Have you ever had the opportunity to sit beside a waterfall and admire its beauty? If yes, then you must be aware of the magical, refreshing and rejuvenating allure that these waterfalls create. Whether they fall off thousands of feet from above a mountain top or simply plunge a few feet into a calm river flowing below, the breathtaking sights offered by these spectacular water displays is something you simply cannot afford to miss. So, if waterfalls and misty sights are what entice you, make sure you plan a trip to Iceland—the land of fire, ice and waterfalls.
Written by Jaya. Edited by Andrea Gylfadóttir.
In fact, there are so many stunning waterfalls all across Iceland that it becomes difficult to pick ones you should visit first. However, an Iceland expedition is incomplete without visiting Seljalandsfoss, a jaw-dropping natural beauty. Being one of the most accessible waterfalls in Iceland, it is flocked by tourists round the year.
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall – Luring Tourists from All Corners of the World
The wildflowers growing in the widespread meadow into which the water from the waterfall flows, further augment its beauty. And there’s a bonus too! On a bright day, when the glistening waters of the icy fall catch the sun’s rays, you might get to see a beautiful rainbow appear across the fall’s haze.
Where does Seljalandsfoss originate from?
Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which is a part of the Seljalandsá River has its origin at the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. Located on the southern coast of Iceland, the waterfall drops from a height of 60 metres (200 feet) into the river. Due to its close proximity to Ring Road 1, this picturesque and majestic waterfall has become one of the most popular and frequented waterfalls of the country. The most distinguishing feature that sets apart Seljalandsfoss from other waterfalls in Iceland is a pathway that surrounds it, allowing visitors to encircle it and view it from behind too. Though you can walk behind Seljalandsfoss,the perpetual mist from the waterfall makes the pathway rocks slippery and also drenches its visitors, it’s a sight you simply cannot miss.
How to get there
If you are driving from Reykjavík to Seljalandsfoss then you would have to take Ring Road 1 that leads you through the beautiful towns of Selfoss, Hella and Hvolsvollur. Once, you have crossed Hvolsvollur, you will have to drive another 18-20 minutes towards the east before you take a turn to get on to road 249. Now you’re on the road that will ultimately lead you to Seljalandsfoss. The waterfall is the perfect place to aim for after you’ve enjoyed a Golden Circle tour with all it’s attractions such as Thingvellir National park. If you plan to journey on along the south coast to visit all the amazing sites along the way Seljalandsfoss is located perfectly for you. The south coast of Iceland is home to Skaftafell, Vatnajökull glacier, basalt columns, black sand beaches, jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, rock formations, blue ice caves and has endless possibilities for adventures.
What to expect
There’s a huge parking lot by the side of the road, the same road that takes you to the waterfall. You need to pay a small parking fee here, to park your vehicle. The income generated from the parking fee is used in the maintenance and conservation of the waterfall as well as the area surrounding it. Being one of Iceland’s most frequented waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss does get busy during the months of July and August. The pleasant weather sees a huge number of tourists gather to view the dazzling beauty of this gigantic wall of water.
Attractions around Seljalandsfoss
As you move a little towards the west from Seljalandsfoss, you will get to witness several other mesmerizing waterfalls. The most interesting among them is Gljufrabui, which is hidden within its own valley. Facing the waterfall is a huge rock (also known as Franskanef cliff or the French nose) which makes it difficult to see the lower part of the waterfall. If you head a little towards the east from Gljufrabui, you will reach a small cave known as Paradisarhellir, which is one of the most popular caves of Iceland. If you drive further down the east, you are sure to be fascinated by the majestic Skogafoss waterfall—one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls of Iceland.
Best time to visit Seljalandsfoss
While you can visit Seljalandsfoss all through the year, the best time would however be between May and July. So, while the midnight sun lightens up the waterfall during the summer and creates a mesmerizing rainbow effect, you get to witness the magical effect created by the Northern lights if you visit the waterfall during the winters. Surrounded by snow, crystal icicles and partially frozen water, Seljalandsfoss is a spectacular sight during the winters—a perfect location for photography. However, the fall can be dangerous during winter as the ice on the paths becomes slippery. So, make sure you follow the warning instructions that have been put up for your safety.
While viewing the waterfall from the front can be awesome, observing it from behind can be a visual treat too. In fact, there are assigned pathways that take you to the back of the waterfall. However, the walkaways tend to become slippery due to the constant rush of water. Don’t make the mistake of embarking on this route without a sturdy pair of shoes or boots that will prevent you from slipping and injuring yourself. Also, you need to be cautious while traversing this tricky path, as there are certain patches that are pretty muddy, and chances are that you may tip over if not careful.
Since, you are bound to get drenched from head to toe as you walk behind the waterfall, along these damp pathways, make sure that everything is waterproof. Also ensure that you keep your camera in a dry place while you’re busy exploring.
Are Your Travel Bags Ready?
Though you’ll be spoilt for choice by all the travel-worthy attractions in the southern region of Iceland, Seljalandsfoss cannot be missed. Seeing Seljalandsfoss cascade over ancient sea cliffs to a pool below is an amazing experience. So, if Iceland is your next holiday destination, make sure you include Seljalandsfoss in your itinerary. Several interesting tours are available that include Seljalandsfoss. A small group tour that covers the south coast, waterfalls, Reynisfjara beach and includes glacier hiking on Sólheimajökull glacier, click here. For those wanting to explore ice caps and caves further along with all the beautiful waterfalls on the south coast a multi day tour might be the thing for you. Troll offers a 2 day winter expedition that includes a blue ice cave, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, the diamond beach, Skaftafell National park and many more jewels of the south, click here. What are you waiting for ?
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