A slim cascade of water slicing through the air and pooling in the Seljalands River below, Seljalandsfoss is one of Iceland’s most photogenic waterfalls. Because the falls’ chute of water is so narrow, visitors can also step behind Seljalandsfoss for a unique vantage point.
Plunging from a height of around 197 feet (60 meters), Seljalandsfoss might not be Iceland’s mightiest waterfall, but it’s certainly one of its most famous, forming a dramatic arch of water that dominates the picturesque Thórsmörk valley. A footpath runs all the way around the waterfall, allowing visitors to stand within feet of the rushing water, amid the spray at the foot of the Eyjafjoll mountains.
Guided sightseeing tours of Iceland’s south coast typically include a stop at Seljalandsfoss and allow time to explore the waterfall from the front and back. South coast tours usually also visit the black-sand beach of Reynisfjara, Solheimajokull glacier, and Skógafoss waterfall. You can travel in a regular bus or in a big-wheeled Super Jeep that can handle the toughest terrain.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Seljalandsfoss is a must-see for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
- Wear waterproof clothing if you plan to go behind the waterfall, as getting sprayed is inevitable.
- The path is often closed in winter when heavy rainfall makes it slippery and dangerous.
How to Get There
Seljalandsfoss is just off the Ring Road, less than two hours’ drive from Reykjavik. Driving along the Ring Road, you can see the waterfall long before you reach it. Skógafoss, another well-known Icelandic waterfall, is just 25 minutes farther south along the road. Alternatively, skip the hassle of driving by joining a guided tour.
When to Get There
The summer months bring wildflowers all around the waterfall and long daylight hours. Those long days mean you can visit late in the evening and avoid the daytime crowds. Travelers can also visit after dark or in the depth of winter, however, when floodlights illuminate the falls.
After visiting Seljalandsfoss, walk 10 minutes north to Gljúfrabúi waterfall. Partially hidden behind a rock face, Gljúfrabúi is something of a hidden gem compared to the hugely popular Seljalandsfoss.