Top 10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Iceland
Iceland is a country of many amazing waterfalls. Below is my top 10 list of beautiful waterfalls that I‘ve had the pleasure to photograph:
For more waterfalls see also: Waterfalls in Iceland | Tips & Tours
This small and charming waterfall is situated near the impressive mount Kirkjufell, at Grundarfjordur, on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. For photographing, it is particularly scenic when you capture the fall, the clearness of the water and the mountain in the background, best experienced in the light of the midnight sun in midsummer.
This stunningly beautiful falls, located in Borgarfjordur in West Iceland, are formed by rivulets flowing at the edge of the Hallmundarhraun lava field, and pour into the glacier river Hvita (not to be confused with the river of the same name in Arnessysla, home to the Gullfoss waterfall, see below). These falls are widely considered some of the most spectacular in Iceland.
This splendid series of small waterfalls is located in Bruara river, in the area of Grimsnes in Southwest Iceland, and considered something of a hidden gem. Watching the river falling in thousands of small runlets and the stark blue colour as the water falls into a deep gap makes it a fascinating scene and ideal for photographing.
This fascinating fall is located in the Skaftafell preservation area in Southeast Iceland, that is part of Vatnajokull National Park. A dramatic contrast is to be seen in the white water of the fall and the surrounding dark hexagonal basalt columns. At the base of the fall are sharp rocks that have broken from the columns. This picturesque scenery further provided inspiration for the columnar architecture of Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik, the ceiling of the National Theater and sculptor Richard Serra‘s Milestones, located in Videy island.
Hrafnabjargafoss is a beautiful waterfall that is located in found in the mighty Skjalfandafljotglacier river in North Iceland, the first of three successive ones, the other two being Aldeyjarfoss and Godafoss.
This the second in a successive row of beautiful falls in Skjalfandafljot river and has a 20 meter cascade. As with Svartifoss, you‘ll here see a fascinating contrast between the white water of the fall and dark basalt columns, perfect scenery for the avid photographer.
This waterfall, 12 meters high and 30 meters wide, is at once the most famous of the Skjalfandafljot waterfalls and one of the most famous in North Iceland and the country at large. According to the sagas, lawspeaker Thorgeir Ljosvetningagodi settled a religious crisis in Iceland by throwing the idols of the old Nordic gods into the fall, wherefrom it gets its name “The waterfall of the gods“. Certainly, those who witness the sheer beauty of the fall will agree that the name is fitting.
Widely considered the most beautiful of Icelandic waterfalls, the aptly named Gullfoss (“The Golden Waterfall“) belongs to the famous “Golden Circle“ of essential attractions, along with the Geysir geothermal area and Thingvellir National Park. This thunderous waterfall, located in the mighty Hvita glacier river in Arnessysla county in South Iceland, drops down 32 meters into a narrow river gorge and is every photographer‘s dream. You can even walk near enough to it to feel the water spray on your face!
Skogafoss is a popular destination when travelling along the South Coast of Iceland. It is located close to the area of Skogar. 60 meters wide and 25 high, it is one of the greatest and most beautiful of all waterfalls in Iceland. Photographers should particularly note that on sunny days it may produce a single or even a double rainbow, due to the strong waterflow‘s interplay with the sunlight.
Seljalandsfoss is another of widely popular falls when travelling the south coast. This is a narrow and tall fall, with a drop of 63 meters, and it has the rare distinction that you can actually walk behind it, a spectacular photographic angle. This is indeed considered one of Iceland‘s most picturesque waterfalls, and absolutely essential when travelling in the country.
Pictures by Iurie Belegurschi. Text by Einar Valgarðsson.