There’s something incredibly alluring about waterfalls isn’t there? Perhaps it’s the size of them? The force of the water? Maybe even how the waterfall sits within its surroundings? Whatever the draw you can all but guarantee that if there’s one close to where I’m staying I’ll be jumping on a bus or organised trip to go and see it. Whilst staying in Reykjavik there was one waterfall which I knew we had to head out to see, the Gullfoss waterfall.
From Reykjavik it’s around 70 miles (110 km) to reach Gullfoss which will take you around an hour and a half. We visited in 2017 as part of Iceland’s south island tour. Doing it on a tour made things really easy due to seeing multiple sights of this incredible island and the simplicity of just hopping on and off a coach without having to worry about driving. During our visit in November it was around minus 10 degrees C so the roads were very icy and not particularly favourable to drive on!
Arriving at the falls
At Gullfoss there is a large car park and a small visitor centre where you can read some information boards about the waterfall. It was under refurbishment when we visited but still completely accessible.
From the visitor centre it’s a short 5 minute walk down to the waterfall’s viewpoints and as you approach the waterfall the path splits into 2 directions. There is a path directly in front of you going down some steps which offers great views of the lower falls.
From this viewing point you can also look upstream at the upper falls which takes your breath away. With Iceland being so baron in places it’s incredibly difficult to give any sort of idea of scale however the waterfall here really was enormous.
Having taken in the view you can walk further along the path to a much higher viewpoint. This overlooks the upper falls but also offers an incredible landscape view.
There is also a third path lower down the valley however this is closed in winter due to the ice that forms on it. It’s simply too dangerous to walk along however when open it takes you right up next to the falls as you can see in the photo above.
Wear appropriate shoes!
Walking along the paths you will need to be extremely careful with your footing as a large part of it was sheet ice during our visit. It made for some treacherous walking with several people falling over so be careful not to do yourself an injury. If you have crampons for your shoes I’d recommend bringing them along with you otherwise do as we did and wear a good pair of hiking boots.
The Gullfoss waterfall is one of the best that I’ve ever seen in the world. Niagara Falls In Canada remains my favourite due to its sheer volume and size however the Gullfoss waterfall offers a really competitive experience as for me it’s a far more beautiful waterfall sitting amongst its icy landscape.
Are you planning to head to Gullfoss this year? We’d love to know your plans, let us know in the comments!