Skogafoss is one of the most famous waterfalls Iceland.
Walking up close to a powerful 60m high curtain of water is an experience you should not miss!
Below is my guide to help you plan your visit with tips, how to get there, map and photos.
Note: if you are traveling in Winter, head to my other article about Skogafoss in Winter.
This article contains affiliate links (Disclosure page). If you purchase using my link, I get a commission at no extra cost to you.
Why visit the Skogafoss waterfall in Iceland?
True, it does not have a crazy shape, but the sheer power of the drop and the fact that you can see it from up close, as wella s from the top make it a must-stop in my opinion.
It is over 60m (200ft) in height and 25m (80ft) in width!
Skogafoss is one of my favorite waterfalls in Iceland.
Is it worth a visit?
Absolutely! Here are some reasons:
- It is very easy to get to (by the Ring Road)
- You can go very close and see it from many angles
- It is powerful and the noise adds surround sound to the experience
- It is like a shower curtain with an absolute straight drop
- It is niched in the cliffs around
- The fields around the town of Skógar are filled with purple lupine during June
- It produces rainbows on rainy days (because it is quite powerful with a lot of mist)
It is a top stop on the Ring Road.
However it is also very touristic, so prefer early morning or late afternoon for a better experience!
How was Seljalandsfoss formed? Skoga River and Geology
At Skógafoss, the Skógá River falls over the former sea cliff (the ocean has receded 5km).
Its source is near the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökulland
It is one of the rivers with the highest numbers of waterfalls (you can see at least 26 on a hike along it).
What does Skogafoss mean?
Foss in Icelandic means waterfall. You will see it at the end of many names.
So, it is the waterfall of the Skoga river.
The village is Skogar. So, it is sometimes referred to as the Skogar waterfall.
How do you pronounce Skogafoss?
It is pronounced ‘skoa-foss’ ([ˈskou.aˌfɔs]) - you can listen to it here.
More photos after the planning tips.
Planning tips & Map - Skogafoss, Iceland
Where is Skogafoss located? - Map
- Located on the South Coast of Iceland (see my article about the region)
- At the Skogar village not far from the Ring Road, between Selfoss and Vik
- The waterfall is visible from the Ring road and the parking a just 1km from Road number 1.
- Below is a map to help you get oriented and locate the waterfall:
This location is included (with GPS coordinates, map of region and planning info) in both my travel guide eBooks that help you easily plan your Iceland road trip:
How to get to Skogafoss - self drive
- Reykjavik to Skogafoss = around 2h drive
- Seljalandsfoss to Skogafoss = 30min drive (28km East)
- Skogafoss to Vik = 30min drive
- Easy short drive from the Main Road 1
Need to rent a car in Iceland?
- Option 1 - Local experts - Iceland has a lot of specificities and offerings by local companies are adapted - compare cars and prices of quality local brands on GuidetoIceland.com
- Option 2 - International Brands - compare offers on Discovercars.com - one of the best customer-rated comparison sites!
- Book early to have a large choice of vehicles!
- See my articles about renting a car in Iceland and driving there.
Day trip from Reykjavik with stop at Skogafoss - tour
You can book a day trip from Reykjavik that covers the first half of the South Coast, including Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss - See options, programs and availability
Best time to visit Skogafoss
- If possible, you should visit early or late to avoid the crowds.
- It is facing South and slightly West, so light would be better later in the day.
- And if you can visit when it is sunny, you may be able to see rainbows across it!
- Otherwise, it can be visited all year long. the water is still flowing in winter.
- It is also possible to see the Northern lights above the waterfall if you are lucky. You are facing North, so it is a great spot.
How long to spend at Skogafoss? How far is the walk to Skogafoss?
- You can see the waterfall from Road 1 and from the carpark
- So, you don't have to walk at all or just a few hundred meters to get closer
- You can stay just 15min admiring it from the front
- Or plan 1h to 1h30 to explore the base and hike up and down
- Longer if you want to keep walking along the Skoga river or if you plan on visiting the Skogar Museum
- Free access
- There is a flat walk to the base of the falls, and you can walk as close as you dare (But, don’t forget to protect your camera)
- There are also stairs on the right side to get to the top. There are roughly 370 steps and you need to be reasonably fit. And there is also a rock in the shape of a troll face.
- There is a cafe and toilets at the site and restaurants in the village
- A hiking path starts at the top of the Skogafoss waterfall and follows the river with many rapids and more waterfalls.
- In the village you can also visit the Skogar Museum (more information further in the article).
- And Check out my complete article on what to wear and pack for Iceland to stay warm and comfortable
Where to stay near Skogafoss
The nearby village is Skogar.
- If you want to stay really close to the waterfall (walking distance) - check out the Skogafoss hotel or check out the Skogar hotel
- If you don't mind staying a little bit west (5 min drive), the Garage Guesthouse is in a stunning location - check out photos and prices
Otherwise the town of Vik is only 30min away:
Can you camp near Skogafoss?
Yes but no free camping at the waterfall. There is a camping area where you can stay for a small fee.
The waterfall of Skógafoss in pictures
From the parking area
From the parking area, it is an easy flat walk to the foot of the waterfall.
Or, as you can see in the picture below, you can walk on the side to a viewing platform
From the distance
I waited there for an hour with my foreground hoping for a rainbow to appear. But I do not complain, there are worse places to wait.
Skogafoss falls from up close
No picture can translate the power of it…
Sadly I do not have a wide angle, so I was not able to take a picture of the whole fall even closer.
Skogafoss Hike (up to 22km Fimmvorduhals)
And from here you can hike for 30min to 2 days.
Skogafoss waterfall hike - short
At Skogafoss you can also do some hiking.
You can climb the 370 steps to the viewing platform.
From the walk up the stairs you can enjoy nice views of the side (but be very careful if not staying on the path)
And now the view from the platform at the top:
Skogafoss hike - long
And once at the top you can keep walking along the Skoga river and see more than 25 more waterfalls.
You can continue along the river for as long as you want. It goes between the glacier and all the way to the Central Highlands (to Thorsmork).
It is one of the most popular hikes in Iceland: Fimmvorduhals which is 22km - open only in Summer.
But you can walk for a shorter time and turn around.
The Skogar Museum
In the village of Skógar, close to the waterfall, you can also visit the Skógar Museum. See opening hours and price on the official website. It has:
- an Open Air Museum with turf houses (and example of architecture from different period)
- a Folk Museum with craft and artifacts from the region
- a Technical Museum - about the evolution of transport, communication and technologies
Skogafoss Waterfall in Winter
Being close to the Ring Road, the Skogafoss falls can also be accessed in Winter.
Considering the high volume of the waterfall it does not freeze and the scenery become really magical.
Video, Legend, Movies, Fun Facts and FAQs
Legend - Is there a treasure behind Godafoss?
There is a legend attached to the waterfall: it is believed that a chest filled with gold and treasures is behind it (the Viking Settler Þrasi Þórólfsson at Skógar would have hidden the chest around 900).
The local folklore says that people saw it but could only grab the ring of the chest, that great treasures still await the one that goes behind...
I do not have a video dedicated to Skogafoss, but you can see it starting at 1min 40 (just one shot from the distance) on my video about the Icelandic waterfalls:
Movies and TV shows with Skogafoss
Seljalandsfoss has been featured in movies and music videos such as :
- Game of Thrones, season 8 - Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow fly to this waterfall with dragons and kiss in front of it
- The Marvel Film Thor: The Dark World
- The beautiful movie The Secret life of Walter Mitty
- The 5th season of Vikings
- Justin Bieber’s music video for the song “I’ll Show You”
Is Skogafoss part of the Golden Circle?
Can you walk behind Skogafoss?
No. The waterfall where you can walk behind is Seljalandsfoss, 30min drive away - see article
Want to see other highlights nearby?
- The famous Jokulsarlon lagoon and its iceberg - read article
- Diamond beach with icebergs on black sand - read article
- Fjallsarlon Glacial Lagoon, lesser know but as impressive - read article
- The Svartifoss waterfall and its basalt columns - read article
- The impressive waterfall of Seljalandsfoss where you can walk behind (read article)
- The "feather canyon" of Fjadrargljufur - read article
- Or read my complete article about South Iceland
- The Golden Circle - read article
- The best things to do on the Snaefellsnes peninsula - read article
- The best things to do in North Iceland - read article
- Itinerary suggestions - read article
Planning a trip to Iceland?
Check out my travel guide to help you plan:
Plan your dream road trip in Iceland
And keep track of your own trip!
Want to see more of Iceland's beauty?
Note: If you don't want to book everything yourself, consider booking a Self-Drive Tour Package (see my article to help you choose)
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