Glorious Gullfoss

A ride along the Golden Circle tourist trail in Iceland reveals the breathtaking Gullfoss Waterfall where traversing a narrow path provides close-up views of the massive, two-tiered waterfall below. In winter the view is spectacular when the waterfall freezes over into undulating waves of glistening ice. On sunny days, however, visitors are treated to thousands of rainbows, which are a natural reaction with the clouds of spray from the tumbling falls.

Gullfoss Waterfall is a part of the famous Golden Circle Route in Iceland. Its distance from Reykjavik is about 113km (70 miles). From the capital, follow the ring road east for about 54km (33 miles), then turn off for route 35. Follow that route until you reach a big parking lot next to the visitors’ centre. Entry to Gullfoss is totally free and can be visited 24/7/365. I did think about visiting independently, but for the equivalent of around £50, I took a Golden Circle tour to Pingvellir National Park, Gullfoss, and then finally up to the Geysir hot springs. The morning began pretty dull and drizzly (typical for Icelandic mornings) but did brighten up a lot in the early afternoon.

Regardless of the weather, Gullfoss is by many considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. It is situated in the upper part of the Hvita river and what makes it so striking is that the water cascades down in two stages, one 36ft high, and the other 69ft, into the long crevasse below. We were told by our tour guide that this crevasse was created at the end of the Ice Age by a catastrophic flood. There are viewing vantage points all the way around the perimeter of the falls so you can get so many amazing shots, and while dark weather does add a classic gloomy mood to the ambience, I am glad that my visit to Gullfoss Waterfall was in good weather.

All members of my tour group (including two Singaporeans that I chatted to a lot on this day) admitted that these falls were super beautiful, and although I have seen many other waterfalls in the world, including the Blue Nile Falls in Ethiopia and Iguazu Falls in Brazil, there was something so enchanting about Gullfoss; the double cascade of water is amazing to see in person (and the sound is incredible, too!) and even in the cold Icelandic weather I didn’t mind getting sprayed from these mighty falls!

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