Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall at sunrise with Kirkjufell mountain in the background

Top 13 Best and Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Iceland

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Discover the best beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Learn about the most famous waterfalls in Iceland, many of which have appeared in movies and TV shows like Game of Thrones. Look at stunning photos and explore maps that will show you how to see these spectacular natural wonders for yourself.

No trip to Iceland is complete without visiting one or several of our country’s incredible waterfalls. Each has its own distinct character, and each waterfall dazzles visitors with its unique shape, size, sound, and surrounding natural features.

As with many historic destinations in Iceland, each waterfall has its own story, whether from history or folklore. These include tales of historical significance, tragedy, and even love, helping bring to life the constantly moving and growing landscape of the land of fire and ice.

Iceland’s many glaciers and spectacular geography combine to create some of the most attractive and bizarre waterfalls on the planet. Pure glacier waters carve through the unique, occasionally volcanic, landscape to create fascinating shapes, such as the hexagonal basalt columns that decorate many of Iceland’s waterfalls.

13. Haifoss Waterfall

Person standing staring at Haifoss Waterfall

At an astounding 400 feet (122 meters), Haifoss is one of the tallest waterfalls in Iceland. It was thought to be the tallest in Europe when it was first discovered. Since then, taller falls have been found in the country and elsewhere in Europe.

Located in the Thjorsardalur Valley in South Iceland, this waterfall can only be reached in a 4x4. Alternatively, you can park your car and hike the last 4.5 miles (7.2 kilometers). Haifoss is an excellent detour on a Golden Circle road trip.

12. Dettifoss Waterfall

Close up of Dettifoss waterfall

Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Iceland and the second most powerful waterfall in Europe after the Rhine Falls. This makes it one of the best waterfalls in Iceland.

Located in Vatnajokull National Park in Northern Iceland, it’s 330 feet (100 meters) wide and sends an impressive 7,000 cubic feet (200 cubic meters) of water per second crashing over a 144-foot (44-meter) cliff. One of the most impressive features is the overwhelming roar of the water tumbling down the gorge. The water is grey-white in color due to the sediment-rich runoffs.

11. Glymur Waterfall

Person standing staring at Glymur waterfall in the distance

Glymur waterfall is the second tallest waterfall in Iceland and is located near Reykjavik. For that reason, it’s one of the best waterfalls to see in Iceland on a short trip. It features several narrow falls of different sizes cascading down a mountain face.

Glymur waterfall is 44 miles (71 kilometers) from the capital, followed by a 2-hour hike through beautiful scenery that includes river crossings and a walk through a cave, making it an excellent trip for photography lovers.

10. Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall at sunrise with Kirkjufell mountain in the background

This small and charming waterfall sits near the impressive Mount Kirkjufell at Grundarfjordur on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. It is particularly scenic for photographers when capturing the water’s serenity against the dramatic mountain in the background.

Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall is one of the best in Iceland, especially if experienced in the light of the midnight sun. It’s also an enchanting spectacle in winter when blanketed in snow and ice, sparkling beneath the beautiful northern lights.

9. Hraunfossar Waterfall

Hraunfossar waterfall with autumn colored leaves above

These stunningly beautiful falls are located in Borgarfjordur in West Iceland. They’re formed by small streams of water flowing at the edge of the Hallmundarhraun lava field and pouring into the glacier river Hvita - this is not to be confused with a different river of the same name that feeds Gullfoss waterfall, discussed below.

The Hraunfossar waterfall, though peaceful and serene, is widely considered one of the most spectacular in Iceland. The location is also very convenient for waterfall hunters, as it sits right beside Barnafoss waterfall, another dramatic waterfall.

8. Bruarfoss Waterfall

Bruarfoss waterfall flowing with bright blue water

These small waterfalls are located in the Bruara river, in the Grimsnes area of Southwest Iceland. They are little-known and considered something of a hidden gem. The stark blue waters of Bruarfoss waterfall falling into the deep gorge is an incredible scene and makes it an ideal photography location.

7. Svartifoss Waterfall

Svartifoss waterfall flowing down against dark basalt columns

This fascinating waterfall is located in the Skaftafell Nature Reserve in Southeast Iceland, part of Vatnajokull National Park. The name Svartifoss means black waterfall.The name is inspired by the dramatic contrast between the white water and dark hexagonal basalt columns. At the base of the falls sit sharp rocks that have broken from the columns, giving the waterfalls an otherworldly feel.

This picturesque feature inspired the columnar architecture of Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik, the ceiling of the National Theatre, and sculptor Richard Serra’s famous Milestones, located on Videy island.  

6. Hrafnabjargafoss Waterfall

Hrafnabjargafoss waterfall flowing surrounded by snow and ice

Hrafnabjargafoss is a beautiful waterfall that is located in the mighty Skjalfandafljot glacier river in northern Iceland. It is in the same river as Aldeyjarfoss waterfall and Godafoss waterfall. Together, these spectacular falls attract a large number of visitors.

5. Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall

Aldeyjarfoss waterfall flowing into a small pool in winter

Aldeyjarfoss waterfall is the second in a row of beautiful falls in the Skjalfandafljot river and the tallest of the group at 65 feet (20 meters) tall. As with Svartifoss waterfall, here you’ll see a fascinating contrast between the white water of the falls and dark basalt columns. It’s the perfect scene for the avid photographer.

4. Godafoss Waterfall

Goðafoss waterfall surrounded by snow and ice

Godafoss waterfall, at 39 feet (12 meters) high and 98 feet (30 meters) wide, is the most famous of the Skjalfandafljot waterfalls and one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland. It’s the only one specifically featured on the classic Diamond Circle route.

According to the Sagas, chieftain Thorgeir Ljosvetningagodi settled a religious crisis in Iceland by throwing the idols of the Old Norse Gods into the falls. This symbolized the nation’s conversion to Christianity and gave the spot its nickname, The Waterfall of the Gods. Indeed, those who witness the sheer beauty of the falls will agree that the name is fitting.

3. Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss waterfall canyon in winter

Widely considered the most famous of Icelandic waterfalls, the aptly named Gullfoss waterfall (The Golden Waterfall) sits on the famous Golden Circle, the most popular tourist trail in Iceland. This circle covers two other great attractions: the Geysir Geothermal Area and Thingvellir National Park.

Gullfoss waterfall is fed by the Hvita glacial river in South Iceland, where it drops down 105 feet (32 meters) into a narrow river gorge via two tiers. You can even walk near enough to feel the water spray on your face in clear weather. Be sure to stay within the fence for safety. 

2. Skogafoss Waterfall

The bottom part of Skogafoss waterfall with a small person in front

Skogafoss is a popular destination when traveling along the South Coast of Iceland, located close to Skogar. At 82 feet (25 meters) wide and 197 feet (60 meters) high, it’s one of Iceland’s most beautiful and dramatic waterfalls.

Photographers should note that it may produce a single or even a double rainbow on sunny days due to the interplay between the spray and the sunlight.

1. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Seljalandsfoss waterfall flowing over the cliff at sunset

Seljalandsfoss waterfall is widely popular and among the best waterfalls in Iceland. Located on the south coast, roughly 80 miles (128 kilometers) from Reykjavik, Seljalandsfoss waterfall is one of the most photographed waterfalls in the country. Skogafoss waterfall is only 18.5 miles (30 kilometers) away, so both can be visited on the same day.

The waterfall is narrow and tall at 197 feet (60 meters) tall, and it has the rare feature of a space where visitors can walk behind it, enabling them to take some spectacular photos.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall is considered one of Iceland’s most picturesque waterfalls and is essential to experience when visiting the country.

The 13 best and most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland

13. Haifoss waterfall
12. Dettifoss waterfall
11. Glymur waterfall
10. Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall
9. Hraunfossar waterfall
8. Bruarfoss waterfall
7. Svartifoss waterfall
6. Hrafnabjargafoss waterfall
5. Aldeyjarfoss waterfall
4. Godafoss waterfall
3. Gullfoss waterfall
2. Skogafoss waterfall
1. Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Map of the best waterfalls in Iceland

What did you think of this list of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland? Are there any waterfalls that you have visited and would add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.