Iceland › Seljalandsfoss, Iceland
Added by Tiffany Nguyen
Easy walk from the parking lot to one of Iceland’s most iconic waterfallsNumerous vantage points allowing you to get nearly 360 degree views of SeljalandsfossMicrospikes are essential during the winter to have good traction exploring behind the fallsShort walk to 2 other nearby waterfallsFloodlights illuminate the falls at night for a unique viewing experience
Located just off the Ring Road, Seljalandsfoss is one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls and it's easy to see why. Reaching nearly 60 meters, this waterfall’s claim to fame is that it can be viewed from nearly every angle. The well-developed loop trail allows you to go behind the falls for an epic view. Depending on the time of year, the falls will be surrounded by snow and icicles or you may find the cliffs lined with lush green grass and wildflowers.
Exploring around the entire waterfall was such a unique experience. You get a great sense of the power of the falls and the scale of the 60 meter drop. As you walk around to the backside of the waterfall, you’ll definitely get an icy shower so be sure to bring a waterproof jacket and protection for your camera gear. The path leading to the rear of the waterfall was extremely icy so exercise extreme caution when making your way back there. Microspikes were very helpful for keeping traction in some of the more treacherous areas. Standing behind that enormous curtain of water and peering out at the world was an experience I'd recommend to anyone. Don’t forget to check out the other 2 waterfalls just to the left of Seljalandsfoss; you won’t be disappointed.
- Rainsleeve for your camera
- Neutral density filters
- Microspikes during the winter
- Waterproof jacket
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Top waterfall but crowded
Seljalandsfoss is just one of those places that is so freaking incredible, but since it is also so accessible, it sort of loses some of its appeal. I have seen few waterfalls that are as impressive and graceful as this one, but bus-loads of tourists will unfortunately subtract from the landscape most of the day. The fact that you can go behind the waterfall is really cool, but be prepared to get wet. One of my favorite things about this area was actually just a couple hundred yards down the ridge from Seljalandsfoss, where you will find another waterfall Gljufurarfoss. I would say only about 5% of the people that visit Seljalandsfoss take the short walk down to this concealed waterfall. Hidden behind a narrow slot canyon, Gljufurarfoss is incredibly intimate and beautiful. The mist from the waterfall landing in shallow water shoots through the small canyon with incredible force. Although this waterfall is very difficult to photograph because of how wet your lens will get, it is still fantastic to see and experience. Another way to escape the crowds and get an epic view above the waterfall is to scale the steep hillside on the right side of Seljalandsfoss all the way up to the top of the ridge. This climb gets sketchy near the top where it is very steep and the rock is loose and slippery, so if you dare to do this make sure you have proper hiking shoes. I am not sure if sneakers would cut it here. This is also an awesome place to watch the sunset!
It is usually very crowded, so I recommend going in the early AM or later around sunset (many groups start with this waterfall). I would recommend walking up to the first one and going into the small cave, seeing the waterfall from behind and under is amazing.
Driving on HWY 1 you can't miss this waterfall it is a clear view from the road. We were lucky enough to get their early in the morning on a sunny day in mid-June and have the place to ourselves for 30 min or so. We definitely went all the way around Seljalandsfoss, bring a rain jacket and towel for your camera and get the full experience! It was well worth it!! We continued down the path along the left of the waterfall that leads over the stream and down a short distance you can barely view the top of a waterfall find the stream that runs away from it and slip between the rocks there, step carefully you can avoid getting your feet wet, but once you are inside to see Gljúfrafoss you will get soaked, but it is totally worth it! The rocks inside are covered in great green moss and the waterfall looks like it is almost dropping right on you. For at least a little while it will be less crowded that the main attraction.
Gorgeous but Crowded
If you go here during the summertime after 8am, you can forget about having a photograph without a bunch of other tourists in it. But if you go around sunrise or at odd hours, you can have this beautiful waterfall mostly, if not all, to yourself. Also, don't miss Gljufurarfoss, which is just around the corner from Seljalandsfoss and located in a canyon, making for stunning photos! DEFINITELY bring a raincoat/wear clothes you'll be prepared to get wet in, because you will get soaked. Photographers: bring a lens cleaning cloth to keep your lens dry as it will get misted.
Beautiful waterfall. Go in the morning!
This place rocks. We camped there in early March and had the place to ourselves. The bright lights on the waterfall at night aren't great for photography but they make the camping experience pretty cool. The trail behind the waterfall was closed when we were there because of icy conditions. Once the crowds were gone we put on crampons and it was easy enough to get back there, but be careful if you do the same!
Thanks for the tip about waterproof gear!
Seljalandsfoss is beautiful and I was glad I'd brought a raincoat, waterproof pants and a camera cover (ziploc bag) for going behind the waterfall as you really do get pretty wet standing back there!
Fun but challenging in the winter
Cool easy waterfall to photograph but it can be extremely challenging to get behind the waterfall during the winter. I was there in decemeber and the stairs were entirely frozen over and I ended up using extra grips on my boots to climb them. The sign is small as well. I missed it twice while driving and it is next to impossible to see at night!
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