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One of the many natural wonders along Iceland’s south coast, Seljalandsfoss waterfall attracts folk from far and wide to witness a powerful cascade of water plunging from towering cliffs. But that’s not all – Seljalandsfoss is the only waterfall in Iceland where you can walk behind the water, giving visitors a new angle from which to admire Iceland’s rugged landscape.
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in the south coast of Iceland.

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                Admiring the Cascade at Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

                Seljalandsfoss waterfall facts

                A powerful cascade of water tumbling from clifftops, Seljalandsfoss waterfall sits within the Seljalandsá River which is fed by glacial water from Eyjafjallajökull glacier. You may recognise the name Eyjafjallajökull from the 2010 eruption that caused a huge ash cloud that disrupted flights across Europe and North America for weeks. The power of Seljalandsfoss’s cascade has eroded away the rock around the falls, creating a deep bowl-like plunge pool and room to actually walk behind the waterfall. It is the only waterfall in Iceland that you can walk behind.

                Beliebers might recognise Seljalandsfoss waterfall from Justin Bieber’s music video for the hit single I’ll Show You. It also featured in the TV series Star Trek: Discovery – perhaps a testament to how other-worldly the landscape of Iceland’s south coast can seem.

                Walking around the waterfall

                It takes around two hours to drive to Seljalandsfoss waterfall from Reykjavík, so it comes at just the right moment on a south coast road trip to stretch your legs. It is a short walk from the car park to the waterfall itself and, from there, you can follow the Seljalandsfoss waterfall hike behind the falls and witness Iceland’s pastoral landscape with a plume of white water in the foreground. When the sun hits the powerful spray of the waterfall, technicolour rainbows appear, making a great photo opportunity behind the falls.

                It's important to note that the trail behind the waterfall is closed during the winter months due to the presence of thick ice and the risk of large icicles falling on passersby. In the thaw season, the path may also be closed due to the danger of falling rocks. Please respect these closures for your safety.

                There’s an opportunity to stretch your legs even further with a short hike to Gljúfrabúi waterfall nearby. It is just a few hundred metres away from Seljalandsfoss and is something of a secret as it is tucked away in a picturesque gorge. It is worth adding an extra twenty minutes to your visit to Seljalandsfoss to find Gljúfrabúi waterfall. Check the Seljalandsfoss waterfall map to find Gljúfrabúi right next door.

                Facilities at Seljalandsfoss waterfall

                Seljalandsfoss is not just a natural wonder – it can work as a pit stop along the route of the south coast. There is a dedicated car park for the waterfall, just off the Route One road and parking incurs a small fee of 800 ISK (about $5). At the car park, you’ll also find heated and well-maintained toilets and a small food-truck-style café serving snacks and hot drinks. There is also a small gift shop should you wish to pick up a few momentos of your visit.

                If you are planning to stay the night, there is Seljalandsfoss waterfall camping available at the nearby Hamragarðar campsite. This campsite actually sits beneath the beautiful Gljúfrabúi waterfall and is a ten-minute walk from Seljalandsfoss. There is something magical about waking up and unzipping your tent to find a thundering waterfall practically on your doorstep.

                Sights in and around Seljalandsfoss waterfall

                As one of the natural sights of Iceland’s south coast, there are plenty of other attractions and things to do in the area around Seljalandsfoss. As we’ve already mentioned, you can visit the nearby Gljúfrabúi waterfall during the same visit. There is also Skógafoss waterfall, about half an hour’s drive away. Skógafoss is famous for the rainbows that appear in the mist of its mighty cascade and often features as a stop on a south coast tour alongside Seljalandsfoss. The “secret waterfall” of Kvernufoss is also in the area and it is an easy hike or five-minute drive from Skógafoss to Kvernufoss.

                Seljalandsfoss tours from Reykjavík often include a stop at Reynisfjara black-sanded beach which stretches for miles and miles along the south shore, from the pretty coastal village of Vik to the puffin-filled Dyrhólaey Peninsula. Jet-black sand was formed over centuries of volcanic rock erosion and you’ll find an ethereal basalt cave at one end of the beach. Embarking on an ATV tour at nearby Sólheimasandur, another of south Iceland’s black-sanded beaches, you can bump over the vast stretch of sand to the abandoned wreck of a DC-3 aeroplane. All of these activities and sights can be easily combined with a visit to Seljalandsfoss on an organised, guided tour from Reykjavík. Single day tours along the south coast are a popular option if you are short on time, but there are also several multi-day tours on offer that usually include a visit to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and Skaftafell National Park.

                All About Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

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