Selfoss Waterfall – One of the Wonders of Iceland


Basic Information

Located in Jökulsárgljúfur canyon in Northern Iceland, Selfoss waterfall is one kilometer south of the enormous waterfall Dettifoss. It is fed by the glacier river Jökulsá á Fjöllum with its routes in Vatnajökull glacier. Jökulsá á Fjöllum is also the second-longest river in Iceland with a length of 206 kilometers, flowing into the Greenland Sea. The glacier from which this river origin is the largest ice cap in Iceland that makes 8 percent of Iceland’s landmass. The east side of the waterfall provides an amazing view while it is difficult to get a clear view of the Selfoss from the west side as most of the waterfall drops from the west. Usually, it is confused with the Selfoss town in South Iceland and the Ölfusá River. You can visit this place in any season of the year but the flow of water decreases in the winter.

Selfoss waterfall in north Iceland

Places to Explore Around Selfoss

If you are traveling around the famous Diamond Circle then visit the Dettifoss waterfall. Falling from a height of 45 meters, the Dettifoss waterfall is known to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe. With 100 meters wide stream, it holds the reputation as the most voluminous waterfall in Iceland. This gigantic waterfall attracts a large number of travelers throughout the year. This waterfall is popular for its power more than the appearance. The sprays of water stream can be seen from miles away. You will get an amazing view of the rainbows formed through this huge waterfall. The source of this waterfall is the same Jökulsá á Fjöllum River. The speed of water thrown from this cascade is 193 cubic meters per second. The thunderous waterfall is located in the Vatnajökull National Park that is the largest national park in Iceland.  The mountains in the background and waterfalls in the front provide a stunning view. There is a platform at the Dettifoss that provides a complete view of the waterfall.

Visit another waterfall located nearby, the Hafragilsfoss waterfall. One of three waterfalls on the mighty river Jokulsar a fjollum, the Hafragilsfoss is surrounded by cliffs that offer a spectacular view. The 90-meter wide stream falling from a height of 30 meters makes it one of the massive waterfalls in the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. Subdued thunder and mist blowing in the air are testimonies of its vast size and volume. Upstream the river at a distance of about 2.5 kilometers, you will find the Dettifoss waterfall.

Travel to the horseshoe-shaped canyon, Ásbyrgi that is surrounded by extremely high cliffs. The Ásbyrgi glacial canyon draws the attention of tourists throughout the year. The 90-meter tall cliffs around this canyon and huge crag in the right contribute to the fascinating beauty of this place. 

Selfoss waterfall in north Iceland

How To Reach Selfoss Waterfall

Selfoss is located around 535 kilometers from Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital. If you are starting from Reykjavík, it will take over 6 hours and 40 minutes. Drive on Ring Road 1 from Reykjavík towards the north. Pass through the towns of Borgarnes, Staður, Laugarbakki, and Varmahlíð until you reach Akureyri, the capital of the north. From Akureyri, head towards Reykjahlíð that is located near the famous lake Mývatn. After driving for around 25 kilometers, take a left turn towards Holsfjallavegur and drive on route 864. You will have to travel on the gravel road to reach the Selfoss waterfall. The condition of the gravel road can vary depending on the weather. The sufficient parking space at this waterfall is free. We highly recommend that you make it a multi day trip. You can stay at any of the guesthouses and hotels in Akureyri, Myvatn or in the Diamond Circle. 

Selfoss waterfall in north Iceland

Map of Selfoss waterfall

Interesting locations in the area

Hotels & Restaurants

More Nearby Locations

Krafla crater in north Iceland

Krafla Crater and Lava Fields: The Source of Iceland’s Green Energy

Drangey Island in North Iceland

Drangey Island – A Birdwatching Paradise

gold fish pond in Húsavík north Iceland

The Geothermal Goldfish Pond in Husavik

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Popular Articles

Top 10 Places in Westfjords | Exploring the Less Traveled

Previous Next High mountains, long-running stunning rivers, wonderfully beautiful waterfalls, spiral roads, the numerous landscapes which are waiting patiently for

Helicopter Tours In Iceland | The Ultimate Travel Guide to Helicopters in Iceland

Helicopter tours are quite popular in Iceland. Helicopter rides are a truly privileged experience where you reach and immerse in incredible panoramic views inaccessible to almost everyone else.

Top 12 Things to do in Reykjavik

Previous Next A country as big and as full of gorgeous as Iceland is bound to offer countless things for

12 Towns to Visit When in Iceland

Iceland is a country where natural beauty outdoes itself every time your raise up your head and look forward. It

Top Locations in the Golden Circle

Previous Next Iceland, the land of blazing fires and freezing ice, is world-famous for its unique geothermal landscape and the

Glaciers of Iceland – Getting to Know the Mighty

Previous Next Every place, city, country, and even continent has that one special thing or place which can be seen
Most Popular Tours
0 Reviews

Crystal Ice Cave & Northern Lights | Day Tour from Reykjavik

0 Reviews

Northern Lights Super Jeep

0 Reviews

Golden Circle & Northern Lights

0 Reviews

South Coast & Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

0 Reviews

Snaefellsnes National Park | Hidden Gem of the West

Most Popular things to do in Iceland

Northern Lights Hunting

Ice Caving




Whale Watching / Puffins

Glacier Hiking

Horse Riding

Hot Spring Bathing

Top Attractions in Iceland










Blue Lagoon

Explore Iceland by Region

Golden Circle

South Iceland


West Iceland

East Iceland

North Iceland




Hidden Gems