Godafoss Waterfall Travel Guide
Godafoss waterfall is a spectacular waterfall located in northeastern Iceland. The mythical waterfall's beauty is further enhanced by the waterfall's roots in Iceland's religious history.
Godafoss, the "Waterfall of the Gods," is one of Iceland’s most iconic natural treasures, situated in the northeastern region of the country. Steeped in both beauty and history, it forms an integral part of Skjalfandafljot, the fourth-largest river in Iceland. Godafoss cascades over a curved edge, spanning approximately 100 feet (30 meters) in width and plummeting 39 feet (12 meters) down into a serene and picturesque pool.
Godafoss is easily accessed by those who rent a car in Akureyri and can also be visited on a number of tours, such as this sightseeing tour from Akureyri that includes a visit to Myvatn Nature Baths Baths. It is also a highlight of many guided packages and self-drives, such as this 10-day summer vacation.
History of Godafoss Waterfall//www.youtube.com/embed/o12OFCS-lC8?scheme=https&autoplay=1&mute=1
The name Godafoss means either waterfall of the gods or waterfall of the 'godi,' an old word for a priest or a chieftain. Some say the reason for this name is rooted in a pivotal moment in Iceland's history.
When Iceland was first settled in the 9th and 10th Centuries, the vast majority (those who were not slaves, at least) were Norwegians who followed the Old Norse religion, worshipping deities like Thor, Odin, Loki, and Freya. However, after the Commonwealth was established in 930 AD, pressure to convert began to push from Christianising Europe.
By 1000 AD, it seemed that Norway would almost certainly invade if the country were to stand by its pagan beliefs. The issue was thus discussed at Thingvellir, where the parliament met once a year. The lawspeaker at the time, the Asatru priest (or godi) Thorgeir Ljosvetningagodi, was given the responsibility of making the decision.
It is said that Thorgeir lay under a fur blanket for a day and a night in silence, praying to his Old Gods for the right decision. Eventually, he emerged and said that for the good of the people, Christianity would be the official religion, but pagans could practice their beliefs in private.
To symbolize his decision, he returned to his home in north Iceland and discarded idols of the Old Gods into a beautiful waterfall, which would later become known as Godafoss. The history of this defining moment in Iceland's history is engraved in a stained glass window in the church of Akureyrarkirkja.
Things to Do Near Godafoss Waterfall
Godafoss is located in north Iceland by the Ring Road, which fully encircles the country. It is considered part of the Diamond Circle sightseeing route, which also takes visitors to the Lake Myvatn area, Dettifoss Waterfall, Asbyrgi Canyon, and the town of Husavik.
Myvatn is a beautiful lake filled with a wealth of birdlife, and it is renowned for its incredible surroundings, which include fortresses and lava, geothermal areas, craters, and basalt pillars. Dettifoss is another waterfall, and though it does not have the history of Godafoss, it has much more power; it is, in fact, the second most powerful waterfall in Europe.
Asbyrgi Canyon, meanwhile, is also linked to the Old Norse Gods. Its perfect horseshoe shape was said to have been created by the stomping of one of the hoofs of the eight-legged steed of Odin. The final destination on the Diamond Circle is Husavik, the best place for whale watching in Iceland.
Staying Near Godafoss
Picture from Berjaya Hotel Akureyri.
Outside of the Diamond Circle, Godafoss is easily reached by traveling for 45 minutes east by car from the capital of the north, Akureyri. This is the largest settlement outside of the Greater Reykjavík Area and is a perfect place to stay for those traveling the circle around the country. If you're looking to stay near Godafoss, you can't go wrong with booking your accommodation in Akureyri.
Berjaya Hotel Akureyri is a great choice, offering a comfortable stay in the center of Akureyri. The great combination of modern amenities with the charming surroundings of Akureyri makes the hotel a great option for anyone wishing to stay in North Iceland.
Download Iceland’s biggest travel marketplace to your phone to manage your entire trip in one place
Scan this QR code with your phone camera and press the link that appears to add Iceland’s biggest travel marketplace into your pocket. Enter your phone number or email address to receive an SMS or email with the download link.