceland Waterfalls

Dynjandi Waterfall

Cascading down 300 feet and 60 feet wide at the bottom, Dynjandi Waterfall is completely different than all the other waterfalls listed here.

Look at the man standing at the bottom of the photo to give you a sense of the massive size.

This Iceland waterfall is in the Westfjords, which is the best spot in Iceland to find puffins.


East Iceland Waterfalls

If you make it to East Iceland, you will experience these beautiful Waterfalls. Most people miss East Iceland because it’s off the typical tourist path but it’s absolutely worth the visit.

Iceland Waterfalls Hengifoss

Hengifoss Waterfall

The drive down this massive hill and seeing this waterfall was incredibly impressive. Hengifoss is the 4th highest waterfall with a 400 foot drop (128 meters). This photo really doesn’t capture the monumental size.

It’s about and hour hike which I recommend because you will see Litlanesfoss on the way. If you don’t want to do that, you can still get a beautiful view from the road.

Litlanesfoss Waterfall

Litlanesfoss Waterfall is not visible from the road. It’s about a 15 minute walk on the way to Hengifoss. This is another place in Iceland where you can view those beautiful basalt columns.


Iceland Waterfalls Near Reykjavik

Iceland Waterfalls Gulfoss

Gullfoss

Gulfoss is an incredibly powerful, two stage waterfall that drops into a canyon. For good reason, this stunning waterfall is the most popular and famous waterfalls in Iceland. You’ll find it on the Golden Circle Route in Thingvellir National Park.

If you plan to take photos of waterfalls in Iceland on a DSLR make sure you buy a 10 stop filter before you leave home. My son bought his in Akureyri so that he could capture these smooth falls photos.

Háifoss Iceland Waterfall

Háifoss & Granni Waterfalls

Háifoss, which means “High Falls” in Icelandic, is one of the tallest waterfalls in the country, an over 400-foot drop waterfall. Actually the 5th tallest in Iceland at 122 meters. It helps to have a 4WD to drive the gravel road to reach it.

Adjacent to Háifoss is the smaller yet equally picturesque Granni waterfall, meaning “Neighbor.” It’s a two-for-one experience with these two massive waterfalls in such close proximity

Bruarfoss waterfall

Bruarfoss Waterfall

One of the prettiest Icelandic waterfalls and the only one with this beautiful blue water is your reward for a 2-mile hike. If you go early you can experience it almost alone. Park at the Bruarfoss Waterfall official parking lot, right near Geysir.

Bring good waterproof hiking shoes because it can be muddy.


What to pack for an Iceland Waterfall Tour

The weather in Iceland is kind of crazy. If you are going in the summer, plan for fall clothing. Winter requires really warm winter clothing.

Layers are important because the weather changes all day long. There were times I was fine with a long-sleeved tee and an hour later my teeth were chattering with a puffer jacket, beanie, scarf, and gloves.

  • Raincoat – There’s a lot of back spray at waterfalls. This longer raincoat covers more of your body, it’s comfortable and my yellow one looks great in Iceland photos. This smaller packable raincoat is better for hiking and cycling.
  • Warm Jacket – You need at least a lightweight puffer jacket in summer. In winter you need an arctic parka.
  • Trail Running Shoes or Hiking Shoes – You need shoes with good tread because the terrain is slippery and waterproof is even better. I’m a huge fan of these waterproof Brooks trail runners.
  • Beanie hat – Trust me, you will take this on and off all day.
  • Gloves
  • Camera and Drone
  • Tripod for great waterfall shots.
  • Camera Filter This 10-stop filter for your DSLR will give you those smooth water photos.
  • Waterproof sleeve for your camera to protect it from rain/overspray.

Iceland Waterfalls Tour Tips

  • Rent a car and drive yourself. It’s so much easier than you think – great roads and easy directions. We got a 4WD SUV with 250K miles from Sad Cars. It worked an we didn’t have to worry about scratches. Some otherwise good rental car companies have bad reputations in Iceland. Check reviews.
  • Go beyond the typical Golden Circle Iceland Stops and travel around the whole country on the Iceland Ring Road. I wasn’t so sure about doing this but it was amazing. Read about our trip here.
  • Join one of the day tours or multi day tours if you want someone else to do the driving. They can also tell you all about Iceland along the way.
  • Go on a photo tour. We did one in the Snaefelles Peninsula and an Iceland South Coast Tour. We learned amazing photo tips, all about Iceland and had a guide to show us exactly where things were.

My Top 5 Iceland Waterfalls

  1. Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall (North Iceland)
  2. Dynjandi Waterfall (Westfjords)
  3. Dettifoss Waterfall (North Iceland)
  4. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (South Iceland)
  5. Gulfoss Waterfall (Golden Circle)

Map of Waterfalls in Iceland

If you are heading to Iceland, I highly recommend reading our Iceland Ring Road Itinerary even in you think you might not go around the whole thing.

You can see what we did in various areas so help you see what parts of the Ring Road you might want to hit.

We did our trip in the summer but are dying to go back in a different season to see the Northern Lights, ice caves and some frozen Iceland waterfalls.

It’s a completely different trip but it would be so much fun and it’s apparently not as cold as the midwest in winter.

Other Iceland Posts You Will Find Helpful:

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41 Comments

  • Reply
    Lucia
    February 19, 2020 at 1:38 am

    Wow! I have never seen anything like this! I have had many friends tell me I need to visit Iceland, however, I had no idea about these incredible waterfalls. Absolutely breathtaking.

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      February 19, 2020 at 9:52 pm

      I hope you get a chance to visit. As pretty as they are in photos, it pales in comparison to real life.

  • Reply
    Jamila
    July 3, 2019 at 2:34 am

    Amazing! Iceland seems to be the land of many waterfalls. I would love to visit one day and see some of them for myself in person! – http://www.jamilakyari.com

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      July 6, 2019 at 8:42 pm

      Iceland blew me away. The scale of everything like the size of the waterfalls is truly amazing. It’s also one of the most diverse natural places I have ever seen. Hope you get to visit soon!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    June 6, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Iceland is SO gorgeous- friends of ours honeymooned there a few years ago and loved it!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      June 6, 2019 at 11:44 pm

      It’s an amazing trip. It would be a great place for a honeymoon.

  • Reply
    Jenny Yang
    May 16, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    WOW these shots are so breathtaking! Iceland has been on my bucket list for so long and am definitely wanting to hit these spots up if I ever go!
    xx jen

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      May 22, 2019 at 3:15 am

      Thank you so much Jenny! Iceland was on my bucket list for so long and I’m so glad I finally got to see it, especially the waterfalls!

  • Reply
    Tina
    May 9, 2019 at 6:49 am

    All of these waterfalls are breathtaking! I would absolutely love to visit Iceland one day and would have to refer back to this helpful post!

    Tina

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      May 22, 2019 at 3:14 am

      Thanks Tina! Iceland is amazing and such a beautiful place to visit.

  • Reply
    Margot
    May 6, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Wow it’s stunning ! All theses pictures of the waterfalls are really impressive.
    xx
    Margot
    https://troughthepasturesofthesky.com

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      May 22, 2019 at 3:12 am

      Thank you so much Margot! I love waterfalls so much, they’re one of my favorite things in nature to see.

  • Reply
    Nina
    May 2, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Loving this post dear! So beautiful places!
    Have a great day! xx

    La ilusión de Nina

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      May 5, 2019 at 1:25 am

      Thank you Nina! Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    wendee
    April 30, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    these are so beautiful
    The Glossychic
    Wonder Cottage

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      May 5, 2019 at 1:23 am

      Thank you so much Wendee!

  • Reply
    Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom
    April 30, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Wow! I didn’t know there were so many waterfalls in Iceland! SO pretty! Waterfalls are my husbands favorite thing in nature!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

  • Reply
    Meri Wild
    April 30, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Awesome post and photos! I would love to visit this place! <3

    http://www.meriwild.com

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      May 5, 2019 at 1:21 am

      Thank you so much! You definitely should it’s a wonderful place!

  • Reply
    Mercy
    April 26, 2019 at 6:31 am

    These are spectacular photos, they really look professional. I can’t imagine there’s a lot of waterfalls in Iceland, I hope I can go there soon.

    http://www.busyandfab.com

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      April 30, 2019 at 1:05 am

      Thank you so much! The landscape there is amazing, all the photos look like paintings. You should definitely go sometime!

  • Reply
    Laura
    April 25, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    OMG, SOOOOO GORGEOUS!!! Iceland is just so beautiful – I would love to go someday!

    Laura
    Black Coffee Beautiful

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      April 30, 2019 at 1:03 am

      I know right?!? Truly nature’s beauty. I would love to back!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    April 25, 2019 at 11:20 am

    These are just breathtaking photos dear! What a lovely roundup.
    Jessica

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      April 30, 2019 at 1:00 am

      Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom
    April 25, 2019 at 12:49 am

    So beautiful!! I didn’t even know there were so many waterfalls in Iceland! My husband loves waterfalls!

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      April 30, 2019 at 12:58 am

      Thank you Carrie! I’m a huge fan of waterfalls myself so this was one of my favorite trips!

  • Reply
    Mariann Yip
    April 24, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Love this post!! This looks so unbelievable!!

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      April 30, 2019 at 12:51 am

      Thank you so much Mariann!

  • Reply
    Atsuna Matsui
    April 24, 2019 at 2:54 am

    OMG thank you for this post! I was actually making plans to visit Iceland here so I will definitely need to reference this waterfall guide on the ones we want to visit.

    BLOG | YOUTUBE | INSTAGRAM

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      April 24, 2019 at 3:03 am

      I’m so happy to hear that it’s helpful. I also have an Iceland itinerary post which will show you all of the other cool things you can see/do. Hope you have a great trip!

  • Reply
    Gabrielle
    April 23, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Ohhhh I haven’t seen even ONE waterfall in Iceland; okay time to start ticking these off a bucket list haha! Hope you’re having a great week so far babe!

    aglassofice.com x

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      April 24, 2019 at 3:04 am

      Sounds like you have so many fun travel tings to look forward to 😊 Hope you’re having a great week too!

  • Reply
    Marina W
    April 22, 2019 at 9:22 am

    This post is absolutely amazing to read, Love all the pictures and style.
    Looking forward to reading more of your blog, have a nice week darling 🙂

    – Marina W

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      April 22, 2019 at 4:28 pm

      Glad you liked it! Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Kathrine Eldridge
    April 20, 2019 at 11:46 am

    These are all incredible waterfalls! Iceland is on my bucket list but now it’s moved up on it with this post. Thanks for these amazing pics!

    https://www.kathrineeldridge.com

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      April 22, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      Love hearing that! The waterfalls are just one of the many amazing things in Iceland.

  • Reply
    Simone
    April 20, 2019 at 11:29 am

    Iceland has so many beautiful waterfalls, this nature is very stunning! This gorgeous place is on my list forever but somehow I just didn’t manage yet to visit. I will definitely have to see this though!

    xx Simone

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      April 22, 2019 at 4:30 pm

      I know you’ll love it. Hopefully you get to go soon!

  • Reply
    Allie Mackin
    April 19, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    Oh wow so many! What a wonderful guide. We only have one in NY state. Niagara Falls but I have never been there.

    Allie of
    http://www.allienyc.com

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      April 19, 2019 at 7:54 pm

      It’s almost shocking how many waterfalls there are in Iceland. Niagara Falls is pretty amazing too. You should go check it out!

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