Waterfalls to See in Southern Iceland
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8 Stunning Waterfalls to See in South Iceland

Iceland is often referred to as the “land of fire and ice” because of its unique geological features. From volcanoes, lava fields, and geothermal areas to expansive glaciers, Iceland showcases some of the most awe-inspiring and breathtaking natural wonders on the planet.

The island nation is also known for its many breathtaking waterfalls, many of which are located in the southern part of the country.

On our road trip through South Iceland, we got to see lots of these natural marvels, from the mighty and popular Skógafoss to the hidden Gljufrabui, and many others.

In this blog post, I’m sharing all the breathtaking waterfalls in South Iceland that we personally visited and that I strongly suggest adding to your Iceland bucket list.

Each of them has its own magic that will captivate you – just as it captivated us.

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a certain percentage of a sale if you purchase after clicking.)

1. Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss is undoubtedly one of the most popular and beloved waterfalls in South Iceland. Known as the waterfall where it’s possible to walk behind, Seljalandsfoss is located close to the Ring Road, just an hour by car from both the cities of Hveragerdi and Vik.

During the spring and summer seasons, Seljalandsfoss showcases its stunning beauty with an increased flow of water from melted snow and ice originating from nearby glaciers. The lush greenery surrounding the waterfall adds an even more picturesque touch to the sense.

In contrast, Seljalandsfoss takes on a mesmerizing transformation during the winter season – the time we visited. The plummeting temperatures often result in parts of the waterfall freezing into spectacular ice formations, creating a magical winter wonderland.

The only downside in winter is that the path leading behind the waterfall may be closed due to the risk of slipping.

This was the case during our visit, which was somewhat disappointing but understandable considering the safety concerns. The closer we got to the waterfall, the more slippery it became.

If you use a rental car in Iceland, you won’t have any trouble finding parking spots at the waterfall. There are plenty of available but note that parking is not free. There’s a flat rate fee of ISK 900 ($6.50), regardless of the length of your stay.

Seljalandsfoss in Winter

You’ll probably need less than an hour to see the waterfall, however, plan a bit more to visit the second awesome waterfall there (I’ll get to that in a moment).

Moreover, there’s also a local family-run shop and outdoor café next to Seljalandsfoss where you can grab some sandwiches or a coffee.

2. Gljufrabui

As mentioned before, don’t miss the opportunity to visit another waterfall just a short walk from Seljalandsfoss.

Often referred to as the “hidden waterfall”, Gljufrabui is tucked away within a narrow canyon, offering a truly unique and mystical experience.

To reach the waterfall, follow the path to the left from Seljalandsfoss until you reach a shallow stream flowing out of the canyon. To get inside the canyon, you need to wade through this stream and navigate over rocks until you find yourself facing the waterfall.

In winter, the path down to the stream is pure ice so if you don’t want to slip, it’s best to use crampons on your shoes.

Since you’ll be walking through water, waterproof shoes are a must! We noticed many people standing at the entrance of the canyon wearing sneakers or other unsuitable shoes, unable to proceed inside.

That’s pretty unfortunate because due to its secluded location and the need to navigate through the stream, Gljufrabui also offers a more intimate and immersive experience than Seljalandsfoss.

Gljufrabui doesn’t have its own parking lot. You simply use the one right in front of Seljalandsfoss where you need to pay the ISK 900 ($6.50).

3. Skógafoss

Renowned for its sheer size and dramatic beauty, Skógafoss is another one of the incredible waterfalls to see in Southern Iceland.

Located right between Seljalandsfossa and Vik, along the Skógá River, Skógafoss plunges approximately 60 meters over a breathtaking cliff edge.

Once there, it’s possible to enjoy various perspectives of the waterfall. A viewing platform at its base offers a close-up look at the power of the fall, while a staircase alongside allows you to climb to the top for a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.

Waterfalls to See in Southern Iceland

As for almost all waterfalls in Iceland, pay attention when visiting Skógafoss in winter. The entire viewing platform was frozen and slippery as hell, making it almost impossible to move without using crampons.

In spring and summer though, Skógafoss is surrounded by vibrant greenery and blooming flora. Plus, the increased flow of water from melting snow and ice enhances the waterfall’s majestic appearance.

Contrary to many other tourist spots in Iceland, parking at Skógafoss is free of charge, regardless of how long you stay.

Tours you might find interesting:

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4. Hestavadsfoss

If you follow the hiking trail, notably the renowned Laugavegur trail, beginning at the top of Skógafoss and heading upstream along the Skóga River, you’ll encounter numerous more waterfalls. The first one you’ll come across is Hestavadsfoss.

Although not as famous as some of Iceland’s other waterfalls, Hestavadsfoss offers a tranquil atmosphere, making it a hidden gem for those seeking a quieter natural retreat offside the crowds.

As you venture away from the well-known neighboring waterfall, you’ll notice that very few people follow the path – at least in our experience.

While Hestavadsfoss is not particularly large or powerful, it cascades gracefully down a series of rocky steps, surrounded by rugged terrain and lush greenery in spring/summer and a snowy wonderland in winter.

Together with the slightly higher vantage point along the hiking trail, it creates a truly picturesque scene!

5. Steinbogafoss

Continue past Hestavadsfoss and follow the Laugavegur trail a little further, you’ll soon spot the third major waterfall along the Skóga River: Steinbogafoss.

Steinbogafoss is located less than a kilometer upstream of Skógafoss. It drops approximately 7.5 meters (25 feet) in a uniform curtain-style plunge, spreading to about 20 meters (65 feet) in width.


Just like Hestavadsfoss, Steinbogafoss is neither very majestic nor incredibly unique. Nevertheless, its setting in a small canyon and the stunning view of the surrounding landscape, with the glacier in the background, make it a lovely treat for the eye.

6. Gullfoss

Gullfoss, or the “Golden Falls”, is by far Iceland’s most iconic and majestic waterfall. It can be found in the southwest part of the country, more precisely along the Golden Circle, along the Hvítá River.

What sets Gullfoss apart is its impressive two-tiered cascade, where the river plunges into a rugged canyon, creating a distinctive display of natural beauty.

At its peak flow, usually in late spring and early summer, the waterfall can discharge over 100 cubic meters of water per second. This makes it not only Iceland’s most powerful waterfall but also one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe!

Waterfalls in South Iceland - Gullfoss

In winter, you can witness a completely different spectacle at Gullfoss. During this season, the waterfall is sometimes completely frozen or semi-frozen, transforming the entire landscape into a breathtaking winter wonderland.

We saw the waterfall partially frozen, which was quite a magical experience on the one hand, but of course, it was a shame not to see it flowing in its full splendor. But I guess that just means we’ll have to go again in the warmer season. 😉

You can enjoy stunning panoramic views of Gullfoss from various observation points along the edge of the canyon. However, during winter, some viewing platforms might be closed due to safety concerns, particularly if they become icy or hazardous.

Parking at Gullfoss is quite convenient, with a designated parking area located near the visitor center, just a short stroll from the waterfall. It’s pleasantly surprising that there are neither entrance nor parking fees to pay.

Tours you might find interesting:

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7. Faxafoss

In addition to Gullfoss, Faxafoss is another waterfall along the famous Golden Circle.

Situated near Reykholt, Faxafoss, also known as Vatnsleysufoss or Faxi, is a wide and serene waterfall famous for its abundant population of salmon.

Spanning across the Tungufljót River for 90 meters (300 feet) with a modest height of 7 meters (23 feet), it is relatively small compared to other waterfalls.


While it may not boast towering heights, Faxafoss makes up for it with its tranquil atmosphere and easy accessibility.

It’s possible to experience the waterfall up close, both at its base and from its top, and the area features several viewing platforms, offering unobstructed views of the waterfall.

A small parking lot is available and the parking fee is ISK 700 ($5). Plus, there’s a small restaurant next to Faxafoss called Vid Faxa, boasting a patio with a stunning view overlooking the waterfall.

8. Öxarárfoss

Last but not least, among the many amazing waterfalls in South Iceland is Öxarárfoss, a waterfall located within Thingvellir National Park.

Getting to Öxarárfoss is quite simple. From the parking area of Thingvellir National Park, just follow the well-marked walking trail, which is relatively short and easy.

The waterfall has a height of 13 meters (44 feet) and an average width of six meters (20 feet), which can be entirely frozen over in the depth of winter (as you can see in my photo below). It’s a pretty magical sight and a beloved spot for ice climbers.

Waterfalls in South Iceland

Moreover, what makes Öxarárfoss worth visiting is its location within Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s best national parks.

The park is not only renowned for the fact it’s situated between two continental plates but also for its cultural heritage, being the site of Iceland’s first parliament, the Althing, established in the year 930 AD.

Thingvellir National Park offers several parking areas, ensuring enough space for everyone to park their vehicles. You have to purchase a parking ticket for ISK 1,000 ($7) that provides access for the entire day.

Tours you might find interesting:

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Where to Find These Waterfalls In South Iceland

The following map includes all the waterfalls we visited in South Iceland and should help you plan your itinerary accordingly.

Check out: Inni Boutique Apartments – Your Cozy Home in Hveragerdi

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Do you want to travel like me?
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Flights: I prefer using CheapOair or Skyscanner to book flights. The destination everywhere feature is perfect for finding some cheap deals!

Accommodation: Booking.com is my favorite site to find some great hotel deals. I do love staying at a local place as well, thus I book an Airbnb every now and then.

Travel Insurance: There are many reasons why travel insurance is important and I never travel without having one. I use the simple and flexible one from World Nomads to be protected against unforeseen events.

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Camera Gear: I use a Nikon D5300 camera with an 18-105 mm and a 10-20 mm wide-angle lens to take my photos.   

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