Top 10 Waterfalls in South Iceland - Hotel Rangá

Top 10 Waterfalls in South Iceland

Iceland is famous for its collection of stunning waterfalls, and Hotel Rangá is perfectly located for waterfall exploration. Below, we have selected our 10 favorite waterfalls in South Iceland. Many of these waterfalls are easy to access via rental car and most require only a short walk.

Don´t forget to check out our Waterfall Wednesday posts on Instagram—you can see videos and learn cool facts about the waterfalls featured below.
Skógafoss waterfall is only a 45 minutes drive from Hotel Rangá

1 Árbæjarfoss

Árbæjarfoss is only a 12-minute drive from Hotel Rangá. The road is not paved, so it is necessary that you take a 4×4 vehicle. As you drive, you will have a great view of the volcano Hekla, one of Iceland´s most powerful volcanoes. From the parking lot, there is a short and easy walk—approximately 7 minutes—to the waterfall. You might notice concrete walls on the side of the waterfall—this is a salmon ladder, a series of steps designed to enable salmon to bypass the waterfall and move upstream to their breeding grounds.

2 Gljúfrabúi

The waterfall Gljúfrabúi is a 23-minute drive from Hotel Rangá and located just off the main Ring Road that runs around Iceland. We highly recommend that you bring waterproof shoes or boots to visit this waterfall, as you must wade through a stream to access the falls. When the water level is low, there are stepping stones that you can use to keep dry; however, if the water level is high, you might get a bit wet. After you travel along the stream into an opening in the cliff face, you will see the waterfall Gljúfrabúi. The sight is truly incredible—water cascades from above as you stand below surrounded by walls of stone.

3 Gluggafoss

Gluggafoss is just a short 23-minute drive from Hotel Rangá. To access the waterfall, take Ring Road 1 until you reach Road 261 at the village of Hvolsvöllur. Drive 20 km until you reach the waterfall which is well-marked with a sign. From the parking lot, there is a short and easy hike until you reach the waterfall. First, you reach the lower waterfall and will notice a small path to view the waterfall from behind. You can also access the higher waterfall where you will see that the river has created several holes in the rock, making “windows” where the water flows through. This is how the waterfall gets its name, as the Icelandic word Gluggi means window.

4 Skógafoss

Skógafoss is located approximately 45 minutes from Hotel Rangá by car. The waterfall is just off Road 1 and is very easy to access. From the parking lot, there is a short and easy hike to the waterfall. We recommend that you bring a raincoat, as the power of the falls produces a lot of spray—and many amazing rainbows. According to an old Icelandic folktale there is treasure hidden behind the waterfall; however, we don´t recommend that you go looking for it! If you want to view the falls from another perspective, climb the 370-step staircase on the righthand side. A small viewing area places you directly over the waterfall, and you will see beautiful views of Iceland´s south coast.

5 Drífandi

To access the waterfall, take Ring Road 1 until you reach Road 261 at the village of Hvolsvöllur. Drive 20 km until you reach the waterfall which is well-marked. From the parking lot there is a short and beautiful hike through a small forest. On the way, you will pass a statue of the poet Þorsteinn Einarsson (1858-1914), who grew up in this area—the trees were planted in his honor. Drífandi cascades down a small cliff and turns into a lovely stream that flows through the forest. This is a lovely spot to picnic and relax when there is good weather.

6 Kvernufoss

Kvernufoss is located only 40 minutes from Hotel Rangá, just off Road 1. First, you must drive past the Skógafoss waterfall and park in front of Skógar museum. There is a short and easy 10-minute walk to the waterfall—the path begins behind the museum where you will cross a small fence. You will walk through a beautiful gorge that leads you to the waterfall which cascades from a cliff into a small pool below. In the summertime, you can even walk behind the waterfall—but only if you bring a raincoat.
Kvernufoss waterfall

7 Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss is one of Iceland´s best-known waterfalls because visitors can walk behind the waterfall and see its beauty from an unusual perspective. The waterfall is only a short, 20-minute drive from Hotel Rangá. We recommend that you wear good walking shoes and bring a raincoat if you want to walk behind the falls. The view from behind is mesmerizing—you can watch the water pouring down with immense power and speed. If you are lucky, you might even see a rainbow through the spray.
Photo by Ingibjörg Friðriksdóttir

8 Tungufoss

Tungufoss is a 20-minute drive from Hotel Rangá. To get to Tungufoss, drive from Hotel Rangá through the village of Hvolsvöllur and take a left on road 261. Then, take the first left onto road 262 Vallarvegur. You will need to cross a river to access the waterfall, so it is important that you drive a 4×4 car and take care as you make the crossing. There is a short and easy hike to the waterfall, just 5 minutes. The waterfall is truly off the beaten path—the view of clear waters racing past huge river rocks is worth the trek.

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9 Urriðafoss

Urriðafoss is only 20 minutes from Hotel Rangá. To access the waterfall, drive west from Hotel Rangá to the river Þjórsá and you will find a parking lot right off highway 1, just after you cross the river on the left-hand side. There is a short and easy hike to the viewpoint from the parking area. Even though there are 5 dams in the Þjórsá river—consequently diminishing its volume by up to 50%—Urriðafoss is still the most voluminous waterfall in Iceland.

10 Ægissíðufoss

Ægissíðufoss is a beautiful waterfall near the town of Hella. To reach the waterfall, drive west from Hotel Rangá for approximately 8 minutes and turn left onto Route 25 heading south. After about 3 km, you will see a sign for the falls. Drive down the unpaved road to the parking area. From there, you must walk for approximately 1 minute until you will spot the waterfall. The falls are in the middle of the Rangá River and offer a beautiful vista for visitors. There is a popular fishing spot just below the falls, so if you visit in the summertime you just might see a fisherman landing his catch.

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