One of the most beautiful waterfalls I have had the privilege to see so far is Gullfoss waterfall in the south of Iceland. It’s also one of the most beautiful waterfalls of Iceland and a very touristy spot. Not only because it’s such an amazing waterfall, but also because it’s very easy to get to and it’s part of the “Golden Circle” (along with Pingvellir national park and Geysir).
Before I went to Iceland I had already decided I wanted to at least see Gullfoss. Just the photos alone showed the beauty of Gullfoss and when I was got on route that specific Sunday I was like a kid on her way to the candy store; Gullfoss here I come!!!
At the parking lot I could hear the water thundering and when I made my way down the stairs to the bottom of the waterfall I felt a little disappointed. Was this it? A wooden stairs and a grassy field at the bottom with the waterfall way in the background. Very different than what I had seen in the photographs.
Luckily it didn’t turn out to be a disappointment at all! When I turned around I saw a path all the way to the top of the waterfall, it just wasn’t immediately visible from the stairs.
After taking some photos from the field, and with a little help from some nice people around me, of me and the waterfall in the background, I made my way up the steep path to the top of Gullfoss. Seriously I completely underestimated that long walk (especially with a camera and tripod) but it was so worth it.
Once you get to the end of the path there is a big rock formation with different plateaus you can climb on to get to the top. And when I say climb, I mean climb. It seems like an easy set of stairs but because of the water sprayed from Gullfoss the rocks are extremely slippery. They’re also very uneven and there is nothing to hold on to.
The waterfall itself is protected with a rope. Yes really, so if you take a tumble at the end of the platform you’re going down the deep end. Not really something to look forward to, and it’s not very safe but this way you get the best view of the waterfall and the rope doesn’t bother too much in the photos.
I climbed all the way to the top to get as close as possible but in the mean time forgot I also had to climb all the way down again (still with a camera and tripod in hand). Up was a lot easier than down. Luckily I got a little help from a friendly young men after which I elegantly fell down on my behind halfway down (oops). Fantastic moment and totally my style, because to be honest I’m very clumsy at times. We both laughed at it though (he laughed a little harder than I did).
All this makes Gullfoss really worth seeing. It’s impressive to see the power of the water and to hear and feel it. If you are this close you can even feel the ground shake from its power. Beautiful, really an unaffected part of Icelandic nature.
At the top near the parking lot is a small store where you can buy souvenirs and if I remember correctly you can also buy something to eat and go to the bathroom. Because all the rumbling water works wonders on your bladder 😉
Gullfoss waterfall and the whole Golden Circle tour at that is something I highly recommend. You get to see fantastic parts of unaffected Iceland, something you don’t want to miss!
This is so stunning! I have been reading quite a few blog posts about Iceland lately and it’s really struck a travel nerve! x
Iceland is amazing. If you get a chance to go do it! I want to go back and explore more (and see the Northern Lights)
It’s funny how we can create expectations for certain places and because of this be disappointed when we get there. That’s why I prefer to travel without researching too much and let the place surprise me.
Luckily you managed to enjoy the waterfalls and make it a great experience!
You’re absolutely right! And I learned from it so I don’t do too much research ahead of my travels anymore, just enough to travel safely and knowing my options of what to do and see 🙂