After I booked our Iceland stopover, I started researching things to do, and ran across Regina1965's tip on Gullfoss (found here: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/f4b0a/22aaab/). I immediately added it to our "To Do" list, and I am so glad we did! The magnitude and majesty of this waterfall is hard to put into words. It is the largest waterfall I have ever seen and so beautiful! There is a walking path that gets you down to the water, and several observation areas leading up to it. For this incredible natural resource, there is no admission and free parking. It is not handicapped accessible, but the upper observation area would be. There is a nice gift shop and cafe adjacent to the falls.
My husband and I are still in awe and talk about this waterfall as one of the highlights of our Iceland trip (second only to seeing puffins, but that is another tip...) ;-)
A stop on the Golden Circle Tour is Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall. The waterfall is fed by a glacier. You will be told a story about Sigríður Tómasdóttir who is credited as the savior of the area for public use. The story may be disputed, but there is a memorial sign at the sight. Regardless, waterfalls are always awe inspiring. Gullfoss is very different in the summer and the winter. In the winter the pathway to get close to the falls is closed because of safety issues (slippery when wet). There is an upper trail to overlook the falls, there is also a long staircase to a lower trail. The area also features an eatery and a gift shop. Be sure to use the facilities here at Gullfoss as the next stop at Þingvellir has pay toilets!
And the final and star attraction of the Golden Circle is the Gullfloss waterfalls.
WOW is the best way to describe them …. as you pull off the highway there is small store for souvenirs and a small cafeteria style shop for a quick bite ….
Once outside, in order to get close you must must first climb down a long set of stairs and then make your way back up a trail on the side of the waterfalls ….
The pure sound of the waterfalls are amazing to say the least …..
Just stand there and admire the pure power of the water coming down the falls ….
We were there about 45 minutes and we able to capture different angles of these memorizing site.
Even though there was several tour busses we didn't find it crowded since there is plenty of space on the trail …..
Well worth the visit …. if coming to Iceland this is one of the must do !!!!!!
The waterfall is easily accessible by car and is a short drive from east of Geyser, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Gullfoss is in the river Hvíta and descends over a distance of 32 meters in two stages
The surface of the Gullfoss waterfall is basalt and less hard rock. Can be walked all the way to the waterfall through a small walk from the car park . Through a path you walk to the rocks near the waterfall. From here you have a magnificent view over the Hvíta and Gullfoss
Again there is a souvenir shop, cafe and clean, free toilets here. From the parking lot you can see a huge glacier in the distance. There are several paths here. You can go very close to the waterfall. You will get covered in spray. You can walk down the stairs then walk away from the falls to get a good shot with most of the falls in. Or you can view the falls from the path above. I did all of these. You get very wet very close and can only photo gushing water without a sense of the scale of the falls, though I suppose you very much get a sense of their immense power. Better shots can be taken further away. The light forms a huge rainbow through the spray from the falls.
Along with Dettifoss, Gullfoss is one of Iceland's most famous and beautiful waterfalls located around 6km from Geysir. While not as powerful as Dettifoss (Euroope's most powerful) it is arguably Iceland's most beautiful, where the glacial water falls over two sets of cataracts.
Visitng in summer and winter leads to two differnt, but equally stunning scenes as the water cascades through the waterfall. In winter you have the added bonus of seeing parts of the water frozen and forming strange ice formations over the rocks all set against a white wintery landscape which adds to the sight while in summer you have a greener landscape and added power in the falls.
The falls are now part of a nature reserve but were once in danger of bein sacrificed for the sake of a hydro electric dam which the government had planned to build here in the 1920's. Thanks to the efforts of Sigridur Tomasdottir and her battle against her father (who owned the land) and then the government to stop the building of the dam we can still witness the glory and beauty of Gullfoss. It is frightening to think that this wonderfull place came so close to being destroyed.