Waterfalls in Iceland: Names, Facts, and Features

Waterfalls in Iceland

Iceland’s mountainous landscape combined with northern latitude, which has lots of rain, snow, and glaciers, is why the country has so many waterfalls and cascading water slopes. Based on current estimates, it is considered that there are over 10.000 waterfalls in Iceland. Some are larger than others, and some plummet into small blue pools while others dribble over moss-covered rocks or lava fields. The highest waterfall in iceland is Morsárfoss, with a height between 227.3 and 240 meters which is located in the south. The Morsárfoss Waterfall was formed and discovered after the glacier outlet Morsárjökull started melting. In Iceland, all waterfalls end with the word “foss,” as this translates to the English waterfall. 

Here is a list of the waterfalls in Iceland:

  • Dettifoss (44 meters)
  • Gljúfursárfoss (45 meters)
  • Selfoss (11 meters)
  • Hafragilsfoss (27 meters)
  • Goðafoss (12 meters)
  • Aldeyjarfoss (20 meters)
  • Faxi (Vatnsleysufoss) (7 meters)
  • Foss á Síðu (82 meters)
  • Gluggafoss (52 meters)
  • Gljúfrafoss (40 meters)
  • Gjáin
  • Gullfoss (32 meters)
  • Háifoss (122 meters)
  • Hjálparfoss (100 meters)
  • Ófærufoss (40 meters)
  • Seljalandsfoss (65 meters)
  • Skógafoss (62 meters)
  • Svartifoss (20 meters)
  • Systrafoss (69 meters)
  • Þjófafoss (15 meters)
  • Öxarárfoss (13 meters)
  • Fagrifoss (80 meters)
  • Morsárfoss (227.3 meters)
  • Urriðafoss (4 meters)
  • Álafoss
  • Barnafossar (80 meters)
  • Glymur (196 meters)
  • Hraunfossar (12 meters)
  • Dynjandi (100 meters)
  • Hengifoss (128 meters)
  • Litlanesfoss (30 meters)
  • Fardagafoss (20 meters)
  • Onno-Óltifoss
  • Gufufoss (12 meters)
  • Klifbrekkufossar (90 meters). 

1. Dettifoss

Dettifoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the northeast. The Dettifoss coordinates are 65.8147° N, 16.3846° W. Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Iceland and probably in Europe. Bursting 200 cubic meters of water per second, Dettifoss is nicknamed “The Beast” and makes the ground shake under the visitors’ feet. Tours and Tour Guides to the Dettifoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. Dettifoss was featured in the opening scene of the sci-fi blockbuster Prometheus by Ridley Scott. 

2. Gljúfursárfoss

Gljúfursárfoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the northeast. The Gljúfursárfoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 65.7470° N, 14.6760° W. Gljúfursárfoss is a 45-meters tall, single-drop waterfall. Tours and Tour Guides for the Gljúfursárfoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. Interestingly, the Gljúfursárfoss Waterfall ends up directly into the Ocean. 

3. Selfoss

Selfoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the north. The Selfoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 65.8051° N, 16.3868° W. Selfoss is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland because despite being only 11 meters tall, it is 100 meters wide. Tours and Tour Guides for the Selfoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. 

4. Hafragilsfoss

Hafragilsfoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the north. The Hafragilsfoss Waterfalls’ coordinates are 65.8323° N, 16.4005° W. Hafragilsfoss is a powerful 27-meters long and 91-meters wide waterfall. Tours and Tour Guides for the Hafragilsfoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. 

5. Goðafoss

Goðafoss Waterfall (Waterfall of the Gods) in Iceland is located in the north. The Goðafoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 65.6828° N, 17.5502° W. Goðafoss is 30-meters wide and one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland. It is also nicknamed the “mini Niagara.” Tours and Tour Guides for the Goðafoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. The Goðafoss Waterfall has an important impact on Icelandic culture. Over 1000 years ago, when Christianity became the official religion in Iceland, the statues of the old Norse Gods were tossed into this waterfall. 

6. Aldeyjarfoss

Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the north. The Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 65.3665° N, 17.3369° W. Aldeyjarfoss is surrounded by basaltic rocks and lava fields, thus featuring an alien-like landscape. Although not very tall, Aldeyjarfoss is narrow and quite powerful. Tours and Tour Guides for the Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. 

7. Faxi (Vatnsleysufoss)

Faxi Waterfall in Iceland is located in the south. The Faxi Waterfall’s coordinates are 64.2254° N, 20.3372° W. Faxi is particularly rich in salmon and is one of the most popular fishing destinations in Iceland. Faxi is only 7 meters tall yet an outstanding 80-85 meters wide. Tours and Tour Guides for the Faxi Waterfall in Iceland are available. 

8. Foss á Síðu

Foss á Síðu Waterfall in Iceland is located in the south. The Foss á Síðu Waterfall’s coordinates are 63.8555° N, 17.8690° W. Foss á Síðu is 82 meters tall but narrow, and during windy days its water seems like it flows upside down. Tours and Tour Guides for the Foss á Síðu Waterfall in Iceland are available. 

9.  Gluggafoss

Gluggafoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the south. The Gluggafoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 63.7210° N, 19.8937° W. Gluggafoss is surrounded by unique geology structures. Gluggafoss has two main drops, the first in a narrow recess and the second split into three channels. Tours and Tour Guides for the Gluggafoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. 

10. Gljúfrafoss

Gljúfrafoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the south. The Gljúfrafoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 63.6209° N, 19.9864° W. Gljúfrafoss is also known by the name Gljúfrabúi which translates into “one who lives in a canyon.” Down its fall, Gljúfrafoss forms a small pool. Tours and Tour Guides for the Gljúfrafoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. Visitors need to be prepared for soaking as the Gljúfrafoss Waterfall sprays in all directions. 

11. Gjáin

Gjáin Waterfall in Iceland is located in the south. The Gjáin Waterfall’s coordinates are 64.1492° N, 19.7380° W. Gjáin features many smaller waterfalls and is surrounded by a colorful valley. Tours and Tour Guides for the Gjáin Waterfall in Iceland are available. Icelanders believe that Elves and other legendary creatures live around the Gjáin Waterfall. 

12. Gullfoss 

Gullfoss Waterfall (Golden Falls) in Iceland is located in the southwest. The Gullfoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 64.3271° N, 20.1199° W. Gullfoss is a two-tiered waterfall that falls into a deep and narrow canyon. Tours and Tour Guides for the Gullfoss Waterfall are available. Flowing 140 cubic meters of water per second, the Gullfoss Waterfall was planned to be used for generating electrical power, but activists protested against the plan, and today it is protected by the state of Iceland.  

13. Háifoss

Háifoss Waterfall (High Falls) in Iceland is located in the southwest. The Háifoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 64.2079° N, 19.6869° W. With 122 meters, Háifoss is the fourth tallest waterfall in Iceland. When first discovered, the Háifoss Waterfall was believed to be the tallest waterfall not just in Iceland but also in Europe (a record that is now held by the 860-meters high Vinnufossen waterfall in Norway). Tours and Tour Guides for the Háifoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. 

14. Hjálparfoss

Hjálparfoss Waterfall (Helping Falls) in Iceland is located in the south. The Hjálparfoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 64.1160° N, 19.8495° W. Hjálparfoss is a small but nicely shaped waterfall surrounded by vivid landscapes. In fact, the Hjálparfoss Waterfall is the meeting point of the rivers Fossá and Þjórsá. The two rivers fall from the same height and then conjoin, forming the Hjálparfoss Waterfall. Tours and Tour Guides for the Hjálparfoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. 

15. Ófærufoss

Ófærufoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the south. The Ófærufoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 63.9643° N, 18.6176° W. The Ófærufoss Waterfall featured an impressive natural bridge, but it collapsed in 1993 because of natural causes. Still, the Ófærufoss Waterfall is considered to be the most beautiful waterfall in the Icelandic Highlands. Ófærufoss falls into the Eldgjá Canyon, which with a depth of 600 meters and length of 50 kilometers, is the largest volcanic canyon in the world. Tours and Tour Guides for the Ófærufoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. 

16. Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the south. The Seljalandsfoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 63.6156° N, 19.9886° W. Seljalandsfoss is very tall and narrow. Tours and Tour Guides for the Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland are available. The Seljalandsfoss waterfall is a popular tourist attraction because visitors can see the waterfall from behind while standing in its small cave. However, it must be noted that the trails in winter are closed because they are too slippery, and there is lots of water spraying at all times.  

17. Skógafoss

Skógafoss Waterfall (Forest Falls) in Iceland is located in the southwest. The Skógafoss Waterfalls’ coordinates are 63.5321° N, 19.5114° W. Skógafoss is one of the most dramatic waterfalls in Iceland as it is 25 meters wide. Also, the Skógafoss Waterfall marks the border between the Icelandic coastal lowlands and highlands. Tours and Tour Guides for the Skógafoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. Icelandic legends suggest that the first Viking Settler buried treasures in the cave behind the Skógafoss Waterfall. 

18. Svartifoss

Svartifoss Waterfall (Black Falls) in Iceland is located in the south. The Svartifoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 64.0275° N, 16.9753° W. Svartifoss is surrounded by impressive crystalized and dark volcanic rocks and lava columns. The Svartifoss Waterfall is one of the most popular attractions in the Vatnajökull National Park. Tours and Tour Guides for the Svartifoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. The unique landscape of the Svartifoss Waterfall is an everlasting inspiration for Icelandic architects. 

19. Systrafoss

Systrafoss Waterfall (Sisters’ Waterfall) in Iceland is located in the south. The Systrafoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 63.7880° N, 18.0592° W. Systrafoss has a low volume of water but falls through dramatic bedrock and crashes into moss-covered boulders. Tours and Tour Guides for the Systrafoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. Plus, there are many popular hiking trails around the Systrafoss Waterfall. 

20. Þjófafoss

Þjófafoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the south. The Þjófafoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 64.0541° N, 19.8668° W. Þjófafoss is one of the most important waterfalls on Iceland’s largest river Þjórsá. The Þjófafoss Waterfall falls from a horseshoe-shaped ledge and into a modest volcanic canyon. Tours and Tour Guides for the Þjófafoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. While standing near the Þjófafoss Waterfall, visitors can also see the popular Hekla Volcano and the majestic Merkurhraun lava fields. Sadly, the volume and course of the Þjófafoss Waterfall are artificially altered as it is used for hydroelectric development. 

21. Öxarárfoss

Öxarárfoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the south. The Öxarárfoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 64.2659° N, 21.1171° W. Situated across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Öxarárfoss is one of the most scenic waterfalls in Iceland. The pond beneath the Öxarárfoss Waterfall is rocky and slippery, especially during winter. Tours and Tour Guides for the Öxarárfoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. The Öxarárfoss Waterfall is among the top attractions in the Þingvellir National Park. 

22. Fagrifoss

Fagrifoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the south. The Fagrifoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 63.8686° N, 18.2465° W. Fagrifoss is an 80-meter tall waterfall surrounded by black and moss-covered rocks. Tours and Tour Guides for the Fagrifoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. 

23. Morsárfoss

Morsárfoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the south. The Morsárfoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 64.1095° N, 16.8649° W. Since 2011, Morsárfoss has been the tallest waterfall in Iceland. Morsárfoss was discovered in 2007 when the Morsárjökull glacier (outlet glacier of Vatnajokull) started melting. When it was measured in 2011, its visible part was 227.3 meters, but it is believed that the true height is around 240 meters as part of the waterfall is concealed. The Morsárfoss Waterfall is quite picturesque as it is enriched with smaller cascading waterfalls. Tours and Tour Guides for the Morsárfoss Waterfall in Iceland are available.  

24. Urriðafoss

Urriðafoss Waterfall (Sea Trout Waterfall) in Iceland is located in the southwest. Urriðafoss waterfall’s coordinates are 63.9246° N, 20.6722° W. Urriðafoss is one of the most voluminous waterfalls in Iceland. However, the 229-meters width is overshadowed by the only 4-meters height resulting in a stair-step-like fall. Tours and Tour Guides for the Urriðafoss Waterfall are available. There are plans about building powerhouses on the Urriðafoss Waterfall, but they will lead to its disappearance, and locals are protesting against such plans. 

25. Álafoss

Álafoss Waterfall (Eel Falls) in Iceland is located in the west. The Álafoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 64.1668° N, 21.6776° W. Tours and Tour Guides for the Álafoss Waterfall are available. The Álafoss Waterfall was critical for the development of the Mosfellsbær city as the waterfall’s power was used to fuel the newly built wool factory. Today, the wool factory still exists but does not use the Álafoss Waterfall as a power source. 

26. Barnafossar

Barnafossar Waterfall (The Children’s Falls) in Iceland is located in the west. The Barnafossar Waterfall’s coordinates are 64.7019° N, 20.9724° W. Tours and Tour Guides for the Barnafossar Waterfall in Iceland are available. According to Icelandic folk tales, two children drowned in the waterfalls when crossing the natural stone bridge over the fall, and then their mother cursed the bridge. Later, the natural bridge was destroyed in an earthquake. 

27. Glymur

Glymur Waterfall in Iceland is located in the west. The Glymur Waterfall’s coordinates are 64.3917° N, 21.2506° W. With a 196-meters cascade; the Glymur was considered the tallest waterfall in Iceland (today, it is the second tallest). Tours and Tour Guides for the Glymur Waterfall in Iceland are available. However, visitors need to be prepared for some climbing and hiking, but the view is spectacular and worthy. 

28. Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar Waterfall (The Lava Falls) in Iceland is located in the west. The Hraunfossar Waterfall’s coordinates are 64.7029° N, 20.9772° W. Hraunfossar is one of the most picturesque waterfalls as it is made of many small water streams that intermittently connect and then separate while running over cliffs. The Hraunfossar is only 12 meters tall yet 900 meters wide. Tours and Tour Guides for the Hraunfossar Waterfall are available.    

29. Dynjandi

Dynjandi Waterfall in Iceland is located in the west. The Dynjandi Waterfall’s coordinates are 65.7328° N, 23.1998° W. With its 100 meters, Dynjandi is the largest waterfall in the Westfjords. Dynjandi is also the most dynamic waterfall as it features hundreds of little cascades, thus giving an impression of a bridal veil. Tours and Tour Guides for the Dynjandi Waterfall are available. 

30. Hengifoss

Hengifoss Waterfall (Hanging Falls) in Iceland is located in the east. The Hengifoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 65.0957° N, 14.8896° W. Hengifoss is the third largest waterfall in Iceland with a height of 128 meters. Hengifoss is very dramatic as it is surrounded by heavy layers of bright-red clay cliffs. Tours and Tour Guides for the Hengifoss Waterfall are available. 

31. Litlanesfoss

Litlanesfoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the east. The Litlanesfoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 65.0838° N, 14.8841° W. Litlanesfoss is embedded in a large rock choir and forms a cliff apron as it falls down. The Litlanesfoss Waterfall has two tiers, and each ends in a small blue pool. Tours and Tour Guides for the Litlanesfoss Waterfall in Iceland are available. 

32. Fardagafoss

Fardagafoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the east. The Fardagafoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 65.2686° N, 14.3152° W. Fardagafoss is an 8-meters tall and single-drop waterfall. Tours and Tour Guides for the Fardagafoss Waterfall are available. According to Icelandic legends, there is a hidden treasure in the cave behind the Fardagafoss Waterfall. 

33. Onno-Óltifoss

Onno-Óltifoss Waterfall in Iceland is located in the east. The Onno-Óltifoss Waterfall is very scenic and situated between two other waterfalls – Fardagafoss and Gufufoss. Tours and Tour Guides are available for the Onno-Óltifoss Waterfall in Iceland. Plus, visitors can see the three waterfalls in one hiking tour. 

34. Gufufoss

Gufufoss Waterfall (Steam Falls) in Iceland is located in the east. The Gufufoss Waterfall’s coordinates are 65.25548° N, 14.01331° W. Gufufoss is a two-tier waterfall that falls into a narrow canyon. As the canyon bends, it gives the Gufufoss waterfall’s stream a unique horseshoe shape. Tours and Tour Guides for the Gufufoss Waterfall are available.  

35. Klifbrekkufossar

Klifbrekkufossar Waterfall in Iceland is located in the east. The Klifbrekkufossar Waterfall’s coordinates are 65.1795° N, 14.0813° W. Despite being 90 meters tall; the tier-plunged Klifbrekkufossar Waterfall gives a smaller visual impression because it comprises nine distinct sections with each section taking a new turn. Tours and Tour Guides for the Klifbrekkufossar Waterfall are available despite its out-of-the-way and remote location.

What are the facts about Waterfalls in Iceland?

Iceland has over 200 hundred named waterfalls. Some of the Icelandic waterfalls are among the most popular and frequently visited waterfalls in Europe. Each year the waterfalls, together with other natural and unique Icelandic gems, attract over 2.000.000 tourists. Imagine a waterfall type, and you will find it in Iceland. There are small and big, powerful and low-volume, one-sloped, and multiple tiered waterfalls. Some waterfalls are used for generic hydroelectric power, and others are protected by the state as such activities could endanger their status. Visiting the Iceland waterfalls requires caution as their sides can be slippery, and there is a lot of water spraying when standing close. 

What is the number of Waterfalls in Iceland?

In Iceland, there are over 10.000 waterfalls, and more than 200 of them are named. Basically, each Icelandic region has waterfalls, but most of them are located in the southwest of the country. Each waterfall is a popular tourist attraction because, in addition to its own beauty, it is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. 

What is the highest Waterfall in Iceland?

The highest and largest waterfall in Iceland is Morsárfoss, with an estimated height of 240 meters. Morsárfoss is located in the southeast and developed when the outlet glacier Morsárjökull started to melt. Morsárfoss is also one of the youngest waterfalls in Iceland because it was discovered in 2007. 

What is the most Powerful Waterfall in Iceland?

The most powerful waterfall in Iceland is Dettifoss which is situated in the northern parts of the country. With over 200 cubic meters of water per second, Dettifoss is also one of the topmost powerful waterfalls in Europe. Because of the sheer volume of water, Dettifoss is nicknamed “The Beast.”

What is the most Dangerous Waterfall in Iceland?

The most dangerous waterfall in Iceland is Gullfoss. The southwestern Gullfoss waterfall is two-tiered and flows into a particularly high and narrow canyon. Because of unstable conditions, some parts of the hiking trails are cordoned-off during certain parts of the year. However, many tourists disregard the warnings and use the ropes to climb, thus putting their lives in danger. 

What is the prominence of Waterfalls in Iceland’s Geography?

Waterfalls have a huge and positive impact on Iceland’s Geography. The more powerful waterfalls are used for producing hydroelectric power and fueling smaller factories settled in their proximity. All Iceland Waterfalls are a tourist attraction, thus helping the overall Iceland Economy. Finally, the waterfalls affect Iceland’s culture as they are part of many Icelandic legends, tails, and sagas. 

How are Waterfalls Formed in Iceland?

The waterfalls in Iceland are formed as a result of the high mountains, fast and now melting glaciers, and the wet climate with abundant precipitation. Plus, the frequent seismic and volcanic activities are constantly reshaping the waterfalls’ flow and surrounding landscapes. 

Which river does have the most waterfalls?

Many rivers of Iceland feature waterfalls, but the 206-meters long Jökulsá á Fjöllum (The Glacier Mountain River) streams over the biggest number of waterfalls. Namely, this north-eastern river gives birth to several waterfalls, including Selfoss, Dettifoss, Hafragilsfoss, and Réttarfoss. Dettifoss is particularly important as it is one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe.  

Which Region of Iceland has the most Waterfalls?

Waterfalls can be found in all regions of Iceland. However, the Southern Region (Suðurland) and Western Region (Vesturland) have the most waterfalls. The Northern (Norðurland) Region and Eastern Region (Austurland) have waterfalls but in lower numbers, while the central part does not have important waterfalls.  

What are the Settlements near Waterfalls in Iceland?

Many of the cities of Iceland are closely related to attractive and worth-visiting waterfalls. One of the reasons waterfalls are such a popular thing to visit while staying in Iceland is their close proximity to every town and village. In simpler words, in Iceland, there is a waterfall at every turn. 

What are the activities for Waterfalls in Iceland?

One of the main things to do in Iceland is to visit its waterfalls. Some waterfalls are more easily accessible, while others entail some physically-demanding hiking and climbing. When visiting the waterfalls in Iceland, extra caution is required as their sides can be slippery, and the water spray will soak visitors and their electronic devices like mobiles and cameras. 

What are the Waterfall Tours in Iceland?

Waterfall tours in Iceland are plentiful. Visitors can choose from the hundreds of different tours visiting and exploring the Icelandic waterfalls. Some waterfall tours last one day, and others several depending on the number and accessibility of the waterfalls. All waterfall tours require 4X4 vehicles, and some require being physically prepared for the hiking. The costs of such tours start at around $60 and above.