The gorgeous Skógafoss belongs to the most popular waterfalls in Iceland and this means something in this country of thousands of waterfalls.
Map of the site
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At least part of this popularity could be explained by the vicinity of a major tourist route – Route 1. Visitors can see the mighty waterfall from the windows of their cars and buses and this incomparable natural landmark lures crowds of people at all times of the year. But… wouldn’t you want to be there right now as well?
The spray of the falls in sunny weather (or at full moon) creates a rainbow. Visitors love to walk near the falls although the constant spray makes everyone wet. There is also a staircase to the top.
Skógá river falls here over a hard basalt cliff. This is the former sea cost – the current coast is some 5 km further south. All this enormous plain below the falls was created by a fairly recent geological event: jökulhlaup, gargantuan flooding caused by a sudden burst from glaciers some 3000 years ago. The mighty waterfall has not created a canyon yet.
Waterfalls of Skógárgil
Skógafoss or the “Forest Waterfall” is the last one on Skógá river. But if a visitor has a few more hours of time, he would discover a lot more in the beautiful canyon of Skógá river – Skógárgil. Just a few hundred meters above comes the next waterfall – Hestavaðsfoss. Then comes Fosstorfufoss (10-11 m), Steinbogafoss (7-8 m), Fremri-Fellsfoss, Innri-Fellsfoss (11-12 m), Rollutorfufoss, Skálabrekkufoss, Kæfufoss, Gluggafoss, Króksfoss (44 m), Neðstifoss and Miðfoss (together – some 25 m), Efstifoss and Slaedufoss as well as smaller steps in between.
Not too far, some 2.5 km to the east is another giant waterfall – the 30 m (40 m?) tall Kvernufoss.
According to a legend in the pool below the Skógafoss an early Viking settler Þrasi Þórólfsson buried a chest with gold.
Much later, in the 17th century, three locals noticed the golden embellishments on the chest in the water and tried to get the chest out from the waterfall pond. They found a ring at the side of the chest and pulled it with a rope. The ring broke off and their chest slid deep into the pool and is lost now. The golden ring now is in the nearby Skógasafn museum.
Iceland is very rich with peculiar natural landmarks and the island contains also interesting cultural landmarks. The highlights of Iceland are the magnificent waterfalls as well as geysers and other geothermal features.
Some of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring natural monuments are waterfalls or locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.
The heritage of Europe is diverse and endlessly interesting. Incomparably rich is the wealth of European historical architecture, but this part of the world has exciting natural heritage and archaeological heritage as well.
Iceland is said to be the land of over 10,000 waterfalls. This amounts to about one waterfall for every 10 square kilometers, which makes Iceland the most densely covered country on Earth. With so many, it is hardly surprising that Iceland can boast of some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. This book is a guide to over 100 of those waterfalls, with references to 50 more.
Boris Buschardt is an award-winning landscape photographer with 30 years of experience. In six trips from 2008 to 2016, he captured the magic and great diversity of Iceland in an unrivaled way. The book contains 165 large high-quality images of all the wild places of Iceland including the most spectacular waterfalls, glaciers, canyons, black beaches, ice caves, and lava fields in the remote highlands as well as the underwater world of the Silfra fissure and the lively cultural scene and architecture of Reykjavik.