Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland - Travel Guide

There’s no denying that Iceland can be considered a European kingdom of waterfalls – some of which are more visited than others. There are over 10,000 waterfalls scattered all over the island, but Seljalandsfoss is one of the few that stand out the most. Its multiple appearances in popular culture are proof enough of that.

No matter if you are just thinking about visiting Seljalandsfoss waterfall or already have your tickets and hotel room booked, learning new information about it wouldn’t hurt – it will either push you towards actually going there or make you even more excited about the upcoming trip. That’s why below, you will find a complete Seljalandsfoss travel guide that includes general information about it, how to get there, how much the entrance cost, and more.

About Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

One of the things that attract the visitors the most, and what makes it one of the most commonly visited sites in Iceland, is the fact that you can actually walk behind the waterfall and discover the South Coast from a new perspective.

How Seljalandsfoss Came to Be

You might be wondering – How was the Seljalandsfoss waterfall formed? Well, the waterfall is formed by the Seljalands River, which starts all the way in the Eyjafjallajökull Glacier Volcano (it is the same volcano that erupted in 2010 and disrupted Europe’s plane traffic).

The river is basically melted ice that cascades down a high cliff. Once upon a time, Seljalandsfoss reached all the way to the Atlantic Ocean – today, a patch of lowland separates the two. However, you can still see the ocean from the top of the cliff.

Visiting Seljalandsfoss - The Costs

You can enter the waterfall Seljalandsfoss for free – there’s no entrance fee, just as there are no operating hours. The only thing you will have to pay for if you are traveling by car is the parking lot fee (more about it below).

Seljalandsfoss and Popular Culture

As we already mentioned, the Seljalandsfoss waterfall has made plenty of appearances in front of the cameras. Here are some of the most known ones:

  • The Juniper Tree (1990) – the movie is set in Iceland and features many of Iceland’s famous landscapes, including Seljalandsfoss.
  • The Amazing Race 6 (2004) – the contestants of the first leg were sent to Iceland, where they visited Seljalandsfoss, as well as some other popular locations, such as the Blue Lagoon.
  • I’ll Show You (2015) – in Justin Bieber’s music video, the singer is seen standing in front of the waterfall. As of this day, the video has over 487 million views.
midnight sun in iceland
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: Jossemio)

How to Get to Seljalandsfoss

Unfortunately, you cannot get to the waterfall by using public transport. The only two ways to reach it are by car, by bicycle or through an organized tour.


The Seljalandsfoss waterfall is located close to the Golden Circle, about two hours from the capital of Iceland – Reykjavik. To get there, you have to follow road number 1 (Ring Road) – the waterfall is visible from it – and then take the paved road number 249, which will take you directly to the official parking lot. You will need to pay 700 ISK for a spot (payment done by card).

While there’s no limit when it comes to how much time your car can stay parked, we recommend not leaving it for more than 24 hours, as for each day the car occupies the spot, you will have to make a new payment.


While we wouldn’t say that this is the best way to reach Seljalandsfoss, there are some people who decide to do it, so we decided to include it. If you follow the same route as if you were going by car, you should be able to get there without too much trouble.

Organized Tour

Another way to get to Seljalandsfoss is by choosing an organized tour instead of solo travel. Most, if not all, travel agencies have a tour of South Iceland in their offer.

(Unsplash. Photo Credit: Andrey Andreyev)

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall - Best Time to Visit

Truth be told, you can visit the waterfall at any time of the year. However, if you decide to do it during winter, you have to keep in mind that the path behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall might be closed due to safety precautions, as it becomes slippery. If it’s open, you have to be extremely careful and wear shoes that make you stable. What’s more, the slippery ice is not the only thing to watch out for during winter – it’s important also to look up as there might be some icicles falling. Some people go as far as wearing crampons so that the chances of slipping become as low as possible.

When it comes to what hour will be the best to pay Seljalandsfoss a visit, the answer is either morning or evening hours. During the day it can get crowded, as it is a popular tourist attraction. It might be too dark and dangerous during the night, especially if you were thinking about visiting the path behind it as there’s no onsite lighting.

Seljalandsfoss - What to Wear

This is another very important thing to consider before paying a visit to the waterfall Seljalandsfoss – you need to dress accordingly, as you might end up soaked from head to toes because of the wind, the mist from falling water reaches quite far. It doesn’t matter when you visit Seljalandsfoss waterfall – be it during summer or winter – proper clothing is essential.

So, the best things to wear during your visit to Seljalandsfoss are hiking boots with high-quality soles, a raincoat and rain pants. It would also be a good idea to invest in a waterproof bag. Sure, you can wear a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, you have to prepare yourself to change into dry clothes as soon as your visit is over. If you want to go behind Seljalandsfoss during winter, make sure to have multiple layers on as it can get freezing cold.

Seljalandsfoss - Other Attractions Located Nearby

Seljalandsfoss is not the only tourist attraction in the area. There are a few more that can be easily accessed by car. Those include:

  • Gljufrabui Waterfall – to get there, you need to go a little further down the road 249. Despite its size (it is 40 m or 131 feet tall), the waterfall is often overlooked by people as it is hidden inside a canyon.
  • Skogafoss – a trip to Seljalandsfoss is not complete without visiting Skogafoss as well. Skogafoss is yet another beautiful waterfall. While you cannot walk behind it, it doesn’t make it any less worth seeing. What’s more, there’s a legend going around that the first settler, called Þrasi Þórólfsson, placed a treasure chest under it. However, no one was lucky enough to find it yet.
  • The Golden Circle – those who visit Seljalandsfoss often combine it with a trip to the Golden Circle. The world-renowned road trip includes plenty of jaw-dropping landscapes, the most popular being the Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area and Gullfoss waterfall. Along the way, you will encounter plenty of historical towns, volcano craters, hot springs, and more.
Seljalandsfoss viewed aerially during the winter
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: Robert Bye)

Seljalandsfoss - Frequently Asked Questions

Seljalandsfoss, which also goes by Seljaland waterfall, means “selling the land of waterfalls” in English. The word ‘foss’ means waterfall, so if you see it in the name, you can be almost 100% sure that it will be a waterfall.

The pronunciation of most Icelandic words can be difficult for some people – which is also the case for Seljalandsfoss. It sounds something like Sa-lya-lands-foss. If you wish to hear how to say it, you can find many resources on the internet, such as this one.

In theory, you can. However, the chances of actually getting to see the Northern Lights from there are pretty low. There are many other locations in which the lights will be much more visible.

Depending on whether you will stop along the way for some pictures or just to admire the view, the hike shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes.

The Bottom Line

Iceland is known for its waterfalls. They are some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, which is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that thousands, if not millions of people visit them every year. Some are more known by tourists than others, and the Seljalandsfoss waterfall is the perfect example of that.

We hope that after reading this article you have a better understanding of some of the most important aspects of traveling to Seljalandsfoss, such as how to get there, when is the best time to visit, what you should wear when visiting the waterfall, what are some more sites located near that are worth seeing, and more. Bon Voyage!


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