Selvallafoss waterfall, or sheep’s waterfall as it is sometimes known, is an exciting destination on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. This towering waterfall, with mountains on one side and Selvallavatn lake on the other, is a dream destination for photographers and hikers.
This 11-hour tour of Snaefellsnes is an example of a guided tour where you can see the Selvallafoss waterfall. Self-drive itineraries like this 7-day Northern Lights tour and this 12-day tour of the complete Ring Road also provide opportunities to visit Selvallafoss waterfall.
Selvallafoss waterfall is a hidden gem that most travelers drive past. The 63-foot (19 meters) high waterfall is completely hidden from view from the road, and because of this, there are usually fewer tourists here than at some of the other waterfalls in Iceland.
Photo from Flickr, by Brandon Wu No edits made
About Selvallafoss Waterfall
Selvallafoss waterfall, also known as the waterfall at Vatnaleid, has three major cascades of water, surrounded by lush moss growing on eroded stone surfaces. The longest of the three cascades is 35 feet (11-meters) tall.
It’s not just humans that walk on the narrow trails around the waterfall. The lush greenery and fresh water are the perfect places for Icelandic sheep to graze, which is how the waterfall has come to be known as the sheep’s waterfall.
Its Icelandic name, Selvallafoss, comes from the nearby Selvallavatn lake, whose waters flow into the falls.
Travelers often overlook this West Iceland attraction because it isn’t visible from the road. Despite being out of view, it’s an easy hike there and back in suitable hiking shoes.
You can walk over the cascades and behind the waterfall when you get there. You’ll need waterproof clothing in case you get splashed. If you’re feeling energetic, you can hike to the top of the waterfall to take in the beautiful panoramic views you’ll find there.
Photo from Flickr, by Second-Half Travels No edits made
How to get to Selvallafoss Waterfall
Selvallafoss Waterfall is on the Snaefellsnes peninsula in West Iceland. This impressive natural wonder is 94 miles (152 kilometers) northwest of Reykjavik.
To get there, go north on Route 1 from Reykjavik, then turn onto Route 54. After driving along this scenic stretch of road, drive on Route 56 until you reach Selvallafoss waterfall.
Park your car in the parking area on Route 56 and make your way towards Selvallavatn lake. Within about five minutes of walking, you’ll hear the sound of the water and soon catch your first glimpse of the falls.
If you’re visiting the sheep’s waterfall from the nearby town of Stykkisholmur, drive southwest for around 12 miles (20 kilometers).
From Grundarfjordur, you’ll need to drive 15 miles (24.5 kilometers) east along Route 54 to reach the sheep’s waterfall.
Things to do near Selvallafoss waterfall
There’s more to do around Selvallafoss waterfall after you’ve finished enjoying the views of the surrounding mountains and the sounds of the water babbling next to you.
Snaefellsjokull National Park is a beautiful nature reserve home to an active volcano and the Snaefellsjokull glacier. Snaefellsjokull National Park is 52 miles (84 kilometers) west of the sheep’s waterfall.
Vatnshellir Lava Cave is found inside the Snaefellsjokull National Park. It is one of Iceland’s oldest explorable lava tubes, created by an eruption 8,000 years ago.
The Londrangar basalt cliffs are another notable landscape within the national park you can’t miss. Once a volcanic crater, the ocean has eroded these dramatic cliffs. They resemble two pillars on the coastline.
Stykkisholmur is one of the major settlements of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. With around 1,100 inhabitants, it has long attracted settlers thanks to its access to abundant fishing and its natural harbor. There is a ferry crossing from here to Brjanslaekur port in the Westfjords.
Malarrif Lighthouse is on the south shores of Snaefellsjokull National Park. This 65-foot (20 meters) tall lighthouse was originally built in 1917 and later rebuilt in 1947. Visit the information center here to find out more.
Raudfeldsgja gorge is 39 miles (63 kilometers) southwest of Selvallafoss waterfall. This gorge boasts rock formations and gentle waterfalls along scenic hiking trails. During summer you can walk up and climb inside the gorge.
Arnarstapi is a little fishing village on the southern edge of Snaefellsjokull National Park. This town boasts panoramic views and comfortable spots to refuel before exploring the national park. It’s renowned for its beautiful nature.
Budir is another small town worth visiting when you’re near Selvallafoss waterfall. Budir is 29 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of the waterfall. In Budir, you’ll see the iconic black church that makes for impressive photography shoots.
Best time to visit Selvallafoss waterfall
The best time to visit Selvallafoss waterfall and the other destinations on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula is during the summer months in Iceland, where the scenery will be lush and green and the weather good. However, it is viewable all year round with pros and cons to visiting in the different seasons.