Southern Ring Road, South Region (Suðurland), Iceland

About Seljalandsfoss

Hiking Distance: roadside
Suggested Time:

Date first visited: 2007-07-05
Date last visited: 2007-07-06

Waterfall Latitude: 63.61557
Waterfall Longitude: -19.98873

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Seljalandsfoss was a conspicuous waterfall that we immediately noticed while driving along the Ring Road. It was for this reason that we weren’t surprised to see it also very popular with tour buses as well as people who were self touring like us. While there were many waterfalls that were tall (this one was said to be 60m), I believe the claim to fame with this one was that we were able to go behind it on a well-developed loop trail. Thus, we were literally able to photograph it from every angle imaginable.

During our visit in early July 2007, there were many wildflowers in bloom all over the grass that seemed to thrive off the waterfall’s mist. The cliff itself was said to be where the former coastline of Iceland was. In fact, the escarpment seemed to curve around and stretch throughout much of Southern Iceland, and it might include the cliff responsible for Skogafoss further to the east.

Our visit to the falls was a leisurely stroll taking one hour. We made plenty of stops and really took our time so conceivably, you could make a visit here in as little as 15-30 minutes if you happened to be on a schedule or on a tour with a packed itinerary. During the leisurely stroll, there was still enough volume in the water to produce some mist that was blasting towards the loop trail going into the waterfall’s overhanging backside. I’d have to believe that the mist was continuing the cutting action that would keep growing the depth of the alcove behind the falls and eventually cause the location of the falls to gradually “move backwards.”

Now since this waterfall was quite popular (we could tell by how often tour buses would stop here), we were practically guaranteed to be sharing it with other people. However, if the weather was good (it wasn’t cooperating during our three days in the Skogar area), we could’ve waited until late afternoon or even sunset to take some very moody photos from behind the falls or at least watch it glow against the cliffs it’d fall over.

Finally, nearby this waterfall were other smaller waterfalls including Gljúfurárfoss, which we could literally walk to from Seljalandsfoss. We have a separate writeup for that one since it was a bit eccentric.

In a bit of trivia, I looked up my Icelandic dictionary to see what the name of this waterfall meant, and it said that “seljalandi” meant “seller”. So does that mean that this is the “Seller’s Falls”?


The turnoff leading to Seljalandsfoss is on Road 249 immediately north of its junction with the Ring Road (Route 1). This turnoff leaves the Ring Road about 28km west of Skogafoss or 76km east of the town of Selfoss. Selfoss is another 58km east of Reykjavík.

Note that had we kept going on Route 249, it would eventually become the 4wd F249 road leading to Þórsmörk.

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Sweep from behind the famous South Icelandic waterfall

Sweep starting from the front of the falls and ending towards other waterfalls in the vicinity

Related Top 10 Lists

Tagged with: ring road, south region, southern iceland, iceland, waterfall, behind, popular, sudurland, gljufurarfoss, selfoss

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Amazingly beautiful, best in evening sun (Seljalandsfoss) April 26, 2014 12:41 pm by Georg - Seljalandfoss is amazingly beautiful and best in evening sun, a little before sunset: The day tours already left for the drive back home, so you're more or less alone. The setting sun dips the falling water spray, the cliffs and the grass into golden light. Not to mention the rainbow effects when you're going behind… ...Read More
Seljalandsfoss in Winter December 16, 2012 4:35 pm by Andrea - We took the trip to Iceland in December mostly to see the Northern Lights but were delighted to see so much more including the Seljalandsfoss. It's a bit of a drive from Reykjavik but worth the trip. My daughter braved the spray and walked behind the water fall, an experience to remember. ...Read More

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