The most photographed waterfall in Iceland is the Gullfoss. The Gullfoss is one of the 3 major natural attractions in Icelands Golden Circle [the other 2 being the Great Geyser and Þingvellir National Park]

The Hvítá River, which flows underneath the Langjökull glacier, is fed by Langjökulls melting ice. Gullfoss, which spans the width of the Hvítá River, falls 32 meters in two stages and it’s water flows 133 kilometers into the Atlantic.

The Gullfoss is so powerful that you may wonder how its possible that it still stands as a natural beauty, as opposed to having corporate interests try to use it for power.

At one time there was thought to using Gullfoss for hydroelectricity, but due to lack of funds and some other issues, the falls were purchased by the government of Iceland and eventually conserved.

There is a second story about the conservation of the falls. It’s said that a landowner was going to sell the property, and his daughter Sigríður Tómasdottir threatened to throw herself into the falls if the land was sold. This prompted her father to back out of the deal and make the falls a reserve. True story or not, while at the falls you can see a memorial commemorating Sigríður Tómasdottir. [I like this story better!!].

[For some perspective on how large the falls are, check out the second photograph and see the guys on the rock formation tonthe left].

~~Click once on image for a larger view, click a 2nd time to enlarge a bit more~~

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography

©2010 Adriana Durian Photography