The most impressive Waterfalls in whole Iceland? – Seljalandsfoss & Gljúfrabúi

You can admit it now. At one point in life we all asked ourselves one important question. Probably it is human nature to be curious about things we cannot see in the first place. Mankind always strived to explore the unknown. We all have had this one simple question once in our lifetime. What is behind a waterfall? At Seljalandsfoss you will get the chance to get the answer.

In this section you will get to know the well known and famous waterfall Seljalandsfoss and in addition I will tell you a spot that most tourists and visitors of Seljalandsfoss just do not know but which is an experience you definitely shouldn’t miss!

  • Seljalandsfoss

  • Gljúfrabúi

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss definitely is one of the highlights of Icelandic Waterfalls. Once you arrive at the parking lot you can already see this giant and beautiful waterfall. By the way, the fact that so many major sights in Iceland are located so close to the most important road, the Ring Road, makes Iceland the perfect country for a great road trip. Back to the waterfall! Before you jump out of your parked car and run to the waterfall, keep in mind that since 2017 you have to pay for parking. It’s 700 ISK, which is like 5,7€ or 7$. Sure, parking fees bother me too, but the money is used not only for the parking lot but also for maintaining the beauty of Seljalandsfoss.
Walking towards this giant waterfall brought a broad smile all over our faces. It was one of these moments we knew that we have done everything right by coming to Iceland. Oh, another thing we knew at this moment was that once again, we will get wet!
At this place, the river Seljalandsá comes down 66m into a tiny lake which causes steam and water drop all over the place. Well, you know this already – when it comes to waterfalls, water falls down! But at Seljalandsfoss, there is something you cannot experience very often. You can Walk behind this majestic waterfall and experience the whole spectacle from a completely different perspective.
Follow the right path that leads directly behind the waterfall. This perspective offers you various possibilities for great photos. Check below the images in order get some tips about how to setup your camera there. Once you are behind the waterfall, you can keep following the path which will lead you to climb some rocks and get you to a higher ground. Great for getting different perspectives with every footstep you take. Once again, if you are lucky to catch some sunny moments there will be mesmerizing reflections in the steam all in the air which will wrap the whole scenery into a magical atmosphere. The short path leads you back to the beginning. Now would you say it was worth it to pay 700 ISK for parking? I know the answer.

How to photograph Seljalandsfoss

Gljúfrabúi

To me, it sometimes appears that most people who visit Seljalandsfoss afterwards just go back to their car and drive to the next destination. Do not do this mistake! Next to Seljalandsfoss, you can experience something unforgettable.
Standing in front of Seljalandsfoss, turn left and walk like 700m until you reach a cave on the right side. Inside of this cave, there is the beautiful Gljúfrabúi waterfall. You can access the cave by going through a crevice in the rock formation. Little side notes: The water of the waterfall chooses the same path. However, with some really big steps, you can jump from stone to stone, in order to not fall into the water and get your feet wet. At some points, we struggled a bit to do so since some of the rocks were some cm under the water as well. Thanks to some good hiking shoes this didn’t matter and it was no problem to get like 5 cm deep into the water. After looking like an out of control marionette we somehow managed to get in there. We got wet (I mean, even wetter than after Seljalandsfoss) after a few seconds inside of this cave, since there is an approximately 30 m high waterfall crashing into a cave causing steam and water drops everywhere.
Inside of this tiny cave, the sun rays shined down through the crack and turned the loud, wet and cold scenery in one of these unforgettable Iceland moments. There is a huge rock in the middle of the cave. I couldn’t help myself but I knew that would be a freaking cool photo with a person standing on it, fighting against the wet and cold waterfall scenery, reaching out for these warm sun rays coming from the top. Having my wet camera in my hands I told Joana to climb up that rock and pose for me as a person for scale. She loved the idea (well, I had to convince her a bit) and went on that rock. You can see the result next to this text.
After taking the shot I actually realized that my camera got all wet, but I had trust in the weather sealing of the body. Weather sealed? Oh well, the lens isn’t – no risk, no fun, I guess? By the way, make sure to have towels ready for drying your lense. It takes like 0,5 seconds until it’s covered with drops again. Read below how to get a good shot with your camera here!
Returning the same way was actually way harder to get inside the cave, but we managed to get out without getting our feet wet. Actually, after being in this cave our feet were the only thing dry.
There it was again – one of these Iceland moments. Outside we looked at each other and both knew that it has been a great experience for a lifetime. We could have stopped in order not to get wet or because I could fear to get my camera wet. But we didn’t. And we knew it was right not to do so.

How to photograph Gljúfrabúi

Grab some road trip impressions of this area!