Svartifoss or “the black falls” is a waterfall in Skaftafell, an area part of Vatnajökull National Park. A melted ice water falls down from a 20 meter (80 ft) high cliff into a beautiful ravine, creating a small lake at the bottom of the waterfall.
The waterfall gets his name from the surroundings, a dark hexagonal basalt columns. New hexagonal column sections tend to break off very fast, which also makes the base of the waterfall interesting for its sharp rocks that have broken from the columns. This natural unique design of the waterfall has been an inspiration for Icelandic architects that can be found in Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavik and in the Icelandic National Theater.
From the visitor center in Skaftafell there is a short and easy hike to the waterfall, about 30 minutes one way. The hike also includes three other waterfalls on the way, Þjófafoss (Thieves Falls), Hundafoss (Dogs Falls) and Magnúsarfoss (The Fall of Magnús).
Svartifoss is located in Skaftafell about 4 hours drive from Reykjavik. It is easily accessible from the Ring Road nr. 1 take road nr. 998, park the car at the visitor center and hike to the falls.
Read more about Driving in Iceland.