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The Awesome Power of Gullfoss Waterfall

gullfossJust a few kilometers past Geysir, along Iceland’s Golden Circle route in the southwest of the country, lies Gullfoss waterfall. Gullfoss is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions, visited for the enormity of the falls and the immense beauty of the surrounding area.

The falls are formed where the Hvítá river comes around a bend, plunges down several levels into a crevice, and then flows at right angles to the water above. As you approach the falls from higher ground, you can’t quite see the crevice, so it looks like the falls simply disappear. The view from above is spectacular, but it gets even better as you make your way closer and can see up close just how massive Gullfoss is.

Be careful on the way down though. The only thing keeping you from falling off the edge of the steeply inclined path to the falls (a long way down) is a flimsy rope on one side. In winter, this path can be covered in snow and ice, making for a very treacherous descent that you should not attempt without good traction on your shoes.

You can come with a tour group or private driver, or you can just as easily drive yourself here from Reykjavik. There’s no admission fee. Count on about an hour to walk down to the falls and back.

Photo by smcgee