Photograph the Waterfalls of Iceland

Seljalandsfoss, Iceland, Iceland

based on 10 reviews


Added by Eric Bennett

An amazing day trip with tons of waterfalls all just within minutes of each other. So picturesque with year-round beautiful conditions.

If you want to see Iceland's most incredible scenery, you have to rent a car and get a map. From Reykjavik, head south on Hwy 1. The waterfalls listed below are in the order as they appear in the photos above.

Seljalandsfoss: Right off the 1 on the left hand side, just about 45 minutes out of Reykjavik - you can't miss it. This is an awesome place to get sunrise/sunset and aurora photos. Get close and you'll get soaked! You can get some awesome shots in the cave behind it too.

Gjulfrafoss: At Seljalandsfoss, there is a pathway with a bridge that crosses over the stream that Seljalandsfoss drops into. Walk along the pathway for about 200 meters and the pathway will end. Keep going until you come to another stream. You have to walk down to the water and then walk into the small canyon slot in the mountain to see this waterfall. Again, to see this thing you gotta get soaked. FUN!

Nauthusagil: Go back to your car and continue down the highway that you turned on to get to Seljalandsfoss (still heading in the opposite direction of the 1). Follow the road and stay to the right. You will drive around the mountain and the road will turn into dirt/gravel. Keep driving until you see a canyon on your right about 100 meters from the road. There is a dirt road leading up to it but your car might not be able to get to far. At the entrance of the canyon you should see a small sign with a map that says "Nauthusagil." Walk into the canyon, following the stream. You will come to small waterfall with ropes connected to the wall. Climb up along the wall using the ropes and then continue walking a bit and you will come to the big waterfall in the back.

Head back to your car and drive out to Hwy 1. Continue south and you will see another waterfall on the left with no road to it or much signage, it is pretty cool though - worth the quick walk across a stream and hike out about 400 meters. There is also a cool cave near by.

Skogafoss: Continue south on Hwy 1 for about 10 minutes and you will see her on the left side. You can drive all the way up to the parking lot at the bottom.

Svartifoss: Continue south on Hwy 1 for another 20 minutes or so. Look for Skaftafell, the national park, on your map. Svartifoss and Svinafellsjokull, the most famous glacier in Iceland, are located in the park. Turn left where you see the Skaftafell sign and you will enter the park. Once in the park, make a left when you get to the dead end where the offices are, then make a right at the next fork. Drive for a bit and you will see a parking lot on the right where the hike to Svartifoss begins. There is another massive waterfall as pictured above that you will see on this hike as well.

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The waterfalls around Iceland are amazing, but like others have said spread this one out. You can see all of these in a day, but in order to make the most of you time maybe make each fall a goal and then find things to do around them to spread the time and driving out.

All the waterfalls suggested here are amazing and in general quite easy to access. Because of this, they usually are crowded, especially by groups of tourists that can totally ruin the experience. The thing is that exactly because of this, the crowds tend to arrive at each location at certain times during the day and therefore if you avoid these hours you will be able to enjoy the falls far better. For example being early in the morning or late in the afternoon is a wonderful experience. A way to accomplish this, is by choosing to stay in the nearby areas instead of driving from Reykjavic and doing the whole trip in a day. There is an amazing campsite near Seljalandsfoss and Gjulfrafoss where we camped and as we were sitting in our tent we were surrounded by all the great waterfalls. Similarly, Svartifoss is in Skaftafell which is like the epicenter for hikes and glacier ice hikes and it is a shame not to spend more time and enjoy at the same time Svartifoss in a more relaxed way!

Great tour and tips! If you come in winter, many of the paths are frozen and it can be dangerous to walk around the waterfalls so bring microspikes to move around safely.

A tip I received before going to Iceland was to focus on the stuff thats overlooked by most people when they travel there. Bring a telephoto lens or look for interesting angles... might help break through the noise!

These waterfalls are a good start if you aren’t able to get off the Ring Road. The unique topography of the south coast means that these waterfalls are truly stunning. It also means that they’re right beside the highway, and therefore accessible to tour buses and more crowds than I typically love to have around me while enjoying the natural world. Think Arches National Park in Utah in terms of accessibility and crowds.

Skogafoss to Svartifoss is over 2hrs drive and 175km. Seljalandfoss is also 1hr30 outside of Reykjavik!

We did a day trip from Reykjavik, but even with an early 5 am start, we could not hit all of these. We opted to spend more time at Seljalandsfoss to explore around and find the hidden waterfall down the path that is Gljúfrafoss (info is given in description), and to do the hike to the upper waterfalls at Skogafoss. These were definitely highlights, but we plan to return to Iceland in the future and plan our trip so we do not have to return to Reykjavik each night, it makes for way too much driving. But I am sure as tourism here begins to increase the country will be forced to restrict access to some of these areas to preserve their beauty. At this current time there is great access to all of these beautiful sights I hope it continues to last.

All of these falls are awesome and they're all so unique. Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss get pretty busy during the day but they were quiet at sunrise. Definitely bring a lens cloth if you want to shoot Gjulfrafoss or Skogafoss up close so you can wipe the spray off your lens. Gjulfrafoss is VERY wet but tons of fun! My gear got soaked in there so if you bring a camera make sure it's weatherproof.

We really enjoyed getting drenched at Gjulfrafoss after seeing Seljalandsfoss! Thanks for the tip about finding it :)

These are the icons of Iceland and worth more than one trip to catch them in different conditions. My time to photograph these is when the northern lights come out.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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