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Gullfoss Waterfall

Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn / Foter / CC BY
Gullfoss Waterfall
  • (no stars)
  • 1-2 km
  • Easy
  • Free
  • 1 hour or less

Gullfoss - waterfall that leaves people stunned!

Gullfoss, Iceland

Once it comes to listing the most grand and spectacular of sightseeing highlights in Iceland, Gulfoss surely always makes it on the top being the most popular and well-known of all the waterfalls in the country. Moreover, it can also be named among top attractions in Iceland in general.


If translating the name Gulfoss means “Golden Falls” which more or less is related with the observations that on sunny days (which however are not that often in Iceland) the water pouring down in 32 meters high crevice truly looks almost golden. The size, grandeur and vast view of the waterfall is hard to be described as standing there and seeing the really powerful waterfall can give one almost philosophical type of thoughts on our existence in this nature, our significance and size compared to other creations on this earth such as mighty Gullfoss. Some say they have felt themselves charged with energy after spending some time by the waterfall.


The history however could have played a bad joke on those who now have chance to enjoy and visit Gulfoss. At the beginning of 20th century there were some ideas and initiatives going on to make hydroelectric station and make electricity by using power of Gullfoss. However there was a person to whom Gullfoss was more than just a business opportunity. Her name was Sigríður Tómasdóttir – the daughter of the owner of Gullfoss. She, then, carried out unusual protest by marching barefoot from Gullfoss to Reykjavik. Those were tough 120 kilometers that exhausted her physically (let’s bare in mind that roads were not paved back then) yet she managed to save Gullfoss from perhaps unnecessary exploitation.


Gullfoss looks gorgeous any time of the year so there are not that many restrictions or suggestions on which time of the year it is better to be visited. Nice viewing spots have been established for the convenience and safety of the visitors.


How to get there

Gullfoss is part of the Golden Circle route and you will find plenty of other impressive natures sites within a short distance. To reach Gullfoss waterfall the best way probably is to take the main road (Number one) going south from Reykjavik and then make the turn right befor Arborg on the highway 35. There are also many bus tours going from the main bus station but since the schedules, length of the tours and prices vary from company to company so better spend some time going trough the offers of tour companies and see which one matches your needs the best. Since there are many cars doing the Golden Circle in the summertime, it is quite easy part to be hitch-hiked as well.