Gullfoss, a waterfall, is one of the most popular attractions in Iceland. Located in the canyon of Hvita river in southwest Iceland, its total height is 32 m (105 ft). Although the height of the falls is not remarkable, what distinguishes it is the way it abruptly changes direction and falls in a step sequence. After the first drop of 11 m (36 ft), it twists and cascades down another 21 m (68.8 ft) drop cliff. The canyon into which the waters fall is thin enough to make it appear that the waterfall disappears into the earth when viewing it from certain angles. The powerful falls produce beautiful rainbows that rise out of the mist and spray which fill the crevice below.
A stone memorial above the falls immortalises Sigríður Tómasdóttir, daughter of a one-time owner of the falls, who is alleged to have saved this natural wonder from being developed to generate electricity. While the story is probably inaccurate, the falls are now protected as a natural reserve and still attracts many tourists to the area.
A short boardwalk and trail provide stunning views from directly in front of the waterfall.
‘Gullfoss’ means golden falls – the waterfall is so named for its appearing to shine with a wonderful golden tinge on sunny days.