Out of all eight waterfalls we saw during our adventure along the Ring Road in Iceland, Glufrafoss* was by far my favorite! Very few waterfalls offer one the opportunity to stand beneath them–and thereby the surreal feeling that comes along with doing so. That’s why this waterfall is a must-see on any trip to Iceland.
*Please note that you have probably seen or will see its various other spellings: Gljufurafoss, Gljufrabui, Gljufrafoss.
Where is Glufrafoss located?
There is a good possibility that if you are in the midst of planning your own adventure to Iceland, you’ve already added another very iconic waterfall to your list–Seljalandsfoss. Seljalandsfoss is popular for a similar, yet very different reason: it’s one of the only waterfalls you can walk behind.
Glufrafoss is crazily within a short walk from Seljalandsfoss. In fact, there is now a short gravel path linking the two waterfalls, which is why it’s so baffling that Glufrafoss is yet so little known or acknowledged. Each waterfall has its own parking area–albeit Seljalandsfoss’s is quite larger–but there is no need to drive from one to the other because they are honestly that close to one another.
To be fair, Glufrafoss is not nearly as visible at first sight as its popular neighbor, which may explain its lack of acknowledgment, but this only adds to its charm.
How do you get to it?
In order to get to Glufrafoss, you basically have two options: (1) climb up the steep canyon wall to get a look at it from the top or (2) walk through the stream of the canyon to stand beneath it. Option #1 seemed totally doable, but we chose the latter–option #2. Most people whom we saw chose neither and simply stared at it through the canyon as in this photo. Don’t do this! You do not want to miss the astounding view from inside!
To be fair (once again), the water of the stream is extremely cold, and you’ll definitely want to have some good waterproof boots on to avoid wet socks and feet (waterproof boots though are a must wherever you go Iceland). We were lucky enough to avoid the water altogether though by stepping from rock to rock through the canyon. I don’t think you can absolutely rely on this as being an option; however, I’ve read in several places where others have been able to do the same.
What is it like inside?
Two words: overwhelmingly incredible. You will simply stand amazed as the water pours down into the canyon around you. Don’t be afraid to climb and stand on the boulder because that’s where the wonder really lies; you’ll want to stand up there forever.
The view standing beneath it is like no other. But be certain that you wear a raincoat inside to shield your clothes from the sprays of the fall and that you also bring a waterproof camera inside with you!
If you still aren’t convinced, watch this video. It’s not the best quality, but you’ll get the idea. 🙂