3 Activities in Milford Sound That’ll Take Your Breath Away!

In 2010, I made my first visit to New Zealand after my parents told me how amazing it is there. A favorite place they visited was Milford Sound, which is part of Fjordland National Park. Touted as one of the most beautiful landscapes not just in New Zealand, but in the world, I absolutely had to make a visit there. I was greeted, however, with some gloomy weather for almost my entire trip. Despite overcast clouds, some rain, and fog, I still loved everything about Milford Sound and hoped to make a return trip. The next time, however, I wanted to see what it would look like with better weather.

This time, we made it to Milford Sound with perfect weather, gifting us mostly clear skies and moderate temperatures. We were lucky because it was overcast and raining for several days prior! And here are 3 activities that you will love during your visit here:

1. A Scenic Flight

For our visit, we were taking an overnight cruise through the fjord of Milford Sound but we had arrived a lot earlier than the departure time. There was one activity that was available to us during the downtime: a scenic flight through Milford Sound that was being offered at the Discover Milford Sound Information Centre & Cafe. However, the flight had to fill all four seats, otherwise, we would’ve had to pay for all of the seats at the cost of $200 USD per person. Fortunately, we were able to find a couple that also wanted to do the flight, so the cost ended up being only $100 USD per person. This seems to be a bargain price, as most scenic flights can cost up to $400 USD per person, although usually from another location like Queenstown or Te Anau with a much longer flight duration.



This 25-30 minute flight starts and ends at the Milford Sound Airport, which is right next to the visitor center. A charter plane is not quite like your average commercial plane ride; due to its small body and lighter weight, it is more prone to more turbulence. While we weren’t particularly nervous, those with a fear of flying may want to pass on this activity. One of the other passengers was very close to backing out of the flight before ultimately deciding to board the plane. The flight was a little bumpier than we’ve ever experienced, but it wasn’t anything that should really deter you from doing it.

If you are able to board the plane, you’ll be treated to a truly majestic flight of Milford Sound! Much of New Zealand is unexplorable due to impassable landscapes, therefore flying is a terrific way to see these hidden treasures. The flight takes you through the entire fjord of Milford Sound towards the ocean, then fly over various mountain ranges. From bare rock mountains to those covered in forests or from colorful mountains to pristine snow cover peaks, it’s an incredible variety that you can see in the air that you may not ordinarily see on the ground.

One of the coolest sights that you can see on this flight is Quill Lake and Sutherland Falls. The lake is nestled in the mountains in a basin that overflows and cascades into Sutherland Falls, which measures 580 meters (1,904 feet), making it the second tallest waterfall in New Zealand. While you can hike to the base of the falls, the only way to see Quill Lake is in the air by plane or helicopter.

This flight at Milford Sound is easily the best value for your buck to see the beautiful aerial scenery. It’s an activity worth doing, especially if you are not looking to pay hundreds of dollars.

2. The Overnight Cruise

Next up on the agenda, our overnight cruise. Our parents had done the cruise previously too so they booked us the cruise as a wedding gift to us. We went go through a company called “Real Journeys” and boarded the boat named the “Milford Wanderer.” You can find several photos of what the boat looks like on their website here. However, the boat no longer had the private rooms left so we had to share in a 4-person bunk room. It all worked out though, as we met some fellow travelers and made some new friends!

Pricing varies depending on accommodation and departure location but it was about $240 USD per person for our quad-share accommodation departing from Milford Sound. Bathrooms are shared but there is only a maximum of 36 persons on any cruise. While I wouldn’t classify the boat as a luxury liner, the amenities and staff made everything very comfortable and it really was a highlight of our visit.

Our boat departed from the port at 4:30 PM and we had around 45 minutes to an hour to get settled in. During that time, the boat will find a spot to anchor overnight, while we were served some tasty soup and bread. The soup really warmed up the body and got us ready for the afternoon activities.

For the activities, you had the choice of taking a short hike on the Milford Track or take a small boat that will explore the fjord more closely. We chose to do the hike since the Milford Track is dubbed “the finest walk in the world.” For us, we were doing only a round-trip hike of 1.5 hours, which is just a glimpse of the whole track. For serious hikers, however, you would need to hike 33 miles and take 5 days to finish the entire hike!

We took a smaller boat to Sandfly Point, which marks the end/start point of the track. (Also, true to its name, there are A LOT of sandflies here so fair warning.) A guide walked a group of us into a lush, dense forest thick with towering trees while pointing out varieties of ferns and moss. There were also some cute and curious birds that would come to investigate our group, some hovering by nearby branches but wary enough not to get too close. This part of the track is flat, well-maintained and the temperature was cool and comfortable, so it felt like a relaxed walk than any kind of hike.

Our midway stopping point was a foresty area with a stream flowing through. In certain parts of the stream, however, the flow of water was so calm and clear that the forests above it would reflect almost perfectly in the water. It’s also amazing to see just how many different trees and plants occupy the banks in just a single photograph, the testament of an ecosystem that has thrived since ancient times.

From here, we turned back around and headed back to the boat. By this time, it’s very late afternoon and the sun is starting to set. It’s a nice time to enjoy the sunset of Milford Sound or you can just relax inside where there are some board games, complimentary hot drinks, and a licensed bar. Meanwhile, the crew is preparing a 3-course dinner that included salad, roasted vegetables and meat (vegetarian options available), and topping it off with dessert.

I’m not going to lie but I did not have the highest of expectations for the food. Most other boat excursions I’ve been on, food was premade and usually bland, so I was already pleasantly surprised that everything looked like it was cooked from scratch. When we tried the food that came out to us, I think we were almost shocked at how delicious it was! The ingredients looked pretty simple but they were fresh and it truly was a restaurant-class dinner. It was one of our best dining experiences in New Zealand! Maybe that’s speaking with some hyperbole but I really was impressed with the food. And with that, we could take our happy tummies into bed and doze peacefully off into the night.

After a comfortable night of sleep, we awoke early in the morning for the cruise and enjoyed a nice, hearty breakfast. After that, the boat started to head out towards the Tasman Sea. It was still pretty early and dark within the fjord, which made the morning temperatures a little chilly. We waited inside the boat until we exited the fjord and were out on the ocean. By this time, the sun was up a bit and the temperatures were a bit warmer. It was still a little windy but the was really lovely and so serene being out on the open ocean.

Shortly after making it out into the ocean, the boat turned around and headed straight back into the fjord. While sailing in, the captain would talk through the boat’s speakers to point out key sights and wildlife. A few albatross (sorry, no pictures!) flew around our boat and they are pretty amazing creatures. They live on the ocean for 85% of their lives, only going on land during the breeding seasons! They also have a lifespan of up to at least 40 years, which is very impressive for a bird! We also checked out to Seal Rock which, as its name implies, you can find fur seals lying on this big rock. There were only two seals lounging this time but often you can see up to a dozen seals lying here.

Seal Rock

The boat also sailed close to the insanely tall rock faces, some of them shooting out of the water up to 1,200 meters! Of course, no Milford Sound visit is completed without visiting one of its famous waterfalls, Stirling Falls, and at 151 meters, it is the second tallest waterfall after Lady Elizabeth Bowen Falls in Milford Sound. What’s cool about this waterfall is the boat is able to sail pretty close to the falls, which allows you to feel the intense force of the colliding water through the strong winds and spray. I was told you can even kayak to the base of the waterfall. When it rains, you are able to see a lot more waterfalls but you can’t see them due to lack of rainfall from good weather. Some other famous parts you’ll see include Harrison Cove and the aforementioned Bowen Falls.

When you pass Bowen Falls, that essentially marks the end of the overnight cruise and brings you back to port. Though it was sad having to leave the boat, it was a truly perfect experience for our Milford Sound visit.

3. Walking on the Milford Sound Lookout Track

We can keep this one short and sweet. Before leaving Milford Sound, there was still one area we had to check out. From the visitor center, you can find marked signs for the Milford Sound Lookout Track. It’s a short walk that will take you to the edge of the water and offer stunning views of the landscape. With the sun still rising, you are able to see distinct sunbeams streaming between mountain peaks. If you can find calm water, you can get a beautiful reflection of the landscape, which is one of the most photographed shots at Milford Sound. The best experience here I think, however, is simply enjoying the peace and serenity of this majestic landscape. Just sitting there makes you think that you can stay there forever, which I wouldn’t object to that!

Here is also a video of our scenic flight, overnight cruise, and the view from the lookout track:

Below is some information on these activities:

Scenic Flight: We cannot find this information online or on the visitor center website. You should be able to find more information when you visit in-person at the Discover Milford Sound Information Centre & Cafe, where they also have a slew of other activities to offer. But expect the pricing to range from about $100-200 USD per person. This activity is also only available with permitting weather.

Overnight Cruise:
Price: Ranging from $349-700+ NZD, depending on accommodation and season
Departure: Milford Sound. Options are also available to depart from Queenstown or Te Anau
Getting there: From Queenstown, it is a 4-hour drive to Milford Sound; from Te Anau, 1 hour and 40 minutes. You can also take buses or planes for transport.
Website: https://www.realjourneys.co.nz/en/experiences/cruises/milford-wanderer-overnight-cruises/
Other tips: Best to book this activity in advance, as this boat only holds 36 people at a time

Lookout Track:
Price: FREE! And who doesn’t like free??
Getting there: From the visitor center, there are marked signs pointing towards the track
Other tips: The track is only about 400 meters and open during park hours

So, there you have it, 3 amazing activities that you can enjoy for your Milford Sound visit! Hope you enjoyed reading this and we’d love to hear from you if you’ve done any of these activities or other activities that you would recommend. If these activities inspire you to visit Milford Sound, be sure to save the pins below for your future visit:




ROAD TRIP! An Epic 7-Day Itinerary for Southern Iceland

Iceland is one of the few countries we’ve visited multiple times and it’s easy to understand why. The culture, people, animals and, of course, the absolutely stunning and breathtaking landscapes keep tugging at my heart, wanting to go back again and again. Despite being a small country, there are simply too many things to see in any short time period, but we’ve done our best to put together a 7-day Iceland itinerary for an epic road trip!

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Though it is possible to go around the country in 7 days, this itinerary focuses primarily in southern Iceland, where many famous sites are located. What I like about this itinerary is that it can be done at any time of the year, whether you have 21 hours of daylight in summer or only 4 hours of daylight in winter (yes, the days are that short)! We will highlight all of the locations in bold font to help you track these sites.

We’ve also mapped out the directions for the major sites to put into your Google Maps:

Part 1: Starting from Reykjavik to Seljalandsfoss

Part 2: Seljalandsfoss to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon

Let’s take a look at the awesomeness you’ll see over the next week:

Day 1: Reykjavik & Blue Lagoon

After you pick up your car from the Keflavik Airport, you can start your trip to Reykjavik. Though Reykjavik is the largest city in Iceland, it still has the charm of many small towns and there are very few tall buildings. You’ll walk by many small shops and cafes and many of the main attractions are walking distance apart. Perhaps the most well-known attraction in the city is Hallgrimskirkja, the tallest church in all of Iceland. It’s built to look like the basalt rock formations and has amazing views of the entire city. Right across the church is one of our favorites, the Loki Cafe, where you can get delicious traditional Icelandic dishes, but also try the dreaded fermented shark if you’re adventurous enough.

Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik

From Reykjavik, you can make the 45-minute drive to one of Iceland’s premier destinations, Blue Lagoon, for a relaxing soak in its natural springs. Be sure to book this in advance because time slots can fill up fast. In the spring and summer, the timeslots may not matter as much, but in winter with short daylight hours, it’s important to book early to go during the day. We made this mistake during our second visit, as they only had 4:00 PM reservations available, which is pretty much dark by then. However, there were far fewer people and experiencing the lagoon at night is pretty unique.

Blue Lagoon, Iceland Blue Lagoon, Iceland Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Other places to check out: Harpa Concert Hall, Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur (famous hot-dog stand), Sandholt Cafe (best hot chocolate!), Eldur and IS (for awesome crepes and ice cream)

Day 2: Kirkjufellsfoss to Pingvellir

We start Day 2 early by heading to Kirkjufellsfoss, the only time you’ll head northwest, about 2.5 hours from Reykjavik. Kirkjufellsfoss is particularly recognizable for having Kirkjufell Mountain in the background with the waterfall. It’s also a favorite spot for photographers for sunsets and the Northern Lights. If you have time, you can explore the surrounding area, including nearby Snaefellsjoekull National Park.

Kirkjufellsfoss, Iceland

Kirkjufellsfoss, Iceland

From Kirkjufellsfoss, you can make a 2-hour drive to Hraunfossar, a series of small waterfalls that forms a very picturesque sight. An hour from here, you can head to Glymur, the second tallest waterfall in Iceland that falls into a steep canyon.

Hraunfossar, Iceland
Photo by Ming Ge

Finally, you can cap your day by heading to Pingvellir, a national park about an hour away from Glymur. A UNESCO Heritage Site, you will discover rock and canyon formations from the movement of tectonic plates, as well as the Oxararfoss Waterfall. There is also a unique experience here where you can snorkel or scuba dive at Silfra canyon, a rare opportunity to dive between two continental plates!


Pingvellir, Iceland

Pingvellir National Park

For your accommodation, I would look to stay in Laugarvatn, a town only 20 minutes away from Pingvellir. You can check out the Heradsskolinn Boutique Hostel, and also look to enjoy a bath at Laugarvatn Fontana.

Day 3: Bruarfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Haifoss

What’s nice about Day 3 is there’s plenty of flexibility for how you’ll want to spend your day. You can start by either revisiting Pingvellir or start heading to some of the other locations. Between Pingvellir, Bruarfoss, Geysir, and Gullfoss it’s only an hour total drive distance, so you can see a lot in a pretty short timeframe.

If you want to start towards Bruarfoss, it’s a little more hidden to find compared to other sites. From Laugarvatn, head east for about 20 minutes and look for the road, Brekkuskogur. There is no sign on the main road pointing to Bruarfoss, so be sure to look for this road. Your GPS should help you find it; however, once we entered the road, the GPS went haywire and couldn’t pinpoint our location. If this happens, just continue straight on the road. You will come to the end of a 3-way intersection and make a left turn. Continue on this road and look for a small sign on your left that says “Bruar.” This is the pathway to the falls, which requires a bit of a walk, possibly through mud and water depending on the weather. But it is worth it, as it is an incredibly beautiful waterfall and there is virtually no people around.


Bruarfoss, Iceland

Once you finish at Bruarfoss, you can head 15 minutes east to Geysir. Geysir will be much easier to find, as it is a very popular spot for tourists. Here you can see the “Great Geysir” periodically erupt, spewing hot boiling water up to 200 feet in the air! Afterward, head just 10 minutes east to see one of Iceland’s most iconic waterfalls, Gullfoss. Gullfoss is made of two smaller falls before plunging 105 feet into a canyon. Anywhere from 30,000 to 500,000 gallons can be flowing into the canyon. Even from a distance, you can feel the sheer force of wind and mist from the falls. It’s definitely one of the greatest spectacles you’ll see in Iceland.


Gullfoss, Iceland

Next, you can head towards Haifoss, a waterfall off from the main roads and about 1.5 hours away, but absolutely worth it. However, you’ll need a 4×4 vehicle to get to this waterfall, since the terrain is very uneven and the road can be prone to shallow flooding. You’ll need to watch for reports whether or not the road is impassable, but if you make it there, you’ll be treated to another spectacular sight. Because of its difficult accessibility, you’ll see very few people here too so you can enjoy the sights to yourself!


To conclude your day, you can look for accommodation in the towns, Hella or Hvolsvöllur.

Day 4: Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Vik

Day 4 also allows you plenty of flexibility to go at a flexible pace, but it provides plenty of things to see! 30 minutes east of Hella, you can visit Seljalandsfoss. Another iconic waterfall, you will be able to see this from the main road, as well as many signs pointing to its location. Seljalandsfoss is unique in that you can actually walk in the cave behind the waterfall.


Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

Just 30 minutes further east, you’ll reach the stunning and also iconic Skogafoss, one of my favorite waterfalls. Nicknamed the “Curtain Waterfall” for being shaped like drapery, you can experience the powerful waterfall by walking right up to it. If that’s not enough, you can take the stairs to the top of the falls, where you’ll be greeted with a spectacular view of the landscape.


Skogafoss, Iceland

From Skogafoss, you’ll head towards Vik, where there are several places to visit. First, you can check out the viewpoint that overlooks Dyrhólaey Arch. Next, head to Reynisfjara Beach, also known as Black Sand Beach, where you can see the uniquely recognizable basalt rock formations and giant rock formations jutting out in the background. Finally, you can explore the town of Vik, a charming town with exception views of the surrounding landscape, and a place to search for accommodation.

Basalt Rock Formations at Reynisfjara Beach
Basalt Rock Formations at Reynisfjara Beach

Reynisfjara Beach, Iceland

Other places to check out: because these places are very close to each other, you may have time to do other things. Try looking for the hidden hot spring, Seljavallalaug (by the road Raufarfellsvegur) or the Solheimasandur Plane Wreck.

Day 5: Skaftafell, Svartifoss, Vatnajokull & Jokulsarlon

Next, we’ll head east towards Skaftafell. You can choose to hike on the Skaftafell Glacier, which can take up to half a day, or you can go see Svartifoss, a unique waterfall that’s surrounded by basalt rock formations.

Credit: Annie Ngo

From Skaftafell, you can head towards Hof, a town that’s a frequent meeting place for tour groups for a variety of activities on the Vatnajokull Glacier. You can also hike the glacier, but I highly recommend doing an ice cave tour to see the incredible cave formations within the glacier.

Vatnajokull Glacier, Ice Cave Tour, Iceland
Ice Cave Tour, Vatnajokull Glacier

Finally, the last spot of this road trip leads to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. This lake holds large icebergs that have broken away from the Vatnajokull Glacier. In the summer, you can take boat tours to ride up close to the ice. Just across the lagoon towards the ocean, you’ll find Diamond Beach, aptly named because of the crystal clear ice fragments that wash up on the beach.

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Diamond Beach
Diamond Beach

For your accommodation, there’s plenty of inexpensive places in Hof, but if you have room the splurge, check out Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon.

Day 6: Free/Flex Day

Potentially on your 5th day of the road trip, you could see all of the things listed. However, depending on the season, weather conditions, activity schedule or if you decided to pace yourselves, you can be using this 6th day for the latter parts of your journey or visit anything you may have missed.

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Plenty of Icelandic Horses

You may start heading back towards Reykjavik as you prepare to wrap up your trip. From Hof, it would normally take 4 hours straight to get back to Reykjavik. However, if conditions aren’t ideal, it could take longer. When we made our visit this past November, it was raining and snowing, which slowed our drive to over 6 hours.

Since Iceland is so photogenically beautiful, you probably will make several stops to enjoy the scenery and there are still other sites you can check out on your way back. You can pass by Foss a Siou, a tall but thin waterfall that’s in someone’s backyard. There’s also Fjaðrárgljúfur, a massive canyon that measures 100 meters deep. A town not covered in the main itinerary that you could visit is Selfoss, where you can see the Selfoss waterfall.

Day 7: Epic Iceland Road Trip Completed!

Congratulations! You completed your epic road trip of Southern Iceland! By this point, you are likely spending a little more time in Reykjavik before you fly back home.

Although our itinerary covers a lot of spectacular sights, it still only visits the southern part of Iceland! There’s still so much beauty to be seen that one visit isn’t enough, so I’m sure I’ll be back crafting another itinerary to see the rest of this amazing country.

Additional Tips

  1. Although most vehicles will be fine to use, I recommend getting a 4×4 so you are able to trek over tougher terrain, such as Haifoss, and also for poor weather conditions like rain and snow. Keep in mind they are a bit more expensive than compact cars/sedans. I’d recommend Blue Car Rental for great pricing and excellent service. Also, opt for the Mobile Wi-Fi (around $10 a day), so you can use your phone’s GPS, as well as look up various destinations and booking accommodation.
  2. Leave your itinerary at http://safetravel.is/ and download the 112 app so you get all your up-to-date information about Iceland conditions and so they know where you are and in case you need emergency services.
  3. You pretty much don’t need cash, as just about every place takes credit card. If you’re coming from the US, you can use your dollars for cash and don’t need to exchange to Icelandic Krona.
  4. As I mentioned, this itinerary is good for any season. However, because the days are so short in winter, you may be rushed in order to see many of these sites. So if you prefer a more relaxed, slower pace, then you may want to consider visiting in the spring or summer.

Let us know what you think of our itinerary and where are some of your favorite places to see! If you like it, Pin it below!


Gullfoss Waterfall: Feel the Might of the “Golden Falls”

No road trip on the Golden Circle route would be complete without visiting Iceland’s popular attraction: Gullfoss Waterfall. Nicknamed the “Golden Falls,” the water flows in the Hvítá River and forms one of Iceland’s most powerful waterfalls. Above the main drop are cascades of smaller falls that leads to the main plunge. Gullfoss splits into two separate falls, the first falls measuring 11 meters and the second measures 21 meters, which dumps the river 32 meter (105 ft) into a canyon. Normally, 30,000 gallons of water flows every second into the canyon, but can produce up to 500,000 gallons of water per second!

Viewing Deck of Gullfoss Waterfall

Even where we were several hundred yards away from the drop, we could feel the sheer force of the falls. It was very windy and the waterfall threw cold mist all the way to the parking lot. We saw some other tourists that didn’t want to get too close to the falls in fear of getting wetter and cold. Surprisingly enough, it is actually less windy and drier as you get closer to the falls. At the lookout point, you can see up close the smaller cascades and get a closer look of the main drop. You can also go to the upper viewpoint, which has a spectacular view of the vast landscape that surrounds the falls. Rainbows are frequently seen over the falls on sunny days.

Gullfoss Waterfall: The Golden Falls

Smaller Cascades at Gullfoss

Gullfoss may not exist today if it weren’t for Sigríður Tómasdóttir, who is the daughter of Tómas Tómasson. Investors had looked into creating a hydroelectric power plant to harness the power of the falls, which would have effectively destroyed Gullfoss. Legend has it that Sigríður was so determined to protect the falls that she threatened to throw herself into the falls to save Gullfoss. Her protests did help prevent the plant from being built, although another major factor the plant didn’t get built was due to lack of funding from investors. The falls are now protected and a memorial of Sigríður Tómasdóttir sits above the falls. 

Gullfoss Waterfall: The Golden Falls

Gullfoss Waterfall: The Golden Falls

Needless to say, Gullfoss is truly an amazing site to visit and experience. Check out the short video clip below to see and hear the force of Gullfoss:

Gullfoss Waterfall: The Golden Falls

Gullfoss Waterfall: The Golden Falls

Gullfoss Waterfall: The Golden Falls Gullfoss Waterfall: The Golden Falls


Iceland’s Curtain Waterfall: Skogafoss

It’s a little surprising how close to each other many sites are on the Golden Circle in Iceland. Just 29 kilometers east of Seljalandsfoss, you’ll be able to see the waterfall Skogafoss, nicknamed the “Curtain Waterfalls.” This impressive fall is 60 meters tall, 25 meters wide and is famously recognized for it’s rectangular shape and straight drop that forms the look of a shower curtain.

Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland

Skogafoss is also very easily accessible, which is probably another reason it is a popular destination for tourists. The ground to the fall was flat and, other than some rocky areas, it was an easy walk right to the waterfall base. Mat’s mom and dad could enjoy strolling around the falls without any stress. If you don’t mind getting cold and wet, you can get really close to the base of the falls. Even from a distance, you can feel the force of the winds and mist produced at the base of the falls. There are also campgrounds and hostels available if you wanted to stay there.

Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland

There is also a path with stairs to the right of the falls to climb to the top of a lookout point. It takes a good five minutes to climb all of the steps to the top, but it’s definitely worth it. From there, you can see up close the crest of Skogafoss, as well as a spectacular view towards the Atlantic Ocean. You can then follow a trail that leads upstream to smaller falls and green open fields.

Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland

Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland

Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland

Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland

Skogafoss will always have a place in our hearts because it is where I proposed to my fiancée. It was a perfect location and there were very few people to allow us to share our moment in private. We will definitely revisit and spend more time by this beautiful waterfall.

Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland

Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland

Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland

Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland

Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland Skogafoss Waterfall, Iceland


Hike Behind Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

On the last leg of our Europe trip, we planned a layover in Iceland for three days during our return trip to preview the country. (It was also significantly cheaper to purchase flights with a layover in Iceland than purchase direct return flights). We quickly had our breaths taken away of Iceland’s natural beauty and it was clear that we would be returning for a longer stay in the future.

That doesn’t mean we couldn’t see a lot in just a few short days. If you only have a short amount of time in Iceland, the Golden Circle route is only 300 kilometers (186 miles), which means you can cover plenty ground with a rented car. Many of Iceland’s most visited and iconic spots are situated on this route and enabled us to get a glimpse of the natural beauty the country has to offer.

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One of the stops we made was at the famous Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls. It’s only 1.5 hours away from Reykjavik and 2 hours away from Blue Lagoon. The waterfall’s height is an impressive 60 meters (200 feet), but what makes it truly unique and one-of-a-kind is you are able to hike behind the waterfall. It is mesmerizing and you can really feel the power of the falls with the windy mist it generates.

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With the mist constantly being thrown in every direction by the waterfall, it may be advisable to bring a waterproof jacket or rain poncho to keep dry and warm. It can also be a challenge photographing behind the falls because of the mist. I had to constantly and quickly wipe mist off my lens every few seconds just to avoid having water droplets in my photos. And there are access points to the back of the falls on both sides of the waterfall, which allows you to see the falls at every angle possible and maybe find some drier areas.

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Seljalandsfoss is no doubt a must visit on the Golden Circle and can provide many picturesque opportunities for visitors and photographers. If you are afforded a longer stay, there are places to stay and you can camp near the falls, which may provide some other amazing photo opportunities.

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