Seljalandsfoss Unveiled: Behind the Cascade Curtain

seljalandsfoss in the Golden Circle, Iceland

We arrived at Seljalandsfoss about midday, like a lot of the viewing points in Iceland the waterfall dominates the view. So much so that we were scrambling to out our crampons on to get to the front as close as possible. Seljalandsfoss reaches an incredible 65m into the sky giving us a view that with every step along that path only became more stunning.

Exploring the falls

As we reached the viewing platform the roar of the waterfall was almost relaxing. Many of us were hoping to walk along the path that leads behind the waterfall, offering a unique view of the landscape. However due to the thick snow and ice on the path it had been roped off with a big sign warning of the dangers. There is a high risk of falling ice along that path, so its understandable why but that doesnt mean there isnt still that initial twinge of disappointment. Luckily those feelings dissipate quickly when you are standing in front of such a spectacular view. Being part of a tour, we didnt have long to enjoy our time hefe, we had been advised to head down the path to our next attraction, Gljúfrabúifoss, a hidden waterfall thats often overlooked by tourists. 

Changing of the Seasons

The view at Seljalandsfoss will change throughout the year, Summer is the most popular and when it is easiest to access, however I visited in the winter with the snow topper landscape presenting its own charms. There are pros and cons to whatever time of the year you visit, and when I can I want to return so I can see the differences between the seasons with my own eye. If you choose to go behind the waterfall make sure you have waterproofs on, theres no if’s about it, you will get wet and you do not want to have a soggy bus ride. The pathways are rocky and slippery too, so make sure you have a good pair of hiking boots. 

Unlike other waterfalls, the name Seljalandsfoss doesn’t mean anything, it’s just what they decided to call it. The water here originates from the Seljalands river, which in turn is formed by the Eyjafjallajökull Glacier Volcano. This water rushes down and off the overhanging cliff creating Seljalandsfoss and the pathway behind it. 

Seljalandsfoss FAQs

How do I visit myself?

You can drive her if you rent a car. Otherwise you can book yourself on one of many tours from Reykjavik. To book you can click on the link below and book with Get Your Guide. Booking through the link doesn’t cost you any extra but does mean I receive a commission and supports Brad’s Backpack.

How big is Seljalandsfoss?

Seljalandsfoss is 65m high and 10m wide.

What is the best time of year to visit?

This is entirely down to personal opinion, in the summer months you can go behind the water for a unique view but that does attract more crowds. In the winter it’s quieter and looks stunning covered in snow, but it is harder to access.

What time is Seljalandsfoss open to visitors?

The waterfall is open 24 hours a day. 

How much does it cost to visit here?

The waterfalls are completely free to visitors, however there is an 800isk parking fee. The only other costs are the car rental and petrol.

Is it part of the Golden Circle tour?

Absolutely! Although it is not part of the traditional tour, Seljalandsfoss has become so popular over the years that it is now considered an essential stop. How long you have to visit is entirely down to the tour so you may not be able to walk to Gljúfrabúifoss and back.

How do you pronounce its name?


How far is Seljalandsfoss from Reykjavik?

Without stopping it’s a 2-hour drive from Reykjavik. You can also get here by bus and it costs around 40 euros.

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