Gullfoss, which translates to "Golden Waterfall", is one of Iceland's most attractive natural sights and is one of the most visited waterfalls on the island due to its easy accessibility on the Golden Triangle route.

Two cascades and golden water

Gullfoss Waterfall is located on the Hvítá River and is one of the most powerful waterfalls in Iceland, with the highest flow of any European waterfall during the spring thaw. Gullfoss boasts two main cascades - the first is 11 metres high, the second 21 metres. The waterfall falls into a canyon about 20 metres wide, which turns the previously calm Hvítá River into a raging river.

Thanks to the glacial sediments brought by the river, the water has a brown colour, which, when the sun's rays are properly refracted, creates the illusion of a golden waterfall, hence its name.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a hydroelectric power plant was to be built on the river, which at that time would have covered twice the annual consumption of the whole of Iceland, but thanks to a lack of funds and the active struggle of local native Sigríður Tómasdóttir, the plans were abandoned and the waterfall was saved. A small memorial plaque commemorating Sigríður can be found at the viewpoint.


If you were looking for accommodation at the furthest end of the Golden Circle during your trip, there's an idyllic and deserted area of true Icelandic nature just outside Gulfoss Waterfall. About 3km away you'll come across the very well rated 3* Hotel Gulfoss with rates around 183 eur per night, which is average for Iceland.

How to get here?

Gullfoss is located at the end of the main and good quality tarmac road number 35 about 114 km from Reykjavik (route map: and 12 km from Strokkur and Geysir geysers. The road is passable all year round. From the car park, a comfortable, railed path about 150 metres long leads right to the edge of the falls, where the best views can be enjoyed.

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