A Comprehensive Guide to Iceland's Selfoss Waterfall

Selfoss Waterfall

blog authorBy Johanna Sigurðardóttir shield verificationVerified Expert

    Have you ever heard about the mesmerizing Selfoss Waterfall in Iceland? It's not just any waterfall; it's a breathtaking spectacle of nature's art. 

    Picture cascading waters set against a backdrop of Iceland's stunning landscapes – truly a beautiful waterfall to behold! 

    Selfoss isn't just a sight to see; it's an experience that encapsulates the essence of Iceland's unique geographical wonders. 

    Whether you're a waterfall chaser or just in love with nature, Selfoss is a must-visit. So, pack your bags, and let's get ready to explore one of Iceland's most captivating natural treasures! 

    Selfoss Waterfall - Iceland's Crown Jewel 

    Selfoss Waterfall, located in north Iceland, is indeed Iceland's crown jewel. Standing at an impressive height of 11 meters (36 ft) and stretching across a width of approximately 100 meters (328 ft), this powerful waterfall in Europe is renowned for its extraordinary beauty and unique characteristics. 

    Part of the Diamond Circle, a popular tourist route encompassing many of Iceland's most iconic natural wonders, Selfoss never fails to leave visitors spellbound. The waterfall's majesty lies in its wide, horseshoe-shaped cascade, a spectacle of nature's raw power and elegance. 

    Selfoss is a significant landmark in Iceland's landscape, offering breathtaking views that captivate photographers and nature lovers alike. Its towering water columns, each falling from its impressive height into the river below, create an awe-inspiring scene, echoing the untamed spirit of Iceland. When you visit north Iceland, the Selfoss Falls is a sight you wouldn't want to miss.

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    Getting to Selfoss Falls- Navigating Iceland's Terrain

    Renting a 4WD vehicle is the fastest and easiest way to reach the awe-inspiring Selfoss Waterfall in Iceland. Embark on your journey from east of Mývatn on Ring Road 1, and take Road Number 864 Hólsfjallavegur. 

    This 16 mi (25 km) gravel route offers a scenic drive of around 30 minutes, leading you right to Dettifoss. Keep your eyes peeled for a sign pointing towards Dettifoss to make the correct turn. If you prefer a paved path, Road 862 on the west side is another option, though it's busier and leads to both Dettifoss and Selfoss. 

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    This road is generally open from early summer until October. Both routes promise stunning views of Iceland's glacier-fed landscapes, including Jökulsá á Fjöllum and Vatnajökull, with free parking waiting at your destination.

    The Trek from Dettifoss to Selfoss - A Hiker's Paradise

    Embarking on the hike from Dettifoss to Selfoss is a dream for every hiker out there. Picture this: you're only a short, exhilarating 10-minute walk away from experiencing the majestic Selfoss Waterfall, just one kilometer (0.6 miles) south and upstream from Dettifoss. 

    Both waterfalls share the same car parks, making your journey seamless. While the hike is relatively easy, the choice between the east and west sides adds a twist. The west side paths are more walker-friendly compared to the east's rocky terrain, offering a gentler stroll amidst Iceland's natural beauty. 

    East Side vs. West Side - Different Perspectives of Selfoss

    Exploring Selfoss from both the East side and West side offers remarkably different experiences. On the West side of the river, the journey is more accessible, with well-trodden paths leading you to breathtaking views of the waterfall. 

    It's a popular choice for those who enjoy convenience mixed with stunning scenery. Venture to Selfoss from the East side, and you'll find a more rugged, less-traveled path. This side of the waterfall challenges you with a bit more adventure, rewarding you with unique, up-close perspectives of Selfoss's cascading beauty.

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    Planning Your Trip - Practical Tips and Insights

    When planning your trip to Selfoss Falls, consider the following:

    • Best time to visit: Aim for the Icelandic summer months (June to August) for the best weather and full access to roads and paths. Winter visits can be magical but come with more challenges.
    • Safety tips: Always stay on marked paths, wear appropriate footwear, and be mindful of the weather. Iceland's terrain can be tricky, so better safe than sorry!
    • Environmental considerations: Respect the pristine nature. Stick to designated areas to preserve the delicate ecosystem of Vatnajökull National Park and Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon.

    Remember, these waterfalls are fed by glacier rivers – their beauty is as powerful as it is fragile.

    Capturing the Essence of Selfoss Waterfall

    Selfoss Waterfall, with its vast, horseshoe-shaped cascade, embodies the raw beauty and spirit of Iceland. Its captivating views, accessible hiking paths, and proximity to Dettifoss make a visit to Selfoss an unforgettable experience. 

    Make your journey even more memorable by renting a campervan in Iceland. It's not only cost-effective but also adds a layer of convenience and flexibility to your trip, allowing you to explore the enchanting Icelandic landscapes at your own pace. So, gear up for a thrilling adventure to Selfoss Waterfall, savor the essence of Iceland, and create memories that will last a lifetime.



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