Have you ever wanted to sit behind a waterfall and watch the sunset? That sounds like something you would only see in a movie placed in a fantasy world. Well, there is good news! Such a waterfall exists in Iceland, and it’s called Seljalandsfoss!
Seljalandsfoss is a contender for Iceland’s most famous waterfall and certainly one of the most beloved. It has an impressive height of 200 ft (61 m) with its fantasy-like appearance. The name Seljalandsfoss translates to “selling the land of waterfalls.”
Originating from the Eyjafjallajökull glacier, the Seljalandsá river plummets straight down off an overhanging cliff into a pool below. The pool is sometimes called Kerið or Fossker. The fall creates huge clouds of mists and is often perfectly set in sunlight to create several rainbows. If that’s not enough, you can walk fully behind Seljalandsfoss. If you do, be sure to wear a rain jacket.
Pro tip: When in Iceland, always be prepared to get wet!
Seljalandsfoss sits right off the ring road (HWY 1), and it’s perfectly visible from the vehicle. It’s kind of hard to miss. Seljalandsfoss is one of Iceland’s most accessible waterfalls, and combined with its beauty; it’s also one of Iceland’s most popular. Even if you prefer to see the less touristy attractions, Seljalandsfoss is something you need to experience at least once. Plus, it’s on the way to many other of Iceland’s attractions in the southeast. As another bonus, it’s also accessible in winter! Be sure to check out my list of Iceland’s best waterfalls to visit in winter!
While I’m sure there is a history to Seljalandsfoss, that information seems to be missing from the internet. There also is no common folklore attached directly to the waterfall. However, this area has a lot of legends involving trolls.
While not history, Justin Beiber did film a music video here. Enjoy…or not.
The trail shown above is the Seljalandsfoss – Gljufrafoss Waterfalls trail, provided by AllTrails. It’s a 1.2-mile loop that takes you around the waterfall. The path is well maintained and easy to follow.
You may have also noticed Gljufrafoss in the name. This is a hidden waterfall right next to Seljalandsfoss. Gljufrafoss, also known as Gljúfrabúi, is tucked away in a small cavern. You will need to walk up a small creek to see it. It’s not a powerful waterfall, so nothing to fear except the wet clothes.
Directions to Seljalandsfoss
All you need to do is head east on HWY 1 from Reykjavík, and you can’t miss it!
- Seljalandsfoss is well marked and easily accessible with Google Maps.
- Seljalandsfoss is visible from HWY 1
- The drive is around 1 hour and 45 minutes from Reykjavík.
While that can be a drive for some, there are plenty of things to see in this area! You have Gljúfrabúi, Skogafoss, a crashed American WWII fighter plane, and the quaint town of Vík.