The best guide to Skogafoss, Iceland (2023)

Iceland's harsh landscape is dotted with glacial rivers and waterfalls cascading from clifftops. One of the most distinctive waterfalls in the country, Skogafoss, falls like a white cloak from a high cliff.Island Skogafoss TourStop to admire the rainbow as the sun shines through the mist of the falls. Stop and admire this natural wonder and you'll understand why it's used as a backdrop for Hollywood blockbusters and award-winning TV shows. Here is our complete guide to one of Iceland's most beautiful natural wonders.

About Skogafoss

The river Skoga rises from a source under the Eyjafjord mountains and is the source of the Skogafoss waterfall. The waterfalls occur at the end of the volcanic plateau of Eyjafjallajökull and Katla, where the river Skoga flows over high basalt cliffs into a deep basin. Awe-inspiring at 227 feet, the mists of the falls often feature double or single rainbows, drawing photographers and admirers from far and wide.

According to legend, one of the first Viking settlers of Skogar - a man named Þrasi Þórólfsson - threw a treasure chest into the waterfall. Three locals from Skogar decided to try to pull the box out of the waterfall, but in their attempt to pull it out of the water, the gold ring broke and the box fell to the bottom of the pool. The so-called golden chest - a beautiful white church with a red roof - is exhibited in a small museum in Skogar.

You may recognize Skogafoss as the setting for many Hollywood movies and TV series. The drama of the falls certainly won't go unnoticed when scouting locations for films such as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Thor: Into Darkness and James Bond, as well as TV's Vikings.

It is worth noting that the currents of Skogafoss are very strong and if you stand at the bottom to enjoy this sight, you may get wet. A waterproof jacket with a hood and even waterproof pants are a good idea to pack for a trip to the falls.

Head to the south coast of Iceland and get lost in the scenery

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Reykjavik Excursions offers the following excursions throughout the yearThe beautiful south coast of Iceland, enjoy black sand beaches, waterfalls and glacier hiking.

What does Skogafoss mean in English?

In English, Skóga means forest and foss means waterfall, so a rough translation is forest waterfall. The name is somewhat mysterious because Iceland is notoriously sparsely forested and you won't find forests in this part of the country.

Where is Skogafos?

One of the great things about Skogafoss is that you can see it from Ring Road 1 (the main route around Iceland). It's also en route to the wonders of Iceland's south coast, with black sand beaches, fishing villages and glaciers along the way. The 154 kilometers (about 95 miles) from Reykjavík to Skógafoss takes about two hours by car.

It also marks the start (or end) of the 25 km long Fimmvörðuháls trailThe untouched highlands of IcelandIt takes you through the "Waterfall Road" to the island's volcanic wilderness. The route starts with 527 steps to the top of the Skógafoss waterfall, from where you can see the landscape of green moss all the way to the sea. Of course, if you don't feel like hiking all day, climbing to the top of the falls may seem like a one-day adventure.

How to get to Skogafoss?

Just off Highway 1, the main road that circles Iceland, you can easily travel from Reykjavík to Skogafoss by renting a car. About two hours from the capital, you can stop at several other south coast attractions along the way, or incorporate it into a full road trip along the island's coast.

If you don't fancy driving, there are two buses a day from Reykjavík to Skogar in the summer, and the journey takes about three hours. If you want to spend the night and possibly hike the next day, there are many accommodation options in Skogar.

Of course, if you want to combine your visit to Skogafoss with other attractions on the south coast, Reykjavik tours offer plenty of optionsTour of the south coast of IcelandTake the hassle out of getting there.

Admire nature at its best on an adventure on the south coast of Iceland

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Vast rock formations, glaciers and thundering waterfalls await you on the south coast of Iceland. taking partExcursions in Reykjavik South Coast AdventuresExplore the natural wonders of this area.

How long does it take to visit Skogafoss?

If you take a whirlwind tour of the south coast, you can stop at Skogafoss for half an hour, walk to the base of the falls and snap a photo or two of double rainbows in the falling water. The walk to the top of the falls requires climbing more than 500 steps and takes 45 minutes to an hour, especially in winter, the steps can be slippery. Of course, if you're going to do a day hike on the Fimmvörðuháls trail, you'll need to allow at least eight hours of walking.

Is Skogafoss free?

Skógafoss is completely free. In other words, you don't need a ticket to visit the waterfall, and you can also walk along the path up the hill to the top of the mountain for free. Parking is also free, and there are toilets that you can use for free.

Best time to see Skogafoss?

In summer, the waterfalls are set against a beautiful backdrop of green moss and gray slate. The nice thing about visiting in the summer is that you can see the top of the falls for miles, and the steps to the top are less likely to freeze and slip. The weather is more changeable in the spring and fall, but you'll likely enjoy the view and an easier hike to the top if it's a good day.

The landscape around Skogafoss changes dramatically in winter, with icicles hanging from steep cliffs and snow covering the surrounding fields and highlands. It is undeniably beautiful in winter - like from a fairy tale. However, if you want to climb to the top of the falls in winter, you might be disappointed as the view disappears in bad weather and the 500+ steps are icy and slippery.

Walk past dozens of waterfalls along the rugged Fimmvörðuháls trail.

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Start at the Skógafoss waterfall on this 25 km hike through the barren desertIcelandic woe, far from civilization. If you want to hike the Fimmvörðuháls trail for a day, go for itHighland Bus directly from Reykjavík.

Island Skogafoss Tour

To save yourself the hassle of traveling to the south coast of Iceland, take a day trip to Reykjavik and stop at Skogafoss along the way. classicadventure on the south coastIt describes all the main natural features of this amazing coast. Rock formations on black sand beaches form eerie caves, cute fishing villages by the sea and beautiful waterfalls await your day full of adventure.

If you have more time, Reykjavik Tours offers multi-day tours andVarious itineraries on the South CoastSuitable for all types of travelers. Maybe you want to go further afield and see the sun glimmer on the ice of the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, or perhaps visit Skogafoss while snowmobiling or hiking on the glacier at Eyjafjallajökull.

Activities near Skogafos

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If you are staying overnight in Skoga or have a lot of time to spend around Skogafoss, this area has many hidden secrets to discover. First, the Škogar Museum is located in a former church with intact white walls and red roofs, where you can learn everything about the history of this unique settlement. Here you can still see the handle of the box that Þrasi Þórólfsson allegedly hid in the waterfall.

Along the Skogar River and its surroundings you will find many other beautiful waterfalls. Kvernufoss is less visited than neighboring Skógafoss, but at 98 feet high it is an impressive sight. It is located in a canyon and is visible from the main road. The 20-minute hike up the river to the falls may discourage tourists, but those who venture here are rewarded with another picturesque waterfall.

About 30 kilometers (half an hour's drive) from Skogafoss is another of the most spectacular and most visited waterfalls in southern Iceland, Seljalandsfoss. This is known to be entered from behind. Enjoy the scenery along the boardwalk as the turbulent water flows in front of you. Near Seljalandsfoss you will discover a secret. Gljúfrabúi (which means inhabitants of the valley) waterfalls are only 750 meters (two minutes' walk) from Seljalandsfoss. But it is hidden by two high cliffs that keep the crowds away. Those who manage to find it can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of nature in peace.

Skogafoss is just over 40 km away, and you can take a 35-40 minute ferry ride from Landeyjahöfn to the Westman Islands. Wildlife lovers should not miss a trip to the Westman Islands, home to Europe's largest puffer fish colony and a beluga sanctuary. The town also offers views of the volcano and a number of restaurants serving delicious Icelandic cuisine.

As you can see, there are many reasonsVisit Skogafoss, Iceland. People gather to witness the beauty or walk 25 kilometers along the Fimmvörðuháls trail through Iceland's untouched highlands. Whether you're stopping off as part of a trip along the south coast, hiking through the volcanic desert or living near Skogall, we hope you'll see the famous double rainbow when you visit Skogafoss.


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