Skógafoss is one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland. Skógafoss is located in the south of Iceland in the village of Skógar. The waterfall is located along the Skógá river, dropping a massive 60 meters (almost 200 ft), creating a true spectacular sight. The waterfall is 25 meters wide (82 feet).
Visit Skógafoss Waterfall
Skógafoss is easy to reach by car and by bus. The waterfall, located in the town Skógar can be found next to the ring road around Iceland. If you want to get here by bus, you can take bus line 51. The bus stops close to the waterfall.
If you want to visit Skógafoss by car, you can set your GPS destinations to the Skógafoss Parking (location) that’s close to the waterfall. From Reykjavík it takes just over 2 hours (155 km, 96 miles) to reach Skógafoss. A visit to Skógafoss can be combined with other locations nearby. Check our section at the bottom of the article for recommendations.
If you arrive by car, the parking lot of Skógafoss is free and directly adjacent to the Skógar campsite. In the parking lot, you can also find restrooms in the building of the campground. They do ask for a contribution to use the restrooms though.
From the parking lot you can already see Skógafoss. To visit the waterfall, just walk north for a few minutes and you’ll reach the waterfall. You can visit the Skógafoss waterfall at the foot and the top of the waterfall.
The Foot of the Skógafoss Waterfall
First we went to the foot of the waterfall. We found this the most spectacular sight of the two. It was more spectacular than the view at the top of the waterfall. You can continue along the river and go as close to the waterfall as you like.
We did go a bit closer to the waterfall as all the other people who were there when we visited. That was necessary to be able to take some pictures of Skógafoss without any other people on it. But as you get closer, you’ll start to feel small drops of the waterfall, so you’ll get a little wet. And as you get closer and closer, the amount of water you get increases a lot!
As you can see in the picture, we did go quite close to the waterfall, but we were quite wet. But it was fun and you can see a rainbow 🌈 in the water when the sun is shining. If you’re lucky, you should be able to see a double rainbow.
Hike to the top of Skógafoss
To reach the top of the Skógafoss waterfall, you’ll have to hike up metal steps. It doesn’t look like it, but there are quite a lot of steps to take before you reach the top. The height difference is, of course, the same as the height of the waterfall. So 60 meters. We did need to rest for a bit when we reached the top.
After hiking up the metal steps to the top of the Skógafoss waterfall, you’ll reach a viewpoint. From this viewpoint, you see the Skógá river and the drop of Skógafoss. On sunny days, you can see a rainbow 🌈 or double rainbow from this viewpoint up top. You’ll also see a lot of birds flying near the waterfall.
Hike to Fimmvörðuháls and Þórsmörk
The top of the waterfall, is also the start of the Fimmvorduhals Trailhead. From the top of Skógafoss you can walk towards Fimmvörðuháls. The mountain pass Fimmvörðuháls is located between 2 glaciers: Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. From there you can continue the hike to the valley of Þórsmörk (Thórsmörk).
It’s a strenuous hike, but it’s said to be one of the best hikes Iceland has to offer. The total hiking trail from Skógafoss to Fimmvorduhals is 24.5 km (15.2 miles) ascending 1300 meters and descending 900 meters. The hiking trail takes 7 to 12 hours to complete.
At the beginning of the hike you’ll pass a lot of waterfalls. Later you’ll cross craters, beautiful volcanic landscapes, canyons, caves… The photos and reviews of this hike are wonderful. This hike is something that’s definitely on my bucket list if we’d go back to Iceland.
Tips for a Nearby Visit
If you take a day trip from Reykjavík, you can combine a visit to Skógafoss with some of the other sights nearby. If you’re driving the ring road of Iceland, you can do the same.
When your time is limited, we advise to visit the black sand beach Reynisfjara near the town Vík. On this black sand beach you’ll be able to admire black sand and basalt cliffs. The drive there from Skógafoss is about 30 minutes.
If you have more time at hand, there are some other places nearby that are worth mentioning. In the town of Skógar, you’ll find another waterfall Kvernufoss. This waterfall is less popular with tourists, but worth visiting.
Another option is to go to Seljavallalaug swimming pool. The drive from Skógafoss to the trailhead is about 15 minutes. After a short hike you can relax in this outdoor pool in the middle of the Icelandic mountains.