Iceland sometimes looks like another planet. While a fine layer of fog usually covers the country like a blanket, when the light shines through, the rainbows are sure to take your breath away.
Many travelers journey to Iceland each year to see the country’s legendary landscapes -- sometimes green, sometimes rugged, but always impressive. While you’re there, you mustn't miss the most beautiful waterfall in the country, Skógafoss.
Where Are The Falls?
Skógafoss is located near the southern coast of Iceland, about 100 miles southeast of the capital, Reykjavík, and 11 miles east of the picturesque town of Ásólfsskáli, Iceland.
It’s easy to get from Reykjavík to the falls -- simply take Highway 1, and after about 2 hours, you’ll arrive at Skógafoss.
The Mist-ical Falls
Two glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull and Myrdalsjökull, rendezvous at the falls. You can see Skógafoss either from the water level or from above. If you don’t mind a hike, you can walk up 370 wooden steps for a bird’s-eye view of the falls and the surrounding hills.
The waterfall area is constantly misty, so if you go on a sunny day, you might see a stunning rainbow -- or maybe even a double rainbow!
What Lies Below The Surface
According to local legend, a Viking by the name of Thrasi hid a chest of gold beneath the falls. Many have attempted to retrieve it, and one man almost succeeded by tying a rope to the handle of the chest and pulling. He was only able to obtain the ring of the chest, however; now, it’s said, the ring is attached to a church door in the small village of Skógar.
So, while you’re there, keep your eye out for the twinkle of yellow-gold beckoning to you from beneath the rushing waters!
What To Know Before You Go
Even though the hike to the top of the waterfall yields spectacular views, it isn’t for everyone. If you have mobility issues or aren’t comfortable walking up long, steep sets of stairs, you might want to sit it out. Don’t worry, though -- the base of the waterfall is still incredible!
Iceland has become a very popular tourist destination, so you won’t be alone at the falls. To beat the crowds, arrive very early in the day or close to nightfall. If you’re visiting during autumn and travel to the falls after dark, you might be able to see the Northern Lights hop and twirl through the night sky like fine pieces of silk ribbon.
The trek to the top of the falls takes about 30 minutes, so make sure to leave enough time to enjoy the falls in all of their beauty.
To take in more of the rugged beauty of Iceland, explore the Fimmvörduháls hiking trail, which passes very near Skógafoss. The hike is about 15 miles round-trip, so plan to set aside a day or two to complete it and camp along the way. It is only possible to complete the hike in the summer.
After exploring Iceland’s most beautiful waterfall, head over to the country’s beloved Blue Lagoon. Here’s how to visit these ethereal hot springs.