The Top 10 Best Europe Waterfalls

Plitvice


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INTRODUCTION

It's not easy to put together a Top 10 Best Europe Waterfalls List because it's completely subjective and limited to each person's experience with the falls being named. Again, we're composing this list solely based on our own personal experiences, which makes this (or any of our other lists) different from what you'll typically see on the internet. In any case, Julie and I finally got to a point where we could credibly put together such a list for Europe as our waterfall survey of this diverse continent has now covered Iceland, Norway, Great Britain, Switzerland, France, Italy, Croatia, and Greece.

We ultimately decided to make this list non-discriminatory and cover all of Europe. We had contemplated leaving off the Scandinavian countries since they seemed to make up more than half of the Euro Top 10. Plus, we also have a Top 10 Iceland Waterfalls List and a Top 10 Norway Waterfalls List. Nevertheless, you can imagine how difficult it was just to keep a list of 10 (it even made us re-evaluate the ratings of many of the waterfalls we've evaluated in the past). But in the end, this page is the result of this filtering process. I'm sure this list is prone to change as we intend to visit more falls from this continent while making re-evaluations every so often. So without further adieu, here is the Euro top 10 in reverse order...


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10. RHINE FALLS (RHEINFALL)
[Schaffhausen, Switzerland]

10. RHINE FALLS (RHEINFALL) [Schaffhausen, Switzerland]
This powerful waterfall on the Rhine River just barely eeked into this list for it was one of those falls that had it all - the history, the size, the notoriety, the access, and it even had a natural arch in one of the rock islands left standing amidst the onslaught of the rushing river. Julie and I were able to visit the falls from as many ways as we could, which included views from both sides of the river, from a castle, from a boat, and even from right in the middle of the falls itself. While this is arguably an urban waterfall given it seemed to be in close proximity to developed towns and cities, it's not often that waterfalls as grand as this could feature so many diverse aspects about it. Thus, we gave this one the edge over other equally-rated waterfalls that easily could've been in this spot!

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

Click here to see other waterfalls in Switzerland.


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9. HÁIFOSS
[Þjórsadalur, Iceland]

9. HÁIFOSS [Þjórsadalur, Iceland]
In a country that featured so many beautiful waterfalls, this one just nudged into the penultimate spot on this list. And as you can see, it had a lot going for it. The falls featured an impressive 122m gush while accompanied by a neighboring waterfall that was almost the same size. Then, it was in a place that was just pure raw Nature that seemed typical of the rugged and hauntingly beautiful interior highlands of Iceland. Heck, there was even a bold rainbow arc across its base that we witnessed during conditions that I'd say would have to be as close to as perfect as you can get. In fact, our visit here was so memorable that Julie and I still think about this place from time to time. With such a powerful experience, we gave this the emotional tiebreaker over other equally-rated waterfalls just to even get on this list let alone this spot!

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

Click here to see other waterfalls in Iceland.


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8. MARDALSFOSSEN
[Møre og Romsdal, Norway]

8. MARDALSFOSSEN [Møre og Romsdal, Norway]
This majestic waterfall could've easily been mistaken for a waterfall in Yosemite Valley at peak flow, but this one happens to make its cliff dive in the scenic Eikesdal Valley in Norway. It's said to be one of the tallest waterfalls in the world at a reported 655m (or 705m depending on who you talk to), but its location overlooking the beautiful Eikesdalsvatn Lake, which itself was nestled in a classic U-shaped valley while there were many more beautiful waterfalls further towards the valley head made it easy for us to include it on our Euro Top 10 List. Not even the controversial hydroelectric stream diversion that made this a Summer-only waterfall could deny its entry.

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

Click here to see other waterfalls in Norway.


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7. STAUBBACH FALLS (STAUBBACHFÄLLE)
[Bernese Oberland, Switzerland]

7. STAUBBACH FALLS (STAUBBACHFÄLLE) [Bernese Oberland, Switzerland]
While there may be taller or more voluminous waterfalls than this one, sometimes you just have to acknowledge its landscape above all else. And in this case, we have a 297m freefalling waterfall plunging right into the Lauterbrunnen Valley while being watched over by the majestic and iconic Swiss Alps (including the peaks Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau). Heck, even the town at the base of the falls (called Lauterbrunnen) was both charming and picturesque. Where else can you mix the awesome beauty of Nature with a little European mountain charm to boot? Add it all up, and Julie and I had no problems emphatically putting this waterfall on the Euro Top 10 List.

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

Click here to see other waterfalls in Switzerland.


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6. CASCADE DE GAVARNIE
[Midi-Pyrenees, France]

6. CASCADE DE GAVARNIE [Midi-Pyrenees, France]
This waterfall in the Cirque du Gavarnie in France by its natural border with Spain (in the forbidding mountains of the Pyrenees) was certainly one where we had to be patient and flexible to earn a sighting of it. Indeed, Julie and I had to wait out a storm, then we had to drive out-of-the-way to even get close enough to do the moderatly long walk to get as close to the falls as safely possible. Yet it was this unpredictability and effort that also made this a truly Naturesque experience. It really felt like we were on the fringe of civilization, and what was beyond the impenetrable mountain walls surrounding the falls (while still holding glaciers further into Spain) was left to our imagination. In our minds, this reportedly 422m giant was well worth the wait and upheaval to our itinerary to accommodate it, and as you can see by our including this falls on the Top 10 Best European Waterfalls List, we didn't regret our decision to stick around one bit.

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

Click here to see other waterfalls in France.


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5. SKÓGAFOSS
[South Region, Iceland]

5. SKÓGAFOSS [South Region, Iceland]
There's something to be said about a waterfall this big yet classically-shaped (with its nearly geometric rectangle) and this accessible (notice the people standing right in front of it). Julie's really partial to this waterfall for those reasons, and it's the primary reason why it sits in the upper half of this list. On top of that, we were also able to climb a path that went to its top where we could better appreciate the raw Icelandic scenery looking back towards the coast. And then, it turned out that this falls happened to be the last in a long line of waterfalls along the Skógar River, which itself featured well over 20 impressive ones (I had lost count due to the sheer quantity of them). In the end, maybe Julie's sentiments towards the falls were well deserved after all!

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

Click here to see other waterfalls in Iceland.


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4. LANGFOSS
[Hordaland, Norway]

4. LANGFOSS [Hordaland, Norway]
This was an example of just how majestic a waterfall can be when left to Nature. For we literally witnessed an unchecked and thick stream cascading over a mountainside with a cumulative reported height of 612m. Then, it fell into Åkrafjorden, which was an example of one of many beautiful and deep fjords throughout the west side of Norway. We were able to take it all in with its scenic landscape views from a distance along with its thundering power as we managed to get a closer look near its base. We contend this could very well be the best of the big bunch of Norwegian waterfalls as long as it's left unregulated and in its natural state. Adding all these things up, we had no problems putting this one high up on our Top 10 Europe Waterfalls List.

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

Click here to see other waterfalls in Norway.


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3. PLITVICE WATERFALLS
[Lika-Senj / Karlovac, Croatia]

3. PLITVICE WATERFALLS [Lika-Senj / Karlovac, Croatia]
***World's Top 10*** Rather than being a singular waterfall, this was really a conglomeration of a whole network of waterfalls and lakes. Some of these waterfalls were impressive enough to stand out on their own. Nonetheless, when it came to the overall waterfalling experience, this one grew on us as we explored more of its walks while encountering one waterfall after another. Just for that property alone, Julie and I thought this was certainly one of the more unique waterfalling experiences. However, it was further augmented by the color of the lakes (clear enough for us to see plenty of fish as well as submerged fallen trees) along with the lushness and depth of the gorges giving rise to all of these features. So with all that these waterfalls had going for them, Julie and I just had to put this unique and special place in the Top 10 European Waterfalls List as well as our overall Top 10 List!

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

Click here to see other waterfalls in Croatia.


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2. DETTIFOSS
[Northeast Region, Iceland]

2. DETTIFOSS [Northeast Region, Iceland]
***World's Top 10*** Of all the European waterfalls that Julie and I have visited, this could very well be the one waterfall where we truly felt like it was earthshaking. We're not kidding! The ground literally felt like was trembling beneath our feet the closer to the falls we stood! Indeed, the same forces that struck a sense of fear and awe within us was also responsible for the deep and desolate moon-like Jökulsárgljúfur, which we thought was Iceland's version of the Grand Canyon. And the wild glacial meltwaters of Jökulsá á Fjöllum dropping a reported 44m was definitely something not to be messed with. Yet it was hard to believe that this river has seen even greater megafloods in its turbulent and violent history in the form of Jökulhlaups when a volcano erupts beneath a glacier further upstream in the vast Vatnajökull Ice Field and the ice all of the sudden turns into a lahar. No doubt about it, a visit here will leave a lasting impression, and that was certainly the case with us!

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

Click here to see other waterfalls in Iceland.


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1. GULLFOSS
[South Region, Iceland]

1. GULLFOSS [South Region, Iceland]
***World's Top 10*** While this waterfall may not have the thunder nor soar amongst the birds like others on this list, it was certainly one of the most unique waterfalls we've ever seen. Where else can you see two wide river waterfalls in succession falling at right angles to each other? Add to that the sense of remoteness as the falls was right on the doorstep of the desolate Highlands with distant glaciers in view. Furthermore, this waterfall was reasonably accessible as we were able to walk right up to the brinks of both of its tiers, and we happened to see rainbows in the wafting mist from various vantage points. We could totally see why this very popular waterfall was one of the main attractions of the Golden Circle, and as is often the case with famous waterfalls like this, there's usually a good reason why! So by virtue of its uniqueness, size, and overall experience, it just nudges into the top spot on this list of Top 10 Europe Waterfalls.

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

Click here to see other waterfalls in Iceland.


If you're interested in seeing the rest of the waterfalls that we've been to in Europe, click here.





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