Translating to “forest waterfall”, the Skógafoss is one of Iceland’s largest and most astounding waterfalls. It is a natural wonder that is successfully magnetizing and captivating visitors from across the globe to submerge themselves in the stunning view of cascading water. The most prominent and signature character of the falls is its mesmerizing ability to create picturesque rainbows whenever the sun peeks in. Making it the most photographed scene in Iceland, the sun reflects off the constant thick spray of the majestic waterfall to produce beautiful single and double rainbows. This brings it into one of the most visited location in Iceland, along with the other closeby highlight, the stunning Seljalandsfoss Waterfall.
Where It Is Situated and How to Get There
Either the starting or ending of one of the most popular and exciting summertime hiking trails in Iceland, Fimmvörðuháls, the Skógafoss waterfall is situated south of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Along the Skógá river, the waterfall lies in the sea cliffs of the former Icelandic coastline, which has receded by 5 km. Despite this, the cliffs remain intact with a curtain of water magnificently flowing from a height of 60-meters. The unique waterfall is a direct offspring of two glaciers, Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull.
Easy to reach by road, the waterfall is around 150 km away from the Capital of Iceland, Reykjavik. Making it highly accessible from the main road, it falls only 2 km from the ring road and 500 meters off-road 1. Following the simple route signs navigating to ‘Skógá’ or ‘Skógafoss’, you will be led to the parking area near the foot of the grand Skógafoss.
Guided tours that will take you to Skógafoss waterfall
- South Coast & Glacier Hike
- South Coast Classic
- 2 Day South Coast
- 3 Day South Coast & Golden Circle
- 7 Days Around Iceland – Highlights of Iceland
- Glacier Lagoon Sightseeing
About Skógafoss and What You Will Find
Standing at the misty foot of the waterfall, it is possible to walk right up to the overwhelming magnitude of the water to embrace this glorious marvel of nature. You can relish the scene from the bottom of the falls and photograph the calm view from varying angles to capture the scattering rainbows formed by the powerful spray of the falls. The dense veil of water will envelop you in a cloud of heavy spray, with a melancholy sound of the water crashing into the pool below for you to just close your eyes and enjoy!
For the adventure enthusiasts and for those who have navigated their way to the waterfall for the complete beauty of the scenic view, there is much more waiting for you! Challenge yourself and trail to the top of the cliffs for another breathtaking view. After a climb of 370 steep stairs, the rewarding spectacle of the south Icelandic coastline will surely be worth it! At the top, there is a specifically fashioned observational pedestal for you to stand upon and breathe in the tranquil view in all its glory. Over the fall and towards the sea cliffs, you will behold the exquisite scene of the Atlantic Ocean!
The Skógafoss Folklore
As legend has it, a Viking named Thrasi hoarded his treasure of gold and jewels in a cave under Skógafoss. There have been many who have attempted to unfold the mystery of the chest of gold and it is so believed that a young man once discovered the hidden treasure. Though he almost succeeded, he tied a rope to the ring-style handle to pull it out of its place of deep burial. Unfortunately, as the story goes, the handle broke off and that was all he got his hands on. The ring is now said to be adorned on the church door at Skógá.
Apart from the legends and stories associated with Skógafoss, the everlasting beauty of the waterfall has gained admiration across the globe, inviting visitors to indulge in its splendor. It has been featured in various movies and has become one of the most popular must-sees on the top of the checklist when visiting Iceland.
Activities in the area
- Sólheimajökull glacier hike
- Sólheimajökull glacier hike & ice climbing
- Katla Ice Cave
- Eyjafjallajökull snowmobile