Iceland is one of the best waterfall countries in Europe. There are over 200 waterfalls in Iceland and all of them are very beautiful waterfalls. The beauty of Iceland is that it quit small and that you relatively simple can visit waterfalls in Iceland from road 1 (which runs all around Iceland and is 1,500 kilometers long).
Since Iceland is a volcanic island, which in itself is special in Europe, the waterfalls are often of great beauty. Add the fact that Iceland has a reason why it is called ice land; there is an overload of melted snow and ice in summer months in Iceland which feed the wildest rivers in Europe and produces enormous waterfalls. It is therefore no surprise that the most powerful waterfalls in Europe (by volume in m3/sec) can be found in Iceland.
Iceland is a country with numerous waterfalls in all shapes and sizes and with very special shapes that you won’t easily find in other countries in Europe. I think that is what makes all those waterfalls in Iceland very special. For photographers waterfalls in Iceland are a grateful and photogenic subject that guarantees beautiful pictures. Besides the many beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, the landscape in Iceland is of an outer category of beauty, sometimes desolate, sometimes erratic and sometimes very colorful. Iceland is popular among photographers and nature lovers because it is so special and versatile.
The Icelandic word for waterfall is “foss” which is actually so in most Scandinavian languages. At the moment I have approximately 200 registered waterfalls in Iceland, but when I put some effort in research I will certainly discover more than 300 waterfalls that exist in Iceland. Sometimes I think it is not worth to mention them (there are a lot of rapids that are called waterfall in Iceland), but they do have an official name.
A vacation in Iceland is not cheap and the country is thinly populated. Prepare yourself and do research in advance before you go to Iceland, especially in the summer months it can be crowded and expensive. Our biggest problem was a descent restaurant for dinner, but there is always something to find. Although we took most of the time a hamburger because that was the cheapest dish.
Biggest waterfalls in Iceland by volume
Almost all rivers and waterfalls are fed by one of the many glaciers in Iceland. The largest glacier in Europe is in the south east of Iceland with an area of 8.100 km², Vatnajökull (pronounced vat’najö’küdll) and only exceeded in size, in Europe, by the Austfonna (Spitzbergen/Norway).
Vatnajökull is located in the southeast of the country and covers an area of approximately 8,100 square kilometers and covers 8% of Iceland with a thick ice up to 1.000 meters. Around the glacier there are many waterfalls that are a tourist attraction, like Skogafoss and Svartifos in Skaftafell national park. A little further away from the glacier, but with the Vatnajokull as a source, you will find Europe’s two most powerful waterfalls; Dettifoss and Hafragilsfoss which is a little further downstream in the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum.
Highest waterfalls in Iceland
The highest waterfall in Iceland can be found in the southwest of Iceland and is called Glymur. Glymur has a total height of 198 meters. There should be a higher waterfall on the edge of the glacier in Skaftafell, but there is no information or photos available. So for now Glymur remains the highest waterfall in Iceland. Glymur is also one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland and is located not far from Reijkjavik from.
Most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland
Always tricky because I am sure it has a personal preference. This doesn’t mean that my top 5 most beautiful waterfalls In Iceland are not pretty, but the sequence will differ per person. Moreover, I have been in Iceland and will definitely count in my perception of the waterfall I visited in Iceland. When standing in front of a waterfall you certainly got a different impression than you see a waterfall on a picture.
I prefer Skogafoss as the most impressive waterfall in Iceland, even though the weather was very bad when we visited Skogafoss. But the power of the Skogafoss and the black sand in front of the waterfall were amazing. Another very beautiful waterfall with an awesome shape is the Systrafoss. Systrafoss is located along road 1 in the south of Iceland (where the most and most beautiful waterfalls are located).
And so I can write another page enumerating beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, but you have to discover them yourself. Iceland is worthwhile visiting with the summer months as the best period if you want to chase waterfalls. If you go early in July is not that busy yet!