When I think of Iceland, I think of volcanos, hot springs, and glaciers. Never did it occur to me that this beautiful country is also home to some of the most impressive waterfalls in the world. And while I’ve only visited the half of the country in wintertime, below you’ll find several impressive Iceland waterfalls that will, no doubt, leave you breathless no matter the season. Many of these cascades are located right off of the Ring Road or along the frequently visited Golden Circle! So if you’re planning an Icelandic road trip, be sure to put these on your list of “must-stops.”
Epic Iceland Waterfalls (To Visit in Winter)
A 45-minute drive from Reykjavik will bring you to Thingvellir National Park, home to Öxarárfoss which is can freeze some times of the year (as pictured here in February).
Gullfoss (translation “golden falls”) is located just a few hours from Reykjavik along the Golden Circle. This impressively strong, tiered waterfall is the most famous cascade in Iceland. You can book day tours from Reykavik, or drive there yourself as the attraction has a large parking lot with a cafe and gift shop. The above picture shows the falls in early November.
If you love waterfalls AND hot springs, you should definitely put a hike to “hot river” on your Iceland wish list. While the hike can be icy and treacherous in winter (as seen here), the scenery is spectacular and you’ll be rewarded in the end by a soak in a natural hot spring. Of course, then you’ll need to hike back to your car… so save some energy and bring towels.
This wildly popular waterfall is perhaps one of the most photographed spots in all of Iceland. Located right off of the Ring Road, with a large parking lot and daily tour bus visits, there is sure to be a crowd any time of the year at this cascade but especially in the summer when you can actually walk behind the rushing water.
Just a little farther down the road from Seljalandsfoss lies another alluring waterfall that is easily accessible, and perhaps even more dramatic. Be careful as the parking lot is extremely icy in the wintertime. In fact, ALL of Iceland is very icy in the wintertime. If I could give you just one piece of advice it would be this: “wear crampons!!” As you can see, I did not and my butt paid the price.
This stunning, and other-worldly waterfall is located in Vatnajökull National Park. Apatly named “black falls,” the teeth-like formations behind the streaming water maybe even more spectacular than the falls themselves! You’ll need to hike a short ways to reach this cascade, but it’s worth it.
Made famous by the HBO show Game of Thrones, this waterfall is situated on the west coast of Iceland and lives at the foot of a hat-shaped mountain.
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