The Iceland word “Gullfoss” translates as the “Golden Falls” and is one of the highlights on the Golden Circle Tour. It is only Golden sometimes in soft Arctic sunlight, the rest of the time it is frothy white.
Declared as the largest waterfall complex in Europe, Gullfoss is fed my the Hvítá river which runs from the central Iceland glaciers. The water plunges down a three stage cascade until it cuts through a mighty canyon. The Hvítá river then runs to the coast and through the town of Selfoss.
Just standing close to Gullfoss, it is easy to be in awe of nature’s forces. Gallons of glacier melt water cascading into a canyon.
Due to the relentless fight of one Icelandic woman, Gullfoss remains one of Iceland’s unspoilt attractions. Sigríður Tómasdóttir is rumoured to have stopped Gullfoss becoming a Hydro-electric station by threatening to throw herself into the falls. A stone stands at Gullfoss as a memorial to the woman who saved Gullfoss.
The best light in winter is around 1PM from the lower car park. In summer the best time is 6AM from the lower part of Gullfoss footpath. In good conditions a double rainbow can be photographed.
It is rewarding to experiment with shutter speed here – try a range from 1/4 to 1/125. Both long and short focal lengths can achieve pleasing results.
The access on the falls is limited to a path which runs down the side. There are also higher view-points. There are pathways to gain access to better angles, but these have been closed for safety reasons. The falls are very dangerous and have claimed a few lives over the years. usually it is an adventurous photographer trying to get a better vantage point and slipping into the falls – never to be seen again.
Gullfoss Photo tours
Photo tours that include Gullfoss.
This 2 day Iceland Photo Tour with erupting geysers, waterfalls & sea cliffs & then stay in a fishing village waiting for auroras on the Snæfellsnes peninsular.
Prices from $2,291 USD
This multi-day tour will take you around the best of South & West Iceland in six days. Touring from North West to South East with many top photo locations.
Prices from $7,536USD
Iceland has a rich variety of landscapes and seascapes and this tour is designed to enhance that variety & capture Iceland’s full diversity in a week long tour around the country.
Prices from $8,847 USD
Geysir is the home of the original Geyser. Geysir doesn’t erupt often, but his little brother Strokkur should offer several eruptions on this photo tour.
This Iceland photo tour crosses vast stony deserts with mountain tracks to Iceland’s wildest geothermal hot-spots & the best North Iceland features.