The 100 Best Iceland Waterfalls & Where to Find Them (2022)

Top 100 Best Iceland Waterfalls blog cover image.  Text overlaying an image of a waterfall in Iceland at sunset,

In a country renowned for its unspeakable natural beauty, a plethora of picturesque Iceland waterfalls is just another reason outdoor lovers and photographers flock in droves to “the land of fire & ice.”

There are over 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland, which is amongst the highest counts by density in the entire world. Many of the best ones are easily accessible or even roadside, while some require an adventure to reach.

In this guide, you will discover over 100 of the best waterfalls in Iceland. This includes an interactive map showing the exact locations of the falls as well as photos and descriptions of each.

Before you begin, you may want to consider queuing up our other Iceland travel guides for inspiration on your road trip around the land of the midnight sun. These include the 100 Best Photography Destinations in Iceland, as well as our beginner’s guide to photographing the northern lights.

Naming the Waterfalls in Iceland

A photo showing Skogafoss from the top viewpoint with a moonbow and northern lights overhead.
Skogafoss gets its name from its position on the river Skoga, but the word translates to “Forest Falls.” It is considered the best of the Iceland waterfalls.

The names of the waterfalls in Iceland may look like a mouthful, but they make more sense when broken down.

First, understand that the suffix “-foss” means waterfall in Icelandic. Therefore, each of the falls will follow a naming convention of ____foss.

The beginning of the name typically refers to a regional feature, Icelandic lore, or a physical characteristic. For example, Skogafoss is on the river Skoga. Godafoss is the waterfall of the gods. Svartifoss means “black falls” and is so named for the black hexagonal basalt columns it spills over.

Top 100 Iceland Waterfalls List & Gallery

A rare view of Oxararfoss in Thingvellir National Park at sunset on an icy winter day.
A rare view of Oxararfoss in Thingvellir National Park at sunset on an icy winter day.

These most popular waterfalls are all stunning, but much of their reputation comes from the ease of access to them.

Many of the best waterfalls in Iceland are relatively unknown and unvisited because they are simply more difficult to get to.

Below is an extensive list of the 100 Best Iceland waterfalls followed by a photo gallery.

  1. Skogafoss
  2. Seljalandsfoss
  3. Gullfoss
  4. Kirkjufellsfoss
  5. Godafoss
  6. Bruarfoss
  7. Svartifoss
  8. Dynjandi (Fjallfoss)
  9. Hraunfossar
  10. Gljúfrafoss
  11. Selfoss
  12. Aldeyjarfoss
  13. Bæjarfoss
  14. Barnafossar
  15. Bjarnafoss
  16. Faxi Falls
  17. Fardagafoss
  18. Glanni (1 of 2)
  19. Glymur Waterfall
  20. Grundarfoss
  21. Gufufoss
  22. Hengifoss
  23. Kerlingarfoss
  24. Klifbrekku
  25. Kotagil
  26. Kvernafoss
  27. Litlanesfoss
  28. Morsárfoss
  29. Múlafoss
  30. Öxarárfoss
  31. Reykjafoss
  32. Selvallafoss
  33. Stuðlafoss
  34. Svöðufoss
  1. Waterfall Circle
  2. Gljúfursárfoss
  3. Gluggafoss
  4. Haifoss
  5. Hjalparfoss
  6. Hvítárfoss
  7. Magnúsarfoss
  8. Thórufoss
  9. Skorhagafoss
  10. Englandsfoss
  11. Hafragilsfoss
  12. Gjáin
  13. High Falls
  14. Hjalparfoss
  15. Ófærufoss
  16. Systrafoss
  17. Thjófafoss
  18. Fagrifoss
  19. Urriðafoss
  20. Fossá Síðu
  21. Glanni (2 of 2)
  22. Núpsárfoss
  23. Dettifoss
  24. Hundafoss
  25. Nauthúsagil
  26. Nykurhylsfoss
  27. Faxi Falls
  28. Kirkjufoss
  29. Klifbrekku Falls
  30. Onno-Óltifoss
  31. Kolugljufur Canyon 
  32. Stjórnarfoss
  33. Norafoss
  1. Merkjárfoss
  2. Sveinsstekksfoss
  3. Folaldafoss
  4. Klifbrekku
  5. Rjúkandi
  6. Ægissíðufoss
  7. Fimmvorduhals Falls
  8. Geitafoss
  9. Granni Falls
  10. Grundarfoss
  11. Hangandifoss
  12. Hænubrekkufoss
  13. Írafoss
  14. Jónsfoss
  15. Langarfoss
  16. Skuggafoss
  17. Sigoldufoss
  18. Sjavarfoss
  19. Snaedalsfoss
  20. Strútsfoss
  21. Nykurhylsfoss
  22. Sveinsstekksfoss
  23. Gýgjarfoss
  24. Drifandi Falls
  25. Kermóafoss
  26. Rauðfoss
  27. Djúpagilsfoss
  28. Axlafoss
  29. Búðarárfoss
  30. Gilsárfoss
  31. Skútafoss
  32. Bergarfoss
  33. Klukkufoss
  • Skogafoss waterfall with rainbow
    1. Skogafoss

Ultimate Iceland Waterfalls Map

We have created the most comprehensive and interactive map of the waterfalls in Iceland. This includes over 100 locations, photos, and short descriptions for each.

If you are planning a trip and featuring as many falls on your itinerary as possible, you may want to bookmark this guide for easy access to the map.

Each entry has been color-coded based on ease of access.
Green = Easy. Yellow = Seasonally difficult. Red = Very difficult.

Top 10 Best Waterfalls in Iceland

Trying to identify “the best waterfalls in Iceland” in a country with almost 10,000 is a very subjective request. However, these top 10 Iceland waterfalls are the most popular, most visited, and largely considered the best of the best.

1. Skogafoss Waterfall (Forest Falls)

Someone dressed in a red jacket lists under a perfect rainbow at Skogafoss waterfall in Iceland.
Skogafoss is widely considered the best waterfall in Iceland.

The only thing not to love about the mighty Skogafoss in southern Iceland is the crowds that it brings. Because of its yearly access from the Iceland Ring Road, one minute walk requirement, and overall reputation, this is widely considered the best waterfall in all of Iceland.

The best time to visit is in the morning before the crowds have arrived. This is the only way to get photos with no other visitors and provides some of the best light.

Of course, night is an amazing time to visit Skogafoss as well if you can get lucky enough to witness the northern lights dancing overhead!

Pro Tip: Most people don’t realize that there are actually upwards of 15-20 additional waterfalls for those who decide to hike the trail upstream of the river Skoga!

2. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (Sold Land Falls)

An aurora-filled sky hangs over one of the best waterfalls in Iceland at Seljalandsfoss.
An aurora-filled sky hangs over Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.

Seljalandsfoss is the second most popular waterfall in all of Iceland. Located just off the Ring Road in South Iceland, Seljalandsfoss is famous for being able to walk all the way behind the falls, and also for getting some great Northern Lights displays.

At the waterfall, you will find a massive parking area that is monitored for payment. There is also a food and gift shop available.

At night, the falls are illuminated by a large light and many local businesses make this a stop for their aurora tours.

3. Gullfoss Waterfall (Golden Falls)

Sunset photography from Gullfoss waterfall in Iceland.
The premier destination on the Golden Circle route is Gullsfoss Waterfall, seen here at sunset.

Gullfoss is the largest waterfall in Iceland’s Golden Circle route. It is a massive, roaring waterfall that looks as if it has forcibly created its own chasm.

You will find Gullfoss on any list of the best waterfalls in Iceland because of its sheer force, beautiful scenery, and convenient location.

While you can visit year-round, the waterfall is far less photogenic in the winter as it can be difficult to tell the snow and ice from the falls.

4. Kirkjufellsfoss (Church Mountain Falls)

The Northern Lights dance over an Iceland waterfall at Kirkjufellsfoss.
Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall on an icy winter night in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

It isn’t the waterfall itself that makes Kirkjufellsfoss one of the best in Iceland, but the scenery that surrounds it. Many first-time visitors are actually disappointed by the small size and proximity of the falls to the city as the photos make it look grander.

With that said, it is among the most iconic natural features in all of Iceland and undeniably beautiful. With Kirkjufell mountain rising up in the distance like a wizard’s cap, the scenery just looks like a postcard.

As the favored composition for Kirkjufellsfoss is north-facing, many photos will feature the Aurora Borealis.

There is a large parking area available and an easy/obvious path to the falls which is accessible year-round.

5. Goðafoss (Waterfall of the Gods)

Sunset at Godafoss: The "Waterfall of the Gods".
Sunset at Godafoss: The “Waterfall of the Gods”.

What Godafoss lacks in height and volume, it makes up for in width and purity. Despite the falls being a lot less powerful than most photos would imply, it is still incredibly picturesque.

Godafoss is located in a fairly remote setting in Northern Iceland but is still just a short detour from the Ring Road and accessible year-round.

The hike to the falls is very easy even following heavy snow and is best visited for sunset.

6. Bruarfoss (Bridge Falls)

Deep blue water tumbles into a narrow chasm at Bruarfoss waterfall in Iceland.
Deep blue water tumbles into a narrow chasm at Bruarfoss waterfall in Iceland.

Bruarfoss is definitely the smallest waterfall to make the top 10 list of the best waterfalls in Iceland, but anyone who has been there or seen photos understands why it is there.

Despite the small size of Bruarfoss, the stunning blue waters and textured rock that adorns the chasm create a breathtaking photo.

While access can be limited following heavy snowstorms, it is almost always possible to visit. You will find Bruarfoss in the remote area of Bláskógabyggð.

7. Svartifoss Waterfall (Black Falls)

The Black Falls, better known as Svartifoss, is one of the best Iceland waterfalls you can visit in the winter.
The Black Falls in Vatnajokull National Park (better known as Svartifoss) is one of the Iceland waterfalls that looks even better in the winter.

Svartifoss translates to “black falls,” which is derived from the black hexagonal basalt columns that surround the waterfall. It is the most popular waterfall in Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park

While the hike in can be a bit daunting, it is possible even in the dead of winter! We really loved the volcanic rock backdrop of this one, which is unlike any waterfall we have photographed anywhere outside of Iceland!

You may also find it interesting to learn that these basalt columns that are found in many places across Iceland were inspiration for much of the Icelandic architecture.

8. Dynjandi aka Fjallfoss (thunderous or Mountain Falls)

Dynjandi Falls, also known as Fjallfoss, is the best waterfall in the Westfjords and photographed here in spring.
Dynjandi Falls, also known as Fjallfoss, is the best waterfall in the Westfjords.

Protected as a National Monument since 1981, Dynjandi, also known as Fjalfoss or Dynjandifoss, is the largest waterfall in the Westfjords.

In addition to the main Dynjandi waterfall, you will also find a collection of 6 sub tiers; Hæstahjallafoss, Strompgljúfrafoss (Strompur), Göngumannafoss, Hrísvaðsfoss, Kvíslarfoss, Hundafoss, and Bæjarfoss (Sjóarfoss). These impressive cascades reach a collective height of 660ft (200m).

While the falls are visible from the parking lot, it is well worth taking the short but steep 10-15 minute hike to witness Dynjandi up close. With a width of 100ft (30m) at the top, increasing to 200ft (60m) at the base, it is a truly impressive falls for which no photos can quite do it justice.

During the winter access if often not possible due to heavy snowfall and avalanches causing frequent road closures. It is best visited during warmer months.

9. Hraunfossar (Lava Falls)

Fall colors decorate one of the best Iceland waterfalls at Hraunfossar, aka Lava Falls.
Hraunfossar is the “Lava Falls”, so named for the lava rock is pours over.

Encompassing a distance of 2950ft (900m), Hraunfossar is one of the most unique waterfalls in Iceland. It is comprised of an enchanting series of falls, formed by a number of rivulets spilling over a ledge of lava rock into the turquoise Hvítá river below.

Located in West Iceland, it is particularly spectacular in the autumn as the surrounding foliage adds a vibrant contrast of color.

You will find an amazing view of the falls from the parking lot, as well as a short hiking trail that leads from Hraunfossar to the nearby Barnafoss (Children’s Falls).

10. Gljúfrafoss (Gorge Falls)

A girl stands against Gljúfrafoss waterfall located in a small gorge near Seljalandsfoss.
Prepare to get soaked at Gljúfrafoss located in a small gorge near Seljalandsfoss.

This is not the mightiest of Iceland’s waterfalls, but it has tremendous appeal in its unusual, secretive location. Located just down the way from the popular Seljalandsfoss, Gljúfrafoss lay hidden in a narrow gorge.

You will likely get wet accessing this waterfall, and photographing Gljúfrafoss is very challenging given the amount of spray that fills the chamber. Be sure to bring something waterproof and plenty of dry microfiber cloths for your camera!

Iceland Waterfall Photography Tips

A photograph of a nearly-frozen Seljalandsfoss waterfall with rainbow.

Photographing the waterfalls in Iceland is no different from anywhere else, except that you may be shooting in colder and windier conditions than you are used to. These factors can certainly make things challenging, particularly if you do not have proper equipment.

The following tips and equipment suggestions should be considered if you are not already an expert photographer. You may also want to check out our complete guide to long exposure waterfall photography.

DISCOVER THE 100 BEST PLACES TO PHOTOGRAPH ICELAND HERE

Smartphone Photography

They say the best camera is the one you have on you, and the one you know how to use. If you are planning to use your phone for memorializing your time in Iceland, be sure to bring one that is waterproof. The climate in Iceland can be harsh and high winds, precipitation, sand, and spray will be constantly assaulting your phone.

To photograph the waterfalls, we recommend shooting in LiveMode to create a Long Exposure. This grants an ethereal, dreamlike quality.

Last, be sure to bring a powerpack to keep your phone charged. It will be working hard routing you, photographing, and searching for service.

Camera

While you can certainly capture some great photos with a smartphone, the scenes you will encounter in Iceland will become once-in-a-lifetime moments. It may be worth purchasing a real camera for your visit.

We use the Sony a7riii and have been in love with it ever since the first photo we took with it. However, for beginners you may wish to consider an entry level DSLR. This will allow you to start getting to grips with manual settings and decide whether photography is something you enjoy enough to invest in.

Lenses

Changing lenses in the often precipitous and windy Icelandic conditions should be avoided as much as possible to avoid getting dirt and debris on your sensor. Accordingly, you should bring a lens that can cover most shots from landscapes to portraits, such as a 24-70mm (18-55mm on crop sensor). The lens we use most frequently is the Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS to give us a little extra range while still being wide enough for landscapes.

You will also want a wide angle prime lens for photographing the northern lights (or one that can get to F2.8). We compared all of the wide angle prime lenses under $1000 and were thrilled with the Laowa 15mm F2 for this purpose.

Tripod

A solid tripod is an absolute must when visiting Iceland. The wind is often blowing a gale and a cheap or lightweight tripod just won’t work, especially if you want to photograph waterfalls with a long exposure. We recommend the Artcise Carbon Fiber Tripod. This is the most stable, well-designed carbon fiber tripod on the market and is budget friendly.

Filters

PolarPro Filters ambassadors
Equipping the PolarPro CPL Quartz Line.

A Circular Polarizing (CPL) filter (CPL) or Neutral Density (ND) filter are very useful for allowing slower shutter speeds and for cutting glare on reflective surfaces. These are especially important when shooting waterfalls as it deeps the color in the water, accentuates contrast, and allows longer exposures. The best CPL and ND filters we have found are the quartz line from Polar Pro.

Drone

Drone photo of Bergarfoss waterfall in Iceland.
A drone not only allows unique perspectives, but it allows access to otherwise impossible waterfalls.

Drones are incredibly useful when the wind allows for them if you do not wish to hike into all of these waterfalls, just be sure to follow regulations. We recommend the DJI Mavic Pro 2 for its Hasselblad camera and larger sensor size, while still being very compact. If that is outside your price range, consider instead the DJI Mavic Air 2.

Accessories

These items may not occur to you to bring, but should be strongly considered for photography in Iceland:

  • Rain cover: There will be a considerable amount of spray from the falls and may be precipitation on top of that. You may want to consider a rain cover for your camera designed to protect the body and lens while still allowing you to control settings.
  • Microfiber cleaning cloths: Your lens is often going to be getting soaked by the spray of the waterfalls. Be sure to keep plenty of microfiber cloths in your bag to help clean the lens between shots.
  • Photography Gloves: There will be times when your fingers go numb in literal seconds if exposed, but it is impossible to manipulate your camera settings with bulky gloves. Photography gloves allow you to quickly free up and re-cover your thumb and index finger to make adjustments on the fly. Icefishing gloves also do a great job!
Oxararfoss is nearly frozen over on a cold winter day.
You may need special equipment for winter visits to Iceland.
  • Lens Warmers: To prevent your glass from freezing, use lens warmers in extreme cold settings.
    
  • Hand Warmers: Bring lots of hand warmers to stash in your boots, gloves, and pockets for those times when you are having to be still and patient out on a cold night. Or better still, cut down on waste and invest in rechargeable hand warmers!
    
  • Extra Batteries: Batteries do not perform as well in cold conditions and can fail unexpectedly altogether in the extreme cold! Do not get stuck out in the tundra with the perfect shot and no battery. Be sure to have extra batteries on you at all times.
    
  • Heated Jacket: Not an essential, but a wonderful luxury! A heated jacket not only keeps heat in, but creates it. This can be life changing for those times when you find yourself standing around for hours while waiting for the shot or on the completion of a time lapse.
Staring out from an ice cave in Iceland.
Learn the best locations for landscape photographers as well as ice caves, aurora, and other natural miracles to capture in our guide to Photographing Iceland.

If you have found this blog useful in planning your trip to Iceland, you may also find value in some of our other regional guides:

Iceland Waterfalls Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the best waterfalls in Iceland?

The majority of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland are located near the Ring Road, especially in west and south Iceland.

You can find the best 100 waterfalls in Iceland on this map along with photos and descriptions of each:

What is the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland?

It is generally accepted that Skogafoss, Godafoss, and Gullfoss are the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland.

Which is the largest waterfall in Iceland?

The tallest waterfall in Iceland is Morsárfoss at 228+ meters high.
The largest waterfall in Iceland by volume is Dettifoss. The distinction of being the most powerful waterfall is determined by the amount of hydroelectric power the fall produces.

How many waterfalls are in Iceland?

There are thought to be nearly 10,000 waterfalls in the country of Iceland, making it one of the most densely saturated waterfall countries in the world

Can you see waterfalls in Iceland in winter?

While the majority of the 10,000 waterfalls in Iceland are inaccessible in the winter, you can still access most of the Top 10 and see many others in the distance from the roadside.

Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Gullfoss, Godafoss, Kirkjufellsfoss, Svartifoss, and Gljúfrafoss are all easily accessible year-round.

Which Iceland waterfall can you walk behind?

Seljalandsfoss is the waterfall most famous for the ability to walk and photograph from behind looking out.

Seljalandsfoss is the famous Iceland waterfall you can walk behind.
Are waterfalls in Iceland free?

The waterfalls themselves are all free, but most require you to pay to use the restrooms! Additionally, some, such as Seljalandsfoss, require you to pay for parking as well.

Do you have to pay for Seljalandsfoss?

You do not have to pay for access to the waterfall, but you do have to pay for parking at Seljalandsfoss. The cost is 800 ISK (about $6 USD). Prices accurate as of January 2022.

Standing on the bridge at Seljalandsfoss.
Admiring Seljalandsfoss in the winter weather.
Can you walk behind Gullfoss?

No, you cannot walk behind Gullfoss or even access its base. The famous waterfall in Iceland you can walk behind is Seljalandsfoss!

Sunset photography Gullfoss best waterfalls in iceland

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