Waterfall Tours

Waterfall Tours

Waterfall tours take you to the mighty waterfalls that are found all across Iceland. Experience the primordial forces that define Iceland's nature and make memories to last a lifetime.
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Waterfalls in Iceland

Be they cascading over an ancient sea cliff on the South Coast, tumbling majestically from an ice cap in Vatnajökull National Park, or trickling down a cliff face somewhere in the Westfjords, Iceland’s waterfalls are a staple attraction for almost all visitors to Iceland.

An essential part of this country's natural cycle, Iceland’s waterfalls have their origins in the country’s glaciers, flowing down great veins from the highlands out toward the Atlantic Ocean.

Driving around Iceland, it is virtually impossible not to spot a waterfall at some point during the journey. Some are enormous, such as Dynjandi in the Westfjords, while others are small and tucked away in cliffside gorges, such as the photogenic Gljúfurárfoss.

Other waterfalls are staples on this country’s most popular sightseeing routes; Gullfoss, one of the most beloved Icelandic waterfalls, is an essential third of the Golden Circle route, while Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss are almost compulsory visits in the south.

Waterfalls have also played an essential part in Icelandic history and folklore. The waterfall, Goðafoss, was, for instance, the final resting place of many Pagan idols, after Iceland’s early settlers threw them into the cascade as proof of their newfound Christian belief.

Another example is the hidden treasure chest that supposedly sits behind the curtain of water that is Skógafoss. According to legend, the chest was placed here by Þrasi Þórólfsson, the Viking Settler at Skógar. Supposedly, after a failed attempt to retrieve it, one of the chest’s handle rings accidentally broke away, leaving the chest behind. The ring from this chest was first hung on the church door at Skógar, before taking its final resting place in the village museum.

Frequently asked questions

Are waterfall tours in Iceland available year-round?

Waterfall tours in Iceland are generally available throughout the year. However, the specific tours and accessibility of some waterfalls may vary depending on the season and weather conditions. Also, the scenery will differ depending on the time of year you take the tour, as waterfalls can be partially or fully frozen in the winter.

What are some popular waterfalls to visit on a tour in Iceland?

Iceland is home to many beautiful waterfalls, some of which include:

- Gullfoss: One of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland, located in the Golden Circle.

- Seljalandsfoss: A unique waterfall that allows you to walk behind the cascade.

- Skogafoss: A powerful, 200 feet high (60 meters) waterfall on the south coast.

- Godafoss: Also known as the "Waterfall of the Gods," this stunning cascade is steeped in history.

- Dettifoss: Europe's second most powerful waterfall, located in Vatnajökull National Park.

What should I wear and bring for a waterfall tour in Iceland?

For a waterfall tour in Iceland, dress in layers, and wear warm, waterproof clothing. A good-quality waterproof jacket and pants, sturdy hiking shoes, a warm hat, gloves, and a scarf are recommended. Also, make sure to bring a camera and a refillable water bottle.

Can you go rafting or kayaking down any waterfalls in Iceland?

No that is not possible. You can, however, raft down rapids and rivers, like with this whitewater river rafting tour in north Iceland.

Are there any waterfalls in Iceland that have accessible caves behind them?

Yes, the most famous waterfall with an accessible cave is Seljalandsfoss, on the South Coast. Close by is Kvernufoss, which you can also walk behind. Do not attempt to go behind a waterfall in winter, it’s very dangerous as the cliffs and rocks get icy.

What is Iceland’s most powerful waterfall?

Dettifoss, which is located close to Lake Myvatn, has the greatest flow of water. In fact, its width of 328 feet (100 meters) and its drop of 144 feet (44 meters) make it the second most powerful waterfall in all of Europe. We recommend taking this 8 hour 4x4 tour of Dettifoss waterfall and Lake Myvatn to experience this natural wonder.

Why do waterfalls in Iceland often have rainbows in front of them?

A rainbow is caused by the reflection, refraction, and dispersion of light in water droplets. Because of the constant mist of water around powerful waterfalls, the sunlight frequently creates rainbows. Two waterfalls in Iceland that are known to display rainbows often are Gullfoss, on the Golden Circle sightseeing route, and Skogafoss, on the South Coast.

What is Iceland’s tallest waterfall?

Until recently, the tallest waterfall was considered to be Glymur in southwest Iceland. Its drop is over 623 feet (190 meters), making it twice as tall as Iceland’s second-highest waterfall, Skógafoss. Since 2007, however, a new waterfall, Morsarfoss, has become visible after Morsarjokull glacier started melting. This new waterfall measures at least 787 feet (240 meters) in height, making it the current tallest in Iceland.

What happens to the waterfalls in winter, do they freeze?

At 32°F (0°C), water freezes; in the case of a waterfall, its freezing over depends on the power of its flow. Sometimes, the whole waterfall freezes, while at other times, parts of it do while the water still rushes down past chunks of thick ice. Check out our top 11 waterfalls to see in winter, to get an idea of what to expect.

Are waterfalls part of the Golden Circle?

Yes, one of the three classic attractions on the Golden Circle route is the famous Gullfoss waterfall.

Why are there so many waterfalls in Iceland?

The North Atlantic climate produces frequent rain and snow. This, along with the meltwater produced by glaciers makes Iceland extremely suited for waterfalls.

Where does the water of Iceland’s waterfalls come from?

Most of Iceland’s water comes from glaciers, but it also comes from mountain springs and rainfall.

Is the water in Iceland's waterfalls drinkable?

Waterfalls that contain clear spring water are drinkable, but waterfalls in murky glacial rivers are not.

Can I swim in Icelandic waterfalls?

Even on a sunny day, the water in Icelandic waterfalls is very cold so we don't recommend people swim in their waters.