#godafoss

Iceland is packed with waterfalls. So if you are a waterfall fanatic or if you just love to visit magnificent waterfalls you should take a trip to Iceland. If you travel around the country on your own time in a rent a car or a camper, you will run into a waterfall sooner than later.

10 most impressive, interesting, most beautiful stunning and best waterfalls in Iceland

Much of the photos from Iceland are naturally stunning pictures of natural wonders during the blooming summer months. Waterfalls surrounded by colorful vegetation, gray and green moss over fields of lava, rhyolite mountains with stunning colors and stunning overview of beautiful fjords and the list can go on. In winter most of the landscape is either covered with snow or quite monotonous and colorless.

Goðafoss during winter

The 20-meter high waterfall Aldeyjarfoss in the river Skjálfandafljót is a powerful stream of glacial water forcing its way from the Icelandic Highland between stunning basalt columns cliffs.  Proximity to the waterfall is almost intimidating as its power, and the muddy color is somehow threatening.  The river and the waterfall are carrying tons of soil and dirt from under the glacier Vatnajökull ice cap determined to deliver it to the northern shore where the river meets the open sea.  But this company of a beautiful basalt column cliffs and the mighty stream of dirt and water is a breathtaking combination.  And the nature of it is more like a beast than beauty.

Very photogenic but quite difficult to grab

Some of us consider the waterfall to be a photographic gem. Mainly because of its stunning basalt column surrounding in addition to the so-called Skessukatlar formation that is also characteristic for the cliff around the waterfall. Skessukatlar or “Giantess Kettle” are potholes in the surrounding walls formed by small stones in a whirlpool in the powerful stream. But you rarely see a photo of the waterfall that is stunning.  Not as stunning as standing in front of the beast. It is simply difficult to capture. 

Access to Aldeyjarfoss waterfall

The waterfall Aldeyjarfoss is located at the end of a long valley Bárðardalur in northern Iceland. On the Road Nr. 1 by another famous waterfall in the river Skjálfandafljót, Goðafoss, you turn south on Road Nr. 842 to the south.  The drive to Aldeyjarfoss is 40 kilometers, and at the end, you turn to Road F26, Sprengisandsleið, and just drive about 3 kilometers. The F road is a mountain road accessible only for 4WD vehicles. The 3 kilometers are on the other hand quite easy to drive for any vehicle, but if you decide to go farther on F26 you need to a 4WD.

The 20-meter high waterfall Aldeyjarfoss in the river Skjálfandafljót is a powerful stream of glacial water forcing its way from the Icelandic Highland

This beautiful waterfall Goðafoss is in the glacial river Skjálfandafljót. The river has its origin deep in the Icelandic highland and runs from the highland through the Bárðardalur valley, all the way from Sprengisandur in the Highlands. The fall itself is only 12 meters high and 30 meters wide but the rock formation in and around the waterfall make it one of the greatest natural wonders in Iceland. According to many Goðafoss waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. According to the locals, it is often labeled the "Beauty," versus its neighboring Dettifoss, the "Beast."

The waterfall Goðafoss is part of our religious history

Goðafoss means the waterfall of the gods and tracks its name back to the year 1000.  It was the year the law-speaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði declared Christianity to be the official religion in Iceland. When the parliamentary representatives at the Althing couldn't find a solution to the question whether Iceland should stay heathen or convert to Christianity, Þorgeir was given the task of making that decision. He crawled into his tent, buried himself beneath a stack of hides and three days emerged with his decision. The Icelanders would be Christian. It was, of course, socio-economically sensible.  Þorgeir was a chieftain in the northeast region. Upon returning home after the momentous declaration (which, by the way, didn't meet one objection) he threw all his statues of the Norse gods into the waterfall. As Þorgeir had hitherto been a heathen priest, this was a highly symbolic gesture.

Goðafoss is easily accessible

The waterfall Goðafoss is easaly accessible as it is just by the Ring Road Nr. 1 in the northern region. You don't even have to leave your car to admire it though it is worth it. There are great paths on both the east side and the west side of the waterfall, and it is equally as stunning in winter and summer.  It is a time worth spending at least one to two hours to admire and even more if you are a serious photographer.

 

Goðafoss in summer