Skaftafell, located in Vatnajökull National Park, is a nature reserve in Iceland home to waterfalls, glacier lagoons and black sand beaches.

With over half a million visitors every year, Skaftafell Nature Reserve is one of the most popular tourist attractions on Iceland's south coast. Exploring its network of long and varied hiking trails–all perfectly signposted–adventurers will find a host of natural attractions: birds, spectacular waterfalls, meandering rivers, and wonderful panoramic views from the peaks. What's more, the park is located next to Vatnajökull, so Skaftafell provides the perfect viewpoint of the impressive glacier and its surrounding landscapes.

If you plan on visiting Skaftafell in winter, we recommend bringing crampons to enjoy the experience comfortably.


Svartifoss is one of the main reasons so many people choose to visit Skaftafell. This impressive waterfall stands out not for its size but for the striking image of cascading white water over black basalt columns. Its intriguing backdrop, earning its name the "Black Waterfall", may well remind you of another important Icelandic landmark: the Hallgrímskirkja, one of the most emblematic buildings in Reykjavik.

While you might be tempted to try and get a closer look at these fascinating basalt columns, you've got to keep your distance at Svartifoss. The rock face is slowly falling away and has been known to cause accidents! If you want to feel the spray of a waterfall up close, we recommend visiting Seljalandsfoss or Dynjandi.


Visitor Centre:
November - February
: daily, 10 am - 6 pm
March - May, September - October: daily, 9 am - 6 pm
June - August: daily, 8 am - 7 pm