It is almost impossible to select which of the Island’s waterfalls is the most beautiful one. It mostly depends on personal preferences of single tourist and traveler.
And of course it also depends on their previous traveler’s experience and last but not least on their frame of mind. Everyone has a different idea about the most beautiful waterfall. And according to the fact I am going to represent you all bigger waterfalls we have seen in Iceland, you might find the name of an article a bit misleading. I assume you will pick your “the best” from the 7 following waterfalls. If not, there are countless numbers of other waterfalls that could aspire for the post of the most beautiful one.
The Öxarárfoss waterfall is a part of a famous „Golden circle“, which belongs to the „must see“ category. It is situated near the scenic overlook called Almannagjá within the national park Þingvellir which offers different and from the historical and natural point of view much more important attractions, such as the oldest Parliament in the world, the biggest lake on Þingvallavatn island and also the point where two tectonic plates meet. The waterfall plays the second role here but in my opinion that does not derogate it from its impressiveness. It creates a river in its lower part passing through the valley with imposing volcanic cliffs on both sides. Öxarárfoss does not belong to the biggest or highest waterfalls in Iceland but it markedly enhanced our judgement on the area in which it is situated.
The Gulfoss also known as „Golden waterfall“ is according to several sources one of the most favorite and the most visited sight in Iceland. The nearby parking place was full of cars and buses with tourists taking the Golden circle – the „ the abridged version of the Iceland“. The Gullfoss is amazing by its width, length and also strength. The highest measured stream flow was 2000m3/s. It is possible to look on it from various angles. The top view brings you the feeling that the water simply vanishes under the ground. The road heading up-to riffles will offer you really close contact with its beauty and strength, but you must be prepared that you and all your photographic equipment will.
The Kirkjufellsfoss is a waterfall situated near the majestic hill Kirkjufell, which is in my opinion one of the main symbol of Iceland. You can find the picture of it on every second postcard or promotional material. The waterfall by itself has a little from the magic or charm of its tribesman, but in connection with the majestic Kirkjufell it makes it a place worth seeing and taking some picture of. The main disadvantage is that the best time to take a picture of a waterfall is until noon, the hill is in contrejour lighting. So you have to choose which one of these natural beauties is the priority for you. I personally recommend the hill.
Westfjord is a part visited only by determined tourists so you have a feeling that the end of the world must be somewhere around the corner. Empty roads, large fjords, rugged country and breath taking views. Somewhere in that untouched nature, the group of waterfalls come out of the reefs. The biggest and most impressive one is Dynajdi, The Thunderer in english. We can call it a grandiose work of art. It takes about 15 minutes by foot to get to the highest point where you can enjoy fascinating view on adjacent fjord, which contributes to the atmosphere of this place. If you have a chance, plan to visit this place in the evening – you can also stay overnight in the near camp.
It is really difficult to get over impression you gained after climbing the iceberg and sailing through glacier bay. Svartifoss can not be compared to those glacier experience, but can become a dignified end of a day. The way to Svartifoss starts by tourist center Skaftafell and after approximately 20 minutes easy hike the waterfall will show off. Svartifoss is specific and interesting mainly because it is surrounded by sharp-edged hexagonal pillars. Those basalt pillars had become an inspiration for island architects and they appear as a theme on several buildings in Iceland. The most famous is the church called Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavik.
The reason why this waterfall is such a popular and visited place is partly because of its beauty bot mostly because of its location. Seljalandsfoss is located on the tourist preferred south part of the island, near the main road R1, very close to the road heading to the famous valley Thorsmörk – Þórsmörk. You might feel like in Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia there, but the large space in front of the waterfall allows you to take pictures with minimal amount of people on them. People are prevailingly trooped together in the small cave behind the waterfall which offers them a view on it from completely different perspective.
And here comes the best. Skogafoss is the majestic waterfall with possibility to take a picture of it from different sides. When you follow the path next to waterfall up to the hill, you will reach the view where you can see the whole valley, the sea and also the peak of the volcano Eyjafjallajökul. This is also a starting point of a relatively famous and difficult hike (25km) through Fimmvörðuháls to the Thorsmörk. This hike can only be done during the summer months.
I have found my favorite waterfall. It might not reach the parameters of waterfall Glymur or Dettifoss, but it is extremely photogenic, it has its original and unique atmosphere which is worth seeing and which will definitely move you in a particular way.