Gullfoss (or “Golden Falls”) is a waterfall in southwest Iceland on the Hvítá river. A little over a half-mile above the falls, the river makes a sharp right turn and flows into a wide curved “staircase”, where it first plunges 36 feet, and then 69 feet, into a 105-foot deep crevice that’s 66 feet wide and 1.6 miles long.
The average water flow is 4,900 ft³/sec in the summer and 2,800 ft³/sec in the winter, so twice during the 20th century there were attempts to use Gullfoss to generate electricity. After these both proved unsuccessful, the waterfall was sold to the state of Iceland, which now protects it. It is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country and forms part of the so-called “Golden Circle”, a popular single-day driving excursion for tourists, together with Þingvellir and the geysers of the Haukadalur Valley, including the original Geysir itself.
- Visited: July 2012