If this waterfall seems to be familiar to you this may not be déjà vu! This location has been quite popular with film-makers, scenes of Thor: The Dark World and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and other productions were shot here.
Skógafoss is on the Skógá River in South Iceland, the cliff from which these falls descend is the former coastline, which has now receded in a seaward direction about 5 km. It is easy to see how dramatic this coastline must have been in the olden days! The former sea cliffs now run parallel to the coast for many kilometers, these mountains create a kind of border between the lowlands on the coast and the highland areas of Iceland.
Skógafoss is situated in absolutely spectacular scenery, on the eastern side there is a trail which leads up to the famous Fimmvörðuháls pass. You do not need to walk for many minutes along the pathway from Skógafoss to be rewarded with majestic and spectacular views. The are dozens of waterfalls on the trails running from the same river as Skógafoss itself.
The Legends of Skogafoss
There is a wonderful legend in which the first Viking settler in this area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a treasure chest filled with gold behind Skógafoss. It is said a local boy found the chest some years later, it was possible for him to take hold of the ring on the side of the treasure chest before it vanished once again. Allegedly, he retained the ring which was given to a local church, nowadays there is a ring, reputed to be from the chest, in a local museum! So legend has it that a treasure chest of gold is still waiting to be found behind the waterfall making Skógafoss truly a golden treasure of Icelandic nature just waiting for you to discover it!
The second folklore having to do with Skógafoss is about a Troll. Trolls, elves and other hidden creatures are common in Icelandic folklore so it might not come as much of a surprise that one of Iceland’s best waterfalls has a Troll story. The story has not been recorded very well but goes a little something like this, a gigantic Troll was walking around at the South Coast carrying a smaller Troll on its shoulders (some say it was the trolls son but others say baby brother) when it stumbled upon a great, big and beautiful waterfall, Skógafoss. The Troll was in an awe and stared at the waterfall for too long, the sun came up and turned them both to stone. The Trolls now rest in the hills of the waterfall staring at it for all eternity.
They can easily be spotted by hiking up the East side of the mountain. Halfway up take a left turn and walk onto the leap you’ll see it!
Where is Skogafoss located?
GPS Points N63° 31′ 54.500″ W19° 30′ 43.187″
Skógafoss Waterfall is located on the south coast 149 km from Reykjavík. For those traveling from an easterly direction, the distance from Skaftafell is 173 km. Other attractions in the area include Vík (37.4 km), Reynisfjara Beach (34.5 km) and Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (29.3 km).