The Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland is one of the most famous locations on the island. With Thingvellir and the geysers of Haukadalur, it forms the Golden Circle Iceland. It is an two-step 32m high waterfall on the Hvítá river: impressive even with bad weather. Have a look:
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Gullfoss Waterfall Facts
The Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland is an iconic Icelandic waterfall on the Hvítá river which is fed by the country's second biggest glacier, the Langjökull. Some people compare its beauty to the Niagara falls. I recognize that its shape is more intriguing and the fact that it is surrounded only nature is better, but I did not find it as impressive.
The river rushes southward but about one kilometre above the falls it turns sharply to the right and flows down into the 32m crevice (105 ft) in two stages (11m and 21m). The average amount of water running over this waterfall is 140 m³/s in the summertime and 80 m³/s in the wintertime.
Gullfoss Waterfall Recent history: Its 20th century history is considered as the first environmenalist fight in Iceland regarding protecting waterfalls against generating power. Its area was designated as nature reserve in 1979.
PLANNING TIPS - GULLFOSS Waterfall Iceland
How to get to Gullfoss waterfall Iceland
- Approximately 110km away from Reykjavik i.e. 1h30min drive
- From Geysir, continue east on Route 35 for approximately 8.5 km. The 0.5km before arrival you can either turn right to the lower parking or continue on 35 to the main parking.
- You can see the location of the Gullfoss waterfall Iceland on my Golden Circle Map
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Visiting the Gullfoss Waterfall
- From the lower car park: Easy path leads up close to the big drop and to the higher part of the waterfall. Be careful with the mist it can be slippery. this can be clsoed during winter
- The higher carpark has facilities and a cafe. A 3 min walk gives you the view of the whole waterfall. There are steps between both levels.
- Don’t forget to bring protection gear for your camera, it can get very misty
- On sunny day, you can be lucky and see rainbows
- More info on the official website for Gullfoss
View of the whole Gullfoss waterfall
This is the view from the lower car park. You can see the path getting up close to the Gullfoss waterfall Iceland and the silhouette of people to give you an idea of proportions. My guides did not organize for us to stop at the higher parking. However I checked pictures online and I recommend going directly to the lower one.
The top section of Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland
As you walk closer to the waterfall the noise becomes impressive. The path comes really really close ot the big 21m drop. Be careful the mist makes it slippery. This was my favorite spot on the path where you realise the power of this waterfall.
Continuing on the path, you arrive close to the rapids section of the waterfall. This is prettier but not as dramatic. By the time I got there the light was bad and I was not able to get a good image...
Video of Gullfoss Waterfall Iceland
Here is a very short video for you to realise the power of this waterfall; don't forget to turn on the sound!
Like the pictures, this video is not of very good quality because of the low light but I think you can still be impressed by the waterfall itself 🙂
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Dramatic drop, don’t you think?