Iceland Ring Road: The Best Parts Are Free (Part 2)

More breathtaking waterfalls!  

See my previous post about Hraunfossar & Barnafoss, Dettifoss & Selfoss​, and Hengifoss & Litlanesfoss.

Gullfoss

This gorgeous waterfall is one of the most popular in Iceland. It was the first one we saw, and it didn’t disappoint. 

There were four different viewpoints to see this spectacular waterfall; however, the closest vantage point to the waterfall was barred, likely due to snow. I could only imagine the incredible sound and scene as the waterfall crashed down on the ledges before going into the river below.

The waterfall is approximately a 10 – 15 minute drive past the Geysir. It’s relatively easy to find as the Road no. 37 turns into an F Road just past the car park. Parking is free, and there was plenty of it with two car parks for visitors. Everything was else free except the bathrooms which cost 200 isk per person. A gift shop and a restaurant were situated near the falls.  

The paths were well established and easy to walk down, but there were several stairs to the two lower viewing areas.  

I spent about 25 minutes here. The area was covered in snow, so my activities were limited. However, based on my observation, I suspect the area surrounding the waterfall would be amazing to explore during the summer. The 2.5 km Gullfossgjúfur canyon offers a thrill one cannot simply pass up.  

Bruarfoss

Prior to visiting this waterfall, I read that it was a hidden gem just off the Road no. 37, with very easy access, but this wasn’t the case when we attempted to see it. Google Maps directed us to a road leading to a community, however, when we arrived, it was blocked. Thankfully, there was a sign stating access to the waterfall was 1.5 km/s towards Reykjavik.

The entrance to the car park isn’t advertised on the road so try to watch your km/s back. There was a smokestack parallel with the car park but it was on the other side of the road. 

After parking the campervan our adventure began…

Watch out for the horses!

We missed the sign that led to a quicker path and ended up walking through an area with several horses that followed us and tried to bite us.

We eventually found the right path and followed the river upstream – that is the easiest way to describe how to get there.  

 Watch out for the ice! 

Thank goodness we had crampons! We saw about 12 people during our trek who didn’t have crampons, so going without them is definitely manageable, but it can be dangerous.

The path was well established for most of the way, then just after a fence the path ended, and we were basically hiking through brush and knee deep snow.

But we could hear the waterfall getting louder so we kept going!

As we got closer, we could see the stunning teal blue water as it forcefully made its way down the river.

We came around this corner to see the sun rising behind this glorious waterfall with a snow capped mountain behind it. It was the most scenic view! We felt connected with nature as we stood there admiring and listening to the water fall so effortlessly. 

Indeed, the 40-minute journey to see Bruarfoss was well worth the glorious experience!

Goðafoss

This waterfall was really easy to find using Google Maps. Wow! What a truly majestic sight.   

The whole area was absolutely beautiful and probably even more so in the summer. 

When we got there, it was covered in snow, so all I could see was this beautiful white background with light green and white water falling with mist spraying everywhere.  

There are two entrances to the waterfall. I encourage you to visit both because each provides its own unique perspective of the cascade. On one side, you can go down to the water level. I took advantage of this and filled our water bottles near the waterfall.

Like the rest of Iceland, the whole area is yours to discover. There are several walking trails both upstream and down.  

Rather than driving to each side, there is a pedestrian bridge a little bit downstream that you can cross.  

Parking was free, and there was a restaurant/cafe, and a gift shop near the falls.

This is one place I would have liked to spend more time!

Icelandic Waterfalls

During our 8-day self-drive of the Icelandic Ring Road, we saw eight waterfalls. 

My favorites were Bruarfoss, Goðafoss, and Hengifoss. 

This was partly due to the adventurous experience I had when we visited them, and also because of their sheer uniqueness that left me feeling invigorated.