As we jumped off of the tour bus, our guide spoke to us in an uplifting, yet somewhat serious tone “You are about to see the most beautiful waterfall in all of Iceland. Do not be surprised if you start to cry when you see it. Its magnificence is like no other.” I am going to be honest with you. I totally did cry that day.
The Skogafoss Waterfall is not too far away from the capital of Reykjavik. It is almost a two hour drive (97 miles/155.5 km) so you could definitely do this as a day trip if you wanted to. It is in southern Iceland, right by the town of Vik. (I will link my post about Vik at the end of this article if you are interested in learning more about it.) Location wise, this waterfall is right on Route 1 in Southern Iceland.
Another great feature if you are visiting the Skogafoss Waterfall is that it is a fairly easily accessible spot. It is not far off of the road and the land is pretty flat to walk up to it, which is pretty amazing if you do not want to do a long hike. Of course, if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, there are stairs along the side the waterfall which will which give you a view from the top on an observation deck. If you do decide to take the stairs up, please use caution, because the waterfall itself is very misty. Also, during the winter months, it could also be snowy or icy.
We also noticed a lot of campers set up by this waterfall. That is because there is the Skogar Campsite near it, and a lot of people stay here to really relax and take in the views. We did not camp during our stay, but I can see the allure of it with this gorgeous nature spot!
After our tour guide’s speech, I was really excited to get off the bus and see this waterfall in person. It is truly the most magnificent waterfall I have ever seen in my life. I swear in my mind I heard the “Jurassic Park Theme Song” playing in my head as I looked up at it. I could not believe that such an area of great beauty could exist.
The water drop is pretty impressive at 197 feet (60 meters) and a width of about 82 feet (25 meters.) It was once an ancient sea cliff, and the current coastline is about 3 miles (5 km) from this area. The Skogafoss Waterfall is located on the Skoga River, and is very popular with fisherman as it holds ample amounts of char and salmon. We also saw many birds flying around the top of the waterfall, and they seemed to really enjoy the area as well! On very sunny days, we were told that you can also see a rainbow, so you may want to plan your visit in accordance to the weather if you are interested in that.
This waterfall has been in popular culture as well, being featured on shows and movies such as “Game Of Thrones,” “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty,” “Thor: The Dark World,” and the History Channel’s “Vikings.” It was also in Justin Bieber’s music video “I’ll Show You.”
There is an old legend surrounding this region, and it is said that one of the first Viking settlers, Prasi Porolfsson, buried a treasure in a cave right behind the waterfall. The story continues with the local Icelanders finding the chest years later, only to grasp a ring on the side of it, before it vanished once more. It was rumored that the ring was given to a local church. To this day it is often wondered that maybe if you look hard enough, it might just be possible to retrieve this mythical treasure beyond the waterfall. (As I side note I do not recommend attempting to go under the waterfall for safety reasons of course.)
The Skogafoss Waterfall will always hold a dear spot in my heart, and of course I highly recommend it to everyone traveling to Iceland. Let me know in the comments if you have traveled here as well, and what your experience was like there too. Make sure that you click that subscribe button, and have a wonderful day!
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My absolute favorite book that I have found about Iceland is appropriately also called “Iceland” and is written by Jenna Gottlieb. This book is so detailed with the landmarks in Iceland, and it reviews the capital of Reykjavik, the Reykjanes Peninsula and the South, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the Westfjords, North Iceland, East Iceland and the Eastfjords, the Highlands, and the Ring Road. It also reviews when the best times are to see the Northern Lights, the best wild-life watching spots, the best day hikes, and various weekend getaway spots. When we personally went, we stayed in Reykjavik, and I absolutely love her super detailed guide of the city. She lists the best accommodation spots, how to get around Reykjavik, shopping areas, dining options, nightlife, sights, sports and recreation, and seriously so much more. I appreciate that she not only details the different areas in Iceland, but she really dives into the history too. There are photos in color as well so you can get the sense of what each part of Iceland looks like. There is so much more information in this book that will help you feel more confident on your travels to Iceland, and it is worth the read!
If you would like to learn more click on the link below!
Additional Iceland Resources/Articles-