Traveling to Europe provides some of the best memories – eating mouthwatering foods, learning about the rich culture and history, witnessing epic landscapes, and much more. We can also add one more to the list- experiencing breathtaking waterfalls in Europe.
In this third part (out of four) of our waterfall bucket list series, we’re headed to see 19 most beautiful waterfalls in Europe. This guide has helpful tips from travel influencers who have shared valuable insight on their favorite waterfall including how to get to these famous and underrated gems.
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Best Waterfalls in Europe
1. Stuibenfall, Austria
By Linda, Travel Tyrol
Have you heard of Ötzi the Iceman? If you visit the highest waterfall in the Austrian Tyrol, you most certainly will also get to know Ötzi. At 159 meters (522 feet), the Stuibenfall is a sight to behold near the village of Umhausen in Austria’s Ötz Valley.
A great network of trails and platforms, including an 80 meters (262 feet) suspension bridge, makes it easy to take in this natural wonder from all possible heights and angles. And they say the spray that hits your face is good for you!
So, what is the relationship between the Stuibenfall and Ötzi? Well, the Iceman was discovered not far away in the Ötztal Alps in 1991. If you visit the Stuibenfall, you can also visit Ötzi-Dorf, a village like the one where Ötzi might have lived, and see some birds of prey in action at the Greifvogelpark. They’re in walking distance from each other.
Umhausen is around 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck. Travel down the Inn Valley toward Bregenz for about 48 kilometers (30 miles) before turning left into the Ötz Valley. You’ll reach Umhausen after another 15 kilometers (9 miles). If you don’t have a car, the Stuibenfall is also easily reached by a combination of train and bus.
2. Kravica Waterfalls, Bosnia and Herzegovina
By Rim, Curious and Geeks
Although Kravica Waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina is less famous than the Krka waterfall in Croatia, it’s definitely worth the visit. The park is located in the west of the country not far from Medjugorje. What makes this place majestic is its surrounding. The lake is surrounded by waterfalls spanning over 120 meters (393 feet) in a semi-circle. You’ll be able to fish, admire the fauna (snakes, butterflies, dragonflies, etc.), rent a kayak, and swim! So don’t forget your swimming suits and towels.
The entrance fee is around 10 KM/BAM ($6 USD) per adult during the summer but the good news is that they accept Euros so no need to withdraw some local money.
You’ll have three options to access the waterfall.
- Join a day-tour from Dubrovnik, Split, or even Mostar.
- Rent a car and drive to Kravica. You’ll reach the waterfall in a short hour drive. Be mindful that Google Maps is not completely reliable in Bosnia and you might have to download an alternative navigation app. There is a big parking lot right by the entrance and you’ll be able to reach the base of the waterfall in a short 10 minutes walk.
- Rent a taxi in Mostar and have him wait for you.
3. Plitvice Lakes National Park Waterfalls, Croatia
By Helen, Helen On Her Holidays
If you love waterfalls, then you’ll be in heaven at the Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia. There are 16 lakes in the park, connected by hundreds of waterfalls – the smallest ones little more than a trickle and the tallest one 78 meters (256 feet) high. In between, there are wide cascades waterfalls where you have you follow the sound to find them and massive groups of waterfalls that all disappear into a single hole in the ground. The water of the lakes is the most beautiful turquoise you’ve ever seen, and the rocky cliffs and forests which surround them are the perfect backdrops.
The main lakes are connected by narrow boardwalks which take you above, below and across the waterfalls and lakes. There are various routes to choose, but the main route takes most of a day to complete and includes a boat ride across one of the largest lakes.
How to Get to There
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is about 2 hours from both the Croatian capital, Zagreb, and the coast at Zadar. It’s possible to take an organized day trip to the lake from many places on the coast and public buses pass right by the entrance. If you want to stay overnight, there are three hotels inside the park by the main entrance or a range of guesthouses and self-catering accommodation in the villages which surround the park.
Read More: Croatia in 2 Weeks
4. Mulafossur, Faroe Islands
By Allison, Eternal Arrival
One of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world is undoubtedly Mulafossur in the town of Gásadalur. The waterfall can be found on the island of Vágar, one of the 18 Faroe Islands, and it’s a must-see on any Faroe Islands itinerary.
The best view of it is from outside the town when you’ve finished passing through the tunnel. You’ll get a view of a waterfall tumbling 30 meters (98 feet) from the cliff edge into the Atlantic Ocean below. Behind the waterfall, you’ll see a handful of houses dotting the typical Faroese landscape, brilliantly green if you visit in summer. The town and therefore the waterfall used to be difficult to get to, only accessible via a 4-hour round trip hike up a steep mountain, but a tunnel built in 2004 connected Gásadalur to the rest of Vágar, making it quite easy to visit.
Like many places in the Faroe Islands, Mulafossur is best visited by car. It’s an easy 15-minute drive from the only airport in the Faroe Islands. Continue on the road towards Gásadalur. When you cross through the tunnel to Gásadalur, slow down a bit, and look for a pull-off place on the left-hand side that’ll be clearly marked. Park and walk about 100 meters (328 feet) to the viewpoint (and be sure to walk down a bit further to get an even better view!)
5. Gljufrabui, Iceland
By Kris, Nomad By Trade
Gljufrabui, aka Gljufrafoss, tumbles into a narrow slot blocked from view by a rocky outcropping. Hidden around the corner from the immensely popular Seljalandsfoss, it’s worth the short walk and little bit of effort to view it.
Visitors can get to the waterfall by wading through the stream – it’s generally passable, but assess the situation before entering because flowing water can be dangerous when deep and/or fast into its hidden cavern. You can look straight up at the column of water and enjoy the misty roar of the “secret” you’ve discovered. You’ll also get very wet, so be prepared.
Alternatively, you can climb the rocky area in front. No technical climbing skills are needed, though there is a stretch where you need to hold onto chains bolted into the stone. From the top, you can peer into the cavern below. It’s definitely worth the effort to see this reclusive little waterfall.
6. Godafoss, Iceland
By Lora, Explore with Lora
Iceland is a dream destination for anyone who loves to chase waterfalls. There are waterfalls all throughout the country, but one of the biggest and most impressive falls to visit is Godafoss Waterfall or the waterfall of the gods. Fed by the river Skjálfandafljót, the water falls from a height of 12 meters (39 feet) and flows over a 30 meters (98 feet) wide horseshoe-shaped rock that rises in the center separating the waterfall in two. It’s a photographers dream as there are multiple viewpoints to view the falls from.
Godafoss Waterfall is located right off the Ring Road (the main highway in Iceland), so it’s easy to access. To reach Godafoss, drive half hour west (50 kilometers/31 miles) from Akureyri, the capital of the north of Iceland. There is a car park near the waterfall and no entrance fee to get in. Visiting Godafoss Waterfall is the perfect addition to any road trip through Iceland.
7. Gullfoss, Iceland
By Catherine, We Go With Kids
My all-time favorite waterfall is Gullfoss in Iceland’s Golden Circle. The water of the two-tiered falls was crystal blue, and there were great views of both sets of falls and plenty of rainbows when we visited. While Gullfoss isn’t the widest, steepest, or most powerful waterfall in the world, it’s untouched beauty made it stand out. The tourist center, located right off the parking lot, was well developed with a restaurant and tourist shops, but it was the only building visible from the falls in any direction. The 360 degrees view was simply breathtaking.
The Golden Circle is an easy day trip from Reykjavik. We chose to do a self-drive, but many tours are also available. Make sure not to miss on any trip to Iceland!
Read More: Map of the Golden Circle in Iceland
8. Oxarafoss, Iceland
By Chris and Heather, A Brit and A Southerner
Iceland is home to a plethora of magical waterfalls, which is why we think this nation should be recognized as the “Land of Waterfalls” rather than the “Land of Fire and Ice.” Although many of these are easily recognized, there is one in particular located in the heart of Thingvellir National Park that is equally breathtaking but probably recognized as a hidden gem.
Oxarafoss is perhaps frequently forgotten because of its location inside the national park. Given that it’s part of the Golden Circle, other waterfalls such as the impressive Gullfoss get far more attention but this should take nothing away from the beauty of Oxarafoss. In fact, this means that you can admire the beauty without having to worry about thousands of tourists trying to capture the perfect selfie.
Admission to Oxarafoss is free and the short hike to the base of the falls is easy, regardless of your hiking skills. Take the short walk past the site of the first Parliament and positioned inside Almannagjá in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge you will find this gorgeous waterfall. Oxarafoss isn’t the tallest waterfall (only 13 meters/43 feet) but for any avid photographers out there, this is one that you’ll fall in love with given the various angles you can admire the falls from.
9. Seljalandsfoss, Iceland
By Maria, Europe Up Close
While waterfalls are a dime a dozen in Iceland, Seljalandsfoss is special and offers a unique experience. Why? Because you can actually walk behind the waterfall. It’s an incredible experience to stand there and watch thousands of gallons of waters rush past you. You can feel the force of nature as the water follows the laws of gravity to the ground. Bring your waterproof raincoat and shoes, as well as something to protect your phone/camera though, otherwise you WILL get soaked.
I highly recommend getting to Seljalandsfoss early so you can see the sunrise from behind the waterfall. There is a small campground called Hamragarðar, which is a little bit further on Road 249 than the entrance to the parking lot of Seljalandsfoss in walking distance to the fall that makes it easy to get there before the tourist buses arrive at around 8-8:30am.
10. Svartifoss, Iceland
By Julianna, The Discoveries Of
Iceland has no shortage of waterfalls but of them all, Svartifoss was my favorite. The size of the fall isn’t particularly impressive – what’s special about Svartifoss is its setting. The waterfalls are surrounded by towers of black basalt columns that stand in stark contrast to the thundering white water of the falls. It doesn’t look real, but it is – the columns were created by a natural process called columnar jointing – the final effect is so striking.
Svartifoss is located in Skaftafell National Park. You need to hike to see the falls. Don’t worry, the hike takes about 40 minutes and isn’t difficult. There are quite a few steps at the beginning but after that, it’s mostly flat. The hike means that Svartifoss doesn’t get as crowded as some other Iceland waterfalls – bonus!
11. Assaranca Waterfall, Ireland
By Teresa, Brogan Abroad
I came across Assaranca Waterfall by chance while exploring the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal, Ireland. What I loved about finding this waterfall was that even though it’s well-known locally, the scale and volume of it was totally unexpected. Okay, compared to waterfalls like Niagara and Victoria Falls, it’s tiny. But for Ireland, it’s one of the most spectacular you’ll find.
To get to Assaranca Waterfall, take a car as it’s on the way to Maghera Beach and Caves from the quaint town of Ardara. By the road along the coast, it offers a perfect place to stop to take photos and to admire the power of nature. Truly beautiful.
12. Kjosfossen Waterfall, Norway
By Katy, Untold Morsels
In a country renowned for spectacular natural beauty and thousands of gushing waterfalls, Kjosfossen Waterfall in Norway’s fjord region is one of its most famous. The mighty falls have a drop of 93 meters (305 feet) and are beautiful all year round, but especially in spring and summer as the snow from nearby mountains starts to melt. At this time, the falls are at their most powerful and spectacular.
Kjosfossen can only be reached by traveling on the scenic Flam Railway. The train journey takes you from the tiny village of Flam on the Aurlandsfjord to Myrdal mountain station stopping at Kjosfossen on the way. Train timetables vary throughout the year with fewer departures in winter. Adult fares are 390 NOK ($46 USD) one way and 550 NOK ($65 USD) return.
13. Mealt Falls, Scotland
By Susanne, Adventures Around Scotland
Mealt Falls is one of the top attractions on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. The waterfall tumbles 60 meters (197 feet) over a cliff face into the water below and is a spectacular sight. Behind the waterfall is a strange rock formation named Kilt Rock due to the resemblance of a Scottish kilt.
The waterfall is free to visit and there is a viewing platform to enjoy the experience. However, as it’s a popular place to visit it can get very busy at peak times. My top tip is to get there early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the many tour buses.
Mealt Falls is located off the main A855 road on the northwest coast of the island. It’s well signposted and there is a large car park next to the viewing platform.
14. Skok Waterfall, Slovakia
By Joanna, Overhere
Skok Waterfall is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in Tatra mountains. Located in Mlynická Valley in Slovak High Tatra mountains, it’s one of the most popular places in this region. It’s situated on about 1,700 meters (5,577 feet) above sea level and reaches 25 meters (82 feet).
Skok Waterfall is the most impressive at the beginning of Tatra summer in June. When melting snow comes down from high mountains it throws about 880 liters of water per second!
The best way to get there is to hike from Štrbské Pleso mountain resort. Nice and easy trail marked yellow leads among meadows and forests, gradually revealing the breathtaking landscape of High Tatra mountains. Hiking to the waterfall from Štrbské Pleso takes about 2 hours. It’s a perfect option also for families with children.
If we prefer longer hikes, we may hike further along the circular yellow trail to Bystrá Lávka Pass. It’s a real treat for outdoor lovers and hiking aficionados.
15. Savica Waterfall, Slovenia
By Leo, Safari Nomad
The Savica Waterfall is the highest and most visited waterfall in Slovenia. This waterfall is unique because of its A-shape and emerald crystal clear pool. Its height is about 80 meters (262 feet) and is located in one of the most beautiful lakes in Slovenia Lake Bohinj and pretty close to famous Lake Bled. At the top, there is a viewing platform where you can enjoy the natural beauty of the waterfall. It’s suggested to wear good walking shoes as the path might be slippery. Entrance fee is required for adults is 3 EUR ($3.40 USD) for children 1.50 EUR ($1.70 USD).
The waterfall can be reached by taking a walk from Lake Bohinj or drive to the parking lot at the Savica hut and take 20 minutes to walk (stairways) to the waterfall. If you need more information about renting a car in Slovenia, you can read this guide.
16. Cola de Caballo Waterfall, Spain
By Gábor, Surfing the Planet
You can find some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes hiking in the Pyrenees. One of the most beautiful sights in this mountain chain is the Cola de Caballo Waterfall. The name of this beautiful landmark means horsetail and it refers to the shape of the waterfall. It’s found in the Ordesa National Park in Aragon County, Spain.
There is no entrance fee to the natural park, and from the parking, it’s about 3 hours walk till the waterfall. The path follows a valley and you’ll pass several other beautiful waterfalls on your way. We recommend you to continue from the waterfall towards the Goriz Refuge since from up there the views of the waterfall and the valley are spectacular.
Read More: Take a Cooking Class in Spain
17. Giessbach Waterfalls, Switzerland
By Arzo, Arzo Travels
Switzerland is most famous for its mountain peaks – but is also home to quite some stunning waterfalls. My personal favorite waterfalls are the Giessbach Waterfalls in the region of Interlaken (Bernese Oberland).
It’s not that impressive in terms of water flow like the Rhine Falls in Switzerland (which is the biggest waterfall in Europe) but it still impressed me the most: The beautiful Giessbach brook tumbles in 14 stages, over a length of 500 meters (1,640 feet) before it flows into the stunning, turquoise colored Lake Brienz.
There are several ways to see the lake in all its beauty. Ideally, you do a Lake Brienz boat tour and see the waterfall from its distance. It looks lovely but not spectacular – yet. Then you get off the Giessbach boat station and hike up all the way. You’ll pass the lovely Grandhotel Giessbach (where you can have a coffee in the summer months) and then keep hiking behind the waterfall. The hike is quite easy (but uphill) and takes about an hour. It’s so worth it – and one of the best free activities to do in pretty Interlaken.
18. Pistyll Rhaeadr, United Kingdom
By Natalie, Natpacker
One of the Seven Wonders of Wales, Pistyll Rhaeadr is one of my favorite waterfalls in the UK. It’s the tallest single drop waterfall in the UK and the tallest waterfall in Wales, at 80 meters (262 feet) high. Located in the Berwyn Mountain Range the fall can be seen from the base or there are plenty of walks around the area that give some incredible views and take you to the top of the fall.
I love the waterfall as every time I have visited due to its peaceful. Many people only visit the base of the falls, so as soon as you start on one of the walks you’re alone. At the top of the waterfall, water gathers around the rocks which makes it a great place to explore.
You can only get to Pistyll Rhaeadr by driving or by taxi as there is no public transport. There is a small charge for car parking at Tan-y-Pistyll as the money from the parking goes to the conservation of the area. Free parking available on the road not far from the entrance. The car park also has camping and a tea room.
19. St Nectan’s Glen, United Kingdom
By Suzanne, Meandering Wild
St Nectan’s Glen is a small waterfall hidden away in the Cornish countryside. A few miles from the mystical castle of Tintagel a parking area and a battered sign shows the way to the glen. After a gentle walk, you’ll find St Nectan’s Glen. This is a strange location. You do need to pay to reach the waterfalls so planning is needed to get here during its opening hours.
Follow the path through the valley and you’ll see clooties hanging from trees. These are rags tied to trees as Celtic offerings similar to Tibetan prayer flags. Eventually, you’ll come down into the plunge pool at the base of the main waterfall. This is the second plunge pool, the first kieve is now the entrance to the hole that the final waterfall cascades through. Over the years the 20 meters (65 feet) waterfall has punched a hole through the wall of the original pool giving a unique and stunning appearance to this small and hidden waterfall.
St Nectan’s Glen is reached from a layby (rest stop) on the main B3263 between Tintagel and Boscastle. Driving from Tintagel this will be on your left in the village of Trethevy. Cross the main road and follow the signs to St Nectan’s Glen. Initially, this is on road past the village church and some houses. The road eventually runs out and then it is a woodland path to the café and entrance to the Glen. Entry is £5.95 ($7.70 USD) for adults and £4.70 ($6 USD) for children, but worth the spending.
We’re blown away by the beauty of these falls. Thank you to our travel influencers for their contribution. Read more about each of the influencers’ waterfall experience and check out their social media handles.
Which waterfalls would you like to visit in Europe? Let us know in the comments below.
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Featured photo credit (from left to right): Brogan Abroad, A Brit and a Southerner, and Meandering Wild