Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina, South America
Quite terrifying waterfall (“big water”) on the borders of Brazil and Argentina. It falls around 269 feet.
The fall is made up of hundreds of smaller waterfalls, depending on rainfall. In terms of surface water flowing over the falls, Iguazu Falls is over twice as large as the perhaps more famous Niagara Falls.
It’s been featured in both Bond and Indiana Jones films – not to mention Miami Vice.
Legend has it that an ancient god planned to marry a beautiful woman. She spurned the almighty for her mortal lover. They both foolishly paddled off together in a canoe, looking forward to some ‘together time’, banking on the fact that the god was probably going to be a good sport about it. You guessed it, no, no he wasn’t. In rage, he sliced at them on the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.
Grande Cascade de Gavarnie (Gavernie Waterfall), France, Europe
The highest waterfall in France, plunging a powerful 420 metres.
A stunning waterfall, set in even more jaw-dropping surroundings, the Gavernie Waterfall is a temperamental beast. In the hottest of summers, it’s a torrent. In winter – even with a sniff of a cold breeze, it just stops flowing.
This is largely due to the fact that it is sourced from the glacier above it – in actual fact, on the Spanish side. The waters sink underground, then surface on the very lip of the fall, before thundering down into the rocks below.
Skógarfoss, Iceland, Europe
Immense waterfall, which hides a mystery treasure
The Skógarfoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in the country with a width of 25 metres (82 feet) and a drop of 60 metres (200ft).
According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area, “Þrasi Þórólfsson”, buried a treasure-chest in a cave behind the waterfall. The legend continues that, after a particularly cold summer, when the ice-melt wasn’t too great, the waterfall had a reduced flow – incredibly rarely. One of the rings of the treasure-chest became visible. A local bravely climbed up and grabbed for the ring, found it, and clung on for dear life. Eventually, the handle of the chest could not hold his weight and broke free from the chest. The ring was allegedly given to the local church. The old church door ring is now in a folk museum, a few hundred metres away where it can be seen.
A particularly amazing option – and one not to be missed – is the fact that you can camp on that patch of grass you can see to the right of the picture. This means that the rumble of the falls lulls you into your slumber and the clean, iced, crisp smell of the glacial waters assaults your nostrils when you awake.
McWay Falls, California, North America
Possibly one of the most beautiful settings for a waterfall on the planet. This waterfall isn’t big, and it isn’t powerful. But just *look* at it …
The drop is quite modest to some of its American cousins, but the sheer beauty of this fall and the cove in which it empties makes this little place quite special.
Steinsdalsfossen Waterfall, Norway, Europe
The waterfall is only 50 metres high and is best visited when glacial melt swell the waters. It is one of the most visited waterfalls in Norway because of a rather unusual feature.
Steinsdalsfossen leaps right over the edge of a cliff, and also over a path, on which pedestrians can wander underneath it. Looking up, you can plainly see the hundreds of tonnes of water thundering just past your head, whilst keeping your feet completely dry.