The Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Iceland and possibly the entire world.
About Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Seljalandsfoss is a waterfall in Iceland, along the southern coast, it is one of the island nation’s most beautiful and dramatic waterfalls. It can be seen from the Ring Road (Route 1) between the town of Selfoss and Skogafoss near Hvolsvollur, east of Reykjavik.
The waterfall was featured in the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. Seljalandsfoss is 65 meters high and has a width of about 25 meters. The waterfalls over the Eyjafjallajokull glacier.
How to Get to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
The trip from Seljalandsfoss Falls to Reykjavik is straightforward. Most visitors to Iceland arrive in Reykjavik and take the Ring Road Nr 1 — the island’s major road that travels around it and is known as the Ring Road.
It’s your turn if you approach at 249. There is a parking lot with parking fees that need to be paid. I recommend parking the vehicle and going for a walk around the service station in the parking area. Despite its modest size, it housed toilets, a tiny shop, and even a coffee shop. You may return to it at any time if you need to.
After that, Seljalandsfoss is very close. Cross the road and walk for about 10 minutes following a path that goes in the valley between two mountains until you reach it. The waterfall is 60 meters high and can be seen from different angles, but the most beautiful view is when looking at it from behind.
To get there, you have to walk a little on the slippery rocks, but it is safe. Behind the waterfall, there is a small cave where you can stay and enjoy the view without getting wet if the wind is blowing in your direction. Although it’s worth going even if you do get wet.
The best way of visiting Seljalandsfoss is with a guided tour or independently in your own rented car.
What to Pack for Seljalandsfoss
During the summer, we must be on constant watch because the path is muddy and slick with rocks. It’s also critical to keep your clothes clean, even though the waterfall is very close to a parking lot. Wear sturdy hiking boots, a raincoat, trousers, and a waterproof drying bag.
We’re not being overly cautious here, but a jeans shirt isn’t an ideal choice unless we’re prepared to put our wet suits back in the car as soon as this brief yet attractive visit is over. Wear rain ponchos.
The waterfall is famed for its height of 60 meters and its breathtaking beauty. The waterfall is fed by the River Seljalandsfoss and drops over the cliffs or escarpment which once formed the coastline but which is now several kilometers inland.
Where to Stay When Visiting Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
We’re sure you’ve already included Seljelandsfoss in your itinerary, but even so, you can’t anticipate where the overnight stays will be set up. Reykjavik, Selfs, Vik, and other locations are available for accommodation. The campsite near Seljalandsfoss offers to lodge as well. The hotel is Hvolsvollur and is a basic, small hotel.
Some of the best places to stay are in Reykjavik, such as the Hilton Nordica, the Radisson Blu Saga Hotel, or Rey Apartments which offer great views over the city and its harbor. The Center Hotel Plaza is also a good choice if you want to be in the city center. If you’re looking for something a little more rural, try the Hvolsvollur Hotel or the Fosshotel Reykholt.
The waterfall is also a popular stop on tour buses traveling around Iceland.
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The origin of the Seljalandsfoss waterfall
Waterfalls are unavoidable in Iceland. It features a wide variety of water volumes, big as well as little. Our population is estimated at about 1600 waterfalls with a height of more than 2.25 meters and a diameter of 2.25 meters or greater.
What are the origins of these? The Icelandic river system gets its water from three distinct sources.
A small part of the precipitation comes from snow, but this is usually only enough to cover the highland areas in a very thin layer. The great majority of the water that flows in Icelandic rivers originates from glaciers. Large amounts of water are stored in their ice and released when the weather gets warmer and they start to melt.
The third and final source of water is rainfall, which is the most variable in terms of both time and place. This means that the appearance of waterfalls can change greatly from season to season. Seljalandsfoss waterfall, for example, might not be very impressive during the summer months when there’s not much snowmelt, but it can be a raging torrent during the winter.
The waterfall is located in the south of Iceland and can be reached by driving from Reykjavik. It’s located in a valley between two mountains until you reach it. The waterfall is 60 meters high and can be seen from different angles, but the most beautiful view is when looking at it from behind.
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What happens behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall?
Behind the waterfall, an alcove has been formed in the rock by the passing of time, erosion of the constant moisture, and the constant beating of the falling water.
The alcove allows the water to fall freely into the pool below rather than slide down the rock as most waterfalls do. This alcove is also what has facilitated the construction of a well-maintained path for visitors to follow behind the waterfall.
Once the water hits the pool which has formed on the ground below, it gently flows towards the sea. There is a quaint bridge that crosses the water as it makes its way to the sea.
Visitors coming to the falls in the summer or springtime can see wildflowers growing over the grass and moss-covered rocks and in the winter the site is just as beautiful and even more dramatic.
In the winter some of the water freezes forming icicles, clinging to the rocks and covering the cliff surface with a thin coating of ice.
Clouds of mist constantly rise up around the water as it crashes down to the ground and the pool below cracks up with frozen slabs of ice floating on the surface. Seljalandsfoss can also be visited on guided tours at night when you might even get a glimpse of the Northern Lights as well.
A visit to Seljalandsfoss can take between 20 minutes and an hour and there are nearby sites not worth missing like the Gljufrabui waterfall, Skogar Folk Museum, Solheimajokull Glacier, Cape Dyrholahey, the black sand beach, and the Eyjafjallajokull Glacier.
It does not cost anything to visit Seljalandsfoss and there is parking, a picnic area, and even a campsite at nearby Hamragaroar. The site is an easy day trip from Reykjavik.
Seljalandsfoss is a beautiful waterfall located in south Iceland. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, and for good reason. The waterfall is 60 meters tall and can be seen from both sides. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in Iceland.
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Weather in Seljalandsfoss
The weather at Seljalandsfoss is much like the rest of Iceland, with summer being the warmest season and temperatures ranging from 46F (8°C) to 54F (14.5C). If you’re looking to experience the Midnight Sun, June to July is the perfect time to visit.
You’ll also be treated to an all-natural magic lights show, which occurs when the aurora borealis appear in the sky. Regardless of the season, make sure you bring a jacket as temperatures can get quite cold. Layers are also key, as it never really gets too hot in Iceland. Pants that are waterproof are also recommended, as rain is common.
When is the Best time to Visit Seljandfoss?
The best time to visit Seljandfoss is during the summer when the weather is warm and sunny. However, it’s also a popular tourist attraction so be prepared for large crowds. If you’re looking for a more peaceful experience, visit during the off-season.
Nearby Attractions to Seljalandsfoss
Seljalandsfoss is a waterfall that is located in southern Iceland. It is possible to walk behind the waterfall, which makes it a popular tourist destination. There are a number of other nearby attractions that are worth visiting, including:
- Skogafoss waterfall (a neighboring waterfall to double up on your experience)
- Vatnajökull National Park
- Reynisfjara black sand beach
- Dyrhólaey promontory
- Skaftafell National Park
- Hvítárvatn lake
- Geysir geothermal area
- Þingvellir National Park
These are just some of the many great attractions that can be found in the vicinity of Seljalandsfoss. So if you’re looking for things to do in Iceland, be sure to add Seljalandsfoss to your list.
Can you walk behind Seljalandsfoss?
Yes, you can walk behind Seljalandsfoss. There is a path that goes behind the waterfall.
Is Seljalandsfoss waterfall free?
There are no fees to enter Seljalandsfoss, which is open all year round. In the winter, because of the icy conditions, getting on Seljalands might be tough so plan accordingly.
How long is the walk to Seljalandsfoss?
Seljalandsfosses hikes – 10-minute walk without stopping. Be careful, as the terrain can be a bit wet and sloppy at times.
We recommend comfortable, good shoes for this excursion: a light jacket and sunscreen are also required in the summer months due to elevation and sun reflection. The walk is easy and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.