15 In Hiking + The Outdoors/ Iceland/ Travel

Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss – Southern Iceland’s Most Popular Waterfalls

No trip along Iceland’s southern coast is complete without stopping at at least one of the stunning waterfalls that can be found right off the side of the road. Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss are two of the most popular falls in all of Iceland. They’re beautiful examples of the beauty and the power of the natural sites in Iceland. Let’s take a closer look at them.


Distance from Reykjavik ⋙ 149 km / 93 miles

This gorgeous waterfall is definitely impressive. At over 80 feet wide and with an almost 200 foot drop, this waterfall is quite large! The cliffs surrounding the waterfall is where the sea used to be. Skóga River flowed into the ocean here, but now that the sea has receded, it has created this beauty. The flow is so powerful that you start feeling the spray from several yards away! On sunny days, they say that the mist frequently causes rainbows and even double rainbows. The name of the waterfall comes from the name of the river (Skóga) and the Icelandic word for waterfall (boss). You’ll see the word foss all over Iceland.

The parking area is very close to the Skogafoss and they have small bridges to cross the stream that leads out to the new shoreline.

Staring up at the top of the cliff was actually my favorite part of the falls. I love the even, soft-looking flow over the rugged cliff edge. I also love the green and yellow mosses covering the cliffs.

Just cheesin’ in front of the falls.

Something unique about the falls is the stairs that go up the edge of the cliff so you can go up near the top of the falls. You can see dots on the photo [right] that are people taking in the view from above. We were racing daylight to see as much as possible so we didn’t take the time to go up. I bet it quite the view though.


Distance from Reykjavik ⋙ 121 kilometers / 75 miles

This waterfall, although not as wide, is actually even taller than Skogafoss. Similarly named, it’s named for the runoff from Seljalandsá River. This waterfall can be enjoyed from every angle. The walking trail goes on either side, in front of and behind the falls. It was frigid the day we were here and the wind + sleet was blowing insanely hard. So, we definitely opted to stay dryer, and therefore warmer, by skipping the walk behind the falls. It was also really slick and we saw a lady leaving holding her wrist. It just seemed like a day to enjoy it from the front.

We saw many people take their photos of this main waterfall and ran back to their car or tour bus. However, if you continue down the trail that goes in front of this water there are even more waterfalls to enjoy. Don’t miss out on those!

The view walking back toward Seljalansfoss.

If you have more than 48 hours in Iceland, don’t miss these beauties. Visiting Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss are one of the many natural highlights of this stunning island country.

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  • Reply
    Nano @ Travel With Nano B.
    March 27, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Paige, absolutely gorgeous photos as always!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    Such gorgeous photos! You’ll have to go back (I know, twist your arm) and walk behind the falls!!! Loving your Iceland posts!

  • Reply
    Michael @ Mile in my Glasses
    March 28, 2017 at 6:44 am

    Gorgeous photos Paige! I was in Iceland during January and absolutely loved it – such an incredible country it feels like another world!

    I hope you’re having a wonderful Tuesday,

  • Reply
    March 28, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Iceland is absolutely gorgeous. We’ve been to Skogafoss and it’s simply stunning. I can’t wait to go back and explore even more. Good tip about not running back to the car or bus after the main pic 🙂

  • Reply
    Shane Prather
    March 28, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Iceland truly has it all when it comes to stunning natural landscapes! I can’t wait to go waterfall chasing here one day.

  • Reply
    Cori Carl
    March 28, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Before going to Iceland I researched all the waterfalls on the way, but there are so many of them (and so few highways) it didn’t take any extra planning to see them. Be sure to bring a waterproof jacket and snacks!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 3:40 am

    Iceland looks amazing! These waterfalls are really something special and, I think, very typical for Iceland. How long have you stayed in Iceland?

  • Reply
    Katie McIntosh (@katieshowblog)
    March 29, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Your photos are stunning and it looked like you had so much fun! I’m going to be visiting Iceland for the first time soon and I’m so glad I found your post so I can add these waterfalls to my ‘to see’ list!

  • Reply
    Live Learn Venture (@LiveLearnVentur)
    March 29, 2017 at 8:51 am

    You’re right — it truly is impressive. It looks amazing. I am always blown away by Iceland’s gorgeous natural sights. I need to visit in person soon!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I was just here in January. I am so obsessed with Iceland. It is the most magical place I have ever explored. Already planning to go back again <3

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    I keep reading so much about these gorgeous waterfalls. Iceland itself is on my bucket list, and these two are among the must to do things over there!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    You got SO much done during your Iceland trip Paige! Man I’m envious of you and need to travel with you one day; I feel like we would get a lot accomplished between the two of us. The ochre moss must have been gorgeous up close. Okay, one more thing to add to a future Iceland itinerary!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    You got incredible photographs of each of these falls, the waterfalls were the highlight of our time in Iceland – we took days traversing the ring road, and waterfalls had a bucketlist of their own 😀 Screw the person who said “don’t go chasing waterfalls” lol!

  • Reply
    Fiona Trowbridge
    March 30, 2017 at 12:49 am

    Wow! Your photos look great and your tip about walking further on to see other waterfalls is a great idea. I love Iceland so much but it’s very expensive as everyone keeps saying but these incredible waterfalls are free as are many other things. You just need to look for them which I did and would like to share my 10 free things to do in Reykjavik and 10 free things to do in the Reykjanes Peninsula with you guys. http://www.fionatrowbridge.com/2015/09/10-free-things-to-do-in-reykjavik.html

    You’ve got a wonderful wanderlust website, Paige. 🙂

  • Reply
    2017 Travel Roundup - For the Love of Wanderlust
    January 7, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    […] of fun things like hike on glaciers, stand on beaches, search for street art, feel the mist of waterfalls and soak in the Blue Lagoon. We road tripped across Southern Iceland and found all kinds of fun, […]

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