Appreciate a view of the impressive horseshoe shape of the Waterfall of the Gods and go hiking alongside the foamy rapids of the Skjálfandafljót River.
One of Iceland’s most famous attractions, Godafoss is a glorious arch of falls with a width of 98 feet (30 meters). The roar of the line of water smashing through the river surface below is as loud as the waterfall is picturesque. Clamber over precarious rocks for a view from above the falls.
Walk across both banks of the river to see the waterfall from various angles. Drop down to the base of the falls to get a closer look at the thunderous wall of water hitting the river. Capture photos of the magnificent falls with the spray rebounding off the cliff walls. Look for a rainbow on sunny days, as the sunlight is dispersed into many colors by the spray and foam.
In winter and spring, the river turns partly icy on the sides. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere when the entire region is covered in snow and parts of the falls turn to ice. In summer, follow trails alongside the picturesque parts of the water and stop for a picnic on the grass.
Legend has it the chieftain of Iceland at the turn of the 11th century threw icons of Norse deities into the river here to renounce his faith and embrace Christianity. See this story depicted in a window pane of Akureyri Church.
Make sure to see the nearby Geitafoss, a set of rapids in the same river that brings out the white and turquoise colors of the water. To replenish energy levels after hiking around the falls, dine at the restaurant beside the main waterfall.
Godafoss is in the Bardardalur region in the northern part of the country. It is 5 hours east of Reykjavik and over an 1 hour southwest of Skinnastadur by car. The site is beside the large ring road that passes through the scenic volcanic area of Mývatn. The east bank of the river has a small parking lot.