When traveling along the South Coast on Iceland’s Ring Road, there’s quite a bit to see. The stretch of Road between Reykjavik and Vik is particularly interesting. Not only are you close to the sea, but several must-see detours are located here. Between Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Skógafoss waterfall, and the plane crash site at Solheimasandur black sand beach, you’ve got a least a days’ worth of outdoor activities to keep you occupied. And while Seljalandsfoss gets much of the attention of tourists (it’s known as Iceland’s most beautiful waterfall), I’d like to turn your attention to Skógafoss waterfall, its slightly less famous neighbor. But just because it’s not as well-known as Seljalandsfoss doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take time out of your Iceland itinerary to stop here.
Skógafoss Waterfall: The Perfect Detour on Iceland’s Ring Road
Iceland is famous for a few things like glaciers, volcanoes, and waterfalls. The relatively small size of the island means that driving distances are shorter than in other countries. When driving in Iceland, you’ll usually spend only two to three hours to get to your final destination. This is great because it leaves plenty of time for those fun little detours and stop-offs that make trips like this so memorable. While making the two and a half hour drive from Reykjavik to Vik (or vice versa), this is the perfect place to stop. It’s very close to Vik and about 25 minutes from Seljalandsfoss. It should be the last destination before arriving in Vik and settling down for the night or the first thing in the morning as you make your way back to the capital city.
What Makes Skógafoss Waterfall So Special?
Surrounded by craggy cliffs and mossy vertical rock walls, Skógafoss is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. As you approach the massive cascade, you feel the expanse of its 82-foot (25-meter) width across and its steep 197-foot (60-meter) drop. Skógafoss is one of the few waterfalls in Iceland where you can walk right up to the base where the water hits the river below. Just be very careful, as it can be very slippery, especially if there is snow, ice, or loose gravel. An interesting fact is that even though Skógafoss is now inland, it used to be part of the coastline. Pressure from glacial activity pushed the ground down, and when it melted, the coast moved further outward. The former sea cliffs were all that remained.
Once you’ve approached Skógafoss and seen its rainbows and double rainbows, it’s time to scale to the top! There’s a unique vantage point from above that allows for great views of the surrounding landscapes.
How to Arrive at Skógafoss Waterfall
It’s quite easy to get Skógafoss. If you’re coming from Reykjavik, just drive east on Route 1 (the Ring Road). After around 97 miles (155 km) you’ll see a sign on the left to turn off. Follow the road to get to the parking lot. It’s about 25 minutes after you pass the turnoff for Seljalandsfoss. When coming from Vik, head west on Route 1. It’s just under 21 miles (34 km) to reach the sign for turning off to the right.
South Iceland Spotlight: Skógafoss Waterfall
Skógafoss is one of the jewels of Iceland’s South Coast. Be sure to take an hour or so out of your itinerary to stop here. You won’t regret it, just make sure to bring your raincoat so you don’t get wet!