Iceland waterfalls are incredibly beautiful, and that’s why this country has become famous for having some of the best falls in the world.

The terrain is a perfect combination of rugged mountains and melting glaciers in the summer, so there are over 10,000 waterfalls here!

I visited the country for a full month, and this is my list of some of the best waterfalls in Iceland, complete with an Iceland waterfalls map!


About This Guide

This list is ordered chronologically, assuming you rent a car and drive the Ring Road in a counter clockwise direction, starting with the southern waterfalls first and then going in a full circle around the entire island, including a stop in the more remote Westfjords and Snaefellsnes Peninsula, until you end up back in western Iceland near Reykjavik.

This is what I did on my trip to Iceland, and the driving was a bit exhausting, but the sights along the way were totally worth it! All of the waterfalls on this list are reachable with a normal 2WD car and/or a bit of hiking.

Iceland Waterfalls Map

Here’s an Iceland waterfalls map you can use to plan your trip. You can click the icons to get more info and directions for each point of interest, but keep in mind some of the locations on this map may be approximate.

For more detailed information on how to get to each of the Iceland waterfalls on this map, you can check out my individual travel guides for each location.


South Iceland Waterfalls

1. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Seljalandsfoss is one of the first waterfalls you’ll see if you drive south on the Ring Road from Reykjavik. It’s also one of the most popular and photogenic waterfalls in Iceland.

In the summer you can usually see lots of wildflowers and rainbows near Seljalandsfoss. When you’re done admiring the 60 meter (200 foot) falls from the front, you can also walk behind them for another perspective.

Be careful with your electronics near the falls, because there’s a lot of mist! Waterproof clothes can be handy here.

Seljalandsfoss is only 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Reykjavik, so it can easily be visited as a day trip, along with Skogafoss and some other nearby attractions.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall and river in Iceland

Tourist posing at Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall


2. Gljufrabui Waterfall

While you’re at Seljalandsfoss, don’t forget to visit the Gljufrabui waterfall too! This is a neat hidden waterfall that you can reach on a short 5 minute walk from Seljalandsfoss.

The 40 meter (130 foot) falls are hidden inside of a cave, but you can get a closer look by either walking through the front opening of the cave OR climbing up above it and peering through an opening in the ceiling of the cave.

The top of the cave is accessed by a little ladder on the hill near the front. It’s hard to miss.

Inside the cave there’s an insane amount of mist and moisture, so I wouldn’t go in there without waterproof clothes and gear, or you’ll get very wet!

Gljufrabui Waterfall up close in Iceland

Gljufrabui Waterfall


3. Skogafoss Waterfall

Skogafoss is the waterfall that inspired me to visit Iceland — seriously. I saw a picture of this epic giant on the internet and decided I had to go.

It’s almost impossible to take a bad photo of Skogafoss. Everything about it is perfect, from the black volcanic sand on the shore, to the solid sheet of water raining down between green cliffs that look like they came from a fantasy movie.

Tourists walking to Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland

Skogafoss Waterfall

The size of Skogafoss (pronounced ‘skoa-foss’) is impressive too. It’s about 60 meters tall and 25 meters wide, making it one of the taller waterfalls in Iceland.

This is a very powerful waterfall with a lot of mist, so during sunny days you can almost always see a big rainbow here. Waterproof clothes can be handy if you want to go take pictures near the waterfall. You WILL get drenched if you try to get within 30 meters of the falls!

There’s an old Icelandic legend that says one of the first Viking settlers hid a treasure chest of gold behind the waterfall.

Tiny travel guy posing at Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland       Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland
Be sure to climb the 500 steps up to the viewing platform above the waterfall too! This gives you some other perspectives, including a nice top down view of the falls and cliffs.

Skogafoss is about 150 kilometers (90 miles) from Reykjavik, so it can easily be done as a day trip, along with Seljalandsfoss and some other nearby attractions.

4. Kvernufoss Waterfall

This is a less known 30 meter (100 foot) tall waterfall near Skogafoss, but it’s easily one of the best waterfalls in Iceland.

The short hike from Skogar to Kvernufoss is a scenic walking path through an incredible green canyon that looks like something out of Lord of the Rings. The hike to the falls is worth it just for the surroundings alone!

Read More: Kvernufoss Waterfall

Kvernufoss Waterfall in Iceland

5. Svartifoss Waterfall

Svartifoss is one of the most unique waterfalls in Iceland. The name means ‘black falls’ and it comes from the dark lava basalt columns surrounding the waterfall that look kind of like organ pipes.

This waterfall requires a bit of hiking to see, but it’s pretty straightforward and only takes about 30 to 45 minutes. I’d rate it as pretty easy and the one way distance is only 1.5 kilometers (1 mile), although there is a bit of elevation gain (about 120 meters).

Svartifoss may look small in photos, but it’s actually about 20 meters tall! The height is hard to appreciate without a person nearby to show the scale.

Svartifoss Waterfall hike and basalt rock columns in Iceland

Svartifoss Waterfall

After you reach the falls, you can return the way you came, or else continue past the bridge and this will take you on a loop hike which includes a few other small waterfalls; they’re not as impressive as the main event, but you might as well pay them a quick visit on the way back!

Svartifoss Waterfall is located in southeast Iceland, near the coast. From Reykjavik, you’ll drive east along the Ring Road (Route 1) until you reach Skaftafell, in the Vatnojokull National Park.

Svartifoss Waterfall and basalt rock columns in Iceland

Basalt rock columns at Svartifoss

One cool fact is that the basalt rock columns at Svartifoss were an inspiration for the architectural design of Hallgrímskirkja Church, one of the well known landmarks in Reykjavik.

Maybe it’s just me, but the rock columns also remind me of the patterns you see on Icelandic sweaters. The basalt columns are similar to the ones you can see at places like the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, or the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, USA.

The combination of basalt columns with a waterfall is especially cool, and the only other place I can think of where you could see something similar (outside of Iceland) is Abiqua Falls in Oregon, USA.

East Iceland Waterfalls

6. Hengifoss Waterfall

Hengifoss has to be one of the most incredible waterfalls in Iceland, although it does have some tough competition from Dynjandi and Haifoss. This waterfall looks like something from Mars. The big lines of red clay sandwiched between the rock layers give it such a bizarre, unbelievable look. It’s also the 2nd tallest waterfall in Iceland, at 130 meters (420 feet).

Read More: Hengifoss Waterfall

Hengifoss Waterfall and red rock formations in Iceland

7. Litlanesfoss Waterfall

This is a waterfall you’ll hike past on your way to Hengifoss. Like Svartifoss (#5), this is another waterfall surrounded by weird looking basalt rock columns.

Litlanesfoss may not be the biggest waterfall in Iceland at 30 meters tall, but it wins in uniqueness, and it’s a freebie if you’re already hiking to Hengifoss. Two incredible Iceland waterfalls in one short hike!

Read More: Litlanesfoss Waterfall

Litlanesfoss Waterfall and basalt rocks in Iceland

8. Gufufoss Waterfall

This is a great waterfall that looks kind of like a twin of Skogafoss, but much less crowded with tourists.

Just like Skogafoss, it’s a big waterfall pouring down into a rocky stream, and you can do a short hike up to the top of the waterfall if you’d like.

The major difference between Gufufoss and Skogafoss is that this one is more remote and MUCH less famous. Skogafoss usually has hundreds of visitors at any given time, but Gufufoss was completely empty when I went there.

Gufufoss Waterfall and river in Iceland

Gufufoss Waterfall

This is a great place to stop and stretch your legs if you’re getting exhausted driving around the Ring Road. Gufufoss is located about 700 kilometers (430 miles) from Reykjavik, way off in eastern Iceland, but it’s a short detour from the Ring Road.

If you’re coming from the little town of Seydisfjordur it’s a 5 minute drive, or a 45 minute walk with about 150 meters of elevation gain. It’s an uphill walk from town, but not super hard. There is some space to walk beside the road.

You don’t need 4 wheel drive to visit Gufufoss; any 2 wheel drive vehicle can reach the parking lot, where it’s just a 5 minute walk to the waterfall.

North Iceland Waterfalls

9. Dettifoss Waterfall

This is the most powerful waterfall in Europe and it’s fed by a huge glacial river. The chaos and sheer volume of water pouring through here is crazy to watch. Don’t go too close to the edge like I did! I couldn’t resist getting a better look.

Dettifoss is about 170 kilometers (105 miles) east of Akureyri, and only requires a 40 minute detour from the Ring Road, so it’s not difficult to visit if you make it over to eastern Iceland.

Dettifoss Waterfall up close in Iceland

10. Godafoss Waterfall

The medieval leader of Iceland symbolically threw the old Norse idols into this waterfall when Iceland converted from paganism to Christianity. The name Godafoss comes from this story and it means ‘waterfall of the gods’.

Godafoss is a group of falls joined together into one horseshoe shaped waterfall with awesome blue colors that look a bit unreal. It looks kind of like a mini Niagara Falls, doesn’t it?

Godafoss is located about 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Akureyri in northern Iceland. It’s right near the Ring Road, so it’s a no-brainer to visit if you’re in eastern Iceland!

Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland

West Iceland Waterfalls

11. Dynjandi Waterfall

This is one of the biggest and most impressive waterfalls in Iceland. It looks like a thousand little waterfalls combined into one huge waterfall flowing over the rocks. The height is 100 meters and it is LOUD. You can hear it from the parking lot, almost a kilometer away.

Dynjandi is located in the Westfjords, making it one of the more remote waterfalls on this list. It’s about 360 kilometers (220 miles) north of Reykjavik, and you have to drive on some steep and scary roads in the fjords, but it’s still possible to reach it with any 2WD rental vehicle. If you’re feeling up for the challenge of getting there, this really is one of the best waterfalls in Iceland.

Can you see tiny me in the picture below?

Tiny travel guy at Dynjandi Waterfall in Iceland

12. Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall

Kirkjufellsfoss is a classic waterfall in west Iceland, on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Nothing screams ‘Iceland’ quite like this place.

The name means “church mountain falls” and it comes from the peak in the background that’s shaped kind of like a church. Personally I think the mountain looks more like a wizard hat, which would be fitting because this location also looks like a scene from Lord of the Rings.

Either way, I love this spot. If you’re planning to visit the Snaefellsnes Peninsula (which you should), then be sure to add this waterfall to your list!

It’s a 2.5 hour drive to get here from Reykjavik, but I think it’s very worthwhile, especially if you combine it with some other sights in the Peninsula. From the parking lot, it’s just a 5 minute walk to the falls.

Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall and mountain in Snaefellsnes, Iceland

Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall


13. Bruarfoss Waterfall

I think Bruarfoss wins the award for the bluest waterfall in Iceland, and possibly the bluest waterfall anywhere in the world.

It’s a pretty simple waterfall running into a crevice in the rocks, but you have to admire the colors of the black volcanic rocks mixed with the perfect blue glacier water. It’s just unreal.

The falls were closed briefly because of a land dispute, but they’ve re-opened again!

Bruarfoss is located about 95 kilometers (60 miles) from Reykjavik, and the drive takes roughly 1.5 hours.

From the parking lot, it’s a short and easy walk to the bridge overlooking the falls.

Blue water at Bruarfoss Waterfall hike in west Iceland

Bruarfoss Waterfall


14. Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss is part of the Golden Circle, one of the most popular tourist routes in Iceland. This is a big 2-step waterfall that has a bunch of different viewpoints above and next to the falls.

The name means ‘golden falls’ in the Icelandic language, and this huge waterfall is fed by the melting Lángjökull glacier.

Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland

Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss is only a 1.5 hour drive from Reykjavik, so that’s partly why it’s one of the most famous falls in the country.

From the parking area, it’s a short 10-15 minute walk down to the falls, so you don’t have to do any hiking.

Because of the crowds, this isn’t my favorite waterfall in Iceland, but the fact that it’s easier to get to it does make it more appealing. It’s definitely worth a visit!

Tourists walking on a path near Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland

Above the falls

If you’re visiting Iceland in the winter, Gullfoss is still open and easy to visit. The roads are well kept.

There’s an upper and lower viewpoint that stays open in the winter, but the path to the lower viewpoint can be icy and slippery, so you might want crampons if you go down there.

The last viewpoint directly on top of Gullfoss Waterfall is closed during the winter, but you can still get some nice views from the earlier viewpoints.

Ravine at Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland

Near the falls


15. Haifoss Waterfall

Haifoss is easily one of my favorite waterfalls in the whole country of Iceland, but it’s also one of the harder ones to reach. Don’t let that hold you back!

The main waterfall is 120 meters (400 feet) tall, making it the 3rd tallest waterfall in Iceland. There’s also a second (huge) waterfall running into the same canyon, which is a pretty impressive canyon in itself. The resulting panoramic views you can get here are mind blowing.

Read More: Haifoss Waterfall

Haifoss Waterfall and cliffs in Iceland

More Iceland Waterfalls

I hope you were helped by this map and list of the best waterfalls in Iceland.

Don’t forget to check out my complete Iceland Travel Guide with free tips, info, photos, and more!

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John May 9, 2019 - 6:39 pm

Which falls is your cover image?

David May 10, 2019 - 12:17 am

Hi John. That one is Kvernufoss waterfall (#4 on the list).


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