Seljalandsfoss waterfall cascades from above with walking path behind.

Guide to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Read our guide to Seljalandsfoss waterfall to learn everything before your visit. Seljalandsfoss is only 25 minutes from Hotel Rangá.

Seljalandsfoss is one of the most stunning waterfalls in south Iceland. In fact, visitors can actually walk behind these famous falls. A walk behind the falls gives visitors the chance to stand in wonder behind the cascade of plunging water. The power of the falls is truly immense. Don’t forget to walk to visit Seljalandsfoss’s hidden neighbor, the waterfall Gljúfrabúi. Keep reading our guide to Seljalandsfoss waterfall to learn everything you need to know before your visit.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall and the path behind the falls.
Walk behind Seljalandsfoss and see the waterfall from a new perspective. Photo by Ingibjörg Friðriksdóttir.

Guide to Seljalandsfoss waterfall: where does it originate?

The Seljalandsfoss waterfall actually originates from the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. As the glacier slowly melts, its water flows into the Seljalands river. The icy cold river then travels further and further until it plunges down from a high cliff, forming the Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

Eyjafjallajökull volcano-glacier covered with snow on a cloudy day in south Iceland.
Eyjafjallajökull is Iceland’s volcano-glacier that erupted in 2010.

How far is Seljalandsfoss waterfall from Reykjavík?

Seljalandsfoss is approximately 129 km (80 mi) from Reykjavík. It takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to drive to Seljalandsfoss from Reykjavík.

Hotel Rangá luxury hotel in south Iceland.
Hotel Rangá luxury hotel in south Iceland. Photograph by Marvin Kuhr.

How do you get to Seljalandsfoss waterfall from Hotel Rangá?

Hotel Rangá is only about 27 km (17 mi) from Seljalandsfoss. The drive takes just about 25 minutes. Exit the Hotel Rangá parking lot and turn right onto road 1 heading east. Stay on road 1 for about 25 minutes or 27 km (17 mi). Then, turn left on road 249 when you see a sign for Seljalandsfoss waterfall. You will be able to see the falls from road 1.

Visitors walk behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall in south Iceland.
There is a walking path behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Photo by Dennis Welsh.

How long should I spend at Seljalandsfoss?

We estimate that you will spend between forty-five minutes to an hour at Seljalandsfoss. It does not take long to walk behind the falls, but you must watch your step. The path is almost always covered in spray from the falls and it can be extremely slippery. It is best to walk slowly and watch your step.If you decide to visit Gljúfrabúi waterfall–a secret waterfall just beside Seljalandsfoss–you should factor in an extra thirty to forty-five minutes.

Seljalandsfoss is a lovely spot to stop for a picnic. Order a boxed picnic lunch from Hotel Rangá and relax nearby the falls. We offer various wraps including vegetarian, chicken, salmon and ham. You can also order some of Hotel Rangá’s famous wild mushroom soup as well as a thermos of hot coffee or tea.

Woman stands in the stream near Gljúfrabúi waterfall underneath Iceland's midnight sun.
A visit to Gljúfrabúi waterfall underneath the midnight sun. Photo by Olivia Synnervik.

How do I get to the secret waterfall by Seljalandsfoss?

This secret waterfall is called Gljúfrabúi which means “canyon dweller.” To visit Gljúfrabúi, walk on the path just left of Seljalandsfoss. After about 10 minutes you will reach a small stream flowing out from what appears to be a rock wall. In fact, there is a slight opening in the rock, allowing visitors to wade into a large cavern. It is a good idea to wear sturdy, waterproof shoes as you pick your way along the rocks. This area can be extremely slippery.

Once inside the cavern, you will see the beautiful Gljúfrabúi waterfall pouring down from above. The water cascades over rock walls covered with green moss. There is also a huge boulder directly in front of the falls. This is a popular place to take a photo, but you should be very careful if you decide to climb atop the slippery boulder.

Person stands on a giant boulder underneath the waterfall Gljúfrabúi.
Gljúfrabúi waterfall in south Iceland. Photo by Mike Lannetta.

What should I bring to Seljalandsfoss?

It is important to bring a good rain jacket or rain poncho when you visit Seljalandsfoss. Spray from the falls will sometimes blow backwards as you walk the bath behind the falls. There is a good chance that you will be covered with a light mist of water–so don’t forget that raincoat!

You should also bring sturdy, waterproof shoes. The path itself is rocky and slippery in certain parts. If you plan to visit Seljalandsfoss’s neighbor, Gljúfrabúi, you will certainly need waterproof shoes. You must wade along a creek on your way to the falls, stepping on stones that are partially submerged in the water.

How do you pronounce Seljalandsfoss?

Seljalandsfoss is pronounced like “sell-yah-lands-foss.”

Where is Seljalandsfoss waterfall?

Seljalandsfoss is located on the south coast of Iceland between the towns of Hvolsvöllur and Vík. The waterfall is approximately 20 minutes or 22 km (14 mi) from Hvolsvöllur and 50 minutes or 61 km (38 mi).

Does it cost anything to park in the lot beside Seljalandsfoss?

Yes, it costs about 800 ISK ($6) to park in the lot directly beside Seljalandsfoss.

Water cascades from a high cliff at Seljalandsfoss waterfall in south Iceland.
Seljalandsfoss waterfall is only 25 minutes from Hotel Rangá. Photo by Ingibjörg Friðriksdóttir.

Guide to Seljalandsfoss waterfall: can you park overnight?

We do not recommend that you park overnight at Seljalandsfoss. However, there is a nearby campsite called Hamragarðar where you can stay overnight. The campsite is located just beside the waterfall Gljúfrabúi.

Seljalandsfoss waterfall seen from behind underneath the midnight sun.
Seljalandsfoss waterfall underneath the midnight sun. Photo by Olivia Synnervik.

Does Seljalandsfoss waterfall freeze in winter?

No, Seljalandsfoss waterfall does not freeze in winter. However, the path surrounding the waterfall can freeze. In fact, sometimes the path behind the waterfall is closed if the frozen path is deemed too dangerous.

How long does it take to hike to Seljalandsfoss?

The path behind Seljalandsfoss is very short. It will only take you about 10 to 15 minutes to walk behind the waterfall.

Guide to Seljalandsfoss waterfall: how tall is the waterfall?

Seljalandsfoss is 60 m (200 ft) tall. It is quite tall but still rather small compared to Iceland’s tallest waterfall, Glymur, which drops a staggering 198 m (649 ft).

Skógafoss waterfall cascades from a high cliff in south Iceland down to the Skóga River below.
A legend says that a chest full of treasure is buried behind Skógafoss waterfall. Photo by Ingibjörg Friðriksdóttir.

What are the directions from Seljalandsfoss to Skógafoss?

Seljalandsfoss is about 25 minutes or 29 km (18 mi) from Skógafoss, another famous waterfall located on Iceland’s south coast. Skógafoss is almost the exact same height as Seljalandsfoss, but it is much more powerful. However, due to the immensity of the water at Skógafoss, it is not possible to walk behind the falls. You can instead climb a 428-step staircase and see a view directly over Skógafoss.

How far away is Nauthúsagil from Seljalandsfoss?

Nauthúsagil is a beautiful ravine located just 10 km (6 miles) from Seljalandsfoss. To get there, you simply follow road 249 for about 13 minutes. The ravine is not immediately visible from the road. Instead, you will notice a small river flowing out from cliffs covered with moss and small birch trees. To go inside the ravine, you must walk along the sides of the small river, Nauthúsaá. In fact, you might have to step on slippery stones that are partially submerged in the water. This is why it is important to wear good, waterproof hiking shoes when you visit Nauthúsagil.

As you follow the small river, you will enter the ravine Nauthúsagil. If you walk the entirety of the ravine, you will find a small waterfall at its end. The path is quite rocky and slippery. There are even some chains attached to the walls to help you climb up over the rocks. Nauthúsagil is a very lovely spot to visit after a trip to Seljalandsfoss.


Feel Free to Share or print

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
    Scroll to Top