With a height of 200ft (60m) and a width of 82 (25m), Skógafoss is one of Iceland’s greatest and most beautiful waterfalls. Due to the amount of spray produced by the cascade, you can see at least one rainbow at any time on a sunny day!
Take in the magnitude of the fall from the misty base of the falls, or challenge yourself to get to the top and climb what feels like an infinite amount of stairs (there’s 370)! From the bottom of the falls, you can walk right up to the wall of water and lose yourself in the thick mist of the spray. Take photos from varying distances and stand under the double rainbows! From the top, there is a specifically built observation platform where you get a staggering view over the fall and towards the sea cliffs and Atlantic Ocean! Skogafoss is unique because the waterfall comes directly from two glaciers, Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull.
Where is Skogafoss located?
GPS N63° 31′ 54.500″ W19° 30′ 43.187″
If you’ve had enough of the Golden Circle, Skógafoss is only two kilometers from the Ring Road and 500 meters from road 1, making it easily accessible from the main road.
Not far from the small village of Skógar and South of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Skogafoss is found along the Skógá river, which is visible from Route 1!
Folklore at Skogafoss
There is a legend about the settler, Þrasi Þórólfsson, who is rumored to have buried his fortune in a cave beneath Skogáfoss waterfall. The story suggests that locals went searching and found the chest several years later, but were only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it vanished again. The ring was supposedly donated to the local church but the treasure itself remains behind the fall still.
Either way, I wouldn't recommend searching for it!
Driving to Skogafoss
The fall is within an easy drive of Reykjavik, which is around 150 km away. From Vik it is 40 km, Reynisfjara Beach 35 km and Seljalandsfoss Waterfall 30 km. Follow the signs ‘Skógá’ or ‘Skogafoss’. The signs lead to a big car park close to the base of the waterfall.
Advice for Visiting Skogafoss Waterfall
- Skógafoss is easy to spot, right off the Ring Road 1.
- Don’t get too close to the waterfall’s drop, it is very powerful and heavy. Be sensible and keep hold of children.
- Skógafoss translates as Forest Waterfall. But there are no trees?
- Waterproof clothing is recommended as the spray is unpredictable.
- When hiking keep on the marked paths.
- If you are traveling in winter make sure you are properly dressed and have shoes with sturdy soles or ice spikes if it’s slippery or icy.
- The Fimmvörðuháls trail is 22 kilometers long (14 mi) and is usually done as a day hike with a night in Þórsmörk after.
Other Things to do at Skogafoss
If you’re up for it, there are many hiking routes from the top of the fall! Fimmvörðuháls is a popular 22 kilometer /14-mile hike which takes you along the Skógá river, in between two different glaciers, Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull, before coming to an end in the grand Þórsmörk Valley.
Skogar Museum is as a cultural heritage open-air museum with over 15,000 artifacts, old wooden houses and turf houses, with 3 excellent museums available to browse. The Skógasafn museum also includes a café and a museum shop.
In the nearby village of Skógar, you will be able to find both a hotel and a restaurant. Despite its tiny population (20 people) Skogar is very popular amongst tourists
The river below the falls is popular among avid fisher enthusiasts as it holds a large salmon and char population. Fisherman are seen here between July - October.
Eating out near Skogafoss
- Bistro Bar – European cuisine. Open all day. 63.5273° N, 19.5117° W
- Restaurant Hotel Skógar – Open June-August 9 am to 6 pm and from September – May open 10 am to 5 pm. 63.5246° N, 19.5064° W
- Skógakaffi Café – 11am - 4pm. N63° 29' 41.534" W19° 19' 11.408".
- Gamla Fjósið – Open 11 am to 9 pm. 63.5427° N, 19.6993° W
When is the Best Time to Visit Skogafoss?
Skogafoss has access all year round, but to beat the tour buses, on a self-drive tour you’re better off going early in the morning or later at night.
In terms of seasons, during the summer Skogafoss is great to visit during the midnight sun, as there will be fewer people. Similarly, it is not impossible to catch the Northern Lights at the waterfall during the dark nights of the winter!
If you are considering visiting Skogafoss during the winter months, think about attending a group tour in the place of a self-drive, as road conditions can be icy and difficult.
Other Waterfalls by Skogafoss
Places to Stay Overnight near Skogafoss
- Hótel Skógafoss
- Hotel Drangshlid
- Hotel Edda Skogar
Hostels and Guesthouses
- Hostel Skogar
- Fosstún Guesthouse
- Welcome Edinborg
Popular Culture and Skogafoss
Skogafoss is a great backdrop for music videos and action dramas, capturing the attention of audiences all over the world!
Skogafoss was used as the setting for Sólstafir's 2012 music video ‘Fjara’ which now has over 3.5 million views.
The 2013 Marvel Studios film Thor: The Dark World, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty both filmed at the waterfall and the official music video of "I'll Show You" by Justin Bieber features glacial lagoons and rivers in South Iceland, including the waterfall.
The History Channel series, Vikings, shot some scenes by the fall, when character Floki discovers Iceland.