If you ever dreamed about eloping in Iceland and specifically eloping at a waterfall, Skógafoss might be a location for you! With its incredible height and insane powers, it is one location that takes your breath away. This is definitely an amazing location to visit during your elopement in Iceland!
Iceland's mighty waterfall on the ring road
When driving down the ring road, starting at Reykjavík and passing Seljalandsfoss, you will find the huge waterfall of Skógafoss! It is 60 metres (197 feet) high and 25 metres (82 feet) wide. This makes the waterfall one of the biggest in Iceland! It takes no off-track driving to get here and when starting at Keflavík airport, the time on the road is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The waterfall produces so much noise because of all the water coming down and the spray it creates, will drench you. It is possible to get really close to water; the land in front of it is flat. Rainbows are to be found quite often: when the sun shines, you will spot at least one.
For people feeling sporty, it is possible to climb some stairs so you can visit the observational platform on top of the waterfall. It is a very steep stair though! But worth the effort put in.
The origin of the Skógafoss waterfall is the river Skógá, which starts in between the two glaciers of Myrdalsjökul and Eyjafjallajökull. The river is home to a lot of fish such as char and salmon. Speaking of animals, you might see a herd of Icelandic horses! They live on the land in front of the waterfall.
Skógar is the closest town around and it has around 25 residents. You can visit the museum of Skógafasn, which has several themes around it: the folk museum, the open-air museum and the technical museum. It’s all around the Icelandic architectural heritage. The open-air part of the museum contains a couple of historical buildings.
The saga behind Skógafoss
Now back to Skógafoss! There is a tale old as time that the first Viking settler, Þrasi Þórólfsson, hid a chest with treasures in the depth of a pool and behind the curtain of water. Many people tried to get to the chest, but there was a young man that got his hands on it. The ring of the chest broke off and it fell down an even deeper pool. He only had the ring in his hands. Nowadays, you can see the ring in the museum talked about above.
For the hikers here: Skógafoss, and in particular the observational platform is the start of a well-known hike: the Fimmvörðuháls. The route is 22 kilometres (14 miles) long and part of an even longer trail that is 55 kilometres (34 miles) long. The shorter hike, Fimmvörðuháls, is one that leads you by the river Skógá and shows you a lot of waterfalls down the road. Ones that are less touristic, as Skógafoss is one that is visited by a lot of people. That would make this location not a very suitable place for an intimate and small wedding; but in come these other hidden gems!
The hiking route leads to the glaciers of Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull and ends in the beautiful valley of Þórsmörk also known as the valley of Thor.
Skógafoss is a perfect location for people that like to stay near the ring road. This waterfall is easily accessible: the land before it is flat but with numerous pebbles. It is often completely packed with tourists; they come with multiple full buses at the same time. That is why we wouldn't recommend Skógafoss as an elopement location. Consider deviating to the smaller waterfalls upstream, or to Kvernufoss, a hidden waterfall slightly to the right of Skógafoss. It takes a small walk but it is so pretty as well!
Adventurous elopements at the foot of the gigantic Skógafoss
Skógafoss leans itself for a perfect location for wedding photos! It is often chosen location for elopement ceremonies, even when it's as busy as it often is with all the tourists. But the power and majestic drop of the waterfall make it worth it!
Waterfall elopements are a fantastic and unique way to get married. Elopements are a way of getting married the way you want, without restrictions. Doing what makes you YOU and celebrating love with the one (or ones) you love most. Skógafoss isn’t a very intimate spot for a ceremony though. The water makes a lot of noise, which makes it hard to hear and understand each other. You’ll be joined by a lot of tourists around you as well. The waterfalls upstream, next to the hiking trail, may give you the view of a waterfall but also assures you of a secluded spot where you can tell your significant other what they mean to you.
Nevertheless: this waterfall is an amazing place to get your adventurous and unique photos during your elopement in Iceland. A good photographer is able to Photoshop most people out of the photos, but what we’d recommend is that you visit Skógafoss early in the morning at sunrise. Most tourists, travelling with agencies and buses, won’t be at the tourist spots during that time. In the summer you have the possibility to turn around your biological rhythm, being awake during nighttime and sleeping when everyone else is touring the tourist spots.
Good to know if you’re eloping at Skógafoss
There are a couple of things that are good to keep in mind if you want to elope at Skógafoss or any waterfall in Iceland. Here are the things:
To elope in Iceland, you’ll need a permit. You can get them at the Icelandic Tourist Board. It’ll take up to five weeks to obtain them though, so make sure you arrange things as soon as possible, or it might not be possible to marry legally in Iceland. I say this specifically like this because you’ll always have the possibility to marry in a symbolic way. You can read more about symbolic ceremonies in our blog: What is a symbolic ceremony?
It is highly encouraged to hire a wedding planner, especially if it’s a local planner! They’ll know the area the best and will take care of your elopement so that it’ll be an even better experience than you’ve ever dreamed of!
A good wedding planner takes all your stress away because you don’t have to break your head over everything that’s needed for getting your marriage legalised. They help you organise activities around your elopement ceremony, such as for example helicopter flights over glaciers, ice cave expeditions or whale watching. They’ll help you create an amazing trip!
To ensure you’ll never ever forget this trip, it is highly recommended to also hire an elopement photographer. And that’s where we come in! We’re Tim and Julianne, 2 photographers originally from the Netherlands, but we love to travel! We specialise in elopement photography after we photographed big weddings for over 5 years. Right now, we try to help as many couples as we can to ensure people celebrate their elopement the way they want it, and not the way society dictates it.
We want you to have memories that last for a long, long time. Memories of epic experiences and adventures, of a day that is stress-free and completely focused on your love!
Iceland was the country we visited for our first holiday and we absolutely adore it! It is the land of the extremes and we still love all the pictures we’ve taken on that holiday. Ever since we’ve been there for the first time, we couldn’t help to wonder how incredible it would be to capture an elopement here. And in the meantime, we did! Hopefully, there will be many more to follow.
It is important that you wear appropriate attire. That still can be a wedding dress or a tuxedo, even if you choose to hike for multiple days! You just change your clothes, right before the ceremony starts.
But more importantly, in Iceland, it can be rough and unpredictable weather. Therefore, it is wise to dress in layers: wear thermal layers and quick-drying clothes for example. That ensures that you can strip down a layer when it’s hot or put something extra on when it’s cold out. In Iceland, you’ll conquer a lot of various grounds, from ice to pebbles to slippery stones. This is why you absolutely should have sturdy hiking shoes. These will make sure you can get to almost every spot for your elopement ceremony and pictures.
Good to know is that it is encouraged to wear crampons around waterfalls such as Skógafoss if you’re visiting in winter. The spray of the water will freeze up and make every stone slippery and icy!
With the weather changing in an instant, it is important to keep in mind that you should have a backup plan. This will give you peace of mind if something were to go wrong. You just pick up the other plan and off you go! What that unexpected event might be? Well, rain, blizzards, you twisting an ankle and not being able to move that much, permits that don’t get through, etcetera, etcetera. It is whatever you think it will be. Whilst planning you’ll probably think of a couple of things that may count as an unexpected event for the both of you.
Accommodations around Skógafoss
Here you’ll find a couple of locations around Skógafoss. We’ve selected these four as spots within 30 minutes of driving so that you can visit the waterfall even in the middle of the night when the northern lights are showing!
At the parking place, you’ll find this fine hotel. It has great food and there are tours being organised from the hotel.
In Iceland, it is also possible to rent a camper! It is an amazing way to discover wondrous nature. This campsite is located at the foot of the waterfall and is a great place to stop for the night.
If you’re looking for a location with the looks of a wooden cabin, this is a great one! It is located just 13 minutes drive from Skógafoss. It has a great hot tub where you can relax and sit back. If you’re lucky enough, you’re treated with some northern lights above your head! Up the road from this hotel, you will find the geothermal pool of Seljavallalaug.
This Airbnb has a great view over the volcano of Eyjafjallajökull, also known as the troublemaker from 2010 😉 The owner of the Bed and Breakfast ensures you of a good breakfast in the morning and if we may believe the reviews, he also ensures you of good travel tips! You’ll rent 1 room, but there are a couple of rooms available.
Want to learn more about eloping in Iceland?
We’ve written a full guide on eloping in Iceland! It contains everything you might need to know if you decided to get married there. From learning what you’ll need to make your marriage legal, to how to get to Iceland, to activities to undertake after your ceremony. You’ll find everything you’ll need here!
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