Skogar / Southern Ring Road, South Region (Suðurland), Iceland

About Skogafoss

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2007-07-05
Date last visited: 2007-07-07

Waterfall Latitude: 63.53211
Waterfall Longitude: -19.51161

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Skogafoss (or more accurately Skógafoss; “SKOH-ga-foss”) probably rivals Gullfoss as Iceland’s most famous waterfall.

This was a classically-shaped rectangular waterfall that dropped 60m with a width of 25m, and it was this feature that prompted Julie to call this her favorite waterfall in the country.

Skogafoss_054_07052007 - Skógafoss

Adding to its allure was that it had a high volume of water making it thunder and produce rainbow-yielding mist that often would make this falls a photographer’s dream under sunny skies.

Perhaps a major reason why the falls was so popular was that it was very easy to access.

Thus, it wasn’t surprising to see lots of people as well as tour buses.

The presence of camping also helped its popularity, I’m sure.

But it was a very flat and tame scramble along the river’s banks that led us right up to the wall of water.

Skogafoss_001_07052007 - Getting close to a big waterfall like Skógafoss was a rare quality about it
Getting close to a big waterfall like Skógafoss was a rare quality about it

Getting so close to the base of such a large waterfall was quite rare in our waterfalling experiences.

The official path climbed alongside the cliffs surrounding the recess containing the falls to yield precarious top down views of not only the waterfall but also the view towards the Atlantic Ocean as well.

This trail also continued further up the Skoga River where there were many more waterfalls.

During the three days we were staying in Skógar, we were hoping for a little bit of morning sun so we could get that classic photograph of the falls with a rainbow.

Unfortunately, we were pretty unlucky with the weather and we never got that nice photo of Skogafoss with blue skies and bold rainbows.

Skogafoss_063_07062007 - The major appeal of Skógafoss was its accessibility as this view was taken right from the Ring Road
The major appeal of Skógafoss was its accessibility as this view was taken right from the Ring Road

Maybe better luck next time…

Finally, I looked up my Icelandic dictionary to try to learn the meaning of the name of this waterfall, and it said that “skógur” meant “forest”.

If that’s the case, then this would be “Forest Falls”, but given the lack of trees in the area during our visit, it might suggest that perhaps the area once did harbor a forest (something we only saw in East Iceland).


Skogafoss resides in the South Region near Vik, Iceland. It is administered by the municipality of Rangárþing eystra. For information or inquiries about the general area as well as current conditions, you may want to try visiting their website.

Skogafoss_003_07052007 - Context of people standing before the base of Skogafoss
Skogafoss_007_07052007 - Walking the riverbed towards the base of Skogafoss
Skogafoss_015_07052007 - Long-exposed look at Skogafoss with some people near its base
Skogafoss_022_07052007 - Another look at folks right in front of Skogafoss
Skogafoss_024_07052007 - Flowers were blooming before Skogafoss during our visit
Skogafoss_026_07052007 - Julie making it close to the spray zone at the base of Skogafoss
Skogafoss_062_07052007 - There were definitely campers around Skogafoss
Skogafoss_060_07052007 - If you didn't walk on the river's bank, then this would be the official trail to the base of Skogafoss
Skogafoss_073_07062007 - View of Skógafoss from the other side of the river. This was a less used road and it might be because it leads to farms.
Skogafoss_079_07062007 - This was as far as we went on the other side of the river.  As you can see, Skógafoss starts to get cut off again
Skoga_River_002_07062007 - The path to the top of Skogafoss
Skoga_River_006_07062007 - Looking over the top of Skogafoss towards an adjacent mountain
Skoga_River_012_07062007 - Looking downstream from the top of Skogafoss
Skoga_River_515_07072007 - If you go up to the top of Skogafoss, you can look across its top as shown here
Skogasafn_004_07062007 - An interesting side attraction to Skógafoss are the turf farms at Skógasafn
Dyrlohaey_001_07052007 - Approaching the lighthouse atop Dyrhólaey
Dyrlohaey_043_07052007 - Looking west along the black sand beach from atop Dyrhólaey
Dyrlohaey_067_07052007 - In the rare instances when the sun finally showed itself while we were near Skogafoss, the waters of Dyrhólaey had a beautiful color to them
Dyrholaey_011_jx_07052007 - Wildflowers were also in bloom during our visit to Dyrhólaey

Look for this easy-to-spot waterfall by the hamlet of Skogar along the Ring Road about 105km east of Selfoss (the town) and 103km west of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

There should be ample parking.

For additional context, Selfoss was 52km east of Reykjavík. Overall, the drive from the country’s capital to the falls would be about 149km or 2 hours.

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Profile view of the beautiful South Icelandic waterfall with blooming wildflowers swaying in its mist

Sweep of the scene from the top of the falls all the way to the coast

Trip Planning Resources

Nearby Accommodations

Tagged with: skogar, ring road, south region, southern iceland, iceland, waterfall, sudurland, skoga, selfoss, reykjavik

Visitor Comments:

Skogafoss waterfall Iceland drone aerial August 31, 2016 6:46 pm by Lukasz - We visited Skogafoss this year and made aerial video ...Read More

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Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

Skogafoss in February, 2012 October 6, 2012 10:07 pm by Rosemary Wetherall - We visited Skogafoss in February this year, it's next to a very interesting museum of houses - we waded through the snow to get to them all! ...Read More

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