I’ve been reminiscing on our past trips to Iceland lately and realized there is so much more we never shared, especially from our six-week winter visit! Of course, waterfalls are one of the first things to come to mind when thinking of this ridiculously beautiful country and getting to see them covered in snow and ice was a special treat. If you are a waterfall-obsessed traveler currently planning out your Iceland itinerary, be sure to add these hidden gem waterfalls near Reykjavik to your list no matter what season you are visiting in!
If you are renting a car on your visit (which we highly recommend), they are easy to get to and within an hour’s drive from the capital city. However, if visiting in winter, I’d highly recommend some kind of traction help like YakTraks so you don’t slip on the ice in parking lots and sidewalks! You’ll also want to make sure you check driving conditions before heading out in winter.
Waterfalls Near Reykjavik to Add to Your Iceland Itinerary
These waterfalls near Reykjavik are sure to impress! We visited in December and had no issues getting to them since they all are off main roads and have a parking area nearby.
If tight on time, you can see all of these in about three to four hours, since the drive itself only takes about two total and each involves minimal walking to see the waterfall view!
This waterfall is close enough to Reykjavik to bus to. However, Álafoss is a little tricky to find because it is actually behind a wool factory of the same name. If you find the store, there is parking a little up the hill for the falls. You can walk down to the base on that side, or walk down the trail a bit to cross a bridge then backtrack for a great view from the other side!
This little walking area and park, near the Árbær Open Air Museum, features a pretty little waterfall fed by the river. We really enjoyed wandering around here and had it all to ourselves when we went. Snowshoes or thick boots are recommended though.
3. Side of the Road Waterfall
On one of our first days in Iceland for our December adventure, we drove around all day going to every waterfall on Google maps nearby! This was our absolute favorite and it wasn’t even named. That’s Iceland for ya! Luckily, there was parking next to it, so we could stop for a photo session.
4. Picnic Waterfall
On our way to the Golden Circle, we stumbled upon this quaint little picnic spot with a great view of a small waterfall. The surrounding scenery really adds to the ambiance and it makes this the perfect place to take a driving break. Picnic Waterfall is not the real name, but keep an eye out for it and you’ll know when you see it because of the picnic table right in front of it!
We almost missed this one! It didn’t show up on our Google Maps search for ‘waterfalls’, but we passed a sign for it on our way to Öxarárfoss and U-turned to check it out. (Note: ‘foss’ means ‘waterfall’ in Icelandic!) This waterfall was another stunning surprise that really made our day. There appears to be a hiking trail to get closer, but since it was slippery with snow and ice, we decided to admire it from afar. Finding this gorgeous waterfall is one of our favorite Iceland memories!
This basalt-lined iconic waterfall is definitely the most well-known on this list, but still an easy one to miss. If you are headed to Thingvellir National Park, then you are probably already planning to see Öxarárfoss. But, our insider tip is to skip the crowds at the main entry and park at the falls parking lot further down the road – for free!
Of course, Southern Iceland and the Golden Circle also have other stunning falls to explore, including Gulfoss, Seljalandsfoss, and Skogafoss (pictured below). But this list has some that you may miss if you are just reading Iceland must-see lists and we they add some extra magic to your visit to this magnificent place!
Want MORE Iceland tips? Check out our other Iceland travel blogs here!