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Your Guide to Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland

Skogafoss is known as one of our most impressive waterfalls here on the island and makes for spectacular photos since it’s one of the few falls in Iceland that one can get up close and personal to.

So, if you are coming for a visit to the island soon or just want to learn more about Skogafoss, stick around – we reveal all in this article.

Skogafoss Falls

Skogafoss Falls

Skogafoss Waterfall can be found in the southern part of Iceland, located on the Skoga River, and is one of the waterfalls in Iceland that’s not to be missed. The falls are absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.

Not only does it boast a staggering drop of 60 meters, but it also plummets down to the black pebble shore below, surrounded by the greenest of vegetation and moss growing on the rocks (the latter is obviously subject to seasonal changes).

And if the falls look familiar to you, it might be because you’ve already caught it on screen with Skogafoss appearing on the popular series, Game of Thrones. The following are some of the questions we’re most frequently asked about Skogafoss Falls:

What’s the Meaning of Skogafoss?

The meaning of Skogafoss might not be what you expect if you haven’t seen the lush greenery surrounding the falls yet. Skogur in Icelandic means ‘forest’, and foss translates to ‘falls’. Therefore, Skogafoss is a combination of the two, loosely translating to the ‘Forest Waterfall’.

How was Skogafoss Formed?

It’s interesting to note that Skogafoss was never really formed or created. It was always there, just not as noticeable as it is today.

It may seem like a strange notion, but the steep cliffs that showcase the splendor of the Skogafoss Falls today once marked the coastal cliffs of the island. It was due to marine erosion that the coastline had receded into what can be seen today.

Skogafoss formation

The Legend of Skogafoss

Legend goes that an old Viking named Prasi Porolfsson hid a treasure chest with gold and all sorts of other riches behind the Skogafoss Waterfall in the year 900. As you can imagine, to this day, nobody has taken on the thousands of liters of water plummeting to the ground every second to check whether the legend is actually true (and please don’t try to be the first!).

When is the Best Time of the Year to Visit Skogafoss in Iceland?

Skogafoss is open to the public all year round, but many would suggest rather going during the summer months in Iceland (June to September) since things can get a bit wet at the falls.

If you’re visiting any other time of the year, also keep in mind that January, February, March, September, October, November and December is considered to be the wettest months in the area (from actual rain, not just mist and spray from the falls).

Other than that, it’s still possible to visit Skogafoss in Iceland during winter (if the roads allow). Just be careful at the Skogafoss stairs since they might be a bit icy and slippery.

Skogafoss in summer

What is the Best Time of the Day to Visit Skogafoss in Iceland?

If you are going to be visiting Skogafoss during the summer season, you’ll need to visit early morning or late afternoon to avoid the peak season crowds.

How Much Time Should I Spend at Skogafoss?

Those who are wondering how long to spend at Skogafoss should consider everything there is to do there; you can walk around the river, snap that picture at the base of the falls, and climb the stairs to the top of the falls and admire the breathtaking views. This will all require at least an hour of your time, if not more.

The Skogafoss Waterfall Hike

We highly recommend that you go on the Skogafoss hike when visiting the falls. The Skogafoss Waterfall trail is one of the most picturesque trails you’ll find here on the island. And, no, we are not talking about the stairs leading up to the top of the waterfall. The Waterfall Way Hike is a day trail that starts at Skogafoss and takes you all along the river.

It’s a bit of a challenging route, so keep that in mind if you have very small children or the elderly in your party. But it’s also a quick hike. The 8-kilometer trail won’t take you longer than 2 hours to complete. This hike is well worth getting your hiking boots on.

Skogafoss Waterfall Hike

How to Get to Skogafoss Waterfall

There are essentially three ways for you to get to Skogafoss Waterfall:

On a Tour

Many guided tours have Skogafoss as an attraction. You can either opt for a guided day tour that only visits the falls, or you can opt for one of the multi-day guided tour holiday packages that simply has Skogafoss as part of its itinerary.

On a Bus

It is possible to get to Skogafoss by using the public transport system. You can catch the 51 bus from the capital city of Reykjavik to Selfoss and then get on the 52 bus that will take you directly to the falls. Alternatively, you can get a bus to Vik from Reykjavik and then just walk the rest of the 13 kilometers to the falls.

In a Car

Getting from Reykjavik to Skogafoss is incredibly easy by car and will take you just 2 hours. Simply get on the Ring Road and start driving east ‘till you see the falls. Alternatively, you can drive from Selfoss to Skogafoss, which will take you roughly an hour and 15 minutes.

As you can see, it’s possible to have Skogafoss as a day outing from one of these cities/towns, but many choose to have the falls as a stop along their Ring Road road trip.

Road to Skogafoss

Nearby Attractions You Can Visit on the Same Day

There are plenty of other things to do and see around Skogafoss, so you might consider adding the following to your trip itinerary:

  • Exploring Skogafoss and Surroundings on Icelandic Horses

  • Visit the Skogar Museum

  • Take a Dip at Seljavallalaug

  • Go Glacier Hiking on Myrdalsjökull

  • Visit the Volcanoes of Katla and Eyjafjallajökull

  • Check Out Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (driving from Seljalandsfoss to Skogafoss isn’t even half an hour)

  • Take on Some of the Hiking Trails in the Thorsmork Reserve

  • Visit the LAVA Centre

Skogafoss FAQ

Where is Skógafoss waterfall located?

Skógafoss is located on the South Coast of Iceland, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) east of Reykjavík. It is just off Route 1, the main highway that runs along the coast.

How big is Skógafoss waterfall?

Skógafoss is 200 feet (61 m) high and 82 feet (25 m) wide. It is estimated to flow at a rate of 1,000 cubic meters (35,000 cubic feet) per second during the spring runoff.

Is Skógafoss waterfall free to visit?

Yes, Skógafoss waterfall is free to visit. There is no entrance fee and parking is free.

Skogafoss Visit

Skogafoss Waterfall; the Falls You Can Almost Reach Out and Touch

What makes visiting Skogafoss such a special experience is the fact that it’s one of the few falls here in Iceland that you can get really close to without standing on an observation deck or behind railings. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you should take liberties – your safety should always be a priority (in other words, no treasure hunting for you!).

The drive from the capital city to Skogafoss is incredibly scenic, so our recommendation is to rent a car in Iceland and make Skogafoss and a few other nearby attractions stops along your road trip. But whatever you decide to do, do not miss the ‘Forest Waterfall’ whilst on your trip to Iceland.



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