At 60 meters (197 feet) tall and 25 meters (82 feet) wide you’ll be instantly impressed by the size of Skógafoss. The waterfall is striking year-round. But if you’re here on a day when the sun’s shining on the cascade you could see rainbows in the spray – magical!
During your visit, you can hike up to a platform overlooking the falls below. Just make sure to bring your camera – you’ll definitely want to capture the stunning view.
There’s more to this waterfall than meets the eye. This breathtaking curtain of water also features in age-old folklore. According to a Norse legend, Þrasi Þórólfsson – the first Viking in Iceland – threw a chest of treasure into the river.
It’s said that over the years many people tried and failed to fish the wooden chest out of the waterfall. Until, one day, someone climbed into the cascade. But they could only grasp the handle on the side of the chest. And because the wood was so rotten, the handle broke off and the treasure plummeted to the bottom of the falls, never to be found.
For a while, the ring-shaped handle was on the door of the nearby church, Skógakirkja. Nowadays, if you visit Skógar Museum, you can see the ring the locals claim came from the chest for yourself. The museum is also worth exploring if you’d like to learn more about the culture of the area.
You might also be surprised to learn that the cliffs Skógafoss flows over, were part of Iceland’s coastline during the last Ice Age. Since then, melting ice caused the country’s landmass to rise. This drop in sea level means that you’ll now find the waterfall 5 kilometers (3 miles) inland.