Marvel at the beauty of one of Iceland’s most iconic waterfalls.

South Iceland
Lupines in front of the Skógafoss waterfall in springtime
A rainbow over the Skógafoss waterfall on a sunny day
Lupines in front of the Skógafoss waterfall in springtime
Best time to visit
All year
Every day
Charging station

Soak up unforgettable views of Skógafoss waterfall, Iceland

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.

Other attractions near Skógafoss

The Seljalandsfoss waterfall covered in icicles


Walk behind a powerful plume of fresh glacier water at this wonderful waterfall.

30 km (19 mi)

Vik Church with Reynisdrangar sea stacks in the distance

Vík í Mýrdal

Discover Iceland’s wild south coast from this charming village.

34 km (21 mi)

Elephant Rock cliff in the Westman Islands

Westman Islands

Get up close to puffins and learn about the fiery history of this volcanic island group.

58 km (36 mi)

The village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur on a sunny day


This picture-perfect village is surrounded by some of South Iceland’s most iconic attractions.

107 km (66 mi)


FAQs about Skógafoss

Skógafoss waterfall is around 60 meters (197 feet) tall. But you won’t just be impressed by its height, the cascade's width of 25 meters (82 feet), makes it look like a wall of water.

Skógafoss waterfall is located next to Skógar village in South Iceland. It’s a great place to stop off if you’re exploring the south coast.

From Reykjavík, it’ll take you around 2 hours to travel the 156 kilometers (97 miles) to Skógafoss waterfall. The best way to do this is to rent a car or join a dedicated tour of South Iceland.

Unlike the waterfall Seljalandsfoss, which you might have heard of, it’s not safe to try and walk behind Skógafoss waterfall. That said, you can get epic photos from the base. Just make sure to wear waterproof outer layers and take care on the rocks, as they could be slippery.

You can also walk up around 400 steps to a breathtaking viewpoint at the top of the falls.

At the end of the last Ice Age, Skógafoss waterfall – which is fed by Skógá river – dropped directly into the sea. But since then, the ice has melted causing Iceland’s landmass to rise.

This meant that the ocean level receded over time. So when you visit Skógafoss today, the cliffs you’re looking at are an ancient coastline that’s approximately 5 kilometers (3 miles) inland.

The amount of time you decide to spend at Skógafoss depends on what you’d like to do there. Around 1–2 hours will give you enough time to soak up the waterfall’s natural beauty, take photographs, and climb the steps to the upper viewpoint.

But if you want to explore the area’s hiking trails, you could spend as much as a day here.

Just make sure you’re properly prepared with water, food, sturdy shoes or boots, and waterproof layers. We also recommend bringing a day pack to carry a warm fleece along with any other essentials.

There’s no charge to visit Skógafoss waterfall. And, if you’re driving you won’t need to pay for the parking lot either.

That said, if you’d like to take a day tour here there will be a cost for the trip. This will vary depending on the excursion and operator you choose. When you arrive here though, there won’t be an additional fee to see the waterfall.

If you’d like to contribute to the upkeep of the site, you can put some money in the donation box near the parking lot.

Skógafoss waterfall is just moments off the Ring Road (also known as Route 1).

Route 1 circles the country, so this makes the waterfall easy to get to from all over Iceland. But it’s particularly accessible from South Iceland and is just a 2-hour drive from the capital city of Reykjavík.