The Ultimate Guide To Visiting Skogafoss Waterfall In Iceland

Skogafoss waterfall is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Iceland. In this guide, I’ll share everything you need to know about visiting Skogafoss.

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skogafoss waterfall travel guide

When most people think of Iceland, they think of volcanoes, glaciers, and probably the Northern Lights. And while all of those things are definitely worth seeing while you’re in Iceland, there’s one thing in particular that you absolutely cannot miss: Skogafoss Waterfall.

Skogafoss Waterfall is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland – and for good reason! This waterfall is absolutely massive, and the views from the bottom are just incredible. If you’re visiting Iceland, Skogafoss Waterfall should definitely be on your list of places to see.

In this guide, I’ll share everything you need to know about visiting Skogafoss Waterfall, including how to get there, what to expect when you’re there, and more.

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Skogafoss Quick Facts

Skogafoss waterfall Iceland

What Is Skogafoss?

Skogafoss is an impressive waterfall located on the Skoga River in Southern Iceland. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country.

The falls are about 60 meters (200 feet) tall and 25 meters (82 feet) wide, making them quite a stunning sight to behold!

The name “Skogafoss” comes from the old Norse word “skogur” which means “forest”, and “foss” meaning “falls”.

This magnificent landmark has been a popular tourist destination for years due to its breathtaking views. It was even featured in many films and TV shows such as Game of Thrones, the series Vikings and even the Marvel film Thor.

Skogafoss is also one of the most photographed waterfalls in Iceland, which honestly comes as no surprise. Make sure to bring your camera!

Where Is Skogafoss Located?

Skogafoss is located in the southern part of Iceland on the Ring Road, the most popular road trip route in Iceland.

It’s about a 2-hour drive from Reykjavik and is situated close to other popular attractions such as Seljalandsfoss Waterfall and Seljavallalaug Swimming Pool.

How To Get To Skogafoss Waterfall

When it comes to getting to Skogafoss waterfall, there are a few different options depending on your starting point and preferred mode of transportation.

By Car

If you’re coming from Reykjavik, the best way to get to Skogafoss is by renting a car. The drive takes about 2 hours and is very scenic, so it’s definitely worth considering. Just be sure to keep an eye on your speed – Iceland is notorious for speeding tickets!

Getting to the falls by car is actually fairly simple: From Reykjavik, take the ring road eastwards and just continue straight on this road. After about a two-hour drive and 155km later, Skogafoss will be visible from the road.

You can park for free in the parking lot at Skogafoss. This is a popular tourist attraction, so try to come at off-peak hours if you want to ensure that you find a parking spot.

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Bus & Public Transportation

Visitors to Iceland can also take a bus to Skogafoss Waterfalls, although admittedly it is not very convenient and takes a lot longer.

The first option is to take the 51 bus from Reykjavik to Selfoss (the closest town to Skogafoss) and then transfer to another bus (Bus 52) that goes directly to the waterfall. This one-way ride to the falls will take about 2.5 hours in total.

The second option is to take a bus from Reykjavik all the way to Vík (a town located further east on the ring road) and then walk or hitchhike the final 13km to Skogafoss.

Both of these options are fairly time-consuming and not very practical, so I definitely recommend renting a car instead! This will give you the flexibility to explore other nearby attractions at your own pace.

Tours to Skogafoss Falls

If you don’t want to rent a car or take a bus, there are also tours available from Reykjavik which will take you to Skogafoss and other nearby sights.

Here are some of the top rated tours to Skogafoss from Reykjavik:

The Best Time To Visit Skogafoss

skogafoss waterfall

The best time to visit the Skogafoss waterfall is generally in the summertime, when the weather is more stable and there are longer daylight hours, which gives you more time to explore.

If you’re visiting in the summertime, you can even visit the falls in the middle of the night to avoid the crowds. Because of Iceland’s high latitude, the sun only sets for a short time in the summer. This means that you could visit the falls at 4am and it will be as bright as the middle of the day!

The sprawling cliffs that surround the falls are covered with moss around this time of year, making for a very picturesque scene.

However, Skogafoss can be visited all year round! In the winter, the cliffs around the falls become covered with snow, which creates an equally unique and beautiful experience.

Just make sure to dress warmly if you do visit in the colder months – this region of Iceland can see temperatures as low as 37° F (3°C) in the winter!

Skogafoss waterfall is one of Iceland’s most popular landmarks that sees tons of tourists at all times of the year, so it’s generally always busy no matter what time of year.

If you want to avoid the crowds, I recommend visiting early in the morning or later in the evening. This is especially true during the peak summer months (July and August) when tourism is at its highest.

Visiting Skogafoss Waterfall

Now that you know a bit about the Skogafoss waterfall and how to get there, it’s time to start planning your visit!

Where To Park

The parking situation at Skogafoss is super convenient and easy to navigate. There is a parking lot located right next to Skogafoss which is easy to find and free to use.

Just look for the signs directing you towards the falls. From the lot, it’s less than a 10-minute walk to the base of the falls.

The parking lot does fill up quickly during peak times so it’s best to arrive early, but luckily, it is free to park here. There are also restrooms located in the parking lot next to the parking lot which is also technically free to use, but they do ask for a small contribution.

Entrance Fee

The good news about Skogafoss is that there is no entrance fee to see the falls – it’s completely free! You can enjoy the falls and hike the trail behind them without having to pay a dime.

This is one of the reasons why Skogafoss is so popular – it’s a stunning natural attraction that doesn’t cost anything to see.

How Much Time To Spend At Skogafoss

The amount of time recommended to spend at the Skogafoss Waterfall completely depends on your schedule and what else you have planned for your trip!

If you only have a short amount of time, I recommend spending about 30 minutes to 45 minutes here. This will give you enough time to walk around, take some photos, and enjoy the views.

If you have a bit more time and want to hike to the top of the falls, it’s definitely worth spending 1-2 hours here and doing the short hike up to the viewing platform. There’s no opening or closing time for the falls, so you can enjoy them for as long or as little as you want!

If you have all day to spend at Skogafoss, you can hike the full Waterfall Way Hike. This 10 mile (16km) hike takes you to the top of Skogafoss and past tons of waterfalls and gorge views. We’ll talk more about this hike in the next section!

Skogafoss Waterfall Way Hike

skogafoss waterfall way hike
Waterfall Way Hike at Skogafoss

Skogafoss is one of the few waterfalls in Iceland that you can actually hike to the top of! And let me tell you, the views from the top are absolutely incredible.

The Skogafoss Waterfall Way hike is a moderate 10 mile (16km) hike that takes you to the top of Skogafoss and along the Skógá river.

The trail is considered to be moderately difficult, mainly due to its length and slight elevation increase. The hike may be long, but your efforts will be rewarded with endless views of waterfalls, gorges, and rivers.

Do You Have To Hike The Full Waterfall Way Trail?

skogafoss waterfall hike

No, you don’t have to complete the full Waterfall Way hike in order to see some incredible views! The best part about this hike is that there is beautiful scenery from start to finish. Just hike as far as you want to and turn back whenever you get too tired.

We didn’t do the full Waterfall Way Hike, but we did hike for about an hour from the top of Skogafoss. We passed by several stunning waterfalls and viewpoints of the lush gorge.

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How Long Does It Take To Hike Waterfall Way?

The time it’ll take you to hike the waterfall way trail completely depends on your fitness level and how fast you hike. It generally takes between 4 to 6 hours to complete the full hike.

However, you can hike for as long as you want to! The trail is an out-and-back trail, so you’re free to turn around anytime you’d like. I recommend spending at least 30 minutes hiking to some of the other waterfalls along the river.

Frequently Asked Questions About Skogafoss

Do You Have To Hike To Skogafoss Waterfall?

No, there’s no hiking necessary in order to see Skogafoss waterfall. You’ll have a clear view of the falls from the base, and there are plenty of places to take photos.

However, hiking to the top of the falls gives you the chance to see this majestic waterfall from a new perspective.

Can You Walk Behind Skogafoss Waterfall?

Seljalandsfoss waterfall in Iceland
Seljalandsfoss – a waterfall in Iceland that you can walk behind year-round

You are allowed to walk behind the Skogafoss waterfall, but only during certain times of the year.

Walking behind the Skogafoss waterfall during wintertime is strongly discouraged due to the icy conditions and risk of falling icicles. However, during the summertime, you can walk behind the Skogafoss Waterfall!

Just be warned, you will get very wet because the mist from the falls will blow towards you. It’s best to wear waterproof clothing and shoes if you do decide to walk behind the waterfall, and I also recommend bringing a towel to dry off afterwards.

To get to the path that leads behind the waterfall, walk to the left side of the falls. You will see a sign that says “Skoga” which marks the start of the trail.

The walk behind the waterfall only takes about 10 minutes and is considered to be easy. Once you’re done, you can head back the way you came or continue on the Skogafoss Waterfall Way hike to the top of the falls.

One waterfall that you CAN hike behind all year in Iceland is Seljalandsfoss. This waterfall is nearby to Skogafoss and you can walk behind it without getting too wet.

Final Thoughts

Skogafoss is one of the most magnificent waterfalls in Iceland and definitely deserves a spot on your itinerary. This popular waterfall is located just 2 hours from Reykjavik, making it really easy to access as a day trip.

If you’re visiting Skogafoss, you’ll be pleased to know that there is no entrance fee and parking is completely free. You can park your car onsite in the large parking lot next to the falls.

You only need 30 minutes to an hour to experience the falls, but I definitely recommend sticking around longer to hike up the Waterfall Way trail behind Skogafoss. This hike will take you down the Skoga river, passing plenty of beautiful waterfalls and gorges.

Hopefully this guide inspired you to put Skogafoss on your Iceland bucket list.

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