Behind the Waterfall

Seljalandsfoss View

With only two days left until we needed to take back the rental car, we couldn’t possibly leave without seeing one of Iceland’s famous waterfalls. For those of you that don’t know – Iceland’s waterfalls are arguably some of the most impressive in the world and are one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. Since we had already booked something special for the evening, we didn’t have time to visit more than one, so we had to choose between the nearest two – Seljalandsfoss and Gullfoss. In the end, we went with Seljalandsfoss, mainly because it was surrounded by a few other waterfalls and you were actually able to stand behind it which was an item I was yet to tick off the ‘bucket list‘.

After around two hours on the road, we began to see Seljalandsfoss appear from almost half a mile away. It felt so strange to be able to see a waterfall that large without having to even exit the car. I’ve normally had to complete a ten mile hike (well it might as well have been) to get anywhere near something of this size but there it was, right in front of us as we travelled down one of Iceland’s desolate roads. As soon as we took the turn-off towards the car park, the roads instantly changed from quiet to crowded, with buses full of tourists eagerly making there way towards the water.

Seljalandsfoss
Seljalandsfoss was impressive enough from the car park, never mind when you began to get closer and the sheer power and size became evident – the people standing beside it looked tiny.

Following a path, we were able to walk around the side of the waterfall (as you can see others doing in the picture above) and carefully make our way along a narrow path which took us under the cliff-face and behind the waterfall itself. From here, the view was incredible and was the perfect place for an amazing photo if – unlike me – you have a waterproof case on your camera/phone*. If not, be prepared for the lens to get soaked as soon as you try to take a photo.

I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved Seljalandsfoss. The experience of walking behind a waterfall was something I had always wanted to do and after accomplishing it – I’d go as far as saying it was one of the best things, (possibly even the best thing) I’ve ever done and I couldn’t recommend it more.

Jordan Behind Seljalandsfoss
I was quick enough to snap a photo of Jordan standing behind Seljalandsfoss without ruining my camera forever.

If you follow the trail that takes you past Seljalandsfoss, you’ll find several more smaller waterfalls making their way down the cliff’s edge. Most of them have signs that state not to climb up but if you walk to the end of the path, you’ll come to a cave that you can enter by navigating over the semi-submerged rocks. Eventually, you’ll come to Gljúfurárfoss – another incredible and slightly eerie waterfall hidden behind the rocks. You can get pretty close to Gljúfurárfoss if you’re willing to wait twenty minutes for the selfie-takers to let you jump on the picturesque boulder which sits right in front of it (something I was not up for doing).

After a few hours of exploring, we made our way back to the hotel to get ready for the evening. Luckily, I had been able to book tickets in advance for the famous Blue Lagoon which was pretty close to our hotel. For those of you that aren’t aware of the Blue Lagoon – it is a geothermal spa in a lava field which is near the top of almost everyone’s bucket lists (put it on yours if it’s not there already). It’s known for it’s bright blue colour, hot waters and complementary Silica Mud Mask.

I have to admit, I was quite nervous when we were on our way there. I had built it up to be so amazing in my head and I was worried I was going to be let down when I got there, and considering the price per ticket (£30/€47), that was the last thing I wanted to be let down by. When we arrived, we were ushered into a huge queue of people waiting to get inside and the worry started to build even more. I had read reviews of some people stating it can get too crowded and ruin the experience and I couldn’t imagine how that many people could possibly fit inside of the pool without everyone being on top of each other.

Once we had our wristbands, we were separated into male and female changing areas where you are meant to shower completely naked before entering the pool. This rule wasn’t really enforced for the female changing rooms but supposedly it’s a very strict rule in the male changing rooms and be warned, there are no cubicles so your modesty has to go out of the window.

Once showered and dressed, we walked out into the freezing cold air and the Blue Lagoon itself. As we stepped into the pool, we were met by the most perfectly warm, bright blue water and to my surprise, it wasn’t over-crowded in the slightest. In fact, it was 10x bigger than we had all expected it to be, with plenty of space to swim around and find the hottest parts.

Blue Lagoon
The Lagoon was so much bigger and bluer than we ever imagined, with a drinks bar at one end and a face mask bar at the other.

Overall, the Blue Lagoon was better than any of us had ever imagined and definitely worth the price, we would have stayed there for hours if we weren’t turning into walking prunes. If you’re ever in Iceland and want to try and visit the Blue Lagoon while you are there, it’s located quite near to the airport so if you’re staying further away, you could always book your ticket for a time slot just after you land or before you have to check-in. That’s what a lot of people do and some even visit while on a stop-over when flying to a different country.

After only three full days in Iceland, I had already ticked four items off of my ‘bucket list‘ and I was having an amazing time. With one day to go, Jordan and I knew that we’d definitely be coming back one day to see more of the beautiful country. Hopefully, next time it’ll be a road trip so that we can explore the north of the island as well.

 

*Speaking of waterproofs, make sure to wear waterproof clothing (even trousers) when you visit any waterfall in Iceland as you’re very likely to get wet.

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