Gullfoss is undoubtedly the most spectacular waterfall in Iceland and is located in the southwest. Known as the Golden Falls in English, these falls were formed by a canyon on the Hvítá River. Early in the 20th century, Gullfoss Waterfall was saved by locals from being turned into a hydroelectric plant, and today this natural attraction is one of Iceland’s magical wonders.
A day trip to the falls
For optimal views of the falls, take the walkway up to the viewing decks where you can see its full force. This two-tiered waterfall is 20 metres wide and 2.5 km long. The water flowing here goes through a number of steps, all of which are beautiful to witness. First, the winding river flows down a staircase of three steps, before abruptly plummeting into two more steps. The last two cliffs face each other at a right angle, engulfing the space between them with white spray. The final drop is into a magnificent crevice, 32 metres deep.
Drive the Golden Circle
Gullfoss is a 90 minute drive from Reykjavik but is easily accessible as it forms part of the Golden Circle. This is a 300 km route, which includes Reykjavik and central Iceland, taking in some of the country’s most famous attractions including Gullfoss Waterfall, Thingvellir National Park and the geothermal active valley of Haukadalur. While exploring the Haukadalur Valley make sure you visit Geysir and Strokkur, the spouting hot springs known as geysers.
Whether you are embarking on a day trip to visit Gullfoss Waterfall or planning to drive the whole Golden Circle route, make sure you have a good base. From the Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel, Reykjavik you can enjoy city centre comforts and amenities with easy access to central and southwest Iceland as well as many of the country’s most renowned attractions.