Iceland has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to waterfalls, and I tried to catch as many as I could in my 3 days there. But lest you think I was seeking out tiny, pitiful trickles of water just to up the waterfall count…behold, Skógafoss!
Here’s everything else from our 3-day Iceland road trip!
Skógafoss is one of the most recognizable and biggest waterfalls in Iceland. Its drop is around 200 feet, putting it at a similar height as nearby Seljalandsfoss, but it’s also super fat (okay, fine, “wide”…about 80 feet!). It’s just a few minutes up the road from Seljalandsfoss, and an easy day trip from Reykjavik as part of a Golden Circle or South Coast itinerary.
Tips for visiting Skógafoss
- Skógafoss is about a 30-minute drive east of Seljalandsfoss, and they are easy to visit together.
- The parking lot has plenty of space, though obviously it will get a bit crowded with buses during high season.
- To avoid the worst of the crowds and get photos without people, showing up before 9:00am is your best bet. But we came late afternoon and weren’t exactly elbowing people out of the way 🙂
- You can stand in the shallower water to avoid having people in your photos, as long as you have waterproof shoes (and a tripod wouldn’t be a bad idea either).
- You can spend as much or as little time here as you’d like…there’s a hiking piece on top and you could easily spend an hour or three, but we just spent probably 20-30 minutes and it was perfect.
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As with many of the best sights in Iceland, Skógafoss was super easy to find and the signs on the highway made it clear where to turn off. Parking was easy enough, though the lot was still pretty full—I bet earlier in the day it was pretty crazy and might have been tough to find a space.
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The first thing we did when we arrived was to climb up the staircase leading up the hillside. This gives you a great view down of the falls, though it’s pretty tough to actually photograph well.
You can also enjoy walking along the path up there and see some smaller falls. If you have the time, there is supposedly some beautiful waterfalls a few kilometers up the path, and a gorgeous, wild canyon…we didn’t have time, but if you’ve got another hour or two then you should check it out!
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With our calves burning from the stairs, we headed back down and then soaked in the view of the falls from its base. And also GOT soaked, because that spray is insane! Because we were there later in the afternoon, the crowds had thinned and we didn’t have to fight our way to getting a good photo.
You can spread out across the rocks and even into the stream (if your boots are waterproof), but do remember that in winter this whole area (and the staircase) may be super icy, so be careful!
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The massive amount of spray created by the falls gives it a really high likelihood of seeing rainbows, which I absolutely loved! Though as a result, you will for sure get wet if you go anywhere near it…as I mentioned at the top, some good waterproof outer clothing and protection for your gear is essential!
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So this one was easy-peasy…a quick stop off the highway, a climb to the top for the view, and then getting soaked by an amazing falls for a few minutes before moving on! While you certainly can take more time at Skógafoss waterfall, it’s a perfect 30-minute stop that is a “must” but still doesn’t eat up gobs of time on your itinerary.
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