With its enormous white and blue icebergs breaking off from Vatnajökull glacier, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a natural wonder of Iceland, a sight you absolutely cannot miss. This scenic day tour includes a thrilling boat ride on Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, the epic waterfalls of Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, the glittering Diamond Beach and charming Vík. Explore some of south Iceland’s most spectacular and iconic landscapes!
This South Shore Adventure is the ideal tour for nature lovers looking to explore some of the most unique and scenic sights in the South. Get ready for an action-packed day seeing epic waterfalls, charming towns, vast glaciers, and the most famous black sand beach in Iceland!
With its enormous white and blue icebergs breaking off from Vatnajökull glacier, the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a natural wonder of Iceland, a sight you absolutely cannot miss. The nearby Diamond Beach has a stunning display of chunks of ice glistening on stark black sands. This tour features some of southeast Iceland's most spectacular and iconic landscapes!
Discover the essence of Iceland's natural beauty on this day tour, featuring two of Iceland's most renowned waterfalls and an exhilarating kayaking experience on a glacier lagoon. Journey through landscapes that blend cascading waters with icy wonders, all in a single, unforgettable day.
Join this thrilling snowmobile experience on the mighty Mýrdalsjökull Glacier! Spend 1-hour riding across the ice field, with breathtaking scenery and an experienced guide. This day tour doesn’t require previous snowmobile riding experience, and anyone over the age of 17 with a valid driver’s licence can operate the snowmobile. But, if there are kids over 8 in the group or non-drivers, they can ride as a passenger. Get ready to glide on a glacier! The tour also includes sightseeing stops at the epic waterfalls Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss!
Enjoy a guided glacier walk, exploring the beautiful, icy wonderland of Iceland's Sólheimajökull Glacier. Enjoy the fresh air, interesting shapes and hues of the ice and marvel at the vast and remote slice of south Iceland. Get up close and personal with one of the country's most famous glaciers! Expect a 2-hour drive from Reykjavík, a 1.5-hour glacier hike, and some sightseeing along the south coast and back to Reykjavík.
Explore Iceland's legendary South Coast, where the thundering cascades of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss await. Amidst the shadow of the mighty Katla volcano, feel the thrill of an ATV ride across scenic valleys and black sand expanses, leading you to the iconic DC-3 plane wreck on Sólheimasandur beach. A harmonious blend of tranquil vistas and heart-pounding adventure!
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
Seljalandsfoss waterfall is one of the majestic wonders of Iceland’s south coast, and it sits just off the Route One ring road that loops around the entire island. It is a part of the Seljalandsá River which is formed by glacial meltwater from the famous Eyjafjallajökull ice cap.
From Reykjavík, you follow the Route One main road out of the city and along the south coast. You can see Seljalandsfoss waterfall from the road, so you won’t miss it.
There is a dedicated car park a short walk away from the falls themselves. Although it is easy to navigate to Seljalandsfoss from Reykjavík, road conditions in the colder months can be challenging so many visitors to Iceland opt for a guided day tour along the south coast wonders, which includes a stop at the waterfall.
On organised Seljalandsfoss tours, an experienced and professional driver and guide navigates for you and provides a little context to the sights along the way.
Seljalandsfoss waterfall is 129 kilometres (around 166 miles) from Reykjavík. If you’re embarking on a Seljalandsfoss waterfall self-drive adventure, it takes around two hours to get here by car.
On organised tours and self-drive days out, visitors to Seljalandsfoss tend to spend around 30-60 minutes at the waterfall.
This includes the short walk from the car park to the falls andthe walk behind the cascade if the weather is not too bad and the trail is not too slippery.
Most people stop here to stretch their legs, take in the unique Icelandic scene and snap a few photographs before heading off to the other natural wonders along the south coast.
The best time of day to visit the waterfall depends on what time of year it is. Keen photographers like to catch the falls in the golden light of near-sunset.
So, during the summer, this is between 8 pm and 11 pm and in the winter, it is any time throughout the day as the sun hovers low to the horizon from 9 am to 4 pm. If you want to avoid the main crowds of the day, it is best to visit early in the morning or late in the evening.
Seljalandsfoss is one of the few waterfalls in the world you can walk behind and the only one in Iceland that allows you behind the curtain of white water cascading over the cliffs.
The path to reach the back of the waterfall is easy to follow but can be slippery. From behind the waterfall, you can see Iceland’s mossy-green landscape.
There is no fee to visit Seljalandsfoss waterfall as it is on public land. There is, however, a small parking fee to use the car park. The fee to park is 800 ISK (about $5), and there is no time limit to how long you can park.
Because it sits along the south coast, where you’ll find loads of other natural wonders, it is definitely worth a stop at Seljalandsfoss. The towering waterfall is a beautiful sight in itself, but because it is the only waterfall in Iceland where you can walk behind the water, it is also a unique sight.
The powerful flow of water over Seljalandsfoss means that it does not freeze in winter. Parts of the river may freeze around it and you can often spot spiky icicles in the coldest months, but the water keeps flowing over the cliffs even in the deepest, coldest winter. Seljalandsfoss, with a backdrop of snow, is a sight to behold in winter.
Seljalandsfoss waterfall’s height is around the same as its south coast counterpart, Skógafoss. Both waterfalls stand at 60 metres tall (197 feet), so the splash from the cascade is rather powerful. As the water hits the plunge pool from so high up, water spray can reach the viewing point and path behind the waterfall, so be prepared to get wet when you visit.
In terms of time of year, the best time to visit Seljalandsfoss is in the shoulder season – in April, May or September. During these months, the crowds of summer have dissipated but you can still take advantage of relatively long hours of daylight.
These months are also known as the time of “the long shadows” in Iceland as the landscape is bathed in a sepia-toned light throughout the day. This is the best time of year for photography in Iceland.
The spray of Seljalandsfoss waterfall is pretty powerful, so if you are getting close to admire this natural wonder, you will definitely want to dress in waterproof clothing. If you plan to walk behind the waterfall, plan to get wet.
Waterproof boots, a waterproof jacket and even waterproof trousers are a good idea. If you’re going to bring woolly hats, scarves and gloves on your south coast adventure, it might be an idea to leave them in the car or bus as you visit Seljalandsfoss (unless it is really cold) as wool takes a long time to dry off.
It is pronounced sal-ya-lands-foss and the meaning of the name is a bit of a mystery. It would roughly translates into English as “seller of the land of waterfalls” which doesn’t make much sense, but there we go.