Probably the best known and most visited waterfall in Iceland. Gullfoss translated means "golden waterfall". It has a total height of 32 meters, which is divided into two steps ( 21 and 11 meters), where the water of the river Hvitá ( white river ) flows down.
It is part of the so-called "Golden Circle Day Tour", which you can easily complete in eight hours from Reykjavik; it never fails to stun its visitors with its beauty. The tour also includes a visit to Geysir and Þingvellir. Three main attractions in Iceland.
At Gullfoss you find to parking lots on different levels. One up high which gives you a very good overview over the waterfall. Up there you also find the Gullfoss service area, with a restaurant and cafe where you can also purchase souvenirs. Most golden circle tours have their lunch break either here or at Geysir. From there you have a few paths bringing you closer to the waterfall and also stairs to the lower plateau. At the lower parking lot you have a different view which is not less impressive. If you have time you should read the information boards which apart from the facts will also tell you the story of Sigríður Tómasdóttir. She is told to have saved and preserve the waterfalls from being exploited for a power plant when she threatened to throw herself down the beautiful waterfall. Above the falls you will also find a stone memorial depicting here profile.
For the more adventurous, it also represents the gateway to the highlands with the mountain road Kjölur starting next to the location. This road is the shortest route north, however, it is only open in the summer and is not paved. So you have to estimate 5 hours for the 168 kilometers and you are not allowed with all rental cars to take it. From Gullfoss many people also start their snowmobiling adventure which picks them up at the waterfall and takes them a few kilometers along kjölur road before going on Langjökull glacier. So to cross the highlands you should have at least an SUV but in case you travel by rental car you should confirm with your car rental if the insurance covers mountain roads.
During longer tours along the ring road this part of the golden circle often is visited during a day starting or ending in south Iceland.