Iceland is a land of many beautiful places. As an island of snow capped mountains, it is also home to several waterfalls. I had been to Gullfoss during the Golden Circle tour, but now it was time to take a walk amongst two other natural Icelandic beauties; Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss.
Approximately 2 hours east of Reykjavik, you will arrive at Seljalandsfoss. It is at this waterfall where you can walk behind it. Of course, once I found out I can do this, it needed to be done! Upon arrival, you’ll notice a gravel path leading towards the falls, and then it splits in two directions. I noticed that there were people on both sides of Seljalandsfoss, so I decided to walk up to the falls from the left side. The short climb up was really beautiful.
Seljalandsfoss is not a very high waterfall (approximately 65 metres high), and you don’t have a far distance to walk but you will have to overcome some rocky parts if you want to do the walk around. Also be mindful that you cannot stay dry while walking around from behind the waterfall; you will get sprayed from the water. I suggest bringing rain gear and a waterproof camera if you want to take photos. I had my fantastic rain jacket over top of my winter jacket. However, my rain jacket’s hood would not stay up due to the wind, so I gave up relatively quickly and accepted the fact I cannot stay overly dry given the proximity I chose to be with the waterfall. However, my rain jacket did keep me dry and warm in the torso and along the arms, but everything neck up, and waist down got wet. Bring an extra pair of pants, socks, shoes (if yours are not waterproof), and an extra shirt and something warm in case your jacket becomes wet. It’ll be way better having something dry to get into then leaving yourself wet and cold.
The following short videos were taken while I was walking behind Seljalandsfoss. Because it is wet the rocks are prone to be slippery, so you must be careful when climbing down. I think the way that I went behind the falls was were most people climbed up from as it is quite rocky, whereas the other side is a lot easier to walk along.
After adventuring behind the waterfall, we got back on the road and headed to Skógafoss, which is roughly 30 km away. The close proximity of the two famous waterfalls is convenient; you should have no issues checking both of them out on the same day. Not to mention that the scenery along the way is amazing; definitely worth the drive. Lucky for me, it was a beautiful day outside, and I was able to see rainbows and Icelandic horses in the fields.
Although you cannot tell from the photo above, there are many birds that line the rocky ledges of Iceland’s mountains.
When you arrive at Skógafoss, you will see a staircase going up to the top of the waterfall, and a platform that hangs over the hillside. Skógafoss stands 60 metres high, and the steps (I lost count at around 270 steps and not quite at the top) was gruelling to get up, but I did so at my own pace as always so I managed. There were also areas to stand aside on and rest while allowing others to pass. So the stairs were quite spacious, but I noticed that they didn’t always have a sturdy handrail to rely on either; sometimes it was just a rope, so not ideal to rest on if needed.
When I got to the platform, I found it to be precariously erected with the beams extending from the hillside. There was a few people on it when I got to it, and even more so soon after. I began to have thoughts about it just giving out and collapsing from the weight of people and the wind, but it didn’t. I didn’t stay on it too long though once a bunch of people showed up, but I did long enough to take some photos and a video as seen below.
Much like Seljalandsfoss, you can also get quite close to Skógafoss. Of course, the closer you get, the more wet you’ll be and after Seljalandsfoss, I wasn’t wildly keen on getting wet again as I did not bring a 3rd pair of clothing to change into. But I feel as if I got close enough :o)