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Cascading from mossy cliffs, Skógafoss waterfall marks the point where Iceland’s coast once met the wild North Atlantic Ocean. Centuries of seismic activity, lava flow and erosion have pushed the coastline further away, but you can still spot the steely-grey sea from the top of the waterfall.
Skógafoss Waterfall in the south coast of Iceland.

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                  Skógafoss Waterfall facts

                  A beautiful plume of white water rushing over towering cliffs, Skógafoss attracts visitors from far and wide. You can spot this natural wonder from the Route One ring road as it runs along the south coast of Iceland. While the seashore is now around 4 kilometres from Skógafoss, this waterfall spills out over what was once Iceland’s coastline – the point where the plateau of the Eyjafjallajökull and Katla volcanoes ends.

                  Skógafoss is part of the Skógá river, which is born from a spring beneath Eyjafjöll mountains. Apart from the powerful cascade itself, what attracts visitors to this spot are the rainbows that form in the waterfall’s mist when the sun hits the droplets. Sometimes you can see a double rainbow in the spray.

                  The falls have a significant place in the history of the nearby Skógar settlement. Legend has it that one of the first Viking settlers of Skógar hid his chest of treasures behind Skógafoss. Hearing of the legend, three men tried to rescue the treasure but only managed to pull out one of the gold rings off the chest. The supposed legendary gold ring is on display in the little Skógar museum which you can visit yourself.

                  The name Skógafoss is a bit of a mystery. Skógar means forest and foss means falls, so the rough translation is “forest falls”, which is rather strange as Iceland’s tree population is sparse and it lacks any dense woodland.

                  Facilities at Skógafoss waterfall

                  Even though it is a natural sight and a public space, there are a few facilities around Skógafoss waterfall to make your visit as comfortable as possible. A large carpark big enough for tour buses and plenty of vehicles is free to use and there are heated toilets for a comfort break.

                  The nearby Skógar Hotel has a restaurant and café, and there’s a pop-up fish and chip van just down the road. Apart from the Skógar Hotel, you’ll find Skógafoss waterfall camping just beneath the falls at Skógar camping ground.

                  Sights around Skógafoss waterfall

                  Skógafoss waterfall marks the beginning of the Fimmvörðuháls hiking trail which meanders through the untamed, uninhabited Icelandic Highlands for 25 kilometres (15.5 miles). The Fimmvörðuháls trail connects Skógafoss with Þórsmörk where you can get a bus back to Reykjavík or spend the night at the campsite or in a mountain hut after your (roughly) eight-hour hike. The beginning of the trail passes by Waterfall Way – around 8 kilometres of path along the Skoga river that takes in 26 waterfalls on its way.

                  You can properly chase waterfalls around Skógafoss because, apart from Waterfall Way, there are a couple of Iceland’s prettiest and most powerful falls nearby.

                  Next door to Skógafoss (just a few hundred metres away), is Kvernufoss – a secret waterfall hidden in a rocky chasm.

                  Within a half-hour drive is the famous Seljalandsfoss where you can walk behind the waterfall itself.

                  The epic Reynisfjara black sand beach and the nearby Vík village are only 30-35 minutes drive away.

                  Only 10 minutes drive here is the parking lot where you can leave your car behind and walk to the famous DC3 plane wreck lying on a black sandy plain. If you’re not fancy walking in the desert for 1,5 hours (round trip), you can take a shuttle bus or join a thrilling ATV or Buggy tour.

                  Only 15 minutes from here is the Base Camp at Sóljheimajökull glacier, from where easy, family friendly guided glacier hike tours leave multiple times a day.

                  Skógafoss is included on the South Coast tours that leave Reykjavík throughout the year and take in the wonders of the south coast on the way.

                  Or perhaps you can opt for a south shore adventure all the way to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and the diamond beach, stopping to admire Skógafoss around halfway.

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