Svartifoss is one of the most distinct, unique and beautiful waterfalls of Iceland. It’s hard to pinpoint a favourite location in Iceland but this one is clearly in the top. The contrast between the beautiful black basalt rocks and the white water is very unique.
Svartifoss is located in the beautiful Skaftafell national park in the south-eastern Iceland. Skaftafell is located far away from Reykjavik, so unless you pass by it’s recommended that you find accommodation in the area. To find Skaftafell just follow the main road A1 counterclockwise around Iceland.
When you’ve crossed the black dessert you’ll notice a monument, which is the remains of a destroyed bridge. You’ll find Skaftafell on the first road on your left after this place. Visiting the museum is recommended but to find Svartifoss you just turn left, when the road turns right and continue straight until you find a gravel parking lot.
From the parking lot, you’ll have to follow the paths towards Svartifoss. Finding Svartifoss is not hard, but it is one of the more tricky locations to find and the road up there requires a small hike with some steep stairs. Sometimes the paths are closed down but just continue north and towards the top. If you’re in doubt there’re signs most of the way up there.
On your way to Svartifoss you’ll pass another beautiful waterfall called Hundafoss, which is worth photographing too.
The valley and forest itself is beautiful especially in the autumn, which also comes as a recommendation from here. Visit Iceland during the start of October. You get all the beautiful colours of the autumn and get a ratio of 50/50 on the daylight and nighttime.
When you’ve found Svartifoss there’re several locations to get a beautiful picture. My suggestion is to experiment around. They’ve fenced off some of the area in the later years to protect the vegetation, so please do respect that. If you’re light on your feet it’s possible to jump the rocks in the river to get to the other side. It does give a few more angles to work with.
One of my favourite shots – currently hanging on my wall is a wide-angle upfront shot with a fast shutter speed of the waterfall, where you get that cold, rough feeling of the water and the moisty basalt rocks. To get this shot that close to the waterfall requires a 16mm focal length or wider.
I hope you enjoyed this article! If you want to see even more from my side, I have extensive video guides for a lot of locations in Iceland. Check out the video below and my website, follow me on instagram or look through my pictures on 500px if you like! If you want to buy any of my pictures as beautiful high-quality prints check out my Society6 page.