Gullfoss is undoubtedly the most spectacular waterfall in Iceland, located in the southwest. Translated as "Golden Falls" in English, the waterfall is formed by a canyon on the Hvítá River, or the White River. Early in the 20th century, Gullfoss was saved by locals from being turned into a hydroelectric plant, and today this natural attraction is one of Iceland’s magical wonders.
The winding river flows down a staircase of three steps before abruptly plummeting into two steps. The first 11-meter drop in the waterfall is followed by another drop of 21 meters. These two falls are positioned at right angles from each other. The final drop is into a magnificent crevice, 32 meters deep. The two-tiered waterfall is 20 meters wide and 2.5 kilometers long. For optimal views of the falls, take the walkway up to the viewing decks where you can see the full force of Gullfoss.
Gullfoss is a 90-minute drive from Reykjavik but is easily accessible, forming part of the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is a 300 km driving route which includes Reykjavik and central Iceland, taking in some of the country’s most famous attractions, including Gullfoss, Thingvellir National Park and the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur. While in the Hakdalur Valley, you should visit Geysir and Strokkur, the spouting hot springs known as geysers.
Accommodation in Reykjavik
Whether you are embarking on a day trip to visit Gullfoss or planning to drive the whole Golden Circle route, there are many upscale hotels in Reykjavik that make a good base. From the Radisson Blu 1919 Hotel, Reykjavik, enjoy city center comforts and amenities with easy access to central and southwest Iceland and many of the country's renowned tourist attractions.