Iceland is known for its nature. Often referred to as the land of fire and ice, the island is full of natural extremes, including the most beautiful waterfalls. The height, the amount of water or the mystical atmosphere… every waterfall is unique on its own! On a road trip through the south you can easily visit the four most beautiful in the country in one day.
The road trip itinerary to visit 4 of Iceland’s best waterfalls in one day
The four waterfalls are all in the south and close to the large Ring Road that runs around the entire island. They are located in pairs in the Icelandic landscape, so you’ll only have to make two stops during this day trip: a stop at Seljalandsfoss and Gljúfrabúi and a stop at Skógafoss and Kvernufoss. The distance between the two stops is approximately 30 kilometers, so only half an hour of driving.
As you can visit these four waterfalls in only one of even half a day, this is also a popular day trip from Reykjavik. The Seljalandsfoss is approximately 130 kilometers away, so a short two-hour drive from the capital. Almost all tour buses from Reykjavik visit the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. That also means that these waterfalls can be crowded in the middle of the day, so the best time to visit them is early in the morning and late afternoon.
Visiting the 4 best waterfalls in southern Iceland
You immediately start with one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. The Seljalandsfoss is easily accessible from the Ring Road; you can even see the waterfall from the road. It is not the height or the beautiful scenery that make this waterfall such a must see. You can walk behind it!
Tip: make sure you wear shoes with a good profile, because the water makes it very slippery. You can also get pretty wet, so a rain suit is not a bad idea either.
A few 100 meters further along a side road of the Ring Road is the Gljúfrabúi, so within walking distance of the Seljalandsfoss. This waterfall is hidden in a gorge, so the waterfall is not clearly visible. That gives it a magical atmosphere! For the best view, you can wade through the water through the gorge. That was a bit too cold for us, but the view was told to be amazing.
Grab the car and drive to your next destination in about 30 minutes. With a height of over 60 meters and a width of 25 meters, this waterfall is particularly impressive. This waterfall is also close to the Ring Road, so you will be able to see it from the road. You walk from the parking to the foot of the waterfall, where you will often see rainbows in the drifting water. Stairs also lead up to a view from the top.
Tip: the stairs to the top are also the start of a beautiful hike of almost 25 kilometers. The hike leads through the Fimmvörðuháls pass between the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers. You will have to cover a height difference of around 1000 meters, so you’ll need a full day for this hike. It is not advised to walk the hike in the winter, because then you only have a few hours of daylight and the paths will be partially impassable. I would love to do this hike during a next trip to Iceland!
The Kvernufoss is actually a hidden gem in southern Iceland. With a height of approximately 50 meters, this waterfall is not inferior to the others in this list. But it is a bit harder to reach. You should not park your car at the parking in front of the Skógafoss, but head a little to the east at the museum of the town of Skogar. From there you’ll follow a sheep path to the east, along a small river, until you reach this natural wonder. Just like with the Seljalandsfoss you can also walk behind this waterfall! And the same applies here: it can be very slippery and a rain suit could be nice.