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15 fascinating facts about the waterfalls in Iceland

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The waterfalls in Iceland are a spectacular site to see. Whether you visit in summer when the falls are flowing or in winter when they may be frozen solid, the waterfalls in Iceland are fascinating feats of nature. But what makes these waterfalls so interesting? Keep reading to find out!

Must-know Facts About Waterfalls in Iceland

Have you ever wished to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty while experiencing an unforgettable adventure? If so, look no further than Iceland’s breathtaking waterfalls.

Imagine yourself standing in front of a cascading wall of water, surrounded by the natural beauty of Iceland’s rugged landscape.

The sound of water crashing down, the mist on your face and the feeling of awe in your heart. Iceland is home to some of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the world, offering an incredible experience you won’t forget.

So, whether you’re planning a trip to Iceland or just simply curious about the natural wonders of this beautiful country, you’ve come to the right place.

But don’t just take our word for it; here are 15 fascinating facts about waterfalls in Iceland that will make you want to pack your bags and explore them.

1. Dynjandi Waterfalls – Most Iconic Movie Location

Dynjandi Waterfall has long been an integral part of Icelandic culture, but its fame was truly cemented when it was featured in the 1987 Icelandic film ‘Ofelas. This movie became one of Iceland’s most successful movies ever.

This recognition brought Dynjandi into the spotlight, becoming an iconic fixture in Icelandic culture, synonymous with artistic expression. It is now widely regarded as one of the most iconic and successful movie locations ever made in Iceland.

The site is home to rich wildlife that can be seen along its boardwalks, and you can even enjoy swimming near its magnificent base. Dynjandi Waterfalls is genuinely an incredible destination that is worth visiting.

2. Dettifoss Waterfall -The Most Powerful Source of Water

It is located in the northeast part of the country. This awe-inspiring waterfall is fed by the powerful Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river, making it one of Europe’s most potent sources of water.

With its height of 44 meters, Dettifoss is a sight to behold. Moreover, the massive volume of water cascading over the falls creates a thundering roar that will take your breath away.

But that’s not all – visiting Dettifoss is an experience like no other. A short hike from the parking lot takes you to the waterfall’s base, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views.

3. Godafoss Waterfall – Got Its Name From An Event

Godafoss Waterfall, also known as the “Waterfall of the Gods”, is a stunning natural attraction in the northern part of Iceland. The waterfall is fed by the glacial Skjálfandafljót and is known for its horseshoe shape and picturesque surroundings.

According to the legend, the waterfall got its name from an event in 1000 AD. It happened when the law speaker of Iceland, Thorgeir Ljosvetningagodi,  threw the statues of the Norse gods into the waterfall as a symbol of Iceland’s conversion to Christianity. 

It is a famous spot for tourists visiting Iceland, as it is easily accessible by road and offers jaw-dropping views of the surrounding landscape. In addition, it can be your ideal spot for taking photos and a great place to relax and enjoy peaceful surroundings.

4. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall – Oldest Hydroelectric Power Station

One of the most impressive attributes of Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is its history. It is the site of Iceland’s oldest hydroelectric power station, which still works today. This power station has been providing clean energy to homes and businesses across Iceland for over a century.

Thanks to its impressive longevity, you can enjoy seeing one of the world’s oldest manufactured sources of clean energy while visiting Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. Furthermore, there are plenty of nearby attractions that tourists can enjoy while on site, such as the Seljavallalaug geothermal pool and Skogafoss waterfall. A visit to Seljalandsfoss should not be missed.

Kirkjufellsfoss is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland located near the town of Grundarfjörður on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. It is known for its unique, arrow-shaped mountain in the background, which gives the waterfall a distinctive appearance.

The waterfall was featured in season 6, episode 5 of Game of Thrones as the “arrowhead waterfall.” The show’s popularity has only increased the attention Kirkjufellsfoss receives, and it is now one of the most visited waterfalls in Iceland.

In addition to its appearance in the show, Kirkjufellsfoss is also a popular place for photographers because of its breathtaking natural beauty. Its surroundings offer a stunning view of Iceland’s landscapes and make it a must-see destination for nature lovers and fans of the show.

6. Aldeyjarfos Waterfall – A Hidden Gem

Aldeyjarfos waterfall is a hidden gem located in the northern part of Iceland. This waterfall is less famous than some of the more popular attractions in the country, but it is worth a visit for those willing to go off the beaten path.

The waterfall is fed by the glacial river Skjálfandafljót and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. It is located in a remote area, and you can access it by a short hike from the parking lot.

The trail is rugged, but the journey is worth it for the beautiful views of the waterfall and the surrounding landscape. The waterfall boasts a rare, almost surreal beauty not found in many other places in Iceland.

Furthermore, Aldeyjarfos is a great place to experience the raw beauty of waterfalls in Iceland. It is highly recommended for tourists looking for something different and a truly unique experience.

7. Waterfalls in Iceland – They Are Fading

The vast and beautiful waterfalls that Iceland is famous for may not last forever. Waterfalls in Iceland have been experiencing a decline in their water flow due to various factors, such as climate change and increasing water usage. The rising temperatures in Iceland have caused glaciers to melt faster, resulting in less water flowing into rivers and streams.

Additionally, as Iceland’s population has grown and tourism has increased, more water is being used. This usage leads to a decrease in the amount of water available for the country’s waterfalls.

Furthermore, some waterfalls are also affected by hydroelectric power projects, which divert water to generate electricity. This diversion causes a water shortage and reduces the flow of the waterfalls.

It is crucial to be aware of this issue and to take steps to conserve water and protect Iceland’s natural resources.

8. Skogarfos Waterfalls – Oldest Recorded Waterfalls

Skogarfos Waterfalls, located in Southern Iceland near the small village of Flúðir, are some of the oldest recorded waterfalls in Iceland. This stunning spout of water cascading off a basalt cliff face is said to be over a thousand years old.

It is featured in several movies and TV shows, including Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood (2010) and Game of Thrones (2011). Although it is not the tallest waterfall in Iceland, it is still an impressive sight for visitors due to its powerful spray and historical significance.

The rocky environment surrounding Skogarfos creates an ethereal atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else. So, whether you’re looking for a place to take some breathtaking photos or just marvel at some natural phenomena, Skogarfos Waterfalls offers something for everyone.

9. Hraunfossar Waterfalls – Get Its Name From Lava Fields

Hraunfossar is a series of waterfalls located in the west of Iceland, near the village of Borgarnes. The Hraunfossar waterfall gets its name from the lava fields that run under a camping area nearby. Furthermore, the waterfalls are approximately 900 meters long and offer a distinct and striking appearance as the water flows out of the lava rock and into the river below. 

Visitors to Hraunfossar are often amazed by its serene and peaceful atmosphere. The sound of the waterfall and the surrounding greenery create a peaceful and calming environment, making it the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

These falls play host to thousands of travelers every day who come seeking adventure and peace. It’s an ideal site for tourists who want to experience the scenic wonders of waterfalls in Iceland.

10. Bruarfos Waterfalls – Rocks and Water Change Colours

Have you heard of the Bruarfos Waterfall, located in Iceland? Bruarfoss waterfall is situated in the west of Iceland, near the village of Borgarnes. The waterfall is known for its exciting and colorful rocks, which give it a distinctive and eye-catching appearance.

The waterfall is fed by a small river that runs through the surrounding volcanic rock, giving it a turquoise-blue colour. It is approximately 30 feet tall, and the colors of the stones and water change throughout the day depending on the angle of the sunlight. The colorful rocks give it a different appearance than other waterfalls in Iceland.

Furthermore, you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool at the waterfall’s base. Tourists can also explore nearby attractions such as Grjotagja cave, Geithellnar beach, and Kleifarvatn lake.

11. Glymur Waterfalls – Used By Vikings As an Escape Route

Glymur Waterfalls, the Icelands’ second-highest waterfall, strikes an extraordinary scene visitors can’t seem to get enough of. However, this incredible piece of nature may not be as peaceful as you think.

It is located in the valley of Mosfellsdalur and has quite a history. The glymur waterfalls were initially used by Vikings as an escape route when their enemies attacked them.

Moreover, it has been said that the waterfall was so powerful that anyone who entered would be lost and never seen again. Therefore, the Nordic warriors of old took advantage of this natural phenomenon to hide from harm.

Nowadays, the waterfall remains robust, but instead of being used as a defensive measure, it now serves as a beautiful natural landmark for visitors to marvel at.

Glymur provides plenty of opportunities to observe local wildlife and flora, so it is the perfect spot to explore if you are a nature lover.

12. Glanni Waterfalls– Forms Rainbow Above The Waterfall

Have you ever seen a rainbow formed above a waterfall? If not, get ready to experience nature’s magic at Glanni Waterfall.

This natural wonder is home to a spectacular show of light and water, with rainbows often forming above the falls on sunny days. And even on cloudy days, if you look closely enough, you can still spot the stunning colors created by the combination of sunlight and water. It is undoubtedly one of the most majestic sights known to man.

Located near a small village in Italy, this impressive waterfall is a popular tourist attraction, with many visitors visiting to bask in its awe-inspiring beauty each year. For those looking to experience Icelandic nature at its finest, Glanni Waterfall is worth visiting.

13. Svartifoss Waterfalls– Has Hexagonal Basalt Columns

This waterfall is truly one-of-a-kind, and it’s all because of the basalt columns that surround it. These basalt columns are formed when molten lava cools and solidifies, creating a mesmerizing pattern. With its spectacular drop of 20 meters and stunning backdrop of dark lava columns, tourists can appreciate the grandeur and power of nature.

But that’s not all; Svartifoss is surrounded by beautiful scenic landscapes, including a nearby glacier, which makes the views at this waterfall breathtaking.

Whether you’re standing on top or staring up from below, it’s guaranteed to take your breath away. Moreover, If you’re a fan of rare geological formations and natural beauty, a visit to Svartifoss should be on your to-do list when exploring Iceland.

14. Selfoss Waterfalls – A Double Cascade of Waterfalls

In Selfoss waterfalls, two falls flow side by side down a ravine covered with lush vegetation. This exciting feature makes it a sight to behold for visitors. The waterfalls are fed by a nearby river and offer visitors a beautiful and serene environment to enjoy.

The surrounding vegetation provides a picturesque backdrop and offers a great contrast to the falling water. Moreover, the waterfall is also easily accessible by road and can be visited as part of a guided tour.

You can take memorable photographs and visit here for an off-the-beaten-path experience. It’s a perfect place to feel the natural beauty of Iceland and experience the country’s unique geology.

15. Hafragilsfoss Waterfalls – Most Powerful Waterfalls In Iceland

Hafragilsfoss waterfall in Iceland is known for being one of the most powerful waterfalls in the country. It has a height of 27 meters and is surrounded by rugged landscapes and scenic views.

Despite its powerful flow, Hafragilsfoss is also a popular place for swimming, making it an exciting destination that combines natural beauty and adventure. Here, you can hike to the waterfall and enjoy the spectacular views.

So, if you want to experience the raw power of Iceland’s waterfalls, then the stunning scenery of Hafragilsfoss is a must-visit destination for you.

Waterfalls in Iceland: To Conclude

While Iceland boasts an abundance of breathtaking waterfalls, the 15 waterfalls in Iceland highlighted in this article truly stand out with their exceptional beauty and individuality.

From Glymur, the country’s tallest waterfall, to Seljalandsfoss, where you can walk behind the rushing waters, each of these waterfalls in Iceland offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

So, if you’re planning a trip to the waterfalls in Iceland, add at least one (or all) of these to your itinerary.

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