Marvel at the power of nature at these well-watered spots

High Force, Durham, England

This fall does what it says on the packet: pumps itself through a narrow gap in the hard dolerite rock with incredible force, before dropping 21 metres to the pool below. Visitors can view the falls from below or climb 78 steps to get the perspective from the top.

High Force in Durham, England. Photo / 123RF
High Force in Durham, England. Photo / 123RF

Gullfoss, Iceland

The water that feeds this fall drops away so sharply into the narrow canyon below that it appears to visitors approaching it as if the river has disappeared altogether. One of Iceland's most famous tourist attractions, it's a striking sight, flanked by vibrant green cliff tops, with clouds of mist rising back out of the deep chasm.

Iceland's famous Gullfoss. Photo / 123RF
Iceland's famous Gullfoss. Photo / 123RF

Cascata delle Marmore, Umbria, Italy

Unlike the other falls on this list, this 3-tiered water feature in Italy has been purposely shaped by human intervention. Beginning in Roman times, when part of the Velino River was diverted over a cliff to help drain a swampy area, the flow of water here has been constantly tweaked through the digging of channels and the manipulation of the land over which it drops.

Advertisement

These days, most of the canal water flows into a hydroelectric plant, but the floodgates are opened at set times each day, sending a mass of water cascading down to meet the Nera River at the base of the cliff.

Italy's Cascata delle Marmore was created by the Romans by diverting a portion of the Velino River. Photo / 123RF
Italy's Cascata delle Marmore was created by the Romans by diverting a portion of the Velino River. Photo / 123RF

Vøringfossen, Hordaland, Norway

Dropping almost 200 metres in total, this waterfall inland from Bergen is one of Norway's most spectacular attractions. One of many falls that can be seen along the country's Hardangervidda National Scenic Route, there are a number of Vøringfossen viewing spots from above the valley it plunges into. You can also take a 30-minute hike to its base, but only from about mid-May to October when there's no snow on the ground.

Norway's dramatic Vøringfossen. Photo / 123RF
Norway's dramatic Vøringfossen. Photo / 123RF

The Rhine Falls, Schaffhausen, Switzerland

If you visit the largest waterfall in Europe it's worth parting with a small amount of cash to take a boat ride to the rock in the centre of the flow. Located near the German border in Switzerland's northeast, more than 700,000 litres of water tumble through this chasm every second and the skilled boat captains will steer you close enough to the base of the mighty falls that you'll be misted with spray, which always makes for a great photo.

People climb the rock that sits in the centre of Switzerland's Rhine Falls. Photo / 123RF
People climb the rock that sits in the centre of Switzerland's Rhine Falls. Photo / 123RF