Skógafoss: Icelandic Waterfall with Viking Lore


In the south of Iceland, there is a waterfall called Skógafoss. It is not only possible to get very close to the waterfall basin, where the violent water flow causes a spray of water, but it is also a spectacular spot where you can admire the waterfall from above by following the boardwalk. 

Here, I will introduce Skógafoss, one of the most famous waterfalls in southern Iceland, its size, highlights, and the Viking legend about the waterfall. If you are interested in the nature of Iceland, please read on.”

Skógafoss, a waterfall in southern Iceland

Iceland is home to numerous waterfalls that result from the combination of glacier-fed rivers and rugged terrain. Many of these waterfalls are well-known and have become the highlight of Icelandic tourism. 

Skógafoss is one of the representative waterfalls of southern Iceland. The name “Skógafoss” is a combination of the Icelandic words “Skóga,” meaning “forest,” and “fos,” meaning “waterfall.” It is also known as “Thicket Falls.

Skógafoss is a waterfall over the Skógaað River, with a total width of 25 meters and a height of over 60 meters.This 60-meter height difference is one of the largest in Iceland, and the waterfall’s dynamic scenery attracts many visitors from both home and abroad.

Incidentally, Seljalandsfoss Falls, another well-known waterfall in Iceland, is also located in the southern part of the island.

Seljalandsfoss: A waterfall in Iceland characterized by a hollow area behind the waterfallIceland is home to waterfalls of all sizes, and Seljalandsfoss is one of the most unique spots, as it allows visitors to go behind the waterfall. At this location, visitors can appreciate the waterfall from a different angle than usual. In this article, I will introduce Seljalandsfoss, provide detailed information about the waterfall, and recommend ways to enjoy it....

The Seljalandsfoss waterfall is characterized by a cave behind the waterfall basin, allowing visitors to appreciate the cascading waterfall from a different perspective than usual. When exploring Iceland, it is efficient to combine visits to Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls on the same itinerary. 

Also, to the east of Skógafoss, there is the famous Fimvorshalls Pass, one of Iceland’s most popular trekking trails. This is recommended for those who wish to enjoy the natural scenery on foot.

The spectacular scenery you can experience in Skógafoss

The highlights of Skógafoss, where water cascades down from a height of 60 meters, include the deafening sound of the water, the violent spray of water, and the breathtaking view that blends seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. 

It is relatively easy to reach the base of the waterfall, so as long as you are well-protected, you can get up close and personal to the waterfall. On clear days, the waterfall is often covered with rainbows. Sometimes a single rainbow appears, but if you are lucky, you may see a double rainbow pattern.

When viewing Skógafoss, it is possible to admire the waterfall not only from the front but also from the top by using the boardwalk that leads to the top of the cliff. The view of Skógafoss from a high vantage point is said to have a unique beauty and impressive power.

The Legend of Skógafoss in Modern Times

Furthermore, Skógafoss has an interesting Viking legend associated with it. It is said that an ancient Viking treasure is hidden within Skógafoss.

According to Icelandic folklore, Thorasi Thorolfsson, a Viking who first settled in Iceland in 900 AD, buried his treasure behind the Skógafoss waterfall. Some time after Thorasi’s death, one of Iceland’s inhabitants discovered a wooden box containing the treasure he had hidden. When the discoverer attempted to open the box, only the handle was damaged and removed, and the wooden box containing the treasure was lost.

While it is only folklore, the idea of hidden treasures buried by pirates is certainly thrilling! Moreover, the supposed handle of the wooden box containing the treasure is on display at the Skógar Folk Museum, located in the town of Skógar near Skógafoss. Although it is uncertain whether the handle is truly from the folklore or not, it is a must-see destination for those who love legends and mysteries.


Skógafoss, located in southern Iceland, is a natural wonder where you can admire the waterfall from both the front and the top of the cliff. There are other notable attractions in the vicinity, making it possible to visit multiple destinations in southern Iceland on a single trip. For those interested in Icelandic nature or Viking history, this is a must-visit destination.