Imagine standing behind a waterfall, mist spraying your face, with a panoramic view of Iceland’s breathtaking scenery. Sounds unreal, right? But you can find this at Seljalandsfoss, one of the most Instagrammable and iconic waterfalls in Iceland.
This Seljalandsfoss waterfall travel guide is filled with all the must-know information, including location details, tips on planning your visit, and fun facts about this iconic spot.
Where is Seljalandsfoss waterfall?
Seljalandsfoss waterfall is located in South Iceland, about 128 km from the capital city of Reykjavík.
It’s part of the Seljalands River that flows through the region and has become a popular tourist attraction thanks to its unique appearance.
Standing at 60 meters (197 ft) tall, it stands out amongst other Icelandic waterfalls with its ability to be completely encircled.
How was Seljalandsfoss formed?
Interested in how Seljalandsfoss came to be? Well, it’s actually a product of the nearby Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano.
Over thousands of years, the melting glacier has worked its way through the rock, creating the cliffs and, of course, the waterfall itself.
It’s a fascinating blend of volcanic activity and glacial flow.
How to get to Seljalandsfoss from Reykjavik?
Seljalandsfoss sits along Iceland’s famous Ring Road, about a two-hour drive from Reykjavik.
To get there, you can rent a car for the freedom to explore or hop on one of the many day tours that make a pit stop here.
If you’re navigating by GPS, just type in “Seljalandsfoss Waterfall,” and you’ll be set.
Follow Route 1 South from Reykjavík until you reach exit 254 (Seljalandsfoss/Skógafoss). Follow the signs for “Seljalandsfoss” and turn right onto the Ring Road toward Selfoss. After 8 km, you will arrive at your destination.
You can also take a bus or taxi, but it will be more expensive than driving yourself.
Alternatively, you can also book a South Coast Iceland tour from Reykjavik and travel easily. The tour will introduce you to the beautiful waterfalls and black sand beaches.
Weather in Seljalandsfoss
The Icelandic climate has a knack for being unpredictable.
In the summertime, expect milder conditions with temperatures ranging from 50-60°F (10-15°C).
The winter season can be chillier and more dramatic, with the thermometer often dipping below freezing.
Just a heads-up: sudden rain showers are not uncommon, so an all-weather wardrobe is your best friend here.
When is the best time to visit Seljalandsfoss waterfall?
If you ask me, the best time to visit Seljalandsfoss really depends on what you’re looking for.
Summer is fantastic for milder weather and the midnight sun, but it’s also when the crowds are at their peak.
If you don’t mind bundling up and prefer a quieter, more mystical experience, consider going in the late fall or winter. You might even catch the Northern Lights illuminating the falls!
How much time to spend at Seljalandsfoss waterfall?
How much time should you set aside for Seljalandsfoss?
I’d recommend at least an hour or two. This will give you enough time to walk around the waterfall, even go behind it, and really take in the scenery.
If you’ve got a bit more time, the surrounding area has a few other waterfalls like Gljúfrabúi that are worth a visit.
Best things to do in Seljalandsfoss
One of the best ways to see Seljalandsfoss is by walking behind the waterfall. Numerous trails lead up and around the falls, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the falls themselves.
But Seljalandsfoss offers so much more than its iconic walk behind the waterfall feature.
Make sure to visit Gljúfrabúi, a less famous but equally stunning waterfall that’s just a quick stroll away.
Plus, if you’re aiming for the best Seljalandsfoss photography locations, the golden hour here is an absolute dream for your portfolio.
There are also some scenic spots for a picnic around Seljalandsfoss, offering views of the lush Icelandic countryside.
What to wear when visiting Seljalandsfoss waterfall?
Since the weather is ever-changing, layering is crucial.
A base layer, an insulating layer, and a waterproof outer layer are the key ingredients to staying comfortable.
Search for the best footwear for visiting Seljalandsfoss, and you’ll find that water-resistant hiking boots are highly recommended.
Navigating the slippery, wet paths behind the waterfall is no place for flip-flops.
What to pack for Seljalandsfoss waterfall
You’re probably wondering, “What do I need to pack for a day at Seljalandsfoss?”
To kick things off, a refillable water bottle is a must, especially since you’ll be doing a fair amount of walking.
Energy-boosting snacks or a picnic lunch are also highly recommended; you can even find some local Icelandic foods to bring to Seljalandsfoss for a more authentic experience.
Photography enthusiasts should bring along a sturdy tripod for long-exposure shots of the waterfall.
And let’s not forget a quick-dry towel; it’s the unsung hero for wiping down mist-covered camera lenses or your own face.
Camping near Seljalandsfoss waterfall
Are you dreaming of a night enveloped by the wild beauty of Iceland? Camping near Seljalandsfoss can make that dream a reality.
There’s the Hamragarðar Campsite, just a stone’s throw away from the waterfall. Imagine falling asleep to the soothing sounds of cascading water!
Facilities include showers and a small shop, but plan ahead because spots can fill up quickly during peak season.
Attractions near Seljalandsfoss waterfall
You’re not limited to just one slice of heaven when you visit Seljalandsfoss; there’s a full smorgasbord of natural attractions around!
Gljúfrabúi: A Hidden Gem
Just a 10-minute walk from Seljalandsfoss, Gljúfrabúi is a less-visited but equally stunning waterfall tucked inside a gorge. A quick splash through a stream, and you’re there!
Eyjafjallajökull Visitor Centre: Volcano 101
Ever wondered about that unpronounceable volcano that erupted in 2010? The Eyjafjallajökull Visitor Centre nearby offers a quick, fascinating look into it.
Skógafoss: A Bigger Sibling
About 30km east, Skogafoss is another must-see waterfall. With a 60-meter drop, it’s among Iceland’s largest and offers a staircase to the top for an even more breathtaking view.
Fimmvörðuháls Hiking Trail: For the Adventurous
If hiking is your thing, the Fimmvörðuháls trail offers a 22km path between two glaciers. It’s a day or two of pure adventure, highly recommended for trekking enthusiasts.
Seljavallalaug: A Soak in Nature
End your day with a relaxing soak in Seljavallalaug, one of Iceland’s oldest geothermal pools, just a short hike away.
Food & drink
While Seljalandsfoss isn’t exactly a foodie hotspot, you’ll find some options to keep those hunger pangs at bay.
Near the parking area, there’s often a food truck or two offering local Icelandic snacks—think lamb hot dogs and Skyr yogurt.
But if you’re craving a proper meal, your best bet would be to head to nearby towns like Hvolsvöllur or Skógar for restaurants offering Icelandic cuisine.
Bring plenty of snacks like trail mix, dried fruit, or energy bars, just in case.
If you’re planning on camping overnight near the waterfall, bring quick-cooking items like instant noodles or pre-made rice packets that don’t require much preparation.
For drinks, make sure you pack plenty of water as well as other beverages like tea or coffee for when temperatures dip during the evening hours.
Practical tips for Seljalandsfoss visit
- Footwear Matters: Invest in a pair of sturdy, water-resistant hiking boots. The path can be a bit slippery, especially when you’re walking behind the waterfall.
- Timing is Everything: To dodge the crowds, plan your visit for early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
- Pack Smart: Bring a waterproof camera or a water-resistant phone case. This isn’t the place to risk damaging your tech!
FAQs about Seljalandsfoss waterfall
Why is Seljalandsfoss Waterfall famous?
From the base of this beautiful waterfall, you can walk behind it and experience its spectacular views from behind the water curtain. This adds to the uniqueness of Seljalandsfoss, as many other waterfalls do not provide such an incredible experience for those who visit them.
Additionally, because Seljalandsfoss is surrounded by lush greenery and open fields, it provides a stunning backdrop for photographers looking to capture magnificent shots during their time in Iceland.
How long does it take to walk to Seljalandsfoss waterfall?
The average time to walk to Seljalandsfoss waterfall is approximately 20 minutes. Depending on the speed of your walk, this amount of time can fluctuate. The total distance from the car park to the waterfall is 1.2 km (0.75 miles).
Is Seljalandsfoss waterfall free?
Seljalandsfoss waterfall is open to the public; therefore, there is no cost associated with visiting it. Additionally, you don’t need to pay a fee to access the grounds surrounding the waterfall. While parking may be charged in certain areas near the waterfall, most tourists can find free Seljalandsfoss parking nearby.
Can you walk behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall?
Yes, it’s possible to walk behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall because the path leading up to the back of Seljalandsfoss is wide enough for multiple people and offers an incredible view from behind the curtain of water.
Although walking around or behind the Seljalandsfoss falls can be slippery, it’s a worthwhile experience you should not miss. Be sure to dress appropriately in waterproof clothing and wear sturdy footwear while exploring this natural marvel.
Seljalandsfoss is a remarkable waterfall not to be missed on your trip to Iceland. It’s easy to get to Seljalandsfoss, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the country’s natural beauty. With this insider travel guide, you’ll know everything you need to enjoy Seljalandsfoss waterfall to the fullest.