Водопад Гюдльфосс или Золотой водопад, Gullfoss

Iceland is not only an island of volcanoes, geysers and glaciers. Besides them, there are many more waterfalls here, and all of them are amazing in some way. For example, the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland is Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall. In addition, it is considered one of the most full-flowing not only in Iceland but also in the whole of Europe.

From the Icelandic language, the name Gullfoss translates as Golden Waterfall. No one knows exactly where this name came from.


What is the famous Gullfoss waterfall?

The water of the Hvita River (Hvita - White River) over the past ten thousand years has washed a deep canyon 3 - 4 km long. The river got this name for a reason, because the white foam formed on the surface of this frenzied stream turns the water azure blue, then transparent gray. This river is one of the longest rivers in Iceland. It originates from meltwater flowing down from a very large, second largest glacier in Iceland - Langjökull (Langjökull). On this stretch of the riverbed, the Hvita River is shallow, but with a fast current. The color of its water varies and can be milky white, cloudy gray, and greenish. It all depends on the lighting and the weather.

At the point where solid basalt rocks come to the surface, the river first breaks off from the first stone step with a height of about 5 meters, and then another 20 meters from the second. And the second stage is located almost perpendicular to the first. The total height of the two steps, and actually the Gullfoss waterfall, is 32 meters.

The rapids are basalt, because only such rocks are able to withstand the destructive action of a powerful river.

Gullfoss Waterfall, Gullfoss is a place that every tourist visiting Iceland should definitely see. The waterfall is famous for the fact that falling water creates clouds of spray and permeates everything around, so visitors are advised to wear waterproof clothes or get a polyethylene raincoat, especially in Iceland you will need it more than once.

When on a sunny day you see clouds of spray hovering over the waterfall, you will easily understand why it is called golden. The sun's rays illuminate the haze and you can see a bright rainbow in a cloud of spray.

By the way, the GulllFoss waterfall is part of the famous Golden Ring of Iceland route and is located at its most remote point, read more...

Iceland's Golden Ring is the most popular route

Iceland's Golden Ring is the most popular route

Iceland's Golden Ring is without a doubt one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland, and for good reason. This route includes Gullfoss Waterfall, hot spri...

The story of how the Gullfoss Waterfall was almost destroyed

Once upon a time, a rich foreigner, being delighted with the waterfall, wanted to buy it from local peasants. He offered the owner of the nearest farm (Brattholt) 50,000 Danish crowns, but he refused to sell. Later, a British company wanted to buy Gullfoss and build a hydroelectric power plant there. She even agreed on the payment with the locals, but the daughter of one of them, Sigrid Tomasdottir, was against this deal, so she tried to cancel the contract in every possible way, even threatening to commit suicide.

Lawyer Svein Bjornsson, the future president of Iceland, helped her fight against the sale of the waterfall. Under public pressure, the government decided to cancel the contract and declared the waterfall, along with the surrounding landscapes, a national monument. Today, there is a plaque near the parking lot dedicated to Sigrid and her efforts to preserve the waterfall.

How to get to the Gullfoss Waterfall - the Golden Waterfall?

Gullfoss Waterfall is located in the southern part of the island of Iceland. From Reykjavik to the Gullfoss waterfall is about 130 kilometers along a good paved road.

From Reykjavik, head along the first circular highway to the East, and then turn onto Highway 35, it is at the end of this highway that the Gulfoss Waterfall is located.

There are two free parking lots near the waterfall, upper and lower, connected by a pedestrian staircase. On the upper landing there is a building with a cafe and a large gift shop.

The waterfall is not visible from the upper parking lot, only the water dust rising above it is visible. You need to go down to the waterfall in the gorge by stairs or a path.

Also, excursions to the waterfall depart from Reykjavik almost every day.

During the summer season, a bus to Gullfoss Falls departs from the bus station in Reykjavik every morning. Along the way, you can visit the most interesting places in the southwestern part of the island, as well as drive around the entire Golden Ring or part of it.

Using our article on bus routes in Iceland, you can easily plan your visit to the Gullfoss Waterfall.

Buses in Iceland, routes and schedules

Buses in Iceland, routes and schedules

The easiest and most popular way to travel around Iceland is to rent a car. But what if for some reason this option is not suitable for you?

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In addition to the Gullfoss Waterfall, there are other famous sights of Iceland in the same region:

ᐅTOP 10 attractions in Iceland

ᐅTOP 10 attractions in Iceland

Iceland is known for its natural attractions... But what exactly you should definitely see is the Top 10 Natural Attractions in Iceland