Iceland is home to some of Europe’s largest glaciers even though only 10% of the country is covered in ice. But within that percentage itself what has been carved out by nature is some of its most stellar artwork. Even as we get mesmerized with the country’s expanse of ice, what we ought to remember is that the country is called “The Land of Fire and Ice”. Now if you are wondering how fire comes in in this snowy wonder, here’s the answer – this country which is today an icy marvel was actually formed as a result of volcanic eruptions!
When it comes to Iceland, there is no dearth of natural beauty. So, if you find yourself smitten by all that the country has to offer and make your way there, you should know that it also has some stunningly beautiful waterfalls. In fact, Iceland is a treat for anyone who loves waterfalls because there are so many of them. From seeing ones occasionally while you drive around to the ones that you have to specifically seek out, here’s looking at some of the best waterfalls to visit ion this picturesque country:
Drop Altitude: 20 metres
Best time to visit: June to September. Later than that would be subject to the state of the roads in the winter months.
First things first, this particular waterfall calls for a considerably longer amount of time. Its location is more remote than the usual trail followed by tourists. This gives you the chance of experiencing an adventure by making your way there and then being rewarded as you get to soak in its beauty cut off from the crowds. The drive leading up to it paint a scenery for you and eventually, at the waterfall you will find water gushing into an icy blue pool below. Between the carved rocks, a sheet of water comes diving like an excited child or the rush of adrenaline, right into a naturally formed cocoon. A visit to this waterfall also gives you the chance to greet the scenic Bárðardalur valley and Skjalfandafljot river. Combine your visit with going to the Hrafnabjargafoss waterfall too which is another gem.
Drop Altitude: 54 feet
Best time to visit: September to April
So, to begin with Kirkjufellsfoss is actually one of the most prominent mountains of Iceland. In ancient times the Danish traders and sailors in this region would refer to the mountain as “Sukkertoppen” which meant Sugar Top. Strangely, the lower mountain was named the coffin! Eventually, it came to be called Kirkjufellsfoss and consequently, the low laying waterfall also came to adopt its name. As seen in the picture above, this is a classic view of the waterfall overlooking the mountain and yes, for the lucky few, even the magical northern lights. The mountain and waterfall fall in an area called Grundarfjörður which is quite a visual treat in itself, making this visit a landscape
Gullfoss, Hvítá River
Drop Altitude: 21 metres
Best time to visit: February to March, September to October
The Golden Circle is one of Iceland’s most favourite attractions. National parks, glaciers, waterfalls, etc., all await in this incredibly beautiful region of the country. Within the Golden Circle, one of the key attractions is the Hvita River which is a stunningly blue river. Here you will find perched the Gulfoss waterfall. The unique aspect of this waterfall is that you get to gaze at it from above and not below. So, in one glance you are awarded the chance to see the entire sight of the green grasslands with a striking blue waterfall in between. The name Gulfoss literally translates into the “Golden Falls” because the throng of waves look golden when they bask under the sunlight on a bright sunny day.
Drop Altitude: 600 metres
Best time to visit: Through the year except the extreme winter season because the roads can close down at such time.
Another treat located in the Golden Circle goes by the name of Bruarfoss Waterfall. The water is a gorgeous sheet of baby blue and as the account is a massive one, it cascades in a fast pace which makes the water turn white in its wake. It derives this milky blue shade to itself thanks to the Langjökull Glacier which melts to result in its waters. In addition to its beauty, the added joy of visiting this one is that you can hike to the waterfall! Throw on those snow hiking shoes, get your grip and let your eyes be amazed by what Iceland lets you witness. It has earned itself the nickname as Iceland’s Bluest Waterfall and when in Iceland you certainly cannot miss this one. Chance upon seeing the natural bridge made of stones between the rive which also led it to be called the Bridge Waterfall.
Drop Altitude: 60 metres
Best time to visit: End of May to beginning of July
With just one single drop stretching over a depth of 200 feet, this is another Icelandic gem in this dreamy nation. This waterfall can be fully encircled, showcasing its beauty for you from every stretch and every angle. Walk upon its rocky path around the waterfall to let your wanderer’s soul soak in this water-based wonder completely. This waterfall originates from the glacier of glacier Eyjafjallajökull. Unlike its other companions in this list of waterfalls, this one is a relatively narrow one. They are thicker in size but Seljalandsfoss in its stream falls off of a rocky cliff making it a visually distinct sight. Here you get to observe not just the waterfall alone but its surroundings too which make the whole view come together like a perfectly scenery.
These are just a few of the many jaw-droppingly stunning waterfalls in this country which has made it to so many travellers bucket lists. I cannot wait to take long walks to see them, have picnics on the side and be smitten by their marvellous existence with my own eyes. Which waterfall are you most eager to see for yourself?!
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