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Skógafoss Waterfall

One of the most picturesque waterfalls on the south coast of Iceland is Skógafoss Waterfall. Nestled in the south eastern foothills of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano not far from the glacier tongue of Sólheimajökull, an outlet glacier from Mýrdalsjökull glacier. The Waterfall cascades 60 m off the hillside and is around 30 m wide and you can walk all the way into the gorge where the amount of spray coming off the waterfall often creates perfect conditions for double rainbows. 

Iceland-view of Skógafoss waterfall and observation deck
View of Skógafoss waterfall and observation deck

The eruptions of Eyjafjallajokull volcano have not been many considering the many volcanoes in Iceland and by default the many volcanic eruptions that the country has, every 5 years on average. The 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption created an ash cloud whose ash plume spread far and wide and stopped all air travel in Europe as well as closing the Ring Road and leaving vast amounts of ash in the ice caps all around. Right next to it embedded in the glacier Mýrdalsjökull is the great Volcano Katla which erupts usually every 100 years and last erupted in 1918 and the eruption added 200 meters to the coastline in the area. During the eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull the Skógá River in which Skógafoss is situated has often filled up with ash a gravel from the eruption and during the 2010 eruption the river went completely black but managed to clear itself again. 

Skógafoss is also situated next to Skógasafn Folk Museum which is one of the most interesting museums in Iceland giving a unique insight into the life of the Icelanders and the struggle to survive in past times. There is also a transport museum there and some turf houses.

Out of all waterfalls in Iceland Skógafoss has one of the more enduring and intriguing folktales. One of the first settlers here was Thrasi which owned a great treasure which he hid in the waterfall in a big old chest. Everyone knew this story and one day sometime in the past a young man guarding a flock of sheep next to the waterfall saw the chest in the water and reached out to yank it out but unfortunately only a metal ring was left in his hand. And among many treasures of the past, this particular ring can be found in the Folk Museum at Skógar.

Skógafoss Waterfall has also entered popular culture since legend has that pop star Justin Bieber almost drowned here during an extremely unpopular video shoot where he managed to break every other safety rule that guides strive hard to communicate to travelers, caused an overflow of tourists in sensitive areas and topped it all of by having dancers dance on top of protected vegetation. Well done Justin Bieber!

Whether you are travelling here during summer or winter the waterfall is a great attraction. Summer is green and lush and the midnight sun lights beautifully the glistening flow of water and in winter ice sculptures can often be seen within the sides of the gorge and there are quite a few pictures of the northern lights doing their magic above Skógafoss Waterfall.

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