The Top 10 Best Iceland Waterfalls

It's not easy to put together a Top Best Iceland Waterfalls List because it's completely subjective and limited to each person's experience with the falls being named. This list is based on our own personal experiences. Even with that said, it was still difficult to whittle down the countless superb Iceland Waterfalls to a list of only ten! But despite our struggles, we managed to do it (albeit controversially). So without further adieu, here they are in reverse order...

10. SVARTIFOSS [Skaftafell National Park, East Region]
What this waterfall lacks in size it more than makes up for in character. The pronounced dark basaltic cliffs not only helped to give the waterfall its name (translated as "Black Falls"), but it also inspired Icelandic architecture on some of its most famous buildings like the Halgrimskirkja in Reykjavik. On top of that, a visit to this Icelandic wonder also yields up to three more waterfall sightings as well as a short walk to the terminus of a glacier!

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

9. SELJALANDSFOSS [Hamragardar, South Iceland]
While many waterfalls in Iceland can be taller, wider, or even more powerful than this one, it does have one thing special about it - you can go behind it! Along with its conspicuous location in Southern Iceland (so tour buses don't miss it) and its proximity to other nice waterfalls such as the spooky Gljúfurárfoss, this waterfall makes the list.

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8. HENGIFOSS [near Egilsstaðir, East Region]
This is Iceland's 3rd highest waterfall, looming high above the powder-blue Lagarfljót near Egilsstaðir, and with enough scenic allure to make the regional top 10 list. In addition to its 118m drop, there are also bonus waterfalls to see on the way up (like Litlanesfoss, which is framed by basalt columns). Indeed, this worthwhile excursion gives you views, exercise, a geology lesson, and a reason to spend a little more time in the country's east.

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7. GLYMUR [Hvalfjörður, Capital/West Region]
There's just something to be said about seeing Iceland's tallest waterfall (196m). Sure it's a bit out-of-the-way of the tourist routes and it's not easy to get a good view, but those who persevere are richly rewarded with some of the country's rawest and most stunning scenery within a day trip from Reykjavík. Among the rewards for those who are game are a natural arch you hike through, birds gracefully flying and diving before the falls, and stunning views of Hvalfjörður.

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

6. GOÐAFOSS [Mývatn District, Northeast Region]
Goðaoss (Waterfall of the Gods)
This popular wide river waterfall on the Skjálfandafljót played a role in Icelandic history. During that time, the law speaker (named Þorgeir) for the alþing (assembly) in the year 1000 had to make a nontrivial decision whether to make Iceland Christian or not. At a time when you either converted or faced death, the decision was made to make the country Christian and Þorgeir tossed his Norse deity idols into the waterfall. Besides history, this waterfall also holds its own in scenic allure, which you can experience from both sides of the river and get up close. It's definitely a not-to-be-missed attraction.

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

5. HÁIFOSS [Þjórsárdalur, South Region]
Háifoss and Glanni
As Iceland's 2nd highest waterfall, it's often accompanied by a companion waterfall called Glanni (Neighbor). Nestled within a deep and rugged gorge in the desolate Þjórsárdalur Valley, we happened to catch this waterfall on a beautiful sunny day when the rainbow accompanying it wowed us! Getting here requires a bit of some rough unsealed driving (still doable by passenger cars with care), but the reward was well worth it!

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

4. DYNJANDI [Arnarfjörður, Westfjords]
Given how wild and remote the Westfjords are, this waterfall caught us by surprise and its unusual shape made it real memorable. This 100m waterfall actually falls in multiple stages (each with a name) and you can walk up to the base of the highest tier - its most spectacular part. Situated at the head of a fjord, the panoramas as seen from the base of the topmost tier are grand. It's definitely worth going out of your way to see this one!

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

3. SKÓGAFOSS [Skógar, South Region]
The classic rectangular shape and accessibility makes this waterfall an instant favorite. One of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland, it was also Julie's favorite waterfall amongst those that we visited during our trip to the country. Plus, you can experience it from its misty base as well as from its precarious top. If you have time and energy, don't forget to hike further upstream for even more waterfalls along the Skogá River.

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

2. DETTIFOSS [Jökulsárgljúfur, Northeast Region]
***World's Top 10*** This monster is Europe's most powerful waterfall. The wild glacial meltwaters of Jökulsá á Fjöllum have carved the massive canyon Jökulsárgljúfur within which you can find this 44m waterfall as well as three other big ones (Selfoss, Hafragilsfoss, and Rettárfoss). You can be awestruck as well as fearful of the falls' awesome might from both sides of the river, and its remoteness is fitting for the country's raw beauty.

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

1. GULLFOSS [Haukadalur, South Region]
***World's Top 10*** Easily Iceland's most famous waterfall, this 32m waterfall plunges in two stages at an angle to each other providing that memorable shape and giving the appearance that the Hvitá River plunges into an abyss. On sunny afternoons, arcing rainbows form in the wafting mist. Due to its popularity, expect to share this waterfall with hordes of tourists as well as persistent midges.

Click here to read more about this waterfall.

What's YOUR Top 10 List?

Have your own Top 10 List?

Or do you have a favorite waterfall?

Is there one (or more) waterfalls that you think should've been on this list?

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Everybody has an opinion. What's yours?

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Nice "top 10" list. I miss Aldeyarfoss . In my opinion it is the most beautiful one in Iceland.

Top Ten Waterfalls, Iceland 
10. Hafragilsfoss , NE Iceland 9. Yst i-Rjukandi Falls , East 8. Selfoss , NE 7. Fagrifoss , SE 6. Seljalandsfoss , South 5. Skogafoss , …

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