Photograph the Waterfalls of Iceland

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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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Awesome Falls

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.

Amazing but devote more time!

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!

Bring Microspikes In Winter

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.

Think about the details

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!

Scenic waterfalls, big crowds

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.

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

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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