Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in Iceland. Check out our perfect 6 day itinerary for Ring Road in Iceland!

5 Must See Waterfalls in Iceland

Iceland is a country full of beautiful waterfalls. It can be hard to narrow down which ones to see when you have limited time. Even just trying to narrow down the top five waterfalls in Iceland that we saw meant including a couple of bonus nearby waterfalls.

With only six days in Iceland in June to explore, we set out to see as much as we could, using the midnight sun to our advantags. After driving Ring Road and exploring the country, here are the five best waterfalls in Iceland that you won’t want to miss!

Iceland is a country full of stunning waterfalls. Driving Iceland's ring road puts you in proximity to hundreds of amazing places to explore. After driving Iceland's ring road, here are the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss. #iceland #icelandtravel #icelandwaterfalls

***Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Purchasing through these links earns us a small commission at no extra charge to you.

#5: Godafoss

Godafoss Waterfall Iceland Sunset

Godafoss, “Waterfall of the Gods”, is located in the northern part of Iceland. It is about five hours away from Reykjavik and about 45 minutes from Akureyri. Many lists will rank it higher on the list of the best waterfalls in Iceland, but you will see why we ranked others higher.

Drone shot of Godafoss Waterfall from above. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.

What We Liked: Godafoss is the fourth largest waterfall in Iceland, and it is easy to access from the road. You can see it as you drive up, and there is not much walking needed. You can walk to both sides of the waterfall if you want to see different angles, and the walk from one side to the other only takes about 5 – 10 minutes. Godafoss consists of multiple waterfalls all next to each other which makes for an impressive sight.

Water above Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.

Tips for Godafoss: If you visit in the summer, Godafoss is a popular waterfall for tours. Many people visit while staying in Akureyri since it is so close and easy to access. We went around 10 p.m., and we still had plenty of sunlight. All of the tours were already gone for the day, so it was only us and about 10 other people the entire time we were there. If you go in winter (we have not), I have seen amazing photos of the Northern Lights over Godafoss. If you decide to go, driving may not be the best idea if you are not comfortable with the winter road conditions.

Water at the top of Godafoss Waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
The calm before the storm

Drone shot of Godafoss Waterfall from above. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip. Godafoss Waterfall from viewpoint. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.

#4: Glujfrabui (& Seljalandsfoss)

Glujfrabui is one of the best waterfalls in Iceland, but it comes with an extra bonus: the nearby Seljalandsfoss. Located only an hour and a half from Reykjavik, these waterfalls are easy to get to on a day trip or on your trip around the infamous Ring Road.

Looking at Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Seljalandsfoss

What We Liked: One waterfall is good, but two waterfalls makes this one just a little bit better. You can see Seljalandsfoss from Ring Road, and there is an easy walking path to it. Seljalandsfoss is popular because of the path that goes behind the waterfall (perfect for the sunset if you are willing to be up in the middle of the night and get a clear day). Because you can go behind it and access it easily, Seljalandsfoss is commonly listed as one of the best waterfalls in Iceland.

The entrance to Glujfrabui waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Glujfrabui

Less popular is Glujfrabui, which is only about a 15 minute walk (or 3 minute drive) down the road. There is a path you can walk between the two and a campground between them if you need somewhere to stay for the night. Glujfrabui is a waterfall set back in a canyon and is barely visible from outside the canyon. There was a path to the top, but it was closed when we were there. You can walk up to the entrance to the canyon to get a good view or even go into the canyon for a better view. This makes Glujfrabui unique and is why it made the list of our favorite waterfalls in Iceland.

Looking into the canyon at Glujfrabui waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Glujfrabui

Tips for Glujfrabui: You can easily find a tour that includes Seljalandsfoss, but very few people on a tour made their way down to Glujfrabui while we were there. We actually had Glujfrabui marked incorrectly on our map, so we had to make a return trip after going down the road to Skogafoss. Both times there were tour buses in the lot at Seljalandsfoss, and both times were in the evening. During the middle of the day, it can get quite crowded at Seljalandsfoss, so you are better off going in the early morning or late evening in the summer months.

View from behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Seljalandsfoss

Since there is no parking lot for Glujfrabui, you will either need to park in the space on the side of the road or park at Seljalandsfoss and walk down. I would highly recommend wearing waterproof clothes and shoes for both of these waterfalls. The mist soaks you as you walk behind Seljalandsfoss, but going inside of the canyon to get to Glujfrbui means you walk through the water and then stand in a closed in area with the waterfall and the mist. Everyone who went in came out soaking wet. We did not go all the way in because we were not fully waterproofed (and it was cold!).

Standing behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland and feeling the cold mist. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Seljalandsfoss
View of Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Seljalandsfoss
Looking at Seljalandsfoss from the path leading to it. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Seljalandsfoss
Looking into the canyon at Glujfrabui waterfall in southern Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Glujfrabui
The canyon entrance to Glujfrabui waterfall in southern Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Glujfrabui

#3: Dettifoss & Selfoss

This is the only other combination waterfall on the list. Both of these waterfalls are located in northeast Iceland, about seven hours from Reykjavik, two and a half hours from Akureyri, and less than two hours from Godafoss.

Woman looking at Dettifoss waterfall in Iceland from the edge of the cliff into the canyon. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Dettifoss

What We Liked: Once again, this is a two-for-one deal on the best waterfalls in Iceland. You will drive a long way on a dirt road to get here, but it is worth it. Plus, that long drive keeps this waterfall relatively empty even in the middle of the day. There is a path from the parking lot out to Dettifoss that takes about 10 minutes to walk. However, you will want to stop along the way and enjoy the different views of the waterfall and the canyon. Dettifoss makes it so high on our list because it is an extremely powerful waterfall. In fact, it is the most powerful waterfall in Europe according to many sources. You can walk up to the edge and feel the power of the water as it pours over the edge.

Water pouring over the edge of Dettifoss waterfall in northern Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Dettifoss

From Dettifoss, don’t turn back for your car – look for the sign pointing you to Selfoss. It is about a kilometer walk (less than 3/4 of a mile). There are some rocks to climb over, but it is overall a relatively easy hike. Selfoss is made up of what looks like hundreds of waterfalls. It is truly impressive because of how far the falls spread out. Not many others made the hike out to it. There was only one other person when we got there and another couple hiking out on our way back.

Standing on edge of cliff looking at Selfoss Waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Selfoss

Tips for Dettifoss & Selfoss: You can visit both sides of Dettifoss by car, but it will take you an hour and a half to drive between them. If you are only visiting one side, definitely visit the east side. The east side lets you get closer and see exactly what makes Dettifoss and Selfoss among the best waterfalls in Iceland. The west side has a large parking lot and paved roads, so all of the tour buses visit that side. The west side faces the waterfall, but the view is obstructed by the mist. On the west side, there is a viewing platform but no way to get up close to the waterfall. On the east side, there is parking for cars only, so there are less people. Plus, you can walk right up to the edge and feel the water as it goes over the edge.

Selfoss Waterfall in northern Iceland from east side of the canyon. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Selfoss

From the west side, you can still access Selfoss, but you cannot get the full view of the falls. You do have the better view of the main waterfall at Selfoss though. The east side lets you see the entire spread of the falls. Most of the falls that make up Selfoss are on the west side, so the path ends early on that side. We only saw one person hiking out on the west side of Selfoss, so it is not a popular hike on that side either.

Looking over the edge of Dettifoss waterfall in Iceland and feeling its power. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Dettifoss

 

Dettifoss Waterfall in Iceland from the east side of the canyon. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Dettifoss
Sitting on the edge of the canyon looking at Selfoss Waterfall in Northern Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Selfoss
Looking across the canyon from the east side at Selfoss Waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Selfoss

#2: Haifoss

If I’m being honest, Haifoss ties for #1 on my list of the best waterfalls in Iceland. Haifoss is located in southwest Iceland. On the map, it may look close to Reykjavik and the Golden Circle, but it is not as close as it looks. It is a two hour drive from Reykjavik or a little over an hour and a half from Gullfoss if you come straight from the Golden Circle.

Haifoss and Granni waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.

What We Liked: Haifoss is off of the beaten path. Because it is so far off of the beaten path, it is not a popular destination. There were three other vehicles parked when we arrived, and we only saw two other couples. From the parking lot, you hike down for about five to ten minutes to get to the view of the falls. There are actually two waterfalls together (Granni, “neighbor” is the other) here, and it is an amazing view. A rainbow in the mist welcomed us. The water falls 400 feet (122 meters) to the base of the gorge. You can hike right out to the edge of the cliff, but be careful along the edge as some parts are not stable.

Looking down the gorge next to Haifoss waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.

Tips for Haifoss: A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended, but you can make it in a two-wheel drive. It is not an F-road (four-wheel drive required), so any vehicle can drive on the road. Keep in mind that the road is rocky and sometimes a little steep. With a small vehicle, you will want to drive slowly as ground clearance may be an issue at times. Your other option is to park at the bottom and hike up, but it is a long hike. Actually, if you are going all out for your trip, you can hire a private helicopter to take you here too. We only know that because one landed while we were there. You can also hike down to the base of the falls, but we did not due to time.

Woman sitting on the edge of a cliff looking at Granni waterfall with a rainbow in southeast Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
Can you see me sitting on the edge of the cliff?

Haifoss waterfall in Iceland and the canyon beyond it. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.

Haifoss waterfall with a rainbow in the mist in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.

Haifoss waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.

#1: Aldeyjarfoss

Our favorite waterfall in Iceland (tied for me, but the top for my husband) was Aldeyjarfoss. It is located in the northern part of the country. From Rekjavik, the drive takes about 6 hours. From Akureyri, the drive is only about an hour and half. If you are visiting Godafoss, it is only a 45 minute drive past Godafoss.

Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.

What We Liked: What makes Aldeyjarfoss top the list of the best waterfalls in Iceland? It is probably partially because Aldeyjarfoss is the hardest to access (see below). We were the only ones there when we arrived and still the only ones there an hour later. Two other couples arrived just before we left. We did visit later in the evening, but there was still plenty of light. Aldeyjarfoss is unique because of the basalt columns surrounding it and the way the water pools at the base. There is even a natural pool you can hike down to across from the base of the fall. It is only about a foot deep, and the water was relatively warm from sitting in the sunlight all day. It looked like there was another natural pool at the top, but there was no water in it while we were there.

Woman in natural pool at the base of Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.

Tips for Aldeyjarfoss: Aldeyjarfoss was the only waterfall we visited on an F-road. That means that only four-wheel drive vehicles are allowed. Some rental car companies do not allow their cars on these roads. Only the last part of the road was an F-road, and there is a sign when it starts. You can park on the side of the road and hike the last part. Honestly, the drive to Aldeyjarfoss in the summer would probably be okay in a two-wheel drive as long as the road is dry. The road gets worse and includes river crossings after Aldeyjarfoss.

Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in Iceland with basalt columns and natural pool. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.
You can see the natural pool in the bottom left corner

Sunset from Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in Iceland with basalt columns. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip. Drone photo from above Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in northern Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip. Woman looking at Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip. Curving basalt columns next to Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in Iceland. Find the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss on a Ring Road road trip.

Deciding which waterfalls should make our list of the best waterfalls in Iceland wasn’t easy. Which of these waterfalls is your favorite? Is there any we missed that should have made our list? Let me know in the comments below!

Looking for more Iceland tips and tricks? Find our full Iceland itinerary for a 6 day Ring Road adventure here, our hiking guide to the famous Iceland plane wreck here, and how to get into the Blue Lagoon in Iceland for free (and without the crowds) here.

Looking for hotels for while you are hunting down the best waterfalls in Iceland? We stayed at Hotel Lotus in Reykjavik and at Icelandair Hotel Akureyri in Akureyri.* (Looking for a hotel in a different destination? Use these links or the one on the right side of the page.) Considering a Groupon or Living Social trip to Iceland? Check out our blog post about them here.

All photos edited with Travel In Her Shoes Presets .*

Like this post? Pin it for later!

With so many waterfalls in Iceland to see and usually so little time, here are the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss. Click for advice on the best time to visit, where to get the best pictures, and everything else you need to make sure you don't miss out. #iceland #icelandtravel #icelandwaterfall Godafoss in Iceland is one of the top waterfalls in Iceland. For more of the waterfalls you don't want to miss on your Ring Road road trip through Iceland, click here. You will find everything you need to know including when to go and where to get the best pictures. #iceland #icelandtravel With so many waterfalls in Iceland to see and usually so little time, here are the top 5 waterfalls in Iceland that you don't want to miss. If you are planning an Iceland vacation, click for advice on the best time to visit, where to get the best pictures, and everything else you need to make sure you don't miss out. #iceland #icelandtravel #icelandwaterfall
Godafoss in Iceland is one of the top five waterfalls to see on an Iceland Ring Road road trip. Find the top waterfalls in Iceland including where to take pictures of them and when to visit to avoid the crowds. #iceland #icelandwaterfall #icelandroadtrip Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in Iceland is famous for this little pool across from it. The water is cold and only about a foot deep usually. Find how to get to this little pool and the top five waterfalls in Iceland you don't want to miss. #iceland #icelandtravel #icelandroadtrip #icelandwaterfall Selfoss is a lesser known waterfall in Iceland but is not a far walk from one of the more often visited waterfalls. Click to find out how to get here, which side is the best side to visit, and more about the top five waterfalls in Iceland. #icelandtravel #iceland #icelandwaterfall

Sharing is caring!

29 Comments

    1. These look beautiful! Maybe Iceland can be one of our stopovers on the way back to the US.

      1. It would be a good place for a stopover – flights from there to the U.S. are usually pretty cheap. Just beware that it’s expensive while you are there!

    1. Wow! I only saw Godafoss when I was there, but I didn’t know about all the others! I definitely want to stay in Iceland longer next time to checkout more of these. I pinned this too!

      1. You definitely need to go back then! Thanks for doing that!

    1. Iceland is on my bucket list for a while now and seeing this waterfalls has caused the travel bug to itch me, Christine. Iceland has so much to offer as a travel destination. How many days would you recommend spending there?

      1. We spent about 6 days there. I could have spent a few more days there, but I wouldn’t have wanted to spend less time. I just finished typing up our itinerary into a post. I will probably publish it tomorrow 🙂

      1. Hi Lydia, I stayed a month in Iceland last summer and I don’t regret doing that at all. The country deserves a long stay and even with one month, I feel like I have to go again and explore more! Anyway, I know a month can be a lot and it’s a very expensive country (we did home exchange so we had accommodation and car for free), but if you have the chance I would at least stay one week and rent a car so you can drive along the ring road.

        1. We want to go back to see more too. We especially would love to go back in the winter to see the Northern Lights!

    1. I didn’t have the chance to see Aldeyjarfoss on our month stay in Iceland, so for me, the #1 Waterfall was Kvenufoss. It’s located very close to Skógafoss (which can be seen from the ring road and it’s full of tourists), but this one is not very popular. We loved it because you have to access it by doing a small hike into a canyon and you can’t see the waterfall until you are inside it. It has a very unique view! And it became the perfect spot to shoot some acroyoga pictures 😉
      You can check our recommendations to visit this waterfall in this post: https://wanderingwhaleblog.com/2018/03/14/south-iceland/

      1. That one looks like a good one! We didn’t stay around Skogafoss too long because of how cold and wet we were after Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi. We will have to do that one next time though.

    1. I love how detailed this post is! Thank you! Your pictures are beautiful as well. Hopefully I can make it to Iceland one day and see some of these!

    1. Amazing photos! I am backblogging about my Iceland honeymoon from last year and am reminiscing of the waterfalls! Godafoss was my favorite! So beautiful in the winter! Thanks for sharing!

      1. I would love to go back to Iceland in the winter. It looks so different in photos I’ve seen from friends. Plus, I’d love to see the Northern Lights!

    1. Your photos are unreal! You are a really good photographer and I love your edit style. This post makes me want to go back to iceland! I didn’t see half of these. LOL

      1. Thank you so much! I hope you can go back one day – I’d love to go back and see more myself (maybe in winter for the Northern Lights).

    1. Iceland looks epic all round but these waterfalls look insane! I actually just read something last night where I learnt about Aldeyjarfoss, it’s made it’s way to the top of my waterfalls I want to see! Although I’d be happy with all of these! Thanks for sharing great information!

      1. Thank you so much! We really enjoyed Aldeyjarfoss, especially because we had it all to ourselves for so long. I love getting off the beaten track and finding lesser known beautiful places like that!

    1. Ok, brb – planning my Iceland trip ASAP! It’s a shame I haven’t visited yet, but I’m loving gathering all these places for the day that I finally get my butt over there. Thanks for sharing such great info and beautiful photos!

      1. Thank you! I hope you get to make that trip happen soon!

    1. Your pictures are absolutely stunning! I’ve never been to Iceland (aside from a layover at the airport!) but would love to go someday – especially to see these majestic waterfalls! Thanks for sharing

      1. Thank you so much! I hope you can make it to Iceland to see more than the airport one day!

    1. We just booked our first trip to Iceland. First thing we did was look up your blogs. They are really informative. I love water falls which is one of the reasons we chose Iceland. Enjoyed reading your trip and rankings of the falls. Thank you for sharing your tips with us. Keep traveling. 🙂

      1. Thank you! I hope you have an amazing trip when you get to go!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.