Have you ever dreamed of standing in front of the mighty waterfalls? It’s one thing to see pictures or videos, but it’s a whole other experience when you can stand at the base and feel the mist on your skin. Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland is one such place that allows you to do that – and more!
From its location amidst some of the most spectacular landscapes to its rich history, read my guide to get the best out of your visit to Skogafoss waterfall.
What is Skogafoss?
Skogafoss is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland and a popular tourist attraction.
It’s located on the Skoda River in south Iceland and has a single drop of 60 meters (196 ft), making it one of the highest waterfalls in Iceland.
The waterfall has an impressive width of 25 meters (82ft), and with sufficient rainfall, a mighty cascade can be seen from far away.
The beauty of Skogafoss lies not only in its size but also in its unique setting.
Its cliffs are dotted with small caves that provide shelter to birds during harsh winters, while its icy spray creates rainbows over the falls that dance across the sky when viewed from certain angles.
Where is Skogafoss waterfall?
Skogafoss is located in the south of Iceland, formed by glacial outwash over thousands of years. It’s situated between two glaciers, Eyjafallajökull and Myrdalsjökull.
How to get to Skogafoss waterfall from Reykjavik?
Skogafoss is one of the most impressive waterfalls in Iceland, about 260 km from Reykjavík. To get to the waterfall from Reykjavík, you have several options.
The most common way to reach Skogafoss waterfall from Reykjavik is by car. The journey takes about two hours, depending on the traffic.
Head towards the Ring Road (Route 1) in a south-easterly direction until you reach your destination.
I use Discovercars to book my car when visiting Iceland. The website offers several options, so it’s easy to choose a suitable one.
A tour to Skogafoss waterfall from Reykjavik is one of the most popular day trips. The journey usually stops at the Seljalandsfoss waterfall and then onto Skogafoss, your final destination.
Depending on the tour you choose, you may also have a chance to visit some nearby attractions such as Reynisfjara black sand beach or Sólheimajökull glacier.
Another way to get to Skogafoss waterfall from Reykjavik is by bus. The road trip takes about two hours and departs from Hlemmur, a downtown Reykjavik bus station.
You can purchase tickets at the ticket booth of any Strætó bus line for all routes around the country.
Make sure you read the timetable carefully before purchasing your ticket, as it may vary depending on the day or season.
Weather in Skogafoss waterfall
Skogafoss waterfall is known for its stunning beauty and its unpredictable weather conditions.
The climate of this region is typical for Iceland – mild winters with temperatures just below 0°C on average.
Still, cold winds make it feel much colder than that, while summers are usually warm and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 15°C.
The area receives more rain than the rest of Iceland and is particularly prone to storms during wintertime. This means that Skógafoss weather can be seen in its most powerful form when a storm passes through the area, with cascading water creating an awe-inspiring sight.
Rainfall is common year-round, particularly during the spring and autumn months, when it is most frequent.
When is the best time to visit Skogafoss waterfall?
Visiting Skogafoss Waterfall is best in the summer months of June, July, and August. These months provide longer daylight hours with more sunshine and warmer temperatures, making exploring the area around the falls easier.
During these summer months, you can also enjoy many activities such as hiking trails, boating in nearby rivers and lakes, or just taking in the stunning views from the top of Skogafoss waterfall.
The warm weather makes it possible to take advantage of all these activities during your visit.
Also, this period sees a wider variety of wildlife that can be seen near and around the falls.
How much time to spend at Skogafoss waterfall?
You should spend at least an hour exploring Skogafoss. The hiking trails around the waterfall offer amazing views and plenty of photo opportunities, so allow yourself time to soak it all in.
There are also other attractions nearby, such as the nearby Skógar Folk Museum, which is worth visiting.
If you want to make the most of your time, consider taking a guided tour of the waterfall or even renting a car for day trips further into Iceland’s stunning countryside.
Where to stay near Skogafoss?
You might opt to spend the night in Skogar and visit the waterfall when it is least crowded. Other well-liked lodging towns nearby include Selfoss, Vik, and Reykjavik.
Best things to do in Skogafoss
The following are some of the top activities to engage in when visiting this impressive site:
See the famous Skogafoss waterfall
One of the best things to do in Skogafoss is to visit the famous Skogafoss waterfall.
Located near the south coast of Iceland, this magnificent waterfall has been a popular tourist destination for centuries.
The sheer power and beauty of its cascading waters make it an awe-inspiring sight to behold! You often marvel at its 60 meters high curtain of water crashing down into the narrow gorge below.
Those brave enough can even take a closer look and walk up to the top, where they can get a better view and feel the mist created by the powerful water flow.
Hike Fimmvorduhals – Skogafoss hiking trail
Fimmvorduhals – Skogafoss trail is a must-do activity for any outdoor enthusiast visiting the area.
This Skógafoss waterfall hike offers stunning views of some of the most beautiful landscapes in Iceland, including dramatic mountains and glaciers, lush green valleys, and wild rivers.
The trail also takes you along the foot of the iconic Skogafoss waterfall and gives you an up-close look at its breathtaking power.
It’s not for everyone; this is a strenuous hike over rough and rugged terrain that requires a certain fitness level.
Visit Skógar museum
One of the best things to do in Skogafoss is to visit the Skógar museum. This open-air museum features traditional turf houses, artifacts from the past, and various exhibits from Icelandic history.
The museum also offers guided tours and educational programs that allow you to learn more about Iceland’s culture and heritage.
A highlight of visiting the museum is getting a peek into how many Icelanders used to live in the past – with makeshift homes made out of turf and clay.
What to wear when visiting Skogafoss waterfall?
When visiting Skogafoss waterfall, it’s important to dress appropriately for the weather.
Depending on when you visit, you will want to prepare for temperatures ranging from mild to cool.
I suggest layering your clothing to stay warm if needed. Ensure that your outermost layer of clothing is waterproof, as you may encounter some water spray created by the powerful force of the falls.
You’ll also want to wear shoes with good traction so that you don’t slip on any wet surfaces. A raincoat or poncho can be useful too. It’s always a good idea to bring an extra layer of clothing, such as a thick jacket or sweater, in case you need more warmth.
What to pack for Skogafoss waterfall?
When packing for Skogafoss, consider bringing a waterproof jacket and pants – the spray from the falls can reach quite far.
I also recommend a sun hat and sunglasses, especially in the summer when the sun is particularly strong.
Bring comfortable walking shoes suitable for slippery surfaces such as stones or grass. A backpack with snacks, water, and basic first-aid supplies is a must.
You should also bring a camera to capture your visit to this beautiful natural wonder! Make sure that any electronics you bring are safe from moisture by using waterproof bags or cases if necessary.
Attractions near Skogafoss waterfall
The surrounding area has a plethora of attractions to be explored, ensuring that you have plenty of options when looking for something to do.
One popular attraction close to Skogafoss is the Eyjafjallajökull Glacier, which offers spectacular views of the glacier’s expanse and opportunities for glacier walking.
You can also take a boat tour around the glacier and explore its icy surroundings from a different perspective.
The Skógá River, located near the waterfall, provides excellent fishing opportunities with its abundance of salmon and trout fish. Catch-and-release fly fishing is especially popular in this area, with many anglers taking home a memorable story about their day outdoors.
The Skogar Museum is another great attraction nearby, featuring artifacts from the region’s Viking past and showcasing ancient Icelandic tools and handicrafts.
Food & drink
If you are looking for a great meal after you visit Skogafoss waterfall, there are plenty of options.
A short ride away from the falls, you can find all kinds of restaurants offering traditional Icelandic cuisines, such as smoked fish, warm lamb soup, and fresh seafood, such as Hotel Skogafoss Bistro & Bar, Hotel Skogafoss Restaurant or Restaurant Hotel Skogar.
If you prefer something lighter, there are also plenty of cafes serving delicious sandwiches made with freshly-baked bread, salads, and pastries.
Many places offer outdoor seating to enjoy your meal while taking in the scenery around you such as Mia’s Country Van.
Other tips for visiting Skogafoss waterfall
When visiting Skogafoss waterfall, be sure to bring your camera. Make sure to pay attention to the safety signs posted around the area and stay on designated paths.
Due to the forces of rushing water, you are prohibited from entering the base of the waterfall or climbing onto the rocks.
Be aware that there can be slippery surfaces near the waterfall due to melting snow and rainfall.
You should wear appropriate shoes such as hiking boots with good grip and avoid flip-flops or other open-toed footwear.
If you plan on taking photos of Skogafoss, early morning is ideal for catching beautiful light rays filtering through the mist above the waterfall.
The best photo angle is usually from the left side of the waterfall, but feel free to explore different perspectives!
FAQs about Skogafoss waterfall
Why is Skogafoss waterfall famous?
The Skogafoss region offers abundant outdoor activities, ranging from hiking and camping to swimming and sightseeing. One of Skogafoss’s most popular attractions is the Fimmvörðuháls trail which was at the center of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull Stratovolcano eruption. With its legendary hiking paths, Skogafoss has become a go-to destination for hikers all over Iceland and beyond.
How long does it take to hike to Skogafoss waterfall?
Although it is possible to see the falls from the roadside, the best way to experience them up close and personal is by taking a hike along the trail. It takes approximately two hours to complete, depending on your fitness level and how many stops you make along the way.
Is Skogafoss waterfall free?
Skogafoss waterfall is free to visit and enjoy. The site is open to the public with no entrance fees or restrictions. The area surrounding the waterfall is well-maintained, offering you a safe and enjoyable experience.
All in all, Skogafoss offers an unforgettable experience and a waterfall unlike any other.
With its vast size, powerful flow, and picturesque location, it’s no wonder that Skogafoss has become one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions.
Be sure to add this natural wonder to your list of must-sees the next time you plan a trip to Iceland!